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Abraham

Father of a multitude. Originally called Abram, “exalted father” (Gen. 11:26; 17:5). Son of Terah, born in Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:26–28). The migration to Haran, where Terah died, is found in Gen. 11:31. Abraham’s journey to Canaan, the divine call, and the covenant are recorded in Gen. 12:1–5. His sojourn in Egypt is given in Gen. 11–20 and Abr. 1–3. Other important events: settlement in Hebron (Gen. 13:18); rescue of Lot and the meeting with Melchizedek (Gen. 14); further blessings and promises (Gen. 15:1; 17:8); institution of circumcision and change of name to Abraham (Gen. 17:9–27); intercession for Lot at Sodom (Gen. 19); offering of Isaac and renewal of the covenant and blessings (Gen. 22); death of Sarah and purchase of the cave of Machpelah as a family burial place (Gen. 23); Abraham’s death and burial (Gen. 25:8–10).

Abraham is always regarded in the Old Testament as founder of the covenant race, which is personified in the house of Israel. He is the “father of the faithful.” John the Baptist and Paul rebuked those holding the erroneous idea that natural descent from Abraham was by itself sufficient to secure God’s favor (Matt. 3:9; Rom. 9:7). For references to him in Jesus’ teachings see Matt. 8:11; Luke 16:22; John 8:56.

Latter-day revelation has clarified the significance of the Abrahamic covenant and other aspects of Abraham’s life and ministry. We learn that he was greatly blessed with divine revelation concerning the planetary system, the creation of the earth, and the premortal activities of the spirits of mankind. One of the most valiant spirits in the premortal life, he was chosen to be a leader in the kingdom of God before he was born into this world (Abr. 1–5). We also learn from latter-day revelation that because of Abraham’s faithfulness he is now exalted and sits upon a throne in eternity (D&C 132:29, 37).