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Author: Ron Graham

History of IsraelTimes of Israel series

Promises to Abraham
—And Abraham’s family tree

Time —1. Promises to Abraham
Books —Genesis
Figures —Abraham Isaac Jacob
Begins with —God's call to Abram
Ends with —Jacob's family settling in Egypt

Our first period —Promises to Abraham— spans the generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The period starts with God's call to Abram, and ends with the settlement of Jacob's family in Goshen, a part of Egypt.

The period is covered by Genesis chapters 12-47. An outline of the period is also provided in Acts 7:1-15, part of the speech made by Stephen.

1 The Background

About 2000 years before Christ, God called Abram out of Ur where he lived near the Persian Gulf. Abram settled in Haran, at the other end of the Euphrates river. However, God led him down to Canaan, east of the Mediterranean Sea where the river Jordan flows.

God promised that Abram's descendants would possess that land. God also promised that one of Abram's descendants would bless all nations. Abraham (as his name became) was old. His wife Sarah was also old, and what is more she had always been barren. Sarah and Abraham contrived to produce a son and heir through Sarah's servant Hagar, so Ishmael was born. However God insisted that Sarah would bear a son to Abraham, and his name would be Isaac.

Through the promise and power of God, Isaac was indeed born to them. In time, Isaac begot Jacob who became known by the name Israel. He fathered 12 sons from whom the twelve tribes of Israel were descended.

2 The Main Point

Behind this story are "two immutable things"...

3 Promises to Abraham in Genesis

4 Two main elements in these promises:>

The promise was that Abraham's 'seed' would bless the world (Hebrews 6:13-20). Just as Abraham placed his hope of eternal life in these two unchangeable things, so also do we (Romans 4:16-25).

5 Abraham’s Family Tree

Abraham’s Genealogy

  • Adam was the father of Seth
  • Seth was the ancestor of Noah
  • Noah had a son called Shem
  • Shem was the ancestor of Terah
  • Terah was the father of Sarah, Abram, Nahor, Haran
  • Abram married Sarah and they had a son Isaac
  • Nahor married Haran's daughter Milcah and they had a son Bethuel
  • Bethuel was the father of Rebekah and Laban
  • Isaac married Rebekah and they had a son Jacob
  • Jacob married Laban's daughters Leah and Rachel and had twelve sons by them and their maids:
    —Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah (by Leah)
    —Dan and Naphtali (by Bilah, Rachel's maid)
    —Gad and Asher (by Zilpah, Leah's maid)
    —Issachar and Zebulun (by Leah)
    —Joseph and Benjamin (by Rachel)
    —Joseph had two sons Manasseh and Ephraim

Abraham was the...

  • Son of Terah
  • Uncle of Lot
  • Husband of Sarah
  • Father of Ishmael (Edom) by Hagar
  • Father of Isaac by Sarah
  • Grandfather of Israel (Jacob)

6 Scripture Key


Webservant Ron Graham

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