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Basic Information

Abraham1 features in the Book of Genesis. He is widely regarded as the patriarch of Jews, Christians, and Muslims and the shared ancestor of both Israel and the Arabs.

According to Genesis, Abraham (then called Abram) was the son of a maker of idols in the Chaldean city of Ur when Hashem called on him to leave his homeland and go found a new nation. He was, so it is recorded, seventy five years old and childless when he left home with his wife Sarai (later Sarah) and retainers. Eleven years later he had a son named Ishmael by his concubine Hagar and, fourteen years thereafter his wife, herself in her nineties, gave him his first legitimate son Isaac, fulfilling the first stage of the promises that God had made to him. Hagar and Ishmael were later exiled from his household following a dispute over who was to be his heir (one that is continued to this day in Islamic theology), and after Sarah's death Abraham re-married and had six additional sons. At his death, Isaac inherited his father's estate (with the exception of small legacies for his brothers) and went on to be the father of Jacob/Israel and Esau. It was also Isaac who, as a boy, was used to seal the covenant between his father and God, being offered up in narrowly averted human sacrifice in an ultimate test of faith.

Abraham symbolizes the man chosen by God to safeguard the holy faith, as God promises unnumbered descendants and vast wealth to him, and he becomes effectively another Adam and the ancestor of the Messiah. In return, Abraham is ready to give up all he has in blind faith - his home, and even his son. He also represents unity between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Psychologically, Abraham represents the need for a complete break with one's family, as well as social and professional environment to fulfill a special destiny - a common theme with those destined for greatness.[1]


Game and Story Use

  • In many fantasy settings, various religions often seem to exist in a vacuum. Consider introducing some unifying figure in the distant past to which several religions trace their ancestry.
  • A good model for any fictional patriarch and/or migration leader culture hero.
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