Summary: (c.1,700 BCE?) Abram, the son of Terah, was called by God to be the one
through whom a priesthood covenant would be established (B:24:12-20,67). Stemming
from the murder of Abel at the advent of the first dispensation, the Elohim promised
to counter the evil by establishing a righteous lineage upon the earth through the
seed of Seth (B:5:12-17). Furthermore, it was promised that hidden amidst the seed
of Seth would arise those of the seed of Abel, who would become great and mighty
prophets upon the land.
According to the narrative presented in the book of Beginnings, Abram dwelt in the
city of Babel, and was arrested and imprisoned for heresy. He was subsequently delivered
from prison (and death) after being visited by Emmanuel, who gave him the name Abraham,
and eventually called him to journey to the land of Canaan. God promised Abraham
and Sarah a son, however, the Fallen One successfully intervenes by convincing Sarah
to offer up her handmaiden, Hagar, to Abraham. In spite of the contention that arose
from the birth of Ishmael (son of Hagar and Abraham), a son is eventually born to
Sarah and Abraham, whom they name Isaac.
Chronological summary of significant events
• Elohim gathers, chooses Abram to fulfill priesthood covenant (B:24:1-70)
• Abram is arrested and imprisoned for questioning the gods of Babel (B:25:1-67)
• Emmanuel visits Abram, promises deliverance, names him Abraham (B:26:1-18)
• Abraham helps to restore Queen Veshanu; rewarded and set free (B:26:21-74)
• God promises Abraham and Sarah a son, called to journey to Canaan (B:27:5-32)
• Three visitors approach Abraham’s tent (B:27:33-44)
• Melchizedek visits Abraham, confirms the priesthood covenant (B:29:32-40)
Prelude - the gathering of Elohim (Beginnings 24:1-70)
Abram, the son of Terah, is chosen by the Council of Elohim to be the one through
which the priesthood covenant be established. The Council of Elohim gathers to discuss
a divine promise made during the first dispensation as a result of Abel's murder
(B:5:5-7). In the meeting it is decided that the seed of Seth would be established
through Abram, and that hidden among this lineage would be those who, through righteousness,
would become as the seed of Abel. This became the means by which the priesthood of
God was bestowed among the children of men.
Therefore, let us call forth a man from among all the sons of men,
and with him shall we establish a covenant, and all his seed shall be as that of
who in the beginning walked in the ways of God.
Abram and Nimrod (Beginnings 25:1-67)
Abram comes to reject the false gods of Babel and questions his father Terah, accusing
him of idolatry. Terah has Abram arrested and taken to King Nimrod for judgment,
as the law forbade that anyone offend the gods of the land. Nimrod finds Abram guilty
and sentences him to ten days in prison, and then death.
Forlorn in the king’s prison, Abram prays and expresses his desire to know the true
God. In the night, Abram awakens to see a bright light from which a voice speaks,
identifying himself as Emmanuel the father of his spirit. Abram is assured of his
deliverance from Nimrod, and informed regarding his role in the priesthood covenant
that was to be established with him and his seed. Also, it was during this exchange
that Abram received his new name, Abraham.
Queen Veshanu (Beginnings 26:21-74)
On the third day of Abraham’s imprisonment, Nimrod is informed that his wife Veshanu
had fallen very ill. Despite the efforts of Nimrod’s renowned magicians and wise
men, the queen could not be restored to health. Nimrod is counseled to sacrifice
ten virgins to the gods of Babel in hopes to save his beloved wife. That night, the
voice of God speaks to Nimrod, persuading him not to sacrifice the living to false
gods. Instead, he is encouraged to seek Abraham’s help in restoring his wife to health.
The following morning, Abraham is brought before Nimrod and petitioned to heal the
queen. After three days, Veshanu is brought back to health. As compensation for restoring
his wife, Nimrod removes the judgement from Abraham and rewards him with great wealth.
When Nimrod states he plans to build a great house in honor of Abraham’s God, Abraham
rebukes and counsels him, stating how the true God of Heaven and earth has no desire
for houses and graven images. Nimrod fears that Abraham’s God will publicly shame
him, so he commands Abraham to leave the land of Shinar. Abraham takes his wife Sarah,
along with his servants, and journeys to the land of Haran. Nimrod plots to have
Abraham killed and sends Terah to do so, but Terah had great regard for his son and
came to dwell peacefully with Abraham in Haran until his death.
Abrahamic Covenant - Journeying to Canaan (Beginnings 27:5-32)
Abraham is called by the Lord to leave the land of the Chaldees and journey to the
land of Canaan which was to be an inheritance to Abraham and his lineage. Abraham
is promised that Sarah would conceive, that he would be the father of many nations,
and his seed would become a nation of priests. This was difficult for Abraham and
Sarah to believe due to their great age and inability to have children. They arrive
in Canaan and dwell peacefully there for several years, before taking up journey
throughout Canaan and eventually coming to live in the land of Hebron by the waters
Three Visitors (Beginnings 27:33-44)
While sitting at the door of his tent beneath the shade of the terebinth trees, Abraham
sees approaching from the wilderness one who was “like unto the Son of the Morning,
and with him were two others, like unto men”. The Spirit of God entreats Abraham
to go to them and bid them rest. After greeting the visitors, Abraham calls to Sarah
and his servants to attend to them while he leaves to find a lamb for the dinner
feast. During this time, the one who was like unto the Son of the Morning begins
questioning Sarah about the whereabouts of her children, seeking to conspire against
the House of Abraham.
Temptations of the Fallen One (Beginnings 27:42-54)
While Abraham is away, the Fallen One continues to play on Sarah’s doubts and insecurities
surrounding her infertility. For despite the promises of God, Sarah had remained
barren and this caused her much grief and shame. The Fallen One tempts Sarah to offer
Abraham her handmaiden, Hagar, that she might bear Abraham a son. Sarah becomes convinced
this would fulfill the promises of God and alleviate her sorrow and shame.
Pleading for the Righteous (Beginnings 27:55-79)
Overlooking the cities of the plain, the Son of the Morning tells Abraham that he
has come to execute judgment and desolation upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Abraham asks the Son of the Morning how the wicked are to repent if their lives are
cut short thus perishing in their sins. He pleads incrementally with the “destroying
angel”to spare the wicked for the sake of first, fifty righteous, then forty-five,
then forty, until the Fallen One agrees to spare the cities for the sake of ten righteous.
This concludes the conversation, and the Son of the Morning, with his two companions,
journeys to the Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham instructs his chief steward, Abimelech,
to travel quickly to Sodom and warn his nephew Lot about the coming destruction.
Despite Abraham’s intercession, a dreadful pestilence sweeps the land, and with the
exception of Lot and his family, all are destroyed.
Ishmael and Isaac (Beginnings 28:1-30)
Sarah offers Abraham her handmaiden, Hagar, and Abraham consents. Hagar conceives
and has a son who is named Ishmael. Contentions arise between Sarah and Hagar, and
there was no peace in the tent of Abraham. In Ishmael’s thirteenth year, Abraham
is visited by the Lord, who reminds Abraham of the covenant: that from Abraham’s
seed would come a multitude of nations, prophets and priests, and the land would
be as an inheritance to them. The Lord establishes circumcision to be a sign of the
covenant and tells Abraham that the following year Sarah would conceive and bear
a son through which the covenant would be fulfilled. Abraham questions the Lord,
believing he and Sarah too old to have children, as Abraham was one hundred years
old, while Sarah was ninety. God assures Abraham that despite their age, the promise
would be fulfilled.
Abiel of Salem (Beginnings 28:31-58)
Seven days after Abraham is circumcised, he is visited by the angel, Abiel of Salem.
Abraham tells Abiel of the troubles resulting from having a child with Hagar. Abiel
discusses with Abraham why his actions were in violation with the words of God, and
counsels him to separate Hagar and Ishmael from his tent. Abiel assures that God
will look over Hagar and Ishmael, and that Ishmael will be the father of nations.
The angel reaffirms that Sarah would bear Abraham a son to be named Isaac, but that
there would be enmity between the house of Ishmael and the house of Isaac, until
the “day of reconciliation” when the Lord would establish peace between them.
The Priesthood of God (Beginnings 28:59-90)
Abiel teaches Abraham about the mercies of God, and the nature and power of priesthood.
The angel explains how Abraham was fore-ordained to be the bearer of the priesthood,
and because he plead for the sake of the righteous and made intercession for the
wicked, God was soon to confirm this power upon him.
Birth of Isaac (Beginnings 29:1-31)
Isaac is born and circumcised eight days later. Sarah rejoices and sings hymns of
praise to the Heavenly Father and Mother. There is peace in the house of Abraham.
Melchizedek - the King of Salem (Beginnings 29:32-40)
Abraham awakes from a dream in which he is instructed to prepare for the coming of
the “King of Heaven”. At sunrise, Abraham meets Melckizedek under the terebinth trees,
and is taught the mysteries of Heaven. At the end of the day, Melchizedek anoints
Abraham and ordains him high priest and patriarch unto all his seed, thus confirming
the priesthood covenant.