Skip Navigation

Abraham

Abraham, an itinerant herdsman who lived some 3,700 years ago in the Middle East and promulgated his belief in a single deity, serves as the great forebear for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He is regarded as Patriarch, Man of Faith, and Prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, all of whom regard themselves as his physical heirs or spiritual descendants and hold him in high esteem. In embracing the belief in a single God, unheard of in his time, Abraham entered into a covenantal relationship with God. In exchange for his faith and obedience, God promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous "as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand on the seashore" (Genesis 22:17). For Jews, Abraham is the first of the Patriarchs, a direct ancestor of the "Children of Israel" in the Hebrew Bible and of the Jewish People to the present day. Christians trace the family tree of Jesus back to Abraham through both Mary and Joseph, while Muslims trace the lineage of the Prophet Muhammad through Abraham’s eldest son, Ishmael.