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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5078 Abraham, significance of
5078 Abraham, significance of

5078 Abraham, significance of

Whereas Jews see Abraham as the father of their nation on account of God’s covenant with him, Christians see Abraham as the father of all who believe in Jesus Christ.

The significance of Abraham for nations other than Israel

Abraham was the father of many nations Ge 17:3-6 See also Ge 17:20; Ge 25:1-4,12-18 Muslim Arabs trace their ancestry through Ishmael to Abraham.

Abraham was to be a means of blessing to many nations Ge 12:3 See also Ge 18:18; Ge 22:17-18; Ac 3:25

The significance of Abraham for the people of Israel

Israel traces its origins back to God’s call of Abraham Ge 12:1-2 See also Jos 24:2-3; Ac 7:2-3; Heb 11:8-10

God promises the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants Ne 9:7-8 See also Ge 15:1-21; Ge 17:1-8; Ex 6:8; Dt 9:5; Ac 7:4-5

God is subsequently known in Israel as the God of Abraham 1Ki 18:36 See also Ge 24:26-27; Ge 26:24; Ge 31:53; Ps 47:9; Ac 7:32; Ex 3:6

Abraham is seen as the father of the Jewish nation Jn 8:39 See also Ps 105:5-6; Isa 41:8; Isa 51:1-2; Lk 1:54-55; Jn 8:33; Ac 13:26; Ro 11:1

God deals with Israel on the basis of his covenant with Abraham 1Ch 16:14-18 pp Ps 105:7-11 See also Ex 2:23-25; 2Ki 13:22-23; Ps 105:42-45; Lk 1:68-75

Circumcision was the sign of participation in God’s covenant with Abraham Ge 17:9-14 See also Lev 12:3; Jn 7:22; Ac 15:1

The significance of Abraham for Christians

Abraham was an ancestor of Jesus Christ Mt 1:1 pp Lk 3:34

Jesus Christ attacks Jewish confidence in mere physical descent from Abraham Mt 3:9-10 pp Lk 3:8-9 See also Jn 8:33-41

Jesus Christ makes a point of identifying outcasts as children of Abraham Lk 19:7-9 See also Lk 13:10-16

God’s promise to Abraham is not inherited by those who obey the law Gal 3:15-18 See also Ro 4:13-16; Gal 4:21-31

God’s promise to Abraham is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is Abraham’s seed Gal 3:16 See also Ge 12:7; Ge 13:15; Ge 24:7; Gal 3:19,29

Abraham is the father of those who are justified by faith Gal 3:6-9 See also Ge 15:6; Ro 4:1-25

Abraham’s obedience to God shows that faith must lead to good works Jas 2:20-24

Fellowship with Abraham is a symbol of salvation

Mt 8:11-12 See also Lk 13:28-29; Lk 16:19-26

See also

1035God, faithfulness
1245God of the fathers
7135Israel, people of God
7140people of God
7258promised land, early history
7505Jews, the

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