THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM
By Nissan Mindel
My thoughts and introduction to Nissan Mindel's work.
Many people debate the circumstances and dating of the birth of Abraham. In keeping with the research of ancient scholars and those of the Rabbinical priesthood for millenniums, I have concluded the birth year for Abraham as being 1948 A.M. I find it fascinating that the straightforward math as carefully laid out in the genealogy in Genesis would bring us to this date. It has a profound prophetic significance to today's church and the re-birth of the nation of Israel in our time. Let's first begin with what the Jewish people themselves have taught their children. Who better, it is after all their family history.
Very little is told in Scripture of Abraham's early life. Except for a few hints, here and there, hardly anything is told in the Jewish Torah of the father of the nation of Israel until he was seventy-five years.
Such an important event as Abraham's defiance of Nimrod, the king, and leader of all the heathens and idol worshippers of his time, which led to Abraham's being thrown into a burning furnace, is only hinted in the Torah. The full story of this and other important events in Abraham's early life was only told by word of mouth, from generation to generation, until the details were finally recorded by the Sages of the Talmud in various Midrashim.
Abraham (who was first called Abram) was born in the year 1948 after Creation. (According to one tradition he was born in the month of Nissan; according to another, in the month of Tishrei.) His father's name, as you all know, was Terah, who was seventy years old when Abraham was born. Abraham's mother's name was Amathlaah. The town in which he was born was called Cutha, in Mesopotamia. In the Torah, Abraham's birthplace is called Ever-haNahar ("Beyond the River").
Abraham was the tenth generation removed from Noah, being a direct descendant of Shem, (Noah's son), the father of all the "Semitic" peoples. When Abraham was born, Shem was 390 years old, and his father Noah was 892 years old. Abraham was 58 years old when Noah died. These are important facts, for, as we shall see later, Abraham spent many years in the house of Noah and Shem, and received instruction from them. Thus he learned all the details about the Flood from the very men who built the Ark and survived the Flood. (Noah knew Methuselah for many hundreds of years, who in turn knew Adam for many hundreds of years, which means that Abraham received reliable information about everything that happened since the very first day of Creation!).
Terah, Abraham's father, was the chief officer or minister of the first king mentioned in the Torah, the mighty King Nimrod of Babylon (also known by its former name, Shinear, and the land of the Chaldees). Terah was an idol worshipper, like his king, and their chief god was the Sun.
On the very night of his birth, Abram had a close brush with death. Nimrod's stargazers told the king that Terah's newly-born son would one day be a danger to his throne. Nimrod ordered Terah to send him the baby, to be put to death. Terah, however, outwitted the king. Instead of sending his real son to the king, he sent the baby of a slave who was born on the same night as Abraham, and Nimrod killed the baby with his own hands, believing that he was now safe from the threat.
The baby Abraham, with his mother and nurse, was hidden in a cave for ten years. At the age of three years, Abraham knew that it was silly to worship the sun or any other idol, but that there was a great God, who created the sun and the moon, and the whole world, who, though Himself unseen, sees everything and knows everything, and is the real King of the World, more powerful than Nimrod. And since that time, Abraham's faith in God grew stronger every day.
At the age of ten, Abraham decided to leave the cave and to go to old Noah and Shem, of whom his mother had told him many wonderful stories. Unknown to anybody, Abraham made his way from the low country to the mountainous region of Ararat in the land of Kedem, where Noah and his family lived. He was made welcome by old Noah and Shem, who taught him all they knew about God and the ways of God.
Abraham stayed there for nearly 39 years, until the year 1997. It was at the end of this period, when he was 48 years old, while still at Noah's house, that Abraham heard about the world-shattering event of the Tower of Babel, which took place in the land of Shinar, where Nimrod reigned supreme. Nimrod and his people wanted to build a tower that would reach up to heaven so that they might establish their reign upon heaven as well as on the earth. It was the height of arrogance and defiance of men against God, and it led to confusion and to their dispersal and division into seventy tongues and nations. Abraham decided that it was high time for him to go out and teach them the truth about God, and about the falsehood and worthlessness of the idols. He knew that in defying Nimrod, and even his own father, he would be risking his life, for Nimrod had proclaimed himself a god and demanded that all the people worship him.
At the age of fifty (in the year 1998) Abraham returned to his father's house in Babylon.
Terah was a high priest of the idol worshippers. He had twelve chief gods, one for each month of the year, and other idols. In fact, there was a workshop in Terah's house, where idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold were made. People came to offer sacrifices to these idols or to buy them, and Terah had a thriving business. Terah appointed Abraham to be the salesman and take charge of the business. How "well" he conducted the business, we have already told you.
Abraham's activities, in words and deeds, aroused Nimrod's anger. Both Abraham and his father were ordered to appear before the king. Here the king's stargazers at once recognized Abraham as the one about whom they had warned the king. Terah was taken to task for deceiving the king, and he put the blame on his older son Haran, who was 32 years older than Abraham. Haran had secretly followed Abraham, but he was not quite sure whether he was wise in doing so. He thought that he would come out openly on Abraham's side, if and when Abraham would come out victorious. Nimrod ordered that Abraham be thrown into a burning furnace.
When Abraham came out unharmed, Haran declared himself on Abraham's side and chose to be likewise thrown into the furnace, and he was burnt to death. Abraham, on the other band, whom God" had so wonderfully saved from the fire, was acclaimed by all the people, and they were ready to worship him. But Abraham told them to worship God, who had saved him from the burning furnace, and that he himself was nothing but a human being. Nimrod was greatly afraid of Abraham. He gave him many precious gifts, among them Eliezer, a member of the king's household, who became Abraham's trusted servant and friend. Abraham, and his remaining brother Nahor, married two sisters, their nieces, the daughters of their brother Haran. Nahor married Milkah, and Abraham married Yiskah, better known as Sarai, (later-Sarah).
Two years later, Nimrod had a strange dream and once again his counselors interpreted it to mean that as long as Abraham lived, his kingdom would be in danger. Nimrod, who had been worried about Abraham all the time, decided to try again to kill him and sent men to capture him. Fortunately, Eliezer learned of the plot and informed Abraham in time. Abraham, with his band of followers, numbering over 300, fled to Noah. About a month later, his father Terah came to visit him there. Abraham persuaded him to give up his idolatry. He pointed out to him, moreover, that his life was also in danger, for Nimrod would not spare him. So Terah gave up his high position at Nimrod's court and decided to go with Abraham to the land of Canaan, where they would be free to worship God, out of reach of Nimrod.
Thus Terah, his son Abraham and his wife Sarai, and Lot, Haran's son, and all their household left Ur of the Chaldees in Babylon and set out for Canaan. On the way, they came to Charan, where Nahor lived, found it a good place, and stayed there.
Three years later, when Abraham was 55 years old, God appeared to Abraham and told him to take his wife and household and go on to Canaan. Abraham did, and he stayed there for 15 years. At this time, when Abraham was 70 years old, God made a covenant with him, and soon afterward Abraham returned to Charan, where he stayed for five years. Then, once again God appeared to Abraham and told him to leave his father's home and native land for good, and go to the land of Canaan. This time, Lot his nephew (and brother-in-law) accompanied him. Terah died in Charan, and Nahor remained there with his family.
Thus, at the age of 75, Abraham came to dwell in the land of Canaan, the land which God had promised him to be the chosen land for his children as an everlasting inheritance.
Life of Abraham
Adam is expelled from the Garden - time as we know it begins.
Methuselah is born - spends 243 years with Adam
Noah is born - spends 600 years with Methuselah before the flood comes.
Flood - Noah is 600 and Methuselah dies being 969 years old.
Terah is born
Abram is born
Abram is in Noah's house
Abram returns to Ur
Abram and his father's household flee to Harran.
Abram separates himself from his earthly father's house and inheritance
God makes a covenant with Abraham
Ishmael is born
Issac is born
Abraham remarries and has 5 more children
Curiously there are many that discount the biblical chronology for various reasons. As a student of prophecy you may begin to see a great many layers to biblical events and how they weave patterns for us to discover. You may be interested in viewing our slideshow on the End Times Page on this website. I do not see a coincidence between the birth of Abraham (1948 AM) - the father of the nation of Israel, and the re-birth of the that nation in our calendar year of 1948. God was not surprised when Pope Gregory wanted to drop the ancient pagan Augustine Calendar and replace it with a new Christian calendar based on the birth of Christ. God foreknew that this generation would be a significant generation that would be heavily aware of the prophetic times that we are living in.
Jesus stated this; "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
Matthew 24:32-34 - This is what's known as the Fig Tree Prophecy.
Back to Abraham. So as we study the genealogies is scripture we quickly learn of the law of relevance. Just like in any narrative, the bible is trying to reveal this truth. That in the volume of the book it is written of Him. Jesus is the reason for the bible. His revelation to us. Why do we not know who marries Cain? It is not relevant. Why do we not know who Noah's second cousin on this mother's side is? It is not relevant. What is relevant is that God is showing us, the readers of the living word the line of the Christ from Joseph and Mary all the way back to Abraham, and from Abraham to Adam. God is careful to give us the specifics because it is those very specifics that if taken as what they are, will reveal to us - this "generation that shall not pass away" - all that we need to know.
So with a careful study we learn that Abraham was not the first born, but was the child of prophetic significance, like so many other siblings throughout scripture. We know that Abraham was born to Terah at 70, because the lineage of Christ and the math is carefully protected by God. Haran was the eldest. He was 32 years older than Abram. This places Haran's birth when Terah was then 33 - which is in keeping with the seven generations before him. All generations from the flood onward to Terah, all without fail had a child prior to 35 years of age. Jewish historical narratives back up this fact, along with the Book of Jasher, which is twice referenced in the bible and one of those times by the Prophet Samuel, who is said to have been a perfect prophet, in that none of his prophecies fell to the ground empty.
The genealogies are illustrating to us the linkage of the righteous line from Adam to Christ, following the anointing throughout the generations. Abram is born to Terah at 70 years of age. Abram is the child of significance in the line of Terah and the age of Terah is given in connection with Abram's birth.