For this Sarai afflicts her so that she flies into the desert, but is persuaded to return by an angel who comforts her with promises of the greatness of the son she is about to bear. Thirteen years later God appears to Abram and promises him a son by Sarai, and that his posterity will be a great nation.
As a sign, he changes Abram's name to Abraham, Sarai's to Sara, and ordains the rite of circumcision.
Whilst he is still young, Sarah is jealous, seeing Ismael playing with the child Isaac, so she procures that Agar and her son shall be cast out.
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The original form of the name, Abram , is apparently the Assyrian Abu-ramu .
It is doubtful if the usual meaning attached to that word "lofty father", is correct.
Then he marries Cetura, old though he is, and has by her six children.
Finally, leaving all his possessions to Isaac, he dies at age 170, and is buried by Isaac and Ismael in the cave of Machpelah.
Abraham is next related to have had a dispute with Abimelech over a well at Bersabee, which ends in a covenant being made between them.
It was after this that the great trial of the faith of Abraham takes place. When Abraham has his arm raised and is in the very act of striking, an angel from heaven stays his hand and makes the most wonderful promises to him of the greatness of his posterity because of his complete trust in God.
Abraham may be looked upon as the starting-point or source of Old Testament religion.
So that from the days of Abraham men were wont to speak of God as the God of Abraham, whilst we do not find Abraham referring in the same way to anyone before him.
One day later, as Abraham is sitting by his tent, in the vale of Mambre, Jehovah with two angels appears to him in human form. Then again the promise of a son named Isaac is renewed to Abraham. Abraham is then told of the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha for their sins but obtains from Jehovah the promise that he will not destroy them if he finds ten just men therein.
Then follows a description of the destruction of the two cities and the escape of Lot.
But Abram does not see how this is to be, for he has already grown old.