As a pastor, Abraham’s faith is one of my greatest inspirations. His significant encounters with God in the Bible such as sacrificing his son are truly memorable. As I prepared to conduct our weekly Bible study yesterday, I thought about what the Bible says about the name Abraham. While we all know his story and his amazing deeds of faith, we rarely think about the times this name appears in the Bible. I decided to dedicate an afternoon to finding the answer to the question, “How many times is Abraham mentioned in the Bible?”
Abraham is mentioned around 235 times in the Bible. With Abram included, he is mentioned around 292 times. According to Genesis 12:1-9, God called Abraham and told him to leave his country and go to the land of Canaan. Abraham’s story continues in Genesis 17:4-5 as he makes a covenant with God. Later on in Genesis 22:1-18, he obeyed God and offered his only son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice to God.
In this article, I will look at the things about Abraham that we should know. Keep reading to discover where Abraham is first mentioned in the Bible, how he is represented in the New Testament and some of his leadership qualities.
Things to know about Abraham in the Bible?
Abraham firmly believed in God, obeyed His instructions, and was ready to sacrifice his only son when God asked him to. In turn, God blessed Him and promised to multiply his offspring. Sometimes, Abraham also showed a lack of faith.
Abraham was willing to go wherever God led him. According to Genesis 12:1-9, God told Abraham to leave his country Haran and go to the land of Canaan. He promised to make of him a great nation, bless him and make his name great, so Abraham did as God had told him.
Abraham obeyed what God told him to do. In Genesis 22:1-18, God tested Abraham by asking him to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham obliged and took his son to the land of Moriah, where God had instructed. But before he could offer the sacrifice, the angel of God stopped him, and God promised to bless him and multiply his offspring. This implies that Abraham was God’s faithful servant. This is also referenced in Hebrews 11:17-19.
Abraham also made a covenant with God. Genesis 15:1-21 talks of God’s covenant with Abraham. It implies that Abraham was childless and wanted an heir, and God assured him that it would happen and his reward would be great. According to Genesis 17:1-27, God and Abraham made another covenant represented by the circumcision of every male in his household and offspring.
Abraham was a man of faith. In Hebrews 11:8-9, Abraham is used as an example of faith. Abraham had faith in God and went into a foreign land because God had told him so. This implies that Abraham is the father of faith because not many would leave everything behind and believe that God would fulfill His promises.
In some instances, Abraham showed a lack of faith. This is portrayed in Genesis 12:10-20 after leaving his country. He asked Sarah to lie that she was his sister in Egypt because he did not believe that he would be safe. Eventually, the Pharaoh discovered this and sent them all away from Egypt. In Genesis 16:1-15, Sarah was losing faith that they would get an offspring. Therefore, Sarah gave her servant, Hagar, to Abraham, and she conceived his son, Ishmael.
Where is Abraham first mentioned in the Bible?
Abraham is first mentioned in Genesis 11:26.
According to Genesis 11:26, Abraham was the son of Terah, alongside his siblings Nahor and Haran. Abraham’s lineage is outlined from Shem, one of Noah’s sons. According to Genesis 11:22-25, Serug had his son Nahor at 30 years old. At 29 years, Nahor became the father of Terah. Then finally, Nahor became Abraham’s father at 70 years old.
Genesis 11:27-32 further talks of Abraham’s family. According to the scripture, Abraham later married Sarah, but they were childless. Terah took Abraham, his wife Sarah, and Haran’s son Lot to the land of Harran, where he died at 205 years.
What are the leadership qualities of Abraham?
Abraham was a leader full of faith, patience, and obedience to God.
- Abraham had immense faith, which gave his people confidence in him. In Genesis 12:1-9 when God told him to leave Haran, his wife Sarah and nephew Lot followed him because of the faith he had.
- Abraham was a patient man. According to Genesis 21:1-5, Abraham waited 100 years for his son Isaac. This was a difficult situation for him, given that during that time, a man was valued according to the number of children he had.
- Abraham was also obedient. In Genesis 22:1-18, Abraham unquestionably obeyed God and was ready to sacrifice his son. This is a great quality in a leader and a good example to followers.
How is Abraham represented in the New Testament?
Abraham is represented as God’s friend, Jesus’ ancestor, a righteous man of God, and the father of faith in the New Testament.
In James 2:21-23, James refers to Abraham as God’s friend. This implies that Abraham had a close connection with God that resembled that of friends.
In Mathew 1:1, Abraham is represented as part of Jesus’ genealogy. It suggests that Jesus was the son of David and the son of Abraham.
According to Mathew 3:9, John the Baptist told the Pharisees and Sadducees as he was baptizing that the affiliation of Abraham as their father would not save them. This suggests that the Pharisees and Sadducees believed that Abraham was a righteous man of God who could save them.
Similarly, in Luke 16: 19-31, Jesus speaks of the parable of the rich man and the beggar, Lazarus. When they died, Abraham took Lazarus and was seated beside him while the rich man was in Hades, where he was tormented. This suggests that Abraham was a righteous man of God.
Abraham is also represented as a man of faith in the New Testament. According to James 2:21-23, James said that faith without work is dead. He mentions Abraham’s faith in God and his actions of sacrificing his son on the altar.
Biblical references about Abraham
- In Genesis 25:7-8, Abraham died at a good old age of 175 years, gathered to his people.
- In Genesis 17:4-5 during God’s covenant of circumcision with Abraham, God changed Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham. It symbolized that Abraham was the father of a multitude of nations.
- In Exodus 3:6, God presented Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham during the burning bush.
- In Joshua 24:2-3, Joshua reminded the tribes of Israel at Shechem that God led Abraham to Canaan and gave him many descendants.
- 1 Chronicles 1:28-34 mentions Abraham’s family and his sons, Isaac and Ishmael.
- In Nehemiah 9:7-8, the Levites praise God and proclaim that He chose Abraham and made a covenant with him.
- Isaiah 51:1-2 mentions that Abraham sought God, and He blessed him with many descendants.
- In Galatians 3:6-9, Abraham is referred to as the man of faith
- In Mathew 22:31-32, Jesus explains to the Sadducees that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is not the God of the dead but of the living.
- In Luke 13:16, Jesus refers to the woman who had been bound by an evil spirit as the daughter of Abraham.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.