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Ay´bruh-ham; Heb., “father of a multitude”

A Hebrew patriarch whose life and exploits are narrated primarily in (Gen 12-25). In Judaism, Abraham is both advocate with God and pioneer in faith; he is called “the ancestor of a multitude of nations” (Gen 17:5) and the friend of God (2Chr 20:7). Earlier known as Abram (Heb., “exalted father”), he would come to be perceived as the ancestor of several peoples from the regions of Palestine. Abraham is also an important figure in Christianity (Matt 1:1; Matt 1:2; Matt 1:17; Matt 3:9; Luke 13:16; Luke 16:24; Luke 19:9; Acts 13:26). As patriarch, he is a symbol of compassion (Luke 16:19-31) and the one who legitimates (John 8:33-38). Abraham also functions as a vehicle of the covenant with God (Luke 1:73; Acts 7:5-6; Gal 4:28; Mark 12:26; Acts 7:32), and he is viewed as one who experienced a special relationship with God (Jas 2:23). More than anything, however, the NT describes Abraham as the model of faith and the pioneer of trust in God (Rom 4:1-25; Gal 3:1-19; Heb 6:13-14; Heb 7:1-10; Heb 11:8; Heb 11:11).