Abraham and his wifeA man called Terah, took his family from Ur in Sumer, to live in Haran. They travelled from place to place, herding their sheep and cattle along the banks of the River Euphrates. One day God told Terah's son Abram to leave Haran and go to Canaan. There he would become the father of a great nation. His descendants would be "as numerous the stars". Abram and his wife, Sarai, were very old but God gave them a son, Isaac. God told Abram to change his name to Abraham (meaning "father of many") and his wife's name to Sarah.
God decided to test Abraham’s faith. Abraham was to take his only son, Isaac, to a hilltop in the land known as Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. Abraham loved his son very much but he did as God asked. When they reached Moriah, he bound Isaac and placed him on an altar. But, as he raised his knife, an angel appeared and told him to stop. Abraham had passed the test. Seeing a ram caught in a bush, Abraham sacrificed it instead.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are known as the patriarchs: the founding fathers of the nation of Israel.
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