Free History Of Judaism | Abraham Essay Example
Abraham is the Forefather of Judaism and the one who started it all for the three prominent religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Bronze Age was the birth of the Jewish people and God promised a leader, such as he, to do great things for the Jewish people. This essay will go into Abraham’s nomadic history, his impact on the Jewish faith and one of his covenants to the Jewish faith.
Jews regard Abraham as the first patriarch of the Jewish people. There is little to be known of Abraham’s history but it has been discovered that he was a shepherd from Ur, Mesopotamia. He was the son of, Terah, who, ironically, made a living handcrafting replicas of various Gods. Abraham was born into a polytheistic age when people believed in more than one God. On the night of his birth, Nimrod, a very significant and powerful King, sent his astrologers to gather at the house of Terah’s to read the constellations in the night sky. They determined that this was the birth of a child who would become a man that will lead to a great and mighty nation. Because of this astronomical prediction, Nimrod felt threatened and ordered the infant, Abraham, to be killed upon delivery to his palace. But Abraham’s father did not bring Nimrod his newborn son. He risked his entire family’s safety and brought another born son from a servant worker to be killed instead, whilst infant Abraham hid in a cave. Abraham hid in this cave for ten years.
During the ten years hiding in a cave, Abraham experienced a new way of belief, a belief in one God. He studied the moon and the sun and from his marvels at these, he spoke to God and God guided him on his new journey of life. “I will make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse him that curse you; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you” . Abraham was the leader and founder of monotheism. Though born into a polytheistic culture, he later stood for there being only one God. Because Abraham was believing and not shying away from his belief in one God, Nimrod and his people bantered Abraham and called upon his death by fire. Upon entering the fiery furnace, Abraham was untouched by flame, not even a hair on his head was scorched. During that fateful time, the princes of Nimrod said “Nay, our Lord, this is not witchcraft, it is the power of the great God, the God of Abraham, beside whom there is no other god, and we acknowledge that he is God, and Abraham his servant” .
Abraham did what God told him and was an obedient man. His true test was the sacrifice of his son, Isaac, in that this sacrifice contradicted God’s statement in that he and God will live through his descendants. When Abraham took his son up on the mountain top for sacrifice, God intervened and Abraham did not sacrifice his son but sacrificed a ram instead. This was a very difficult test, but Abraham completed it and God again made His promises to Abraham.
Abraham was the new hope of setting values through God’s will for humanity. He set the standard through his obedience. One ritual that originated from Abraham is circumcision, also known is brit milah. Circumcision is a covenant between the connection between God and the Jewish people. “Brit milah, the ritual circumcision of a Jewish boy on the eighth day of his life, had been practiced for eons.” . There is much controversy in the covenant of circumcision but overall its general meaning is to create a symbolic bond between man and God in honor of Abraham.
Abraham was not only a significant figure in Judaism but also in Christianity and Islam. All three religions recognize and pray using Abraham’s name. The power of the purpose in Abraham has the ability to even unite all three religions. “He’s the father of all faiths” . Because he is the father of all faiths and is present in three prominent religions, there is much to be said about the power of Abraham.
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Stanford, P. (2009). Abraham's Signficance-Uniting Three Faiths. BBC.