The Bible story of Abram really begins when he is seventy-five years of age when the Lord called him to leave the city of Haran and go to a place shown him by the Lord. Just as we have no record in the Bible of Jesus’ youth, indeed the years between 12 and 30, so with Abram, the Bible gives us nothing except his lineage from Noah through Shem, including Peleg, (when the earth was divided), Eber and Terah, twelve generations from Noah. One might wonder that the Lord chose Abram when his father was given to idol worship. Fortunately, this question is answered in the book of Jasher, which book is referenced twice in the Bible (Joshua and Samuel).
Jasher recounts the genology of all of Noah’s sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem. Ham fathered Cush who fathered Nimrod. The children of Cush took issue with the sons of Japheth and Nimrod conducted the war successfully and became king of all the people. Nimrod established Terah as the leader of his host and it seems he was the chief prince of Nimrod. At the age of seventy years, Terah’s wife, Amthelo, delivered his son Abram and a great celebration was held. After the celebration, when the guests were returning home, they looked to the heavens and beheld a very large star from the east, travelling westward and devouring four stars from the four sides of the heavens. The wise men were sure of the interpretation and Jasher records it as follows, “And they said to each other, this only betokens the child that has been born to Terah this night, who will grow up and be fruitful and multiply, and possess all the earth, he and his children for ever, and he and his seed shall slay great kings, and inherit their lands.” (I find this prophecy interesting since it came many years, 75, before the Lord’s covenant with Abraham.)
To protect themselves from death, they consulted and decided that the king must be made aware of this phenomenon. The king heard their story and accepted their advice to “buy” the child for death and he made the following offer to Terah. “And now therefore give me the child that we may slay him before his evil springs up against us, and I will give thee for his value thy house full of silver and gold.” Now Terah was in a difficult position and tried to reason with the king showing a parallel case involving a horse that the king had given him. However, the king was unbending and Terah asked for three days to consider the offer. On the third day, the king demanded the child, threatening to destroy all of Terah’s household if he did not comply. So Terah gave him a child born that day to a servant and received the value for him. And the king took the child and smashed his head to the ground with all his might and the matter was forgotten. “And Terah concealed Abram, his son secretly, together with his mother and nurse, and he brought them their provisions monthly. And the Lord was with Abram in the cave and he grew up, and Abram was in the cave ten years and the king and his princes, soothsayers and sages, thought that the king had killed Abram.”
“When Abram, came out of the cave, he WENT TO NOAH AND HIS SON SHEM, and he remained with them TO LEARN THE INSTRUCTION OF THE LORD AND HIS WAYS, and no one knew where Abram was, and Abram served Noah and Shem, his son, for a LONG time. And Abram was in Noah’s house THIRTY-NINE YEARS, and Abram knew the Lord from three years old, and he went in the way of the Lord TILL THE DAY OF HIS DEATH as Noah and his son Shem taught him. So while Nimrod and his son Morad were leading the world in wickedness, Abram was learning the ways of the Lord from the tenth preacher of righteousness, Noah. So, the Lord had two reasons for calling Abram to go to a new land, which the Lord would show him. First, his life was in danger from Nimrod, if he knew Abram was alive, and he was the only righteous man of that generation and fit to father a new race dedicated to the praise and servitude of the Lord. Sarai (ten years younger than Abram) was born of Nahor, Abram’s oldest brother and therefore, genetically fit to reproduce with Abram the race that was to be servant to the Lord.
The Lord, in His wisdom, put Abram to the severest test of his faith, requiring that he sacrifice Isaac of the miracle birth and from whom was to develop Abram’s seed. Abram met that test with a courageous trust in the Lord and by laying Isaac on the altar, dedicated his entire progeny to follow the Lord. His reward was to be called, “the friend of God,” and to receive the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant. Perhaps the only demonstration of greater faith was that of the Lord Jesus Christ, who in faith, laid down His own life, trusting that the Father Almighty would resurrect Him.
O, if we had a fraction of that faith!! So, Abraham towers over us in the shadow of Jesus Christ!