What are Abrahamic religions
Abraham and the three religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam
The supreme God and creator of the world was El, which translated means nothing other than "God". There was a fertility god for good weather, a good harvest and healthy herds of cattle like the god Baal. There were also lots of house and family gods. The God Yahweh or Jehovah, written in the Hebrew Bible YHWH, was the protector of Abraham and his family.
People believed that their fate was entirely in the hands of the gods, so they built altars and made sacrifices. The survival of families, clans and tribes depended on natural phenomena, fertile soil, good grazing areas and the availability of a water source. Exact predictions about the coming weather were only available 3,750 years later.
Although Abraham grew up believing in many gods, after the death of his father he decided to only believe in his god Yahweh. For he had revealed himself to Abraham.
And the Lord (Yahweh) said to Abram,
Go out of your fatherland [...]
and from your father's house to a country
I want to show you
And I want to make you a great people
and want to bless you
and make you a big name
and you shall be a blessing.
I want to bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you;
and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
(from the Old Testament, Genesis, chapter 12, verse 1)
Abraham trusts the words of his God. He leaves the fertile and rich region of southern Mesopotamia with his clan and herds and embarks on a long and arduous hike. Abraham knew neither where the new land would be nor what to expect there. He only knew that his God would lead him.
Yahweh leads Abraham and his clan to Canaan, in what is now Palestine, and makes a covenant with him:
He gives Abraham and his unborn children this fertile land because he has chosen the tribe of Abraham to be his beloved people.
He built an altar to Abraham in honor of his god, thanked him and sacrificed a sheep from his flock. However, Abraham waited a long time in vain for the numerous children. He and his wife Sara remained childless. It was not until Hagar, an Egyptian slave, that Abraham fathered a son. This was called Ishmael and is considered to be the progenitor of the Arab tribes.
Abraham and Sarah did not have a son until they were almost 100 years old. Isaac and his descendants are referred to as the ancestors of the people of Israel. So God had kept his promise after all.
|With the decision to believe in only one God, Abraham prepared the path of faith for Judaism. Later Christianity emerged from this and around 600 years after Christ, Islam was added as the third monotheistic religion. All three religions see a great model of faith in Abraham and still worship him today.|
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