Abraham was born in the land of Ur of the chaldeans and named Abram. His family was descended from Shem, one of Noah's sons. His father's name was Terah, his brothers were Nahor and Haran. He was married to his half-sister, Sarai. When his father left Ur, Abram left with him. They stopped at the city of Haran, where Terah died. Abram was then called by God to leave his land. God promised that, if he followed him, he would give him land, descendants, fame, and riches. Abram obeyed God and left Haran at age 75, and took his nephew, [[Lot]], with him. They went onto the land of Canaan, all the way to Shechem. He would also move to a mountain, west of Bethel and east of Ai, where he built an altar to the Lord. <ref> Genesis 11:27-12:9. </ref>
He also moved on to the south and dwelt there for a time until a famine came and he went to Egypt. However, when he arrived he was afraid that, because of his wife's beauty, the
egyptians would kill him. So he lied and said that she was his sister instead. Unfortunately, Pharoh then took Sarai into his house. Because of this, God plagued Pharoh and his house. Pharoh ordered Abram and his wife to leave. Abram went back between Bethel and Ai. <ref> Genesis 12:10-20. </ref>
After he left Egypt, Abram's men and Lot's men
quarrelled for land and water for herds. Abram selflessly offered Lot the best of the land to take. Lot chose to live in the fertile plains of Jordan, near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram moved toward the terebinth trees of Mamre, in Hebron. During this time, God renewed his promise of land and descendants. Abram built an alter where he dwelt to the Lord. <ref> Genesis 13. </ref>
Abram was also a skilled general and fighter. When Lot, his nephew, was taken prisoner during a war between the kings of Shinar, Ellasar, Chedorlaomer, and Goyim against the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Belah. Abram ambushed them and fought for his nephew. He won a great victory against them. After the battle, when Abram went to meet with the King of Sodom in the King's Valley, he met with [[Melchizedek]], King of Salem. Melchizedek blessed Abram and God, for he was High Priest of God. Abram gave him a tithe of all he had. The King of [[Sodom]] offered Abram all the riches of the victory, which had been won. However, Abram had none of it. After this, the Lord returned to Abram and renamed him as Abraham (meaning father of many nations) and his wife from Sarai (meaning Princess) to [[Sarah]] (meaning Queen.) God also made a covenant with him that included a prophecy of captivity for his descendants, and a promise of deliverance and great land. <ref> Genesis 14-15. </ref>
Abraham was married to Sarah, but was childless. God came to him and told him his
descendents would be as numerous as the sand on the shore. As time went on and Sarah had still not conceived, Sarah gave her maidservant [[Hagar]] to Abraham to have children. Ishmael was born from this union. (Genesis 16: 1-5). Abraham was 86 years old when [[Ishmael]] was born. (Genesis 16:16) Abraham had his son of the covenant through his wife Sarah when he was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was 90, beyond normal child bearing years at that time. When Isaac was still young, Sarah told Abraham to send away Hagar and Ishmael. Abraham complied.
The most famous story of Abraham dealt with his son Isaac, when Abraham was told by God to take him up into the mountains and sacrifice him. (Genesis 22:1-14) Abraham did as he was told, but at the last moment an angel of the Lord told him to stop and another sacrifice was there to be put in his place, "for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me."<ref>Genesis 22:12</ref> [[Christians]] see this as a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of [[Jesus]].