The contemporaries of Abraham

For simplicity's sake, I have referred to Abram/Abraham as Abraham and Sarai/Sarah as Sarah.

Abraham’s relatives

  • Abraham’s ancestry

    Abraham’s father was Terah. If you read the Bible's genealogical records literally, then until Abraham was 46 years old, every one of his ancestors, back to Noah, was alive. Going backwards from Terah, they were Nahor, Serug, Reu, Peleg, Eber, Shelah, Arphaxad, Shem and Noah.

    Terah had at least two wives. He died in Haran.

  • Abraham’s siblings

    Abraham had a half-sister, Sarah, whose father was Terah. She died in Hebron in Canaan. Abraham also had two brothers, Nahor and Haran.

    • Haran

      Haran had a son, Lot, and two daughters, Milcah and Iscah.

      • Lot was close to Abraham, and they travelled together in the beginning of Abraham’s sojourn in the promised land. Lot had two daughters, and later two sons, Moab and Ben-Ammi, by his two daughters.

      • Milcah married her uncle Nahor.

      Haran died in Ur before Abraham had even left permanently. Haran may have been visiting from the city of Haran, which may have been named after him.

    • Nahor

      Nahor married his niece, Milcah. Together, they had eight sons: Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.

      • Kemuel was the father of Aram.

      • Bethuel was the father of Rebekah, who later married her relative, Isaac. Rebekah’s brother was named Laban.

      Nahor also took a concubine, Reumah, who bore him four sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.

  • Abraham’s family

    Abraham’s wife was his half-sister, Sarah. While he was still married to Sarah, Abraham took Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar, as a concubine. After Hagar was sent away with Ishmael, and Sarah died, Abraham took Keturah as a concubine.

    Abraham’s first son was Ishmael; his mother was Hagar. Ishmael had twelve sons: Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. Ishmael also had a daughter, Mahalath, who married her cousin Esau.

    Abraham’s second son was Isaac; his mother was Sarah. Isaac married his cousin’s daughter, Rebekah. Rebekah bore Isaac two sons: Esau and Jacob.

    Abraham had six sons by Keturah: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Jokshan had two sons: Sheba and Dedan. Midian had five sons: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah.

Members of Abraham’s household

Apparently Abraham passed through Damascus on his way to Canaan, and it is probable he acquired any number of servants there, including Eliezer, whom it seems Abraham was fond of (he was set to inherit Abraham’s estate).

Perhaps while the Hebrews were briefly in Egypt, Sarah acquired a maidservant, Hagar, who later became one of Abraham’s wives.

At the time that Abraham rescued Lot, he had 318 trained men who were born in his household (meaning many more women, children and untrained men), all before he even fathered any offspring.

When Rebekah came to be Isaac’s wife, she brought with her her nurse and her maids.

Nations in the promised land

When Abraham first entered Canaan, it was inhabited by Canaanites. When Abraham returned from Egypt, the Perizzites were living in the promised land alongside the Canaanites. On the other side of the Jordan river was the city of Sodom.

After Abraham parted company with Lot, he moved to Hebron and allied himself with Mamre and his brothers, Eschol and Aner. Across the Jordan a confederacy of city-states arose, consisting of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admar, Zeboiim and Zoar (which was also called Bela). The confederacy had been subject to Elam, a city-state that was allied with Shinar, Ellasar and Goiim. When the confederacy rebelled against Elam, the alliance reasserted itself, as well as conquering the Rephaites, the Zuzites, the Emites, the Horites, the Amalekites and the Amorites. After Abraham had conquered the alliance war party, he was blessed by the king of the city-state of Salem (which was later called Jerusalem).

Also in the land at this time were the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.

After the cities of the Jordan plain were destroyed, Abraham moved into the Negev, and whilst there had some dealings with the inhabitants of Gerar.

After Isaac was born, Abraham is seen living in harmony with the Philistines, and after Sarah died, Abraham is at peace with the Hittites.