Abraham and His Wanderings (Genesis 12 to 25)
During this period, which extends from 2000 to about 1500 B.C., we are concerned chiefly with the lives of four patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
(1) From Ur to Shechem
During the early years of his life, Abraham lived in Ur of the Chaldees, where was a high degree of civilization, a vast empire, great cities, noble temples, much literary and commercial activity. But like all ancient civilizations, Chaldea was blighted by idolatry and honeycombed with immorality. The call of God came to Abraham with this command, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: In response to this call, and traveling by slow stages with some of his kindred, Abraham journeyed to Haran, a city on the upper Euphrates, some six hundred miles from Ur. Here he tarried until the death of Terah, his father, when, in response to a second divine call, he made his way to Canaan. At Shechem he erected an alter and worshiped God.
(2) Into Egypt, returning with much wealth
When a famine arose in Canaan, Abraham went down into Egypt. When he returned to the country about Bethel he brought with him greatly increased wealth.
(3) Separated from Lot
When the land was not sufficient to sustain the needs of Abraham and Lot, there arose a strife between the herdsmen of Abraham and those of Lot, his nephew. With noble generosity, Abraham bade Lot lift up his eyes and make choice of the land. Lot chose the rich and well-watered plains of the Jordan, while Abraham turned back to the hill country.
(4) Twice rescued Lot
In the closing days of Abraham's life, we have the stuffing story of his rescue of Lot from the Eastern Kings, and of the intercessory prayer, in which he pleaded for Sodom and Gomorrah and by which he saved Lot from the doom which fell upon those wicked cities.