(Rom. 9:29; R.V., "Sodom"), the Greek form for Sodom.
gift, or son of evil, king of Sodom at the time of the invasion
of the four kings under Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:2, 8, 17, 21).
mentioned only in Gen. 14:17; 2 Sam. 18:18, the name given to
"the valley of Shaveh," where the king of Sodom met Abram.
Vine of Sodom
referred to only in Deut. 32:32. Among the many conjectures as
to this tree, the most probable is that it is the 'osher of the
Arabs, which abounds in the region of the Dead Sea. Its fruit
are the so-called "apples of Sodom," which, though beautiful to
the eye, are exceedingly bitter to the taste. (See EN-GEDI
¯T0001207.) The people of Israel are referred to here by Moses
as being utterly corrupt, bringing forth only bitter fruit.
earth, one of the five cities of the vale of Siddim (Gen.
10:19). It was destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24;
Deut. 29:23). It is supposed by some to be the same as the Adam
of Josh. 3:16, the name of which still lingers in Damieh, the
ford of Jordan. (See ZEBOIM ¯T0003885.)
Dale, the king's
the name of a valley, the alternative for "the valley of Shaveh"
(q.v.), near the Dead Sea, where the king of Sodom met Abraham
(Gen. 14:17). Some have identified it with the southern part of
the valley of Jehoshaphat, where Absalom reared his family
monument (2 Sam. 18:18).
those who imitated the licentious wickedness of Sodom (Deut.
23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; Rom. 1:26, 27). Asa destroyed them "out of
the land" (1 Kings 15:12), as did also his son Jehoshaphat
Siddim, Vale of
valley of the broad plains, "which is the salt sea" (Gen. 14:3,
8, 10), between Engedi and the cities of the plain, at the south
end of the Dead Sea. It was "full of slime-pits" (R.V., "bitumen
pits"). Here Chedorlaomer and the confederate kings overthrew
the kings of Sodom and the cities of the plain. God afterwards,
on account of their wickedness, "overthrew those cities, and all
the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities;" and the smoke
of their destruction "went up as the smoke of a furnace"
(19:24-28), and was visible from Mamre, where Abraham dwelt.
Some, however, contend that the "cities of the plain" were
somewhere at the north of the Dead Sea. (See SODOM ¯T0003469.)
king of Shinar, southern Chaldea, one of the confederates of
Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, in a war against Sodom and cities of
the plain (Gen. 14:1, 4). It is now found that Amraphel (or
Ammirapaltu) is the Khammu-rabi whose name appears on
recently-discovered monuments. (See CHEDORLAOMER ¯T0000781).
After defeating Arioch (q.v.) he united Babylonia under one
rule, and made Babylon his capital.
a thing swallowed. (1.) A city on the shore of the Dead Sea, not
far from Sodom, called also Zoar. It was the only one of the
five cities that was spared at Lot's intercession (Gen.
19:20,23). It is first mentioned in Gen. 14:2,8.
(2.) The eldest son of Benjamin (Num. 26:38; "Belah," Gen.
(3.) The son of Beor, and a king of Edom (Gen. 36:32, 33; 1
(4.) A son of Azaz (1 Chr. 5:8).
small, a town on the east or south-east of the Dead Sea, to
which Lot and his daughters fled from Sodom (Gen. 19:22, 23). It
was originally called Bela (14:2, 8). It is referred to by the
prophets Isaiah (15:5) and Jeremiah (48:34). Its ruins are still
seen at the opening of the ravine of Kerak, the Kir-Moab
referred to in 2 Kings 3, the modern Tell esh-Shaghur.
burning; the walled, a city in the vale of Siddim (Gen. 13:10;
14:1-16). The wickedness of its inhabitants brought down upon it
fire from heaven, by which it was destroyed (18:16-33; 19:1-29;
Deut. 23:17). This city and its awful destruction are frequently
alluded to in Scripture (Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; 3:9;
13:19; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46-56; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15; Rom.
9:29; 2 Pet. 2:6, etc.). No trace of it or of the other cities
of the plain has been discovered, so complete was their
destruction. Just opposite the site of Zoar, on the south-west
coast of the Dead Sea, is a range of low hills, forming a mass
of mineral salt called Jebel Usdum, "the hill of Sodom." It has
been concluded, from this and from other considerations, that
the cities of the plain stood at the southern end of the Dead
Sea. Others, however, with much greater probability, contend
that they stood at the northern end of the sea. [in 1897].
gazelles or roes. (1.) One of the "five cities of the plain" of
Sodom, generally coupled with Admah (Gen. 10:19; 14:2; Deut.
29:23; Hos. 11:8). It had a king of its own (Shemeber), and was
therefore a place of some importance. It was destroyed along
with the other cities of the plain.
(2.) A valley or rugged glen somewhere near Gibeah in Benjamin
(1 Sam. 13:18). It was probably the ravine now bearing the name
Wady Shakh-ed-Dub'a, or "ravine of the hyena," north of Jericho.
(3.) A place mentioned only in Neh. 11:34, inhabited by the
Benjamites after the Captivity.
This word occurs frequently, and is the translation of several
different terms. (1.) Micah 7:4, it denotes a species of thorn
shrub used for hedges. In Prov. 15:19 the word is rendered
"thorn" (Heb. _hedek_, "stinging"), supposed by some to be what
is called the "apple of Sodom" (q.v.).
(2.) Ezek. 28:24, _sallon'_, properly a "prickle," such as is
found on the shoots of the palm tree.
(3.) Isa. 55:13, probably simply a thorny bush. Some,
following the Vulgate Version, regard it as the "nettle."
(4.) Isa. 5:6; 7:23-25, etc., frequently used to denote thorny
shrubs in general. In 10:17; 27:4, it means troublesome men.
(5.) In Heb. 6:8 the Greek word (tribolos) so rendered means
"three-pronged," and denotes the land caltrop, a low throny
shrub resembling in its spikes the military "crow-foot." Comp.
Matt. 7:16, "thistle."
submersion, one of the five cities of the plain of Siddim (q.v.)
which were destroyed by fire (Gen. 10:19; 13:10; 19:24, 28).
These cities probably stood close together, and were near the
northern extremity of what is now the Dead Sea. This city is
always mentioned next after Sodom, both of which were types of
impiety and wickedness (Gen. 18:20; Rom. 9:29). Their
destruction is mentioned as an "ensample unto those that after
should live ungodly" (2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 1:4-7). Their wickedness
became proverbial (Deut. 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; Jer. 23:14). But
that wickedness may be exceeded (Matt. 10:15; Mark 6:11). (See
DEAD SEA ¯T0000991).
Hebrew dudaim; i.e., "love-plants", occurs only in Gen. 30:14-16
and Cant. 7:13. Many interpretations have been given of this
word _dudaim_. It has been rendered "violets," "Lilies,"
"jasmines," "truffles or mushrooms," "flowers," the "citron,"
etc. The weight of authority is in favour of its being regarded
as the Mandragora officinalis of botanists, "a near relative of
the night-shades, the 'apple of Sodom' and the potato plant." It
possesses stimulating and narcotic properties (Gen. 30:14-16).
The fruit of this plant resembles the potato-apple in size, and
is of a pale orange colour. It has been called the "love-apple."
The Arabs call it "Satan's apple." It still grows near
Jerusalem, and in other parts of Israel.
(Heb. tappuah, meaning "fragrance"). Probably the apricot or
quince is intended by the word, as Israel was too hot for the
growth of apples proper. It is enumerated among the most
valuable trees of Israel (Joel 1:12), and frequently referred
to in Canticles, and noted for its beauty (2:3, 5; 8:5). There
is nothing to show that it was the "tree of the knowledge of
good and evil." Dr. Tristram has suggested that the apricot has
better claims than any other fruit-tree to be the apple of
Scripture. It grows to a height of 30 feet, has a roundish mass
of glossy leaves, and bears an orange coloured fruit that gives
out a delicious perfume. The "apple of the eye" is the Heb.
_ishon_, meaning manikin, i.e., the pupil of the eye (Prov.
7:2). (Comp. the promise, Zech. 2:8; the prayer, Ps. 17:8; and
its fulfilment, Deut. 32:10.)
The so-called "apple of Sodom" some have supposed to be the
Solanum sanctum (Heb. hedek), rendered "brier" (q.v.) in Micah
7:4, a thorny plant bearing fruit like the potato-apple. This
shrub abounds in the Jordan valley. (See ENGEDI ¯T0001207.)
fountain of the kid, place in the wilderness of Judah (Josh.
15:62), on the western shore of the Dead Sea (Ezek. 47:10), and
nearly equidistant from both extremities. To the wilderness near
this town David fled for fear of Saul (Josh. 15:62; 1 Sam.
23:29). It was at first called Hazezon-tamar (Gen. 14:7), a city
of the Amorites.
The vineyards of Engedi were celebrated in Solomon's time
(Cant. 1:4). It is the modern 'Ain Jidy. The "fountain" from
which it derives its name rises on the mountain side about 600
feet above the sea, and in its rapid descent spreads luxuriance
all around it. Along its banks the osher grows abundantly. That
shrub is thus described by Porter: "The stem is stout, measuring
sometimes nearly a foot in diameter, and the plant grows to the
height of 15 feet or more. It has a grayish bark and long oval
leaves, which when broken off discharge a milky fluid. The fruit
resembles an apple, and hangs in clusters of two or three. When
ripe it is of a rich yellow colour, but on being pressed it
explodes like a puff-ball. It is chiefly filled with air...This
is the so-called 'apple of Sodom.'" Through Samaria, etc. (See
The earliest mention of city-building is that of Enoch, which
was built by Cain (Gen. 4:17). After the confusion of tongues,
the descendants of Nimrod founded several cities (10:10-12).
Next, we have a record of the cities of the Canaanites, Sidon,
Gaza, Sodom, etc. (10:12, 19; 11:3, 9; 36:31-39). The earliest
description of a city is that of Sodom (19:1-22). Damascus is
said to be the oldest existing city in the world. Before the
time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt (Num. 13:22). The
Israelites in Egypt were employed in building the "treasure
cities" of Pithom and Raamses (Ex. 1:11); but it does not seem
that they had any cities of their own in Goshen (Gen. 46:34;
47:1-11). In the kingdom of Og in Bashan there were sixty "great
cities with walls," and twenty-three cities in Gilead partly
rebuilt by the tribes on the east of Jordan (Num. 21:21, 32, 33,
35; 32:1-3, 34-42; Deut. 3:4, 5, 14; 1 Kings 4:13). On the west
of Jordan were thirty-one "royal cities" (Josh. 12), besides
many others spoken of in the history of Israel.
A fenced city was a city surrounded by fortifications and high
walls, with watch-towers upon them (2 Chr. 11:11; Deut. 3:5).
There was also within the city generally a tower to which the
citizens might flee when danger threatened them (Judg. 9:46-52).
A city with suburbs was a city surrounded with open
pasture-grounds, such as the forty-eight cities which were given
to the Levites (Num. 35:2-7). There were six cities of refuge,
three on each side of Jordan, namely, Kadesh, Shechem, Hebron,
on the west of Jordan; and on the east, Bezer, Ramoth-gilead,
and Golan. The cities on each side of the river were nearly
opposite each other. The regulations concerning these cities are
given in Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13; Ex. 21:12-14.
When David reduced the fortress of the Jebusites which stood
on Mount Zion, he built on the site of it a palace and a city,
which he called by his own name (1 Chr. 11:5), the city of
David. Bethlehem is also so called as being David's native town
Jerusalem is called the Holy City, the holiness of the temple
being regarded as extending in some measure over the whole city
Pithom and Raamses, built by the Israelites as "treasure
cities," were not places where royal treasures were kept, but
were fortified towns where merchants might store their goods and
transact their business in safety, or cities in which munitions
of war were stored. (See PITHOM ¯T0002968.)
(1.) Of cities, as of Jerusalem (Jer. 37:13; Neh. 1:3; 2:3;
3:3), of Sodom (Gen. 19:1), of Gaza (Judg. 16:3).
(2.) Of royal palaces (Neh. 2:8).
(3.) Of the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 6:34, 35; 2 Kings
18:16); of the holy place (1 Kings 6:31, 32; Ezek. 41:23, 24);
of the outer courts of the temple, the beautiful gate (Acts
(4.) Tombs (Matt. 27:60).
(5.) Prisons (Acts 12:10; 16:27).
(6.) Caverns (1 Kings 19:13).
(7.) Camps (Ex. 32:26, 27; Heb. 13:12).
The materials of which gates were made were,
(1.) Iron and brass (Ps. 107:16; Isa. 45:2; Acts 12:10).
(2.) Stones and pearls (Isa. 54:12; Rev. 21:21).
(3.) Wood (Judg. 16:3) probably.
At the gates of cities courts of justice were frequently held,
and hence "judges of the gate" are spoken of (Deut. 16:18; 17:8;
21:19; 25:6, 7, etc.). At the gates prophets also frequently
delivered their messages (Prov. 1:21; 8:3; Isa. 29:21; Jer.
17:19, 20; 26:10). Criminals were punished without the gates (1
Kings 21:13; Acts 7:59). By the "gates of righteousness" we are
probably to understand those of the temple (Ps. 118:19). "The
gates of hell" (R.V., "gates of Hades") Matt. 16:18, are
generally interpreted as meaning the power of Satan, but
probably they may mean the power of death, denoting that the
Church of Christ shall never die.
(1.) Heb. hedek (Prov. 15:19), rendered "brier" in Micah 7:4.
Some thorny plant, of the Solanum family, suitable for hedges.
This is probably the so-called "apple of Sodom," which grows
very abundantly in the Jordan valley. "It is a shrubby plant,
from 3 to 5 feet high, with very branching stems, thickly clad
with spines, like those of the English brier, with leaves very
large and woolly on the under side, and thorny on the midriff."
(2.) Heb. kotz (Gen. 3:18; Hos. 10:8), rendered _akantha_ by
the LXX. In the New Testament this word _akantha_ is also
rendered "thorns" (Matt. 7:16; 13:7; Heb. 6:8). The word seems
to denote any thorny or prickly plant (Jer. 12:13). It has been
identified with the Ononis spinosa by some.
(3.) Heb. na'atzutz (Isa. 7:19; 55:13). This word has been
interpreted as denoting the Zizyphus spina Christi, or the
jujube-tree. It is supposed by some that the crown of thorns
placed in wanton cruelty by the Roman soldiers on our Saviour's
brow before his crucifixion was plaited of branches of this
tree. It overruns a great part of the Jordan valley. It is
sometimes called the lotus-tree. "The thorns are long and sharp
and recurved, and often create a festering wound." It often
grows to a great size. (See CROWN OF THORNS ¯T0000930.)
(4.) Heb. atad (Ps. 58:9) is rendered in the LXX. and Vulgate
by Rhamnus, or Lycium Europoeum, a thorny shrub, which is common
all over Israel. From its resemblance to the box it is
frequently called the box-thorn.
(Heb. goral, a "pebble"), a small stone used in casting lots
(Num. 33:54; Jonah 1:7). The lot was always resorted to by the
Hebrews with strictest reference to the interposition of God,
and as a method of ascertaining the divine will (Prov. 16:33),
and in serious cases of doubt (Esther 3:7). Thus the lot was
used at the division of the land of Canaan among the serveral
tribes (Num. 26:55; 34:13), at the detection of Achan (Josh.
7:14, 18), the election of Saul to be king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21),
the distribution of the priestly offices of the temple service
(1 Chr. 24:3, 5, 19; Luke 1:9), and over the two goats at the
feast of Atonement (Lev. 16:8). Matthias, who was "numbered with
the eleven" (Acts 1:24-26), was chosen by lot.
This word also denotes a portion or an inheritance (Josh.
15:1; Ps. 125:3; Isa. 17:4), and a destiny, as assigned by God
(Ps. 16:5; Dan. 12:13).
Lot, (Heb. lot), a covering; veil, the son of Haran, and
nephew of Abraham (Gen. 11:27). On the death of his father, he
was left in charge of his grandfather Terah (31), after whose
death he accompanied his uncle Abraham into Canaan (12:5),
thence into Egypt (10), and back again to Canaan (13:1). After
this he separated from him and settled in Sodom (13:5-13). There
his righteous soul was "vexed" from day to day (2 Pet. 2:7), and
he had great cause to regret this act. Not many years after the
separation he was taken captive by Chedorlaomer, and was rescued
by Abraham (Gen. 14). At length, when the judgment of God
descended on the guilty cities of the plain (Gen. 19:1-20), Lot
was miraculously delivered. When fleeing from the doomed city
his wife "looked back from behind him, and became a pillar of
salt." There is to this day a peculiar crag at the south end of
the Dead Sea, near Kumran, which the Arabs call Bint Sheik Lot,
i.e., Lot's wife. It is "a tall, isolated needle of rock, which
really does bear a curious resemblance to an Arab woman with a
child upon her shoulder." From the words of warning in Luke
17:32, "Remember Lot's wife," it would seem as if she had gone
back, or tarried so long behind in the desire to save some of
her goods, that she became involved in the destruction which
fell on the city, and became a stiffened corpse, fixed for a
time in the saline incrustations. She became "a pillar of salt",
i.e., as some think, of asphalt. (See SALT ¯T0003196.)
Lot and his daughters sought refuge first in Zoar, and then,
fearing to remain there longer, retired to a cave in the
neighbouring mountains (Gen. 19:30). Lot has recently been
connected with the people called on the Egyptian monuments
Rotanu or Lotanu, who is supposed to have been the hero of the
Edomite tribe Lotan.
father of a multitude, son of Terah, named (Gen. 11:27) before
his older brothers Nahor and Haran, because he was the heir of
the promises. Till the age of seventy, Abram sojourned among his
kindred in his native country of Chaldea. He then, with his
father and his family and household, quitted the city of Ur, in
which he had hitherto dwelt, and went some 300 miles north to
Haran, where he abode fifteen years. The cause of his migration
was a call from God (Acts 7:2-4). There is no mention of this
first call in the Old Testament; it is implied, however, in Gen.
12. While they tarried at Haran, Terah died at the age of 205
years. Abram now received a second and more definite call,
accompanied by a promise from God (Gen. 12:1,2); whereupon he
took his departure, taking his nephew Lot with him, "not knowing
whither he went" (Heb. 11:8). He trusted implicitly to the
guidance of Him who had called him.
Abram now, with a large household of probably a thousand
souls, entered on a migratory life, and dwelt in tents. Passing
along the valley of the Jabbok, in the land of Canaan, he formed
his first encampment at Sichem (Gen. 12:6), in the vale or
oak-grove of Moreh, between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the
south. Here he received the great promise, "I will make of thee
a great nation," etc. (Gen. 12:2,3,7). This promise comprehended
not only temporal but also spiritual blessings. It implied that
he was the chosen ancestor of the great Deliverer whose coming
had been long ago predicted (Gen. 3:15). Soon after this, for
some reason not mentioned, he removed his tent to the mountain
district between Bethel, then called Luz, and Ai, towns about
two miles apart, where he built an altar to "Jehovah." He again
moved into the southern tract of Israel, called by the
Hebrews the Negeb; and was at length, on account of a famine,
compelled to go down into Egypt. This took place in the time of
the Hyksos, a Semitic race which now held the Egyptians in
bondage. Here occurred that case of deception on the part of
Abram which exposed him to the rebuke of Pharaoh (Gen. 12:18).
Sarai was restored to him; and Pharaoh loaded him with presents,
recommending him to withdraw from the country. He returned to
Canaan richer than when he left it, "in cattle, in silver, and
in gold" (Gen. 12:8; 13:2. Comp. Ps. 105:13, 14). The whole
party then moved northward, and returned to their previous
station near Bethel. Here disputes arose between Lot's shepherds
and those of Abram about water and pasturage. Abram generously
gave Lot his choice of the pasture-ground. (Comp. 1 Cor. 6:7.)
He chose the well-watered plain in which Sodom was situated, and
removed thither; and thus the uncle and nephew were separated.
Immediately after this Abram was cheered by a repetition of the
promises already made to him, and then removed to the plain or
"oak-grove" of Mamre, which is in Hebron. He finally settled
here, pitching his tent under a famous oak or terebinth tree,
called "the oak of Mamre" (Gen. 13:18). This was his third
resting-place in the land.
Some fourteen years before this, while Abram was still in
Chaldea, Israel had been invaded by Chedorlaomer, King of
Elam, who brought under tribute to him the five cities in the
plain to which Lot had removed. This tribute was felt by the
inhabitants of these cities to be a heavy burden, and after
twelve years they revolted. This brought upon them the vengeance
of Chedorlaomer, who had in league with him four other kings. He
ravaged the whole country, plundering the towns, and carrying
the inhabitants away as slaves. Among those thus treated was
Lot. Hearing of the disaster that had fallen on his nephew,
Abram immediately gathered from his own household a band of 318
armed men, and being joined by the Amoritish chiefs Mamre, Aner,
and Eshcol, he pursued after Chedorlaomer, and overtook him near
the springs of the Jordan. They attacked and routed his army,
and pursued it over the range of Anti-Libanus as far as to
Hobah, near Damascus, and then returned, bringing back all the
spoils that had been carried away. Returning by way of Salem,
i.e., Jerusalem, the king of that place, Melchizedek, came forth
to meet them with refreshments. To him Abram presented a tenth
of the spoils, in recognition of his character as a priest of
the most high God (Gen. 14:18-20).
In a recently-discovered tablet, dated in the reign of the
grandfather of Amraphel (Gen. 14:1), one of the witnesses is
called "the Amorite, the son of Abiramu," or Abram.
Having returned to his home at Mamre, the promises already
made to him by God were repeated and enlarged (Gen. 13:14). "The
word of the Lord" (an expression occurring here for the first
time) "came to him" (15:1). He now understood better the future
that lay before the nation that was to spring from him. Sarai,
now seventy-five years old, in her impatience, persuaded Abram
to take Hagar, her Egyptian maid, as a concubine, intending that
whatever child might be born should be reckoned as her own.
Ishmael was accordingly thus brought up, and was regarded as the
heir of these promises (Gen. 16). When Ishmael was thirteen
years old, God again revealed yet more explicitly and fully his
gracious purpose; and in token of the sure fulfilment of that
purpose the patriarch's name was now changed from Abram to
Abraham (Gen. 17:4,5), and the rite of circumcision was
instituted as a sign of the covenant. It was then announced that
the heir to these covenant promises would be the son of Sarai,
though she was now ninety years old; and it was directed that
his name should be Isaac. At the same time, in commemoration of
the promises, Sarai's name was changed to Sarah. On that
memorable day of God's thus revealing his design, Abraham and
his son Ishmael and all the males of his house were circumcised
(Gen. 17). Three months after this, as Abraham sat in his tent
door, he saw three men approaching. They accepted his proffered
hospitality, and, seated under an oak-tree, partook of the fare
which Abraham and Sarah provided. One of the three visitants was
none other than the Lord, and the other two were angels in the
guise of men. The Lord renewed on this occasion his promise of a
son by Sarah, who was rebuked for her unbelief. Abraham
accompanied the three as they proceeded on their journey. The
two angels went on toward Sodom; while the Lord tarried behind
and talked with Abraham, making known to him the destruction
that was about to fall on that guilty city. The patriarch
interceded earnestly in behalf of the doomed city. But as not
even ten righteous persons were found in it, for whose sake the
city would have been spared, the threatened destruction fell
upon it; and early next morning Abraham saw the smoke of the
fire that consumed it as the "smoke of a furnace" (Gen.
After fifteen years' residence at Mamre, Abraham moved
southward, and pitched his tent among the Philistines, near to
Gerar. Here occurred that sad instance of prevarication on his
part in his relation to Abimelech the King (Gen. 20). (See
ABIMELECH ¯T0000040.) Soon after this event, the patriarch left
the vicinity of Gerar, and moved down the fertile valley about
25 miles to Beer-sheba. It was probably here that Isaac was
born, Abraham being now an hundred years old. A feeling of
jealousy now arose between Sarah and Hagar, whose son, Ishmael,
was no longer to be regarded as Abraham's heir. Sarah insisted
that both Hagar and her son should be sent away. This was done,
although it was a hard trial to Abraham (Gen. 21:12). (See HAGAR
¯T0001583; ISHMAEL ¯T0001903.)
At this point there is a blank in the patriarch's history of
perhaps twenty-five years. These years of peace and happiness
were spent at Beer-sheba. The next time we see him his faith is
put to a severe test by the command that suddenly came to him to
go and offer up Isaac, the heir of all the promises, as a
sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah. His faith stood the
test (Heb. 11:17-19). He proceeded in a spirit of unhesitating
obedience to carry out the command; and when about to slay his
son, whom he had laid on the altar, his uplifted hand was
arrested by the angel of Jehovah, and a ram, which was entangled
in a thicket near at hand, was seized and offered in his stead.
From this circumstance that place was called Jehovah-jireh,
i.e., "The Lord will provide." The promises made to Abraham were
again confirmed (and this was the last recorded word of God to
the patriarch); and he descended the mount with his son, and
returned to his home at Beer-sheba (Gen. 22:19), where he
resided for some years, and then moved northward to Hebron.
Some years after this Sarah died at Hebron, being 127 years
old. Abraham acquired now the needful possession of a
burying-place, the cave of Machpelah, by purchase from the owner
of it, Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23); and there he buried Sarah.
His next care was to provide a wife for Isaac, and for this
purpose he sent his steward, Eliezer, to Haran (or Charran, Acts
7:2), where his brother Nahor and his family resided (Gen.
11:31). The result was that Rebekah, the daughter of Nahor's son
Bethuel, became the wife of Isaac (Gen. 24). Abraham then
himself took to wife Keturah, who became the mother of six sons,
whose descendants were afterwards known as the "children of the
east" (Judg. 6:3), and later as "Saracens." At length all his
wanderings came to an end. At the age of 175 years, 100 years
after he had first entered the land of Canaan, he died, and was
buried in the old family burying-place at Machpelah (Gen.
The history of Abraham made a wide and deep impression on the
ancient world, and references to it are interwoven in the
religious traditions of almost all Eastern nations. He is called
"the friend of God" (James 2:23), "faithful Abraham" (Gal. 3:9),
"the father of us all" (Rom. 4:16).