Abraham's family tree

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Abraham is known as the patriarch of the Israelite people through Isaac, the son born to him and Sarah in their old age and the patriarch of Arabs through his son Ishmael, born to Abraham and Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian servant.

Although Abraham's forefathers were from southern Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq)[1] according to the biblical narrative, their deity Yahweh led Abraham on a journey to the land of Canaan, which he promised to his children.

Source criticism[edit]

The genealogy of Abraham appears in Genesis 5, Genesis 10:1–7, 20, 22–23, 31–33, and Genesis 11. The documentary hypothesis attributes these genealogies to the Priestly source.[2]

Biblical narrative[edit]

Abraham and Sarah prospered materially but they had no children. Abram thought to leave his estate to a trusted servant, but God promised him a son and heir. When he was 86 years old, Sarai suggested and Abram agreed that a practical way to have a child was through Sarai’s servant Hagar. Hagar conceived right away and in time Ishmael was born. This situation brought strife rather than happiness between Hagar and Sarai. Nevertheless, God saw Hagar’s suffering and promised that although this was not the child promised to Abram, he would nevertheless make Ishmael’s descendants into a great nation also.[3]

In Genesis 17, "Almighty God" changed Abram’s name to Abraham, for he would be a father of many nations. In addition, his wife Sarai's name was changed to Sarah, for she would be a mother of nations. Three visitors came to Abraham and said that he would have a son. Sarah believed she was too old to have a child and laughed. Yet she did conceive (Genesis 21:1-7) and had a baby named Isaac. After the death of his mother, Sarah, Isaac married Rebekah. Abraham then married Keturah, who bore him six more sons – Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.

Family tree[edit]

The following is a family tree[dubious ] for the descendants of the line of Noah's son Shem, through Abraham to Jacob and his sons. Dashed lines are marriage connections.

Not all individuals in this portion of the Bible are given names. For example, one English translation of the Bible states in Genesis 11:13 that "After the birth of Shelah, Arpachshad lived 403 years and begot sons and daughters." The previous line (11:12) only clarifies the name of one child, stating that at 35-years-old, "Arcachshad . . . begot Shelah."[4] Some other children, such as Cainan, are only described in later translations that are not considered part of the original, canonical text of the Hebrew Bible.

ElamAshurArphaxadLudAram4 sons7 sons
Reu13 sons
1. Nebaioth
2. Kedar
3. Adbeel
4. Mibsam
5. Mishma
6. Dumah
7. Massa
8. Hadad
9. Tema
10. Jetur
11. Naphish
12. Kedemah
Mahalath/Basemath (daughter)
7 sons[9]Bethuel[10]1st daughter[11]2nd daughter[11]

Quranic narrative[edit]

The family members and descendants of Abraham are called aal-Ibrahim, figuratively "The (people of) Abraham".

The Quran says:

"… but surely, We had given the 'Family of Abraham'—the Writings and the Wisdom—and conferred to them a Kingdom of magnificence." ⁠—Sūrat an-Nisā' 4, āyāt 54; al-Qur'ān.[14]


  1. ^ Abraham, Wigoder, Geoffrey. Illustrated Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible. 1986. The Jerusalem Publishing House. ISBN 0-89577-407-0, pp. 22-23
  2. ^ Coogan, Michael D. (2014). The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 62-64. ISBN 978-0-19-994661-7
  3. ^ Freedman, David Noel (1992). "Ishmael". The Anchor Bible Dictionary. H–J. Vol. 2. Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 513–514. ISBN 0-385-19360-2.
  4. ^ "Genesis 11:11". www.sefaria.org. Retrieved 2023-08-04.
  5. ^ https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.11.11?lang=bi&aliyot=0
  6. ^ Sarah was the half–sister of Abraham (Genesis 20:12). An alternative tradition holds that she was Abraham's niece (see Sarah#In rabbinic literature).
  7. ^ a b c d e f Genesis 11:27–29
  8. ^ Genesis 16:15
  9. ^ Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, and Jidlaph (Genesis 22:20–22).
  10. ^ a b Genesis 22:20–23
  11. ^ a b c d Genesis 19:30–38
  12. ^ Genesis 21:1–3
  13. ^ Genesis 25:20, 24–26
  14. ^ "Surah An-Nisa [4:54-64]". Surah An-Nisa [4:54-64]. Retrieved 2017-10-12.