Abraham's family tree

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Abraham is known as the patriarch of the Jewish people through Isaac, the son born to him and Sarah in their old age and the patriarch of Islam through his son Ishmael, born to Abraham and his wife’s servant Hagar.

According to the biblical narrative, although Abraham's forefathers were from southern Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq[1]) the Lord led Abraham on a journey to the land of Canaan, which he promised to his descendants.

Source criticism[edit]

The genealogy of Abraham appears in Genesis 5, Genesis 10:1-7, 20, 22-23, 31-32, and Genesis 11. The documentary hypothesis attributes these genealogies to the Priestly source.[2]

Biblical narrative[edit]

Abram and Sarai prospered materially but 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 Abraham agreed that a practical way to have a child was through Sarah’s servant Hagar. Hagar conceived right away and in time Ishmael was born. This situation brought strife rather than happiness between Hagar and Sarah. Nevertheless, God saw Hagar’s suffering and promised that although this was not the child promised to Abraham, he would nevertheless make Ishmael’s descendants into a great nation also.[3]

In Genesis chapter 17 "Almighty God" changed Abram’s name to Abraham, for he would be a father of many nations. And his wife Sarai's name was called Sarah, for she would be a mother of nations.

Three visitors come 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 Isaac was married, Abraham married Keturah, who bore him six more sons – Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.

Family tree[edit]

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

Shem Ham Japheth
Elam Ashur Arphaxad Lud Aram 4 sons 7 sons
Cainan[4] 4 sons
Daughter[4] Salah
Peleg Joktan
Reu 13 sons
Sarah[5] Abraham Hagar Haran
Ishmael Milcah Lot Iscah
Ishmaelites 7 sons[6] Bethuel 1st daughter 2nd daughter
Isaac Rebecca Laban Moabites Ammonites
Esau Jacob Rachel
Edomites Zilpah
1. Reuben
2. Simeon
3. Levi
4. Judah
9. Issachar
10. Zebulun
11. Dinah
7. Gad
8. Asher
5. Dan
6. Naphtali
12. Joseph
13. Benjamin


  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. ^ Ishmael, in Freeman, David Noel. The Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 2 H-J. 1992. Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 0-385-19360-2, pp. 513-514
  4. ^ a b From Luke 3:36, Sala was the son (in law) of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad.
  5. ^ Genesis 20:12: Sarah was the half–sister of Abraham.
  6. ^ Genesis 22:21-22: Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, and Jidlaph