From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Four
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"An Overview of Abram’s transformation to Abraham"
Abram's transformation to Abraham
This correlates to the information at the end of chapter three as
dates from the Fall of Adam.
From Abram (Heb. ‘avram, exalted father)
[Abraham] (Heb. ‘avraham, father of a multitude) to Moses.
Three Biblical Sources which are used to date Abram

   Abram assured by God that he was in the right place, deserted Canaan for Egypt in a time of famine, and tried to pass off Sarai as his sister, to purchase his own safety at her expense in Gen. 12:10-20.

   He returned to Canaan in Gen. 13:1 at which point Lot (Heb. lot, envelope, covering) and he separated and divided up the Promised Land (13:14-17), well before the name change in 17:5. He opposed all the kings (14:13-16) and then refused the world’s wealth in (14:21-24), confirming his new confidence and faith in the protection of God.

   Although Abram and Sarai followed their own ways and through an Egyptian handmaid, Hagar (Heb. haghar, emigration, flight), begat Ishmael (Heb. yishma’el, God hears, Gr. Ismael, modern Arabs) when Abram was age 86 (Gen. 16:7-16), in gentle grace God picked up the pieces in Hagar’s broken life and reaffirmed his covenant with Abram (Heb. ‘avram, exalted father) in Genesis 17:1.

   In three ways the Lord made his promises more sure.

   Out of this experience, and having the promises confirmed and sealed, Abraham’s faith grew to maturity.

   The Lord appeared to Abram for the New Covenant, on the ninth day, with a new initiate, the promise of future sons (8 plus 1 adopted = 9), who is the ninth person from Shem.

   Abram settled in Canaan, where God made a covenant (special agreement) with him. The covenant promised that Abram would have many descendants and Canaan would be their "everlasting possession" if they remained faithful to God (Genesis 17:4-8). As a symbol of His pledge, God changed Abram's name to Abraham, which means father of many nations. God commanded Abraham and all males in his family to be circumcised as a symbol of this covenant.

The issue of this book is at
what year that Abram was age 86 for the birth of Ishmael in (Gen. 16:16)
and what year Abraham was age 100 for the birth of Isaac for (Gen. 21:5).

   It is my belief that some form of Abram existed on earth approximately in the years 3,024 B.C. around the time of the First Dynasty of Egypt and that Abraham existed around 2,070 B.C. a period known as the "age of the patriarchs."

   This particular variance of 954 years based on (3 friends or allies times 318 or Eliezer) seen earlier in Genesis 14:13, 24, and Gen 15:2 is an interesting assumption and a puzzling mystery to myself how this could be so, but since he was involved with the long life of Nimrod’s time also it is credible.

   It seems more likely as the scholars believe that Abraham roamed around at the beginning of the Age of Aries 2370 B.C. with the sacrifice of his son being replaced with a Ram (Aries) behind a bush which fits very neatly with that Age..

   It is necessary for myself under gut instinct or better yet faith to keep Abram, who has his roots in the events of the Age of Taurus, here for the reasons of clarity of the symbols with the Bull and Scorpion connections with Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Date Chart for Abram to Moses

   Abram and Sarai were transformed into a new people with the gift of new names: they are themselves made new, with new capacities.

   Abraham (Heb. ‘avraham, father of a multitude) (in Heb. the plural ending is "-im" as a suffix it signifies nations, tribes, cities, or towns rather than individuals. [Abram + im].

   As you know Abram (Heb. ‘avram, exalted father) is very similar to Abiram (Heb. ‘aviram, the father is exalted), as is all the biblical names beginning with Abi- have a similar meaning of "the father is." I would presume that "ram" means "exalted," and "i" of "avi" means "is."

   When we look at Abraham (Heb. ‘avraham, father of a multitude) that if "av" is "father," then "raham" must mean "of a multitude."

   Av also Ab is the 5th month of the Hebrew year and the 11th month of the Jewish calendar [Hebrew ‘ab, from Canaanite ’ab].

   Father (Heb. ‘av, Gr. pater, in Rom. 8:15 "Abba, Father") an ancestor, immediate or remote, as in "father of many nations" (Gen. 17:4). This leads us to the name patriarch (Gr. patriarches, the father of a family, tribe, or race).

   Abba (Heb. ‘abba’) is an Aramaic word for father, transliterated into Greek and thence English.

   The corresponding Hebrew word is Ab.

   If multitude is a plural "-im" suffix on Abraham [Abram + -im] signifying nations, tribes, etc., we find it described in Revelation 7:9 "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude (‘Ochlos’ a crowd or multitude of persons, a throng; and ‘Thlipsis’ in the tribulation Gentile witnesses for God will share, but this will be "the time of Jacob’s trouble" Jer. 30:7; vast crowd), which no man could number (pp. too great to count; ‘Arithmeo’ number), of all nations (‘Ethnos’ originally a multitude, denotes in the plural, the nations as distinct from Israel, see Gentiles), and kindreds (‘Genos’ a tribe), and people (Laos), and tongues (‘Glossa’ a language, coupled with ‘phule’), stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes (‘Leukos’ symbolically bright clothing; soiled robes washed in the blood of Jesus), and palms (‘Phoinix’ the date palm; used palm branches) in their hands."

   Gentile (Heb. goy, plural goyim, nation, people), Goy means a non-Israelite, heathen or the pagan world. In the NT, nations the Greek ethnos is equal to goy, while people is laos and is equal to the Hebrew ‘am. When God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Heb. Yisra’el, he strives with God and prevails) the Hebrew word ‘am is the ordinary term for Israel, the people of God.

   Now one could suppose that God was showing his destiny in the name Abram + ‘am, and also the Hebrew word for "the people" is ha’am; "the council" ha’etsah; and "the congregation" is ha’edah. This could result in the connection of Abram + ha’am, exalted father of + the people.

   1 Chronicles 1:27 "Abram; the same is Abraham." This is a statement from a list of the descendants of Israel, the royal line of David, believed to be written by Ezra the priest. It declares that Abram and Abraham are the same person or the same people. This denies that they were two different individuals; but leaves the option for one individual and his people to be transformed, from one place, time or phase to another into a new people.

   From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible:

They literally existed in two places in two different time periods!!!
This would be an easy task for God to achieve and difficult for the KJV writers to comprehend.

   Name (Heb. shem, Gr. onoma) in today’s world is an unmeaning label, but in ancient times it was given to a person of authority as to position, function or relationship. God gave his name to Israel (Deut. 28:9-10) to establish a close unity. God changed the name of Abram to Abraham in view of his destiny (Gen. 17:5). Patriarchal times saw names as indicators of character, function, or destiny. Another interesting name is Amram (Heb. ‘amram, people exalted).

   Change or changed to cause to be different:

[Middle English changen, from Norman French chaunger, from Latin cambiare, to exchange, probably of Celtic origin].

   Neh. 9:7 "Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chal’-dees, and gavest him the name of Abraham."

   In the New Testament the Greek word for Carrying Away is (‘Metoikesia’) a change of abode or a carrying away by force. The verb of the above is (‘Metoikizo’) is used of the removal of Abram to Canaan in Acts 7:4. Abram moved in obedience to a divine vision.

   Acts 7:1 Then said the high priest, Are these things so? 7:2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, 7:3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred and come into the land which I shall shew thee. 7:4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.

   As seen earlier in Josephus that God aided the movements of Abram and his vast numbers "For which doctrines, when the Chaldeans and other people of Mesopotamia raised a tumult (A tempestuous uprising and disorderly commotion or disturbance of a great crowd) against him, he thought fit to leave that country; and at the command, and by the assistance of God, he came and lived in the land of Canaan (now the land of Judea). And when he was there settled, he built an altar, and performed a sacrifice to God."

   This change does not seem to be the same as that in the Transfiguration of Jesus (visibly exalted or glorified) in the presence of three of his disciple (Peter, James and John). The word Transfiguration is derived from the Latin term used to translate the Greek metaporphoo, (metamorphosis) meaning "to change into another form." The accounts in the Synoptic Gospels portray the transformation as outwardly visible and consisting in an actual physical change in the body of Jesus, which was a sudden emanation of a radiant splendor within. He had passed into a higher state of existence, his body assuming properties of the resurrection body.

Luke 9:29 "The appearance of his face changed..."

Matthew 1 "..his face shown like the sun…………."

Mark 9:3 "..his clothes became dazzling white…."

   This event occurred while Jesus "was praying" (Luke 9:29), the place identified as "a high mountain" (Mark 9:2) which is either Mount Tabor or Mount Hermon. This event gave encouragement to Jesus before facing his future crucifixion.

   The Christian feast commemorating this event, are observed on August 6 and, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, on August 19, an astronomical event of that day.

   The word Translate (Heb. ‘avar, to transfer, Gr. metathesis, a transfer, metatithemi, methistemi, to remove from one place to another, in Theology to convey to heaven without death). The Hebrew word is translated this way once in the OT: "to translate the kingdom from the house of Saul" (2 Sam. 3:10 KJV; transfer ASV, NIV). Two Greek words with this same idea occur in Hebrews 11:5 -- where it is said that "By faith Enoch was translated (KJV; taken, taken away NIV) that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him; for before his translation (KJV; he was taken NIV) he had this testimony, that he pleased God." In Genesis 5:24 "And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him." The word Methistemi is used to picture regeneration (Gr. palingenesia, born again, quickened, renewed, spiritual or moral revival or rebirth) as the believer passing (translated KJV; brought NIV) from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13).

   The prophet Elijah (874-852 B.C.) was given the great privilege of by-passing death and in (2 Kings 2:11 "..there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire.. Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.") where 800 years later he stood with the Son of God on the Mount of Transfiguration and spoke with him of his coming death (Matt. 17:3-4; Mark 9:4-5; Luke 9:30-33).

   Elijah’s 800 year translation shows that God can and may have transferred a patriarch such as Abram and his family and servants possibly 954 years into the future for their own safety.

Go back to Home Page

   In the "Biblical Archaeology Review" July/August 1995 is the following highlight of the article Finding Historical Memories in the Patriarchal Narratives by Ronald S. Hendel and other notes.

   In each instance the relationship between the Biblical texts and the extra-Biblical data is sufficiently loose that no historical conclusions can be drawn concerning a patriarchal era, this period in Genesis 12-50.

   Modern critical scholars have divided the Pentateuch into four authorical strands, designated

   In the present state of evidence, historical arguments bear only on the underlying nature of the patriarchal stories and traditions. We still have no clear evidence concerning the original Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph or the rest of the cast of Genesis. We do not know when or if any of these characters ever existed.

   When king Shishak of Egypt "took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem" (2 Chronicles 12:4). In 925 B.C., Pharaoh Sheshonq I (ruled 931-910 B.C.) of Egypt, called Shishak in the Bible, invaded Judah and conquered the Israelite fortresses in the Negev desert, including Arad. He then proceeded on to Jerusalem, carrying off the treasures of the Temple and the royal palace (2 Chronicles 12:9; 1 Kings 14:25-26).

   Upon returning to Egypt, Shishak had a victory stela carved on a wall in the Temple of Amun at Karnak with the names of 150 sites that were conquered. Roughly 70 of these sites are in the Negev. Among the sites mentioned are Arad and p’ha-q-ru’a ‘i-bi-ra-ma, which can be translated in Egyptian syllabic writing as "Fort Abram." Many Egyptologists have read the last word in this place-name as the equivalent of the Hebrew "Abram" or "Abiram." (Abram and Abiram are variations of the same name, literally "the [or my] Father is exalted.) The first Egyptian sign in this place-name is "the"; the word that follows means either "fort, fortified" (from Hebrew Hgr, to grid) or "field" (from Semitic hql). "Fort, fortified" is more likely, since the other word is not found in Hebrew. The place-name would then be "The Fort (or Fortified Town) of Abram," or simply "Fort Abram." Part of the line of Israelite defenses against Egypt, Fort Abram was probably built by David or Solomon early in the tenth century B.C. Ronald Hendel suggests that the fort was named after the patriarch Abraham -- thus testifying to the vitality of tradition concerning Abraham and the patriarchs in the tenth century B.C., long before the Genesis narratives were written down.

   The Biblical Abram did live in Negev and southern Judah (Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-17; 15 et al.). One excavator suggested that Fort Abram was the term the Egyptians used to refer to Beersheba (founded by Abraham Gen 21:22-33). In Genesis 21:22 it was a time when Abimelech was the Philistine king of Gerar and he had Phichol (Heb. pikhol) the chief captain (the commander) of his host (army) spoke to Abraham these same two were seen later in Gen. 26:26 when Isaac visited them. This resulted in Gen. 21:31-32 with a covenant between them at a place they named Beersheba (Heb. be’er sheva’, well of seven or the seventh well, modern name is Bir Es Seba) the most southern boundary and a place where he made his residence after the "offering up" of Isaac in (22:19) and the place where God appeared to Jacob on his way to Egypt (46:1).

   In Gen. 21:33 "And Abraham planted a grove [(grove Heb. asherah, Gr. alsos, translated "grove" in the KJV following the LXX and the Vulgate) some believe it was Phoenician in origin, possibly the "high place" Heb. bamoth, the images of the Asherah, whose symbol was the trunk of a tree, resulting in a later prohibition against the planting of trees by the altar of the Lord; the actual Hebrew word to be translated here is (Lamed Shin Aleph, or 'eshel, ay'-shel, from a root of uncertain significance; "a tamarisk tree" the Tamarisk is a small, shrubby tree (Tamarix mannifera) with narrow, evergreen leaves and bunches of little pink and white flowers, by extension a grove of any kind] in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD (Yahweh),
the everlastingHebrew letters for 'The Everlasting' [(Final Mem Lamed Shin) or Peace (Heb. shalom, peace, Gr. eirene, concord) basically means "completeness" or "soundness."]
God (Heb. el (Lamed Aleph)]."

   As scholars have long noted, Abram’s kin settled in Syrio-Mesopotamia region between the upper Euphrates and Habur rivers near Haran (Gen 11:31, known from Neo-Assyrian texts, Tell Nahiri, Akkadian Harran). Abram (Old Assyrian text Abrum) whose father was (Terah, Tell (sa) Turahi, Neo-Assyrian text), grandfather (Nahor, as is his brother, whose name is from Old Assyrian and Old Babylonian texts) and great-grandfather (Serug, Sarugi, Neo-Assyrian text) are place-names referring to sites in the plain. This area during Genesis was identified as Aramean by the terms Aram-Naharaim [(Final Mem Yod Resh He Nun Final Mem Resh Aleph Lamed Aleph) literally "Aram of the two rivers," in Gen. 24:10 [Jahwist]; note KJV shows "to Mesopotamia")] and Paddan-Aram [(Final Mem Resh Aleph He Nun Daleth Pe) "Plain of Aram," in Genesis 28:6-7 [Priestly source]], and the Arameans were enemies of the Israelites. Abraham sent for a wife for Isaac, where Rebekah instructs Jacob to flee and where Jacob marries. "My father was a wandering (or perishing) Aramean" (Deuteronomy 26:5). One must look at the Bronze Age of the second millennium B.C. when this region was not Aramean but Amorite. The Amorite culture used a language of an early form of Northwest Semitic, which includes Hebrew. It was Aramean during the time of the nation of Israel, and they became "wandering" Arameans during that time.

   Amos 9:7 "Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me (pp. are you any more to me than the Ethiopians are?), O children of Israel? saith the LORD (Yahweh). Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor (Crete and the Aegean region), and the Syrians (Arameans) from Kir (Qir, probably in the middle Euphrates region)?" The Philistines did arrive from the Aegean region in the 12th century B.C. by way of a 400 year old oral tradition also recalled in Jeremiah 47:4 (remnant of the country Caphtor).

   This information is continued in the next subject.

Return to the Table of Contents - Chapter Four or
go to the next subject Dating the Patriarchal Age