Legacy of Faith Q&A

Did God Call Abram At Ur Or Haran?

The story of Abraham is unpacked by reading many verses found all over Scripture. In other words, the Book of Genesis, where we first meet Abraham, reveals only part of the narrative. In the Book of Acts, we are told –

And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2 And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ 4 Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. 5 Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. (Acts 7:1-5)

According to Scripture, then, God called Abraham “before he lived in Haran” – that is when he was living in Ur. (Genesis 15:7)

Why Did You Say That Abraham Had Two Children?

Abraham had more than two children, but the two key actors in the Bible record are Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac was the son of the promise (Genesis 12: 1-3; Genesis 21:12). Ishmael, on the other hand, was the son born out of Abraham and Sarah’s plan to have an heir outside God’s promise (Genesis 16:1-15). An amplified discussion of the difference between the two sons is found in Galatians 4:21-31.

As for Abraham’s other children (Genesis 15:1-6), they are less significant in God’s big picture plan. That does not mean they are less valuable or less loved by God. When I said Abraham had two children, I should have clarified that he had two sons who played the major roles in the story of Abraham.