Abraham, Article IV

Birth to age Forty Eight

Can you imagine living in a cave?

Being dark, cold, and damp, the caves I’ve visited would pass for last-ditch efforts to avoid the elements, but not as good places in which to take up habitation. However, Abram was hidden in a cave at birth, and he and his mother, Amathlai, lived there for ten years.

The caves around Mesopotamia were probably warmer and drier than those of my experience, but living there would not have been the life of luxury. And yet, even in such an environment, Abram grew in wisdom, which included a concept of God. At the age of three, he began to come out of the cave and experience the outside world. Abram’s mother and father were idol worshipers and followers of false gods, but upon seeing the sun for the first time, Abram thought it was God. Later, when the sun set and the moon rose in the sky, he wondered if the moon were God. However, as Abram continued to watch the cycles of night and day, he decided that there must be one true God who ruled over the sun, the moon, and the rest of the world; a sophisticated concept for someone so young and in the midst of contrary influences.

Amathlai must have understood on some level the importance of her son’s ancestry. It doesn’t seem feasible, under the circumstances, that the boy would have had contact with anyone other than his mother and Terah, his father. It’s doubtful that Terah would have further jeopardized his position in the kingdom of Nimrod by encouraging his son to explore his heritage. The evidence indicates Abram’s mother told him about the Flood, and explained to him his relation to Noah.

Driven in all likelihood by the information his mother had given him, Abram left the cave at the age of ten and journeyed to the area where Noah, and Noah’s son Shem, lived in the mountainous region of Ararat. At the time, Noah was 892, and Shem was 390 years old. Welcomed by his relatives, Abram lived with Noah for thirty nine years, learning about God and the Flood from the men who built the Ark.

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