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When Did Abraham In The Bible Die

Abraham is the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He lived in ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) around 1800 BCE. He was born into a wealthy family and became a successful businessman and farmer.

In his later years, he had a son named Isaac with his wife Sarah. The angel Gabriel visited him and told him that he would have a son through Sarah after they were elderly and beyond the age of sexual intercourse. After waiting until they were 90 years old, God sent an angel to tell them they could have children again. They had a son named Ishmael together.

God then told Abraham that he would have another son with Sarah named Isaac (also known as Israel). This baby would be their only child because Ishmael would be sent away later in life so that God could raise up his chosen people through Abraham’s lineage instead of Ishmael’s (Genesis 21:10-12).

Abraham died at age 175 years old (Genesis 25:7).

How Old Was Abraham When He Died?

How Old Was Abraham When He Died?

Abraham was God’s friend, and walked with him in his old age until he died. He is known for having his son, Isaac, at the ripe old age of 100. But did you know that Abraham was already an old man when he was called by God?

Abraham was already 75 when he established the first covenant with God (Genesis 12:1). He was 100 by the time he had Isaac (Genesis 21:1-5). And he died at age 175 (Genesis 25:7).

Abraham is famous for trusting God to bear him at such a late stage in life, and he continued trusting him for another 75 years. But what else do we know about what Abraham accomplished in his long life? And why did characters in the Old Testament live so long? Let’s explore.

What Do We Know about Abraham’s Life?

There is so much to learn about and from Abraham and his life, much more than could fit in this article. I implore you to get curious about Abraham’s life on your own! But to start with, Abraham was the first patriarch of Judaism, and we owe so much to his great faith in God.

God’s Promise to Abraham

In their first recorded encounter, Genesis 12:1-4 tells us how God promised Abraham “‘I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’” And thus started the first covenant that God made with Abraham.

Abraham’s family line was God’s rescue plan for humanity after the fall. He chose Abraham to become the father of many nations that would become God’s people, and ultimately, lead to Jesus! Although his wife Sarah was barren, God promises Abraham “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” (Genesis 26:4).

Abraham’s Fearful Actions

Abraham was faithful to God, but he was certainly not without his faults. Abraham was prone to react out of fear and self-preservation (just like the rest of us!)

There are two recorded instances of Abraham giving Sarah away to another ruler out of fear (Genesis 12:10-20 and Genesis 20:8-17). In Genesis 12, there is a severe famine in the land of Canaan, so Abraham and Sarah moved to Egypt for a little while. Sarah was very beautiful, and Abraham was fearful that he would be killed by someone in Egypt so that they could take Sarah as their wife. So, he hatched a plan, and told Sarah to tell people that Abraham was her brother so that his life would be spared.

Pharaoh’s officials saw how beautiful Sarah was, and took her to see Pharaoh in his palace. Abraham was treated well for her sake, and received many gifts of animals and servants. But, in God’s grace, he inflicted serious disease upon Pharaoh and his household because of Sarah, so that Pharaoh could know that something was wrong. When Pharaoh found out the truth, he asked Abraham why he didn’t tell him, and sends them both on their way.

Almost the exact same story happens in Genesis 20, except in a region of the Negev, and a man named Ambemilik, king of Gerar.

Instead of a plague, this time, God spoke to Ambimelk in a dream to tell him what had happened. Again, once he found out, Abraham and Sarah were sent on their way.

In both situations, God’s grace intervened, not only on Abraham’s behalf, but on behalf of all humanity. God’s master plan to save us wouldn’t have come to fruition like he wanted it to if Sarah had become another man’s wife.

Abraham took matters into his owns hands once again in between these two episodes, when he decided to listen to Sarah’s plea to try to gain their heir through Hagar, since Sarah was barren.

Genesis 16:2 tells us: “so she said to Abram, ‘The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.’ Abram agreed to what Sarai said.”

From a logical standpoint, especially in that day and age where having an heir was everything, this decision made sense. But it was a decision made from a distrust in God’s ability to keep his promises.

Through this situation, Hagar birthed Ishmael, and God made great promises to the lowly slave girl as well (Genesis 16:10-12). But God wasn’t done with his promise to Abraham, either.

Abraham Bears a Son

In Genesis 18, Abraham receives three visitors. After he goes well out of his way to take care of them and feed them, one of the visitors tells Abraham that by this time next year, the visitor will return, and Sarah will have born a son.

Sarah laughed when she overheard this conversation because of her small faith and their old age. But in Genesis 21, God still came through.

“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him” (Genesis 21:1-3).

God did the impossible! Abraham was 100 years old by the time he bore his first son, and through a woman known to be barren. But God’s grace was bigger.

Abraham’s Faith Is Tested

Abraham acted out of fear and self-preservation in his younger years. But after many years of walking with God, and seeing God do the impossible, it appears that his faith had grown to withstand even the ultimate test of his faith.

Genesis 22:2 tells us that “Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’”

Abraham could have tried to hide from God, run away, or put off this mission. He could have become angry or bitter. But in his faith, he took his son up to the mountain, and God came through once again. As Abraham raised the knife, God told Abraham to stop, and that because his faith had been proven genuine, God would surely bless all nations through him.

We read about Abraham’s incredible faith in Hebrews 11:19: “Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.”

Abraham had his faults, but by walking with God and seeing God continue to be gracious and faithful to his promises, his faith grew heroically.

How Did Abraham Die?

The Bible does not answer this question specifically. It only tells us this: “Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:8).

Although one can only speculate without information, it seems like Abraham’s death was peaceful and a result of old age, rather than violence.

How Old Were Isaac and Ishmael When Abraham Died?

Given that we know, that Abraham was 86 when Ishmael was born and 100 when Isaac was born, that means that Ishmael was 89 and Isaac was 75 when Abraham died.

Both went on to live long, full lives as well.

Why Did Abraham Live So Long?

Compared to our current lifespans, 175 is very old. But compared to other characters in the Bible, like Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old, Abraham was fairly young when he died.

There are no direct answers to this question, or to why people in the Old Testament lived to be so old in general. There are however, a few theories. This Blue Letter Bible article posits some possible explanations.

For instance, the fall with Adam and Eve had happened relatively recently if we are to take that story literally, so the degenerative process of humanity had just begun. There would have also been less disease at this early time. Because humanity was charged with populating the earth, God needed them to live longer to accomplish this task without too much time passing.

It took time for God to work in Abraham’s life and for his faith to grow. We don’t know why God chose the timeline for Abraham that he did, but we can be assured of these two truths: that God’s timing is perfect, and that he is currently working in all of our life’s circumstances as well to grow our faith.

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