ABRAHAM (St.) Patriarch. (Oct. 9) (19th and 20th cent. B.C.) The Father of all believers, and the progenitor, according to the flesh, of the Hebrew nation. He is also the father of Ismael, from whom the Ismaelites or Arabs are descended. When seventy years of age, he went forth from Babylonia, his native land, at God’s bidding, to dwell henceforth in Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey promised to his seed. There, he led a pastoral and nomad life. Moreover, God made a covenant with him, changing his name from Abram to Abraham (Father of nations), promising at the same time that his descendants should be more numerous than the stars of Heaven and that in his seed all peoples should be blessed. Of him Our Lord said: ” Abraham rejoiced that he might see my day ; He saw it and was glad ” (John 8:56). All through their eventful history it was the glory of the Jewish people to claim descent from him and from his son and grandson, Isaac and Jacob. To them, in words spoken to Moses (Exodus 3:6), God was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Patriarch died in Palestine at the age of one hundred and seventy-five years (B.C. 1821). These and similar Old Testament dates are given according to the traditional Chronology ; but are still disputed.