abraham and isaac

Cultural Dictionary

Abraham and Isaac definition


The first two patriarchs of the Old Testament. According to the Book of Genesis, God made a covenant with Abraham, telling him to leave his own country and promising to give his family (the Hebrews) the land of Canaan. This was the Promised Land. God also promised to maintain the covenant with Abraham's son Isaac. After a time, God tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham obediently placed Isaac on an altar and took a knife to kill him. Then an angel of the Lord appeared and told Abraham to spare his son, because Abraham had proved his faith.

Note: Both Jews and Arabs (see Arab-Israeli conflict) claim descent from Abraham: Jews through Isaac, Arabs through Abraham's other son, Ishmael. Abraham's devotion to God makes him a model of faith to Jews and Christians alike.
Note: “The bosom of Abraham” is a term used in the Gospel of Luke, and in poetry often refers to the peace of heaven.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: above-line
Next Definition: abscess
Words Near: abraham and isaac
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for abraham and isaac
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing abraham and isaac
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature