Abraham: Covenant with the People

Drawing of a man looking up into the sky.

When God entered into covenant with Abraham, he changed Abraham’s name. “No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). In Hebrew, Abraham’s name went from Avram to Avraham. The Jewish sages taught that Avram is a conjunction of av ram, meaning “exalted father.” Avraham is a conjunction of av hamon goyim,meaning “father of many nations.”

The change in Abraham’s name signified the new role that he assumed in his covenant with God. No longer would he only be an exalted father to his own family, which God had already promised him. Now, he would become an exalted father to the entire world.

In this month’s Limmud, we will continue our study of God’s covenants and explore the eternal covenant that God established with Abraham. We will learn why God chose Abraham, the significance of his unique relationship with God, and how this covenant relates to us all — Christians and Jews — today.

Download Now