God appeared to Avraham (at this stage still called Avram), telling him to leave his homeland, and travel to a land “that God would show him”, where he would flourish and father a great nation. Avraham takes his wife Sarah (at this stage still called Sarai), his nephew Lot and his entire household. They arrive in Cana’an. Avraham travels throughout the Land.

Famine struck and they are forced to go down to Egypt in order to survive. Afraid of being killed if the Egyptians discover that the beautiful Sarah is his wife, Avraham asks her to say she is his sister. Pharaoh’s officers take Sarah away to their master’s house. They give Avraham copious gifts as ‘payment’. God struck Pharaoh with a plague. Suspecting that Sarah may in fact be Avraham’s wife, Pharaoh confronts Avraham and then orders him and Sarah to leave. They travel back to Cana’an with Lot.

Arguments broke out between the shepherds of Avraham and Lot. Avraham suggests that they part ways. Lot chooses to live in the immoral city of Sedom. God appeared to Avraham and promised that his offspring, who will be countless, shall inherit the Land.

A war broke out among nine kings. The king of Sedom was defeated and Lot was taken captive. This prompted Avraham to mobilise his small force, which miraculously defeated the victorious kings and rescued Lot.

Avraham relayed his pain to God at being childless. God tells him that his offspring will be countless, like the stars. Wary of future sins, Avraham asked for a hint as to how his offspring will merit to keep the Land. God instructed Avraham to cut up several animals, indicating that the future Temple offerings will protect the nation. Birds of prey descend on the carcasses. Avraham fell into a deep sleep. God tells him that his offspring will be enslaved in a foreign land for 400 years.

Sarah, still childless, tells Avraham to take her maidservant, Hagar, as a second wife. Hagar became pregnant and is disrespectful to Sarah, who sends her away. An angel appears to Hagar in the desert, telling her to subjugate herself to Sarah. Hagar gives birth to Yishmael.

God instructs Avraham in the mitzvah of brit milah. God says that Sarah will have a child, Yitzchak. Avraham circumcises both himself and Yishmael.

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