National Contours for Moral Education » Iraq
Historical 'patriarch' prized by Jews, Christian and
Muslims as a key figure in their respective religious traditions (hence their
grouping as 'Abrahamic'). According to Biblical tradition (Genesis 12-25) it
was under his leadership that the move to Canaan took place and the covenant
marked by circumcision was established. In Jewish tradition, both written and
oral, he is continually invoked as a prototype of faith that will sacrifice
everything to be true to God. In Christianity he is also seen as exemplifying
faith. In Islam, he is called Ibrahim in the Qur'an. He is a prophetic originator of faith in one
God with worship centred on the Ka'ba, the faith which Muhammad is believed to
have restored to its true integrity centuries later.
The ideal heroic king of ancient Mesopotamian society. His story is best known in the form of the Gilgamesh Epic dating from c 1200 BCE. It tells of a search for wisdom and the building of a city, and includes the threat from a great flood, the promise of living for ever and the threat to this via a snake. Some link with the Eden and Flood stories of Genesis is highly probable
One of the earliest rulers about whom there is much historical documentation. He was known as a builder and lawmaker, working to create harmony in a context of competing social diversity. The Code of Hammurabi was produced as a template for such and was remarkable in itself and for its wider impact on succeeding cultures of the ancient Near East, probably including Israel.