Abrahamic Covenant
February 2014

“Abrahamic Covenant,” Liahona, Feb. 2014, 22–25

Abrahamic Covenant

Times at a Glance Part 1 of 2

From Abraham until Jesus Christ

Abraham time line

Abraham—the great patriarch of the Old Testament—is inextricably linked to all who join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An understanding of his life and the covenant God made with him and his posterity will help you see your life and the covenants you make with God as a disciple of Jesus Christ in a more complete way (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Abrahamic Covenant,” scriptures.lds.org).

About 4,000 years ago Jehovah, the premortal name for Jesus Christ, promised Abraham that his posterity would be a blessing to all people and that because of this covenant, great things would take place in the latter days (see Abraham 2:9–11). Jesus Christ reaffirmed this covenant with many others through the centuries. In modern times He renewed the Abrahamic covenant with the Prophet Joseph Smith (see D&C 124:58; 132:30–31). By entering into this restored covenant, you are blessed with the everlasting gospel and enabled, as were they of old, to receive all the ordinances of the holy priesthood, including marriage for eternity (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Covenant,” scriptures.lds.org). Your patriarchal blessing includes an inspired declaration of the lineage through which you may claim these blessings by exercising faith, repenting, receiving priesthood ordinances, and enduring to the end in keeping your covenants.

As you study this chart, you will more clearly see your place in God’s plan of happiness.

  • *2025 B.C.

  • *2000 B.C.

  • *1950 B.C.

  • *1900 B.C.

  • *1825 B.C.

  • *1800 B.C.

  • 1600 B.C.

  • 1300 B.C.

  • 1000 B.C.

  • 700 B.C.

  • 400 B.C.

  • 100 B.C.

  • Dates are approximate




Eastern Hemisphere

Western Hemisphere


Brother of Jared (Jaredites)


Eastern Hemisphere

Western Hemisphere


Brother of Jared (Jaredites)







Northern Kingdom (see 1 Kings 12:2–20)

Southern Kingdom

Northern Kingdom Scattering (lost tribes of Israel)

Southern Kingdom Scattering (see 2 Kings 25:1–10)

  • Abraham

  • Sarah

  • Isaac

  • Rebekah (wife of Isaac)

  • Esau

  • Judith

  • Bashemath

  • Edomites

  • Jacob

  • Leah

  • Zilpah

  • Bilhah

  • Rachel

  • Reuben

  • Simeon

  • Levi

  • Moses, Aaron

  • Ezra

  • Judah

  • King David

  • Isaiah**

  • Nehemiah

  • Issachar

  • Zebulun

  • Gad

  • Asher

  • Dan

  • Naphtali

  • Joseph

  • Ephraim and Manasseh

  • Lehi (Nephites and Lamanites)

  • Benjamin

  • Hagar

  • Ishmael

  • Ishmaelites

  • Ishmaelites

  • Some peoples of Arabia

  • Keturah

  • Midianites

  • Midianites

  • Jethro

  • Lineage according to traditional belief

  1. Abraham was born in Ur, in the land of the Chaldeans. His father worshipped false gods.

    Abraham 1:1, 5–7, 27

  2. Abraham was baptized; he received the priesthood from Melchizedek.

    Doctrine and Covenants 84:14; Abraham 1:2–4

  3. Jehovah (Jesus Christ) appeared to Abraham, saving him from death as a sacrifice to false gods.

    Abraham 1:8–16

  4. Jehovah commanded Abraham to leave Ur, promising that through Abraham’s ministry His name would be known in the earth forever.

    Abraham 1:16–19

  5. Abraham, Sarah (his wife), and other family members settled in the land of Haran.

    Abraham 2:1–5

  6. Jehovah established His covenant with Abraham; Abraham’s descendants would be a blessing to all the families of the earth.

    Abraham 2:6–11

  7. Abraham and his family settled in the land of Canaan. Jehovah promised the land to his descendants when they are righteous. They then traveled to Egypt.

    Abraham 2:6, 12–25

  8. Through the Urim and Thummim, Abraham saw the throne of God, the premortal world, and the creation of the earth.

    Abraham 3–5

  9. In Egypt, Abraham became a great preacher of the gospel and prospered.

    A Facsimile from the Book of Abraham, No. 3

  10. Abraham and his family returned to Canaan. Jehovah confirmed His everlasting covenant with Abraham.

    Genesis 13:1–4, 12–18

  11. Jehovah spoke with Abraham in a vision, and Abraham expressed a desire to have children. The Lord reaffirmed His covenant.

    Genesis 15:1–21

  12. Prophecy Some of Abraham’s posterity would be a “stranger” in Egypt.

    Genesis 15:13–14

  13. Commanded of God, Sarah gave her handmaid, Hagar, to Abraham in marriage.

    Genesis 16:1–4; Doctrine and Covenants 132:28–35

  14. An angel of God appeared to Hagar. Her posterity would also be greatly blessed as descendants of Abraham. Ishmael was born.

    Genesis 16:7–16

  15. Jehovah appeared to Abraham, again confirming His promises. Abraham circumcised all the males in his household as a covenantal sign.

    Genesis 17:1–27

  16. Prophecy Sarah would have a son named Isaac and in him the Abrahamic covenant would be established.

    Genesis 17:15–21

  17. Isaac was born. Jehovah told Abraham that He would bless both Ishmael and Isaac. (See prophecy 16.)

    Genesis 21:1–5, 12–13

  18. Prophecy Hagar’s son Ishmael would be the father of “a great nation.” His descendants became 12 nations or tribes.

    Genesis 21:17–20; 25:12–16

  19. Jehovah confirmed His covenant with Abraham after he showed his willingness to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice.

    Genesis 22:1–19; Jacob 4:5

  20. Commanded of God, Abraham married Keturah. Their six sons would also be greatly blessed.

    Genesis 25:1–4; Doctrine and Covenants 132:28–35

  21. Abraham blessed and gave gifts to all His sons, then died at age 175.

    Genesis 25:5–10

  22. Jehovah appeared to Isaac, affirming the Abrahamic covenant with him, his wife, Rebekah, and their posterity.

    Genesis 26:2–5, 24–25; Doctrine and Covenants 132:37

  23. Jehovah appeared to Jacob, affirming the Abrahamic covenant with him and his posterity.

    Genesis 28:10–22

  24. Commanded of God, Jacob married Leah, then Rachel, then Bilhah, and then Zilpah. Twelve sons and one daughter were born.

    Genesis 29–30; Doctrine and Covenants 132:37

  25. Jehovah commanded Jacob to return to the promised land of Canaan. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel.

    Genesis 31–32

  26. Jehovah appeared to Jacob (Israel) at Bethel, renewing the Abrahamic covenant.

    Genesis 35:1–13

  27. Jehovah appeared to Israel and commanded him to take his family into Egypt.

    Genesis 46:1–7

  28. Israel blessed his sons and grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh and their families. He promised them that God would help them return someday to the land of Canaan.

    Genesis 48:21

  29. Prophecy As part of his patriarchal blessing, Joseph was promised that he would have a fruitful posterity.

    Genesis 48:19; 49:22–26

  30. In Egypt the descendants of Israel multiplied and became known as the children of Israel (also called house of Israel). (See prophecy 12.)

    Genesis 50

  31. Prophecy God would “raise up” a prophet (Moses) to deliver Israel from bondage in Egypt.

    Joseph Smith Translation (JST), Genesis 50:24, 34–36 (in Bible appendix); 2 Nephi 3:10, 17

  32. Prophecy The family of Israel would be scattered, with a “branch” living in the Americas.

    JST, Genesis 50:25 (in Bible appendix); 2 Nephi 3:3–5, 16

  33. Prophecy A “choice seer” (Joseph Smith) would restore knowledge of God’s covenant with Abraham.

    JST, Genesis 50:25–33 (in Bible appendix); 2 Nephi 3:6–15

  34. Jehovah appeared to Moses, who had received the priesthood from Jethro. The children of Israel left Egypt. (See prophecy 31.)

    Exodus 3:1–10; 13:17–22; Doctrine and Covenants 84:6

  35. At Mount Sinai the children of Israel promised they would keep the Abrahamic covenant.

    Exodus 19:3–9; 24:3

  36. Because the children of Israel broke their promise, they received a lesser law of carnal commandments.

    Exodus 32–34; Galatians 3:19–24; Doctrine and Covenants 84:19–26

  37. Jehovah appeared to Joshua, renewing His covenant and commanding the children of Israel to enter the land of Canaan as an inheritance.

    Joshua 1:1–9

  38. After many years in Canaan, the children of Israel stopped keeping the covenant. They were persecuted by their enemies.

    Judges 2–3

  39. Through the prophet Nathan, Jehovah made an everlasting covenant with King David and his posterity.

    2 Samuel 7:1–17; Doctrine and Covenants 132:38

  40. Prophecy The people of the Northern Kingdom (referred to as Israel) and Southern Kingdom (Judah) would be scattered among all nations.

    Amos 9:5–10; Micah 3:9–12

  41. Prophecy The Messiah (Jesus Christ) would suffer and atone for the sins of the world.

    Isaiah 53

  42. Prophecy The Lord would recover a remnant of His people and set up an ensign for all nations.

    Isaiah 11:11–12; Amos 9:9

  43. Prophecy The Lord would comfort His people, redeem Jerusalem, and show His power to all nations.

    Isaiah 40:1–2, 11; 41:10; 52:9–10

  44. Prophecy During a great millennial era the earth would be renewed, and all sickness and sorrow would end.

    Isaiah 25:6–9; 33:20–24; 35; 61:2–5

  45. The people of the Northern Kingdom were scattered by the Assyrians because of wickedness. (See prophecy 40.)

    2 Kings 17:5–18

  46. Prophecy Some Jews (a remnant) would be gathered back to Jerusalem to serve the Lord.

    Jeremiah 24:4–7

  47. Jehovah established the Abrahamic covenant with Lehi and his family. They left Jerusalem and became a nation in the Americas. (See prophecies 29, 32.)

    1 Nephi 1–2; 18

  48. The people of the Southern Kingdom rejected the Abrahamic covenant and were scattered by the Babylonians. (See prophecy 40.)

    2 Kings 25:1–10

  49. Some of the children of Israel called “Jews” returned to Jerusalem, rebuilding the temple. Ezra exhorted the people to keep their covenant with God. (See prophecy 46.)

    Nehemiah 8–10

  50. The Hasmoneans (Maccabees) established an independent Jewish state, called Judea, in the land of Canaan.