Abraham 1-2

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Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 1-2

Subpages: Verses 1:1-4  •  1:5-20  •  1:21-27  •  1:28-31  •  2:1-16  •  2:17-25

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Relationship to Abraham. The relationship of Chapters 1-2 to the rest of Abraham is discussed at Abraham.

Story. Chapters 1-2 consists of six major sections:

■ Abraham seeks the priesthood (Abraham 1-2 / Genesis 11:27-12:13)

● Abraham in Ur (Chapter 1)
• Abraham as a seeker of appointment to the priesthood (1:1-4)
• Abraham delivered from the priest of Pharoah (1:5-20)
• Pharoah's false priesthood (1:21-27)
• Abraham as a transmitter of knowledge from the patriarchs to his posterity (1:28-31)
● Abraham travels to Haran, Canaan, Egypt (Chapter 2)
• Abraham appointed to the priesthood (2:1-16)
• Abraham taught protection from the Egyptians (2:17-25)
At this point the book of Abraham account of Abraham's travels ends, though the Genesis account continues.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 1-2 include:


This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Chapter 1[edit]

  • Abraham 1. The importance of this first chapter to a general understanding of the Book of Abraham cannot be overemphasized. Not only does this first chapter explain how it is that Abraham finds himself a wanderer in foreign lands, it also provides the reader with some preliminary details concerning the patriarchal order and its perversion in Egypt. The connection between these two themes underlies every single verse in this chapter: the apostasy in Chaldea, from which Abraham is to take his leave, is directly tied to the patriarchal perversion that is at work in Egypt. The two themes cannot be separated.
Though the Book of Abraham is, for now at least, an incomplete text, it is clear from what is had of it that it traces broadly a movement from Chaldea to Egypt. (If the text was written, as it is claimed, while Abraham was still in Egypt, that movement is not countered, undone, or altered at all in the complete text. It remains, apparently, a text about Abraham's approach to Egypt.) Even as the majority (?) of the text is not to be had as of yet, the broad meaning of the whole of the Book of Abraham seems to be contained within the first chapter, which traces in miniature Abraham's concerns in Chaldea to his broader concerns in Egypt. That movement as it written out in this first chapter may be the most important thing one is to learn from the Book of Abraham.
That said, the best approach to this first chapter of Abraham would seem to be one that reads carefully the relation between Egypt and Chaldea. While a short reading of the whole chapter provides a broad sense of that relation, it is only with a most detailed reading of the Chaldean material that one can ultimately approach the content concerning Egypt that concludes the chapter. In other words and more plainly: issues concerning the patriarchal government of Egypt, concerning bloodlines and genealogies, concerning the rise of the Egyptian power, must be considered from the standpoint of the nationalistic rituals at play in the first part of the chapter. Modern presuppositions concerning the nature of Egypt can only be uprooted by careful study of Abraham's awful situation.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

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