2000 to 1700 B.C. – Age of the Patriarchs
God calls Abraham, a descendant of Shem. God directs him to go to Canaan, the land which God has chosen for his people. God also tells Abraham that he is an ancestor of the promised Savior. By God’s power, elderly Abraham and Sarah produce a son, Isaac. At this time, God institutes circumcision as a sign of his covenant with his people. God tests Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham is willing, but God intervenes by providing a lamb for the sacrifice.
Isaac produces a son they named Jacob. Jacob has 12 sons and Joseph is one of them. Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers. However, by God’s guidance, he became prime minister of Egypt. When there was a famine in Canaan, he invited his family to come to Egypt to escape the disaster. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob are the ancestors of the promised savior. In the sons of Jacob, Judah and his descendant are designated as the ancestors of the promised Savior.