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According to the Bible (Genesis 15:2-3) he was a servant of Abram/Abraham (traditionally ca. 1838-1613 BCE) and probably was adopted by him in accordance with a fairly common middle eastern practice. A childless or son-less couple would adopt a male servant or slave in order to have someone to care for them in their old age and to perform the necessary funeral and mourning rituals. In return the adoptee would inherit their estate. If the couple subsequently had a son (as did Abraham and Sarah) the adoptee would become a secondary heir. (Compare the entry for Roman Empire.)


The Complete Who's Who in the Bible, edited by Paul Gardner. (London: Marshall Pickering, 1995)
Encyclopaedia Judaica, edited by Cecil Roth. (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1971)


Mythological, Traditional and Divine Figures
Near East
20th Century
21st Century
Civil Rights, Advocacy
Exile or Persecution (religious, Political or Social)
Figures Whose Adoption or Fostering Is Fictitious, Disputed or Unconfirmed
School-age Years, Adolescence
Orphaned (Both Parents)
War or Persecution
To Provide Heirs, As Protégés, etc.
Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Adoptive or Foster Families
Customary or Traditional Adoption, Informal and Extra-Legal Care
Institutional Care
Parent(s) Died, Disappeared or Became Incapacitated
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