I've been frantically looking over all sorts of old traditions on the life of Abraham. They have been collected. He is the best documented of all ancient persons. Some say he didn't live. Don't fool yourself; he was a real person. But what a sad story. It was one prolonged horror of great darkness, as Gen. 15 tells us. His life was a continual trial-the ten trials of Abraham. He lived in a world that was a hell. This has been caught up with recently. In recent years Abraham has had great attention because of new documents, etc.
(Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988--1990 [Provo: Foundation for Ancient Re 83.)
." It's a world famine. It's everywhere; you can't escape. It was bad in Egypt as a matter of fact. Of the ten great famines which afflict the world, according to Jewish tradition, the greatest was that which hit in Abraham's time, the first world famine. This was one of the ten trials of Abraham, the hunger he had to face. Everywhere he goes, he is hungry. The flocks have trouble grazing. They are driven out, etc.
(Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, edited by Robert Smith and Robert Smythe [n.p., n.d.], 3 .)
So here he starts out by saying that he has to leave home. All his life he has to keep going (the ten trials of Abraham). He was never able to settle at all. Remember, he has to rent ground to bury his wife and a tomb at Hebron where Abraham is supposed to be buried. He had to buy the land from the Hittite, Ephron. The Hittites owned that territory at the time. Everywhere he has to keep moving.
(Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, edited by Robert Smith and Robert Smythe [n.p., n.d.], 7.)
The leader of the dispensation was Enoch, whose city of Zion was a tremendous breakthrough and also a "breaking out," the mass evacuation of a polluted planet, due for a thorough purging. "From Noah to Abraham, ten generations" goes the saying, and the world was in darkness again, for Noah's posterity had also gone astray; it was time for God to speak with Abraham face to face, restore the covenants, and organize the church, beginning with his 318 servants.
(Hugh Nibley, Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 382.)