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We read how Avraham was going around convincing people to believe in one G-d and of his many students. Yet we don't hear of those students (or their descendants) ever again.

What happened to them all? Did they go back to paganism?

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Could the people Abraham converted stuck with the Abraham family and ended up as the Erev Rav that left Egypt? –  Clint Eastwood Jul 6 '14 at 21:21

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It appears that Isaac wasn't the charismatic, outgoing person that his father was, so they drifted off.

As observed by my mentor, Rabbi Francis Nataf.

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I can understand that for the people Avraham brought to monotheism in the last years of his life, but what about the ones who had been monotheists for forty years by the time he died? –  msh210 Nov 15 '11 at 19:04
Isaac lost sight of them :p –  zaq Nov 15 '11 at 19:09
Though it's equally possible they went back and lived their lives as ethical monotheists, no longer needing to stick to Avraham. That appears to be Jethro's path after leaving the Jews. –  Shalom Nov 15 '11 at 19:09
@avi: that's talking about Avraham's six children with Keturah, not about his disciples. –  Alex Nov 15 '11 at 19:23
@avi: that would work if they were called בני אברהם there. But what could בני הפילגשים mean in this context? –  Alex Nov 15 '11 at 19:40

Even the Jews abandoned monotheism and did avodah zarah in Egypt. So what are the chances that a small group of people in Cana'an would be able to keep their faith for hundreds of years? Perhaps some of them stayed monotheistic during Yitzchak's time, but they clearly assimilated into the surrounding population over the next few generations.

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The Torah says that Avraham sent his children with gifts to the east. The Zohar (Zohar I:99b) implies that these gifts were religious ideas which were spread to India and to the philosophies of China. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 91a) says that these gifts were 'the name of Tumah.' Presumably this included the 300+ students that he had when involved with the war between the 4 and 5 kings.

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From Rashi (Breshit 25:6) we learn that the children he sent with the gifts were the sons of Hagar (Keturah). –  rony Nov 16 '11 at 20:48
The zohar is quite clear on the point. –  avi Nov 16 '11 at 20:54

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