Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws (Genesis 26:5).
Those who believe the Bible should have some concept from whence the Bible came and when. It did not come from pagan sources, nor was it transmitted orally. Genesis was unquestionably written earlier than all other pagan epics and myths. The writer(s) of Genesis did not borrow from these sources, although Genesis may reflect some of their content as Scripture writers opposed what they taught! If there was any borrowing, it was from Genesis.
Abraham had written laws of Jehovah which he kept. Our text says he kept Jehovahs charge (mishmar), commandments (mitsvot), statutes (chuqqim), and laws (torah). The word chuqqim comes from a root meaning to engrave, and thus describes written rules of conduct. The torah from Moses time certainly was written law. Thus, it likely included codes of conduct transmitted from earlier writings. It follows, then, that the charges and commandments were also written early.
The point is, Abraham was not following some other cultures laws and statutes: Although a few ancient law codes existed, Abraham was not following any of these. They were Jehovahs own statutes, and thus were unique documentsthe very word of God.
Abraham came from a country where the knowledge of writing was common and from an important city. It was natural that he carried records and genealogies with him from the banks of the Euphrates to the land of Canaan. Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac (Genesis 25:5). Probably these priceless records were among his possessions. If so, Jacob carried them into Egypt to form the basis of Genesis 111 as written by Moses. This can only increase our confidence in and obedience to the inspired word of God. DPL