Let My People Know

"The restoration of the ancient system of right relations"

Abraham was not really an innovator or someone proclaiming an entirely new concept of religious belief. 

He was simply the first person in a long time to relate seriously to an old religious outlook which was primary and genuine. 

He was a great man in his own terms–a leader of a tribe, a successful man of the world, a conqueror in battle, a fulfilled man in private life, and a thinker who was not subdued by adverse public opinion. 

In other words, he was a great leader who fulfilled the same function as in later generations would be attributed to a messiah-the restoration of the ancient system of right relations between man and the Divine. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From Biblical Images by Rbbi Adin Steinsaltz