Exemplarity, ethnography, and exegesis are three forms of cultural practice well known to the ancient Mediterranean world. The use of role models, the ‘writing’ of peoples, and the interpretation of authoritative writings (i.e. “Scriptures”) were ways in which many authors of Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian antiquity situated themselves and others within history. Here I argue that the biblical patriarch Abraham, as received within the late antique Christian text called Pseudo-Hegesippus ( On the Destruction of Jerusalem ), provides a quintessential example of these scribal-rhetorical habits in action. The upshot of this study is that key figures like Abraham were integral tools for doing the things that certain interested ancient writers were trying to do, and as such these figures constitute appropriate, even necessary, objects of research for those seeking to understanding ancient Mediterranean texts, authors, and readers.