Genesis 12
Abram called to go; to become a great nation  1
He went to Canaan 4
He traveled in Canaan and built altars  6
In time of famine he went to Egypt; asked Sarai to say she was his sister  10
She was taken to Pharaoh's house  14
Pharaoh learned who she was and sent Abram away  17
.1 ¶ Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
.2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
.3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
   1 - Abram God changed the names of the couple later ge1705, ge1715.
   1 - Promise The covenant promise is based on faith. It is later called a covenant. ge1707.
   2 - Make ... great nation The purpose or mission of the covenant was (and still is) to make a great nation. The perfect relationships of man had been lost in Eden ge11t. Abram was called in response to the apostasy of Babel. Notice the contrast between this verse and ge1104.
   3 - All families All families of the earth would be blessed by the Messiah to come. Israel was to lead others to accept the light of truth. This is clarified in Psalm 47. The people were not to be followers of Abraham, but of Abraham's God ps047.
.4 ¶ So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
.5  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
   4 - Lot Notice the conflict. Abram was 75. His brother had a son, but he had no visible evidence of how God would fulfill the promise. Could it be through Lot?
   5 - And Sarai The narrative is not strictly chronological. Sarai and the the others came when Lot did. The emphasis is on obedience, with details filled in. Also, we may see an order of importance in the culture.
.6 ¶ And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
.7  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
 8  And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
 9  And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
  6 - Sichem Or "Shechem." See map. And see photo at jos2401. According to archaeological information, the city was thriving and fortified at that time.
  6 - Plain of Moreh "rather, the 'terebinth tree' of Moreh, very common in Palestine, remarkable for its wide-spreading branches and its dark green foliage. It is probable that in Moreh there was a grove of these trees, whose inviting shade led Abram to choose it for an encampment." (JFB Commentary).
  6 - Canaanite Only by faith was the land Abram's he1109,13.
  7 - Unto thy seed He needed this assurance.
  7 - Altar A response from the place of his vision and a testimony to the Canaanites of Abram's faith in salvation by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
  8 - Beth-el About 20 miles (32 km.) south. The name was Luz at that time. See map.
Altar image ©
.10 ¶ And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
.11  And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
 12  Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
 13  Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
  10 - Famine Not uncommon ge2601, ge4156, 1ki1701, hg0110.
  13 - My sister The deceptive plan was wrong ps10514.
.14 ¶ And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
.15  The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
.16  And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
  14 - Fair The Egyptian rulers considered lighter skin color to be better. The idea persists even today with many, even among those with very dark skin. I have lived and worked with black people and object very much to this idea that darker is in any way inferior. Although old by our standards, people lived longer then and Sarah was not "old."
  15 - Pharaoh The term in the Egyptian, Hebrew and Greek languages literally comes form "great house" indicating a royal palace. By the time of Moses, the word was used to indicate the head of state himself.
.17  And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
 18  And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
 19  Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
 20  And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
  17 - Plagued Pharaoh We are not told the nature of the plagues but they made clear the necessity of restoring Sarai . God could have spoken to the king or Sarai could have told him. Sadly the evil practice did not end here ge2002, ge2607.
  19 - Why saidst thou ... I might have Here the pagan ruler was the righteous one and Abram, who should have been a witness to the true God, denied His Lord.
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