The Message

Genesis 12

Abram and Sarai

1God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.

2-3 I’ll make you a great nation
        and bless you.
    I’ll make you famous;
        you’ll be a blessing.
    I’ll bless those who bless you;
        those who curse you I’ll curse.
    All the families of the Earth
        will be blessed through you.”

4-6 So Abram left just as God said, and Lot left with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot with him, along with all the possessions and people they had gotten in Haran, and set out for the land of Canaan and arrived safe and sound.

Abram passed through the country as far as Shechem and the Oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites occupied the land.

God appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your children.” Abram built an altar at the place God had appeared to him.

He moved on from there to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent between Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. He built an altar there and prayed to God.

Abram kept moving, steadily making his way south, to the Negev.

10-13 Then a famine came to the land. Abram went down to Egypt to live; it was a hard famine. As he drew near to Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, “Look. We both know that you’re a beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you they’re going to say, ‘Aha! That’s his wife!’ and kill me. But they’ll let you live. Do me a favor: tell them you’re my sister. Because of you, they’ll welcome me and let me live.”

14-15 When Abram arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians took one look and saw that his wife was stunningly beautiful. Pharaoh’s princes raved over her to Pharaoh. She was taken to live with Pharaoh.

16-17 Because of her, Abram got along very well: he accumulated sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, men and women servants, and camels. But God hit Pharaoh hard because of Abram’s wife Sarai; everybody in the palace got seriously sick.

18-19 Pharaoh called for Abram, “What’s this that you’ve done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she’s your wife? Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister’ so that I’d take her as my wife? Here’s your wife back—take her and get out!”

20 Pharaoh ordered his men to get Abram out of the country. They sent him and his wife and everything he owned on their way.

New International Reader's Version

Genesis 12

God Chooses Abram

1The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s family. Go to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation.
    And I will bless you.
I will make your name great.
    You will be a blessing to others.
I will bless those who bless you.
    I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you.
All nations on earth
    will be blessed because of you.”

So Abram went, just as the Lord had told him. Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Harran. He took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot. They took all the people and possessions they had acquired in Harran. They started out for the land of Canaan. And they arrived there.

Abram traveled through the land. He went as far as the large tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were living in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram at Shechem. He said, “I will give this land to your family who comes after you.” So Abram built an altar there to honor the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there, Abram went on toward the hills east of Bethel. He set up his tent there. Bethel was to the west, and Ai was to the east. Abram built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord.

Then Abram left and continued south toward the Negev Desert.

Abram Goes to Egypt

10 At that time there was not enough food in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he spoke to his wife Sarai. He said, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 The people of Egypt will see you and say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me. But they will let you live. 13 Tell them you are my sister. Then I’ll be treated well and my life will be spared because of you.”

14 Abram arrived in Egypt. The Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they told Pharaoh how beautiful she was. So she was taken into his palace. 16 Pharaoh treated Abram well because of her. So Abram gained more sheep and cattle and male and female donkeys. He also gained more male and female servants and some camels.

17 But the Lord sent terrible sicknesses on Pharaoh and everyone in his palace. The Lord did it because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh sent for Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say she was your sister? That’s why I took her to be my wife. Now then, here’s your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders to his men about Abram. They sent him on his way. So he left with his wife and everything he had.