Abram Journeys to Egypt
1Now [in Haran] the Lord had said to Abram,
“Go away from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And [a]I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you [abundantly],
And make your name great (exalted, distinguished);
And you shall be a blessing [a source of great good to others];
And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you,
And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you.
And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed [in faithful obedience] as the Lord had directed him; and Lot [his nephew] left with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had acquired, and the people (servants) which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the [great] terebinth (oak) tree of Moreh. Now the [b]Canaanites were in the land at that time. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” So Abram built an altar there to [honor] the Lord who had appeared to him. 8 Then he moved on from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord [in worship through prayer, praise, and thanksgiving]. 9 Then Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev (the South country of Judah).
10 Now there was a famine in the land; and Abram went down into Egypt to live temporarily, for the famine in the land was oppressive and severe. 11 And when he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “Listen: I know that you are [c]a beautiful woman; 12 so when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me [to acquire you], but they will let you live. 13 Please tell them that you are [d]my sister so that things will go well for me for your sake, and my life will be spared because of you.” 14 And when Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was very beautiful. 15 Pharaoh’s princes (officials) also saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken [for the purpose of marriage] into Pharaoh’s house (harem). 16 Therefore Pharaoh treated Abram well for her sake; he acquired sheep, oxen, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the Lord punished Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this that you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her and go!” 20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him on his way, with his wife and all that he had.
- Genesis 12:2 These verses (2, 3) give the basic outline of God’s covenant with Abraham.
- Genesis 12:6 I.e. the descendants of Ham’s son who was cursed by Noah.
- Genesis 12:11 Sarai was about sixty-five years old at this time.
- Genesis 12:13 Sarai was Abraham’s half sister. They had the same father, but different mothers (Gen 20:12).