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Genesis 12

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1The Lord told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, your family home,#12:1. “Your family home”: literally, “your father's house.” and travel to the country I'm going to show you. 2I will make you the ancestor of a great nation and I will bless you. I will make sure you have a great reputation and that you are a blessing to others. 3I will bless those who bless you; I will curse those who curse you. Everyone on earth will be blessed through you.”
4So Abram left following the Lord's instructions, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 when he left Haran. 5With him went his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, together with all the possessions they had collected and the people that had joined them#12:5. “The people that had joined them”: this would include servants, but the term used is not specific and applies to anyone who had joined Abram's group for whatever reason. in Harran. They left for the land of Canaan.
When they arrived there, 6Abram traveled on through the country as far as a place called Shechem, stopping at the oak tree of Moreh. At that time the country was occupied by Canaanites.
7The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I'm going to give this land to your descendants.” So Abram built an altar to the Lord there because that was where the Lord appeared to him. 8Then he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and set up camp there. Bethel was to the west and Ai to the east. He built an altar to the Lord there and worshiped him. 9After that he went on his way, heading towards the Negev.#12:9. “The Negev”: the desert area to the south.
10But the land had been hit by famine. So Abram continued on to Egypt, planning to live there because the famine was so bad. 11As he approached Egypt and was about to cross the border, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they'll say, ‘She's his wife,’ and they'll kill me but not you! 13Tell them you're my sister so I'll be treated well because of you, and my life will be spared for your sake.”
14When Abram arrived in Egypt, the people there saw how beautiful Sarai was. 15Pharaoh's officials also noticed and spoke positively about her to Pharaoh. So Sarai was taken to his palace to become one of his wives.#12:15. “To become one of his wives”: supplied for clarity. 16Pharaoh treated Abram well because of her, giving him sheep and cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
17But the Lord caused Pharaoh and the people in his palace to suffer from terrible diseases because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18So Pharaoh ordered Abram brought to him and said, “What have you done to me? Why didn't you tell me that she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She's my sister,’ and let me take her to become one of my wives? So here's your wife! Take her and leave!”
20Pharaoh ordered his guards to expel him and his wife from the country, along with everyone with them and all their possessions.
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Chapter 12
Abram leaves Haran
1The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country and the people of your father's family. Go to the land that I will show you. #12:1 The Lord said this to Abram when he lived in Ur, among the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans worshipped false gods. See Joshua 24:2.
2I will cause your descendants to become a great nation. I will bless you. Everyone will know your name. You will bring my blessing to other people. 3I will bless those people who bless you. But I will curse anyone who insults you. Through you, I will bless all the families of people on the earth.’ #12:3 Jesus Christ is a descendant of Abram. Through Jesus, God blesses all the nations and families of people on the earth.
4Abram did what the Lord had told him. He left Haran. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. Lot went with him. 5Abram took his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot. He took everything that belonged to them. He also took the people that worked for them in Haran. They all left to go to the land of Canaan.
When they arrived in Canaan, 6Abram walked through the land. He went as far as Shechem, to the special oak tree of Moreh. At that time, Canaanites lived in this land. 7The Lord appeared to Abram there. He said, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ So Abram built an altar in that place to worship the Lord. #12:7 The Canaanites did not worship God. The special tree of Moreh is a place where the Canaanites worshipped false gods. Abram built an altar to worship God. The Canaanites would see that Abram worshipped the Lord. But Abram was not afraid. He knew that this place belonged to God. He did that because the Lord had appeared to him.
8Then Abram left Shechem. He went to the hills that are on the east of Bethel. He put up his tent in that place. Bethel was towards the west, and Ai was towards the east. Abram also built an altar there to worship the Lord.
9Then Abram took his tent and he left that place. He continued to travel towards the Negev. #12:9 The Negev is a dry land. It is between Egypt and Canaan.
Abram and Sarai in Egypt
10There was a famine in the land of Canaan. #12:10 A famine happens when there is not enough food for people to eat. It often happens when no rain has fallen for a long time. Nothing can grow in the ground because there is no water. Egypt did not often have a famine because the River Nile went through the land. So Abram went to live in Egypt for a time, because the famine was very bad.
11When Abram was going to arrive in Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, ‘Listen to me. I know that you are a very beautiful woman. 12When the Egyptians see you they will say, “This is Abram's wife.” Then they will kill me, but they will let you live.#12:12 Abram thinks that the king of Egypt might want to take Sarai as one of his wives. If he knows that Sarai is Abram's wife, the king will have to kill Abram. 13So, tell them that you are my sister. Then they will do good things to me, because they want to please you. They will not kill me because they will think that you are my sister.’
14When Abram arrived in Egypt, the people saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15The king's officers saw her. They told Pharaoh that she was very beautiful. They took her to the king's palace.#12:15 A palace is a large house for a king.
16Pharaoh did good things to help Abram because of Sarai. He gave Abram sheep, cows, donkeys and camels. He also gave Abram male servants and female servants.
17But the Lord made Pharaoh and the people in his palace very ill. The Lord did this because the king had taken Abram's wife Sarai. 18So Pharaoh called Abram to come to him. Pharaoh said, ‘You have done this bad thing to me! You did not tell me that Sarai is your wife! Why not? 19You told me “She is my sister”. As a result, I took her to be my wife. Now, here is your wife. Take her and go away!’ #12:19 God made Pharaoh and the people in his palace ill. God stopped Pharaoh from doing something wrong and taking Sarai as his wife.
20Pharaoh told his officers what to do with Abram. They sent Abram away, with his wife and everything that belonged to them. #12:20 Abram did not need to tell a lie to keep himself safe. God had promised to bless him. God had promised that Abram would have many descendants. So Abram should have trusted God.