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Genesis 12

12
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.
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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;
2And #These verses (2, 3) give the basic outline of God’s covenant with Abraham.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];
3And 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.”
4So 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. 5Abram 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, 6Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the [great] terebinth (oak) tree of Moreh. Now the #I.e. the descendants of Ham’s son who was cursed by Noah.Canaanites were in the land at that time. 7Then 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. 8Then 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]. 9Then Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev (the South country of Judah).
10Now 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. 11And when he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “Listen: I know that you are #Sarai was about sixty-five years old at this time.a beautiful woman; 12so 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. 13Please tell them that you are #Sarai was Abraham’s half sister. They had the same father, but different mothers (Gen 20:12).my sister so that things will go well for me for your sake, and my life will be spared because of you.” 14And when Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was very beautiful. 15Pharaoh’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). 16Therefore Pharaoh treated Abram well for her sake; he acquired sheep, oxen, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17But the Lord punished Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18Then 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? 19Why 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!” 20So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him on his way, with his wife and all that he had.