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Genesis 12

12
The Call of Abram
1And Yahweh said to Abram, “Go out from your land and from your relatives, and from the house of your father, to the land that I will show you. 2And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great. And you will be a blessing. 3And I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse. And all families of the earth will be blessed in you.”
Abram’s Journey
4And Abram went out as Yahweh had told him, and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old#Literally “the son of five years and seventy years” when he went out from Haran. 5And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his nephew,#Literally “the son of his brother” and all their possessions that they had gathered, and all the persons that they had acquired in Haran, and they went out to go to the land of Canaan. And they went to the land of Canaan. 6And Abram traveled through the land up to the place of Shechem, to the Oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanites were in the land at that time. 7And Yahweh appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” And he built an altar there to Yahweh, who had appeared to him. 8And he moved on from there to the hill country, east of Bethel. And he pitched his tent at Bethel on the west, and at Ai on the east. And he built an altar there to Yahweh. And he called on the name of Yahweh. 9And Abram kept moving on,#Literally “And Abram moved on, going and moving on” toward the Negev. 10And there was a famine in the land. And Abram went down to Egypt to dwell as an alien there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11And it happened that as he drew near to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “Look now, I know that you are a woman beautiful of appearance, 12and it shall happen that, if the Egyptians see you, then they will say, ‘This is his wife,’ then they will kill me but let you live. 13Please say you are my sister so that it will go well for me on your account. Then I will live#Literally “And my soul will live” on account of you.” 14And it happened that as Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. 15And the officials of Pharaoh saw her, and they praised her beauty to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to the house of Pharaoh. 16And he dealt well with Abram on account of her, and he had sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17Then#Or “And” Yahweh afflicted Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues on account of the matter of Sarai the wife of Abram. 18Then Pharaoh called for Abram and said, “What is this 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 to myself as a wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go.” 20And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him, and then sent him and his wife and all that was with him away.
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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.