Genesis 12

The Obedience of Abram

12:1 Now the Lord said1 to Abram,2

“Go out3 from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household

to the land that I will show you.4

12:2 Then I will make you5 into a great nation, and I will bless you,6

and I will make your name great,7

so that you will exemplify divine blessing.8

12:3 I will bless those who bless you,9

but the one who treats you lightly10 I must curse,

and all the families of the earth will bless one another11 by your name.”

12:4 So Abram left,12 just as the Lord had told him to do,13 and Lot went with him. (Now14 Abram was 75 years old15 when he departed from Haran.) 12:5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew16 Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired17 in Haran, and they left for18 the land of Canaan. They entered the land of Canaan.

12:6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the oak tree19 of Moreh20 at Shechem.21 (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.)22 12:7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants23 I will give this land.” So Abram24 built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

12:8 Then he moved from there to the hill country east of Bethel25 and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and worshiped the Lord.26 12:9 Abram continually journeyed by stages27 down to the Negev.28

The Promised Blessing Jeopardized

12:10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt29 to stay for a while30 because the famine was severe.31 12:11 As he approached32 Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look,33 I know that you are a beautiful woman.34 12:12 When the Egyptians see you they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will keep you alive.35 12:13 So tell them36 you are my sister37 so that it may go well38 for me because of you and my life will be spared39 on account of you.”

12:14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 12:15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. So Abram’s wife40 was taken41 into the household of Pharaoh,42 12:16 and he did treat Abram well43 on account of her. Abram received44 sheep and cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

12:17 But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe diseases45 because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 12:18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram and said, “What is this46 you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 12:19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her47 to be my wife?48 Here is your wife!49 Take her and go!”50 12:20 Pharaoh gave his men orders about Abram,51 and so they expelled him, along with his wife and all his possessions.

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