The call of Abram
1The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2‘I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.#12:2 Or be seen as blessed
3I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.’#12:3 Or earth / will use your name in blessings (see 48:20)
4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring#12:7 Or seed I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8From there he went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
9Then Abram set out and continued towards the Negev.
Abram in Egypt
10Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, ‘I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, “This is his wife.” Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.’
14When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18So Pharaoh summoned Abram. ‘What have you done to me?’ he said. ‘Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19Why did you say, “She is my sister,” so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!’ 20Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.
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The Lord chooses Abram
1The LORD said to Abram:#Ac 7.2,3; He 11.8.
Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. 2I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. 3I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.#12.3 Everyone…you: Or “Everyone on earth will ask me to bless them as I have blessed you.”#Ga 3.8.
4-5Abram was seventy-five years old when the LORD told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had got while in Haran.
When they came to the land of Canaan, 6Abram went as far as the sacred tree of Moreh in a place called Shechem. The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time, 7but the LORD appeared to Abram and promised, “I will give this land to your family for ever.” Abram then built an altar there for the LORD.#Ac 7.5; Ga 3.16.
8Abram travelled to the hill country east of Bethel and camped between Bethel and Ai, where he built another altar and worshipped the LORD. 9Later, Abram started out towards the Southern Desert.
Abram in Egypt
10-11The crops failed, and there was no food anywhere in the land. So Abram and his wife Sarai went to live in Egypt for a while. But just before they got there, he said, “Sarai, you are really beautiful! 12When the Egyptians see how lovely you are, they will murder me because I am your husband. But they won't kill you. 13Please save my life by saying that you are my sister.”#Gn 20.2; 26.7.
14As soon as Abram and Sarai arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians noticed how beautiful she was. 15The king's#12.15 the king's: The Hebrew text has “Pharaoh's”, a Hebrew word sometimes used for the king of Egypt. officials told him about her, and she was taken to his house. 16The king was good to Abram because of Sarai, and Abram was given sheep, cattle, donkeys, slaves, and camels.
17Because of Sarai, the LORD struck the king and everyone in his palace with terrible diseases. 18Finally, the king sent for Abram and said to him, “What have you done to me? Why didn't you tell me Sarai was your wife? 19Why did you make me believe she was your sister? Now I've married her. Take her and go! She's your wife.”
20So the king told his men to let Abram and Sarai take their possessions and leave.
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