The Call of Abram
1The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
4So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
7Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.#12:7 Hebrew seed.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. 9Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev.
Abram and Sarai in Egypt
10At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canaan, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner. 11As he was approaching the border of Egypt, Abram said to his wife, Sarai, “Look, you are a very beautiful woman. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife. Let’s kill him; then we can have her!’ 13So please tell them you are my sister. Then they will spare my life and treat me well because of their interest in you.”
14And sure enough, when Abram arrived in Egypt, everyone noticed Sarai’s beauty. 15When the palace officials saw her, they sang her praises to Pharaoh, their king, and Sarai was taken into his palace. 16Then Pharaoh gave Abram many gifts because of her—sheep, goats, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17But the Lord sent terrible plagues upon Pharaoh and his household because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18So Pharaoh summoned Abram and accused him sharply. “What have you done to me?” he demanded. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ and allow me to take her as my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and get out of here!” 20Pharaoh ordered some of his men to escort them, and he sent Abram out of the country, along with his wife and all his possessions.
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God Calls Abram
1The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country and your people. Leave your father’s family and go to the country that I will show you.
2I will build a great nation from you.
I will bless you
and make your name famous.
People will use your name
to bless other people.
3I will bless those who bless you,
and I will curse those who curse you.
I will use you to bless
all the people on earth.”
Abram Goes to Canaan
4So Abram left Haran just like the Lord said, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the slaves, and all the other things he had gotten in Haran. Then he and his group moved to the land of Canaan. 6Abram traveled through the land as far as the town of Shechem and then to the big tree at Moreh. The Canaanites were living in the land at that time.
7The Lord appeared#12:7 The Lord appeared God often used special shapes so that people could see him. Sometimes he was like a man, an angel, a fire, or a bright light. to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.”
Abram built an altar to honor the Lord who appeared to him there. 8Then he left that place and traveled to the mountains east of Bethel. He set up his tent there. Bethel was to the west, and Ai#12:8 Ai The name of this town means “the ruins.” was to the east. Abram built another altar at that place to honor the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord there. 9Then he moved on toward the Negev, stopping for a time at several places on the way.
Abram in Egypt
10During this time there was not enough food in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to live. 11Just before they arrived in Egypt, Abram told Sarai, “Look, I know that you are a very beautiful woman. 12When the Egyptian men see you, they will say, ‘This woman is his wife.’ Then they will kill me and keep you alive because they want you. 13So tell them that you are my sister. Then they will be good to me because of you. In this way you will save my life.”
14So when Abram went into Egypt, the Egyptian men saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15Even some of Pharaoh’s officials noticed her and told Pharaoh how beautiful she was. So they took her to Pharaoh’s house. 16Pharaoh was kind to Abram because he thought Abram was Sarai’s brother. He gave Abram sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and men and women servants.
17Pharaoh took Abram’s wife, so the Lord caused Pharaoh and all the people in his house to have very bad diseases. 18Pharaoh called Abram and said to him, “You have done a very bad thing to me! Why didn’t you tell me Sarai was your wife? 19You said, ‘She is my sister.’ Why did you say that? I took her so that she could be my wife, but now I give your wife back to you. Take her and go!” 20Then Pharaoh commanded his men to lead Abram out of Egypt. So Abram and his wife left that place and took everything they had with them.
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