God picked Abram
1This story about Abram started when God said to him, “Abram, I want you to leave your country, your father’s family and all your relatives, and go to the country that I will show you.#Acts 7:2-4; Hebrews 11:8 2And I will give you a big family, and they will become a great nation, and I will do good things for you and your family, and I will make your mob strong. Then everyone will know about you and your family, and everyone will respect you. And you and your family will do good things for other people. 3If anyone does good things for you and your family, I will do good things for them. But, if anyone does bad things to you, and if they make trouble for you and your family, I will curse them and make trouble for them. I will use your family to do good things for all the families in the world.”#Galatians 3:8
Abram and his family went to Canaan country
4-5Abram was 75 years old when he left the town called Haran and went to the country called Canaan. That was the country that God told him to go to. He took his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot with him. He also took all the things and all the workers that they got in Haran, and they all went to the new country called Canaan. 6Abram and everyone with him walked through that new country, and they went to a town called Shekem, and they camped there, near a big tree at a place called Moreh. The people that lived in that country were called the Canaan mob, and they didn’t know God. 7God showed himself to Abram there, and he said to him, “I will give this country to your son, and to all the people that will be born into his family later on.” So Abram piled up stones to make a table with a flat top. It was a special place for him to burn an animal to show right respect to God.#Acts 7:5; Galatians 3:16
8Later on, Abram and his mob left Shekem, and they went south to the hill country that was on the east side of a town called Bethel, and they camped between Bethel and another town called Ayi. Bethel was to the west of his camp and Ayi was to the east. Then Abram piled up stones there to make another special table, and he burned animals on it to show respect to God. He prayed to God, and he called God by his special name Yahweh.
9After that, Abram and his mob kept going south to the dry desert country.
Abram and his family went to Egypt
10At that time, there wasn’t much food in that country. Everyone was short of food, so Abram and everyone with him went south to live in another country, called Egypt. 11Just before they got to Egypt, Abram said to his wife, Sarai, “You are a really beautiful woman. 12I reckon the men in Egypt will see you, and they will say, ‘That beautiful woman is Abram’s wife. Let’s kill Abram, so that we can have her for ourselves.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13So listen. You have to tell everyone that you are my sister. Then they will be good to me, and they will not kill me.”#Genesis 20:2; 26:7
14And that’s what happened. They got to Egypt, and the people there looked at Sarai, and they saw that she was really beautiful. 15Some of them worked for the big boss of Egypt, and they told him, “Sarai is really beautiful.” So that big boss took her to live in his house. 16That boss was very good to Abram, because he thought that Abram was Sarai’s brother. He gave Abram sheep, and goats, and cows, and bulls, and donkeys, and camels, as well as men and women that had to work for Abram.
17God was not happy, because Sarai was living with the big boss of Egypt, so God made him really sick, and God made everyone that lived in his house really sick too. 18-19Then that big boss found out that Sarai was already Abram’s wife, and he got really wild. He sent somebody to get Abram, and he said to Abram, “You did a really bad thing to me. You tricked me. You didn’t tell me that Sarai is your wife. You said, ‘She is my sister,’ and you let me marry her. Now, here is your wife. Take her back, and then get out of my country.” 20Then the big boss told his soldiers, “Get Abram, and Sarai, and everything they own, and all their workers, and send them out of Egypt. Send them away, and do it right now.” So his soldiers did that. They sent Abram and his mob away from Egypt.
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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 had said this to Abram when he lived in Ur, among the Chaldeans. 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 oak tree of Moreh was 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. So Abram went to live in Egypt for some time, because the famine was very bad. #12:10 Egypt did not often have a famine because the River Nile went through the land.
11When Abram came near to 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!’
20Pharaoh told his officers what to do with Abram. They sent Abram away, with his wife and everything that belonged to them.
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