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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The Call of Abram
1The Lord said to Abram:
Go from your land,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.#Gn 15:7; Ac 7:3; Heb 11:8
2I will make you into a great nation,#Gn 17:4–6; 18:18; 46:3; Dt 26:5
I will bless you,#Gn 22:17
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.#Zch 8:13
3I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt,#Gn 27:29; Nm 24:9
and all the peoples on earth
will be blessed#12:3 Or will find blessing through you.#12:3 Or will bless themselves by you#Gn 18:18; 26:4; 28:14; Ac 3:25; Gl 3:8
4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.#Gn 11:27,31 5He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated, and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem,#Gn 35:4; Dt 11:30; Heb 11:9 at the oak of Moreh. (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) 7The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring#12:7 Lit seed#Gn 13:15; Ex 33:1; Ps 105:9–12; Ac 7:5; Gl 3:16 I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. 8From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar to the Lord there, and he called on the name of the Lord.#Gn 4:26; 21:33 9Then Abram journeyed by stages to the Negev.
Abram in Egypt
10There was a famine in the land,#Gn 26:1; 43:1 so Abram went down to Egypt to stay there for a while because the famine in the land was severe. 11When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, “Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live.#Gn 20:1–18; 26:6–11 13Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account.” 14When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s household. 16He treated Abram well because of her, and Abram acquired flocks and herds, male and female donkeys, male and female slaves, and camels.
17But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Abram’s wife, Sarai.#Gn 20:18; 1Ch 16:21; Ps 105:14 18So Pharaoh sent for Abram and said, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20Then Pharaoh gave his men orders about him, and they sent him away with his wife and all he had.
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