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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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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