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Genesis Chapter 12

1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Leave your country, and your relatives, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you.

2 I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who treats you with contempt. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you."

4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

5 Abram took Sarai his wife, Lot his brother's son, all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they went to go into the land of Canaan. They entered into the land of Canaan.

6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time, Canaanites were in the land.

7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your offspring." He built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

8 He left from there to go to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the LORD's name.

9 Abram travelled, still going on towards the South.

10 There was a famine in the land. Abram went down into Egypt to live as a foreigner there, for the famine was severe in the land.

11 When he had come near to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, "See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look at.

12 It will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife.' They will kill me, but they will save you alive.

13 Please say that you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that my soul may live because of you."

14 When Abram had come into Egypt, Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.

15 The princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.

16 He dealt well with Abram for her sake. He had sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 The LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife.

18 Pharaoh called Abram and said, "What is this that you have done to me? Why didn't you tell me that she was your wife?

19 Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her to be my wife? Now therefore, see your wife, take her, and go your way."

20 Pharaoh commanded men concerning him, and they escorted him away with his wife and all that he had.


Verse 7 (offspring)
or, seed

Version: World English Bible

Genesis Chapter 12 Guide

At this point begins the actual historic movement toward the coming of the Redeemer. One man was called to the realization of the true principle of life. The call was personal and purposeful. Abram was commanded to sever the ties of all past associations and to go forth, governed wholly by the will of God. The personal element is clearly marked in the words, "Get thee out ... I will show thee ... I will make of thee ... I will bless thee." It was none the less a purposeful call. The personal going was to result in the creation of a nation through which all the nations of the earth were to be blessed.

Abram's obedience was immediate. Arrived in the land, God appeared to him again and declared that that land was to be given to his seed. All the appearances of the hour were against the possibility of the fulfilment of that promise, for "the Canaanite was then in the land." Faith conquered in spite of appearances as Abram pitched his tent, a sign of possession, and built his altar, a symbol of allegiance.

Once more we confront human failure in Abram's deflection from the life of faith. In the presence of famine he attempted to secure his own safety by going into Egypt. As the result of this we have the startling picture of the chosen mother of the promised Seed in the harem of Pharaoh. God however guards the larger issue of His purpose against the mistakes of the instrument, and by plaguing Pharaoh's house brought about the deliverance of Abram.

It is ever a humbling thing when a man of faith who stands for the principle and purpose of God is rebuked by someone outside the covenant for lack of loyalty to truth. Yet this is exactly what happened in the case of Abram.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.