Abram’s History Until His Return from Egypt

Genesis 11:27-13:4

Highlights from this Passage

  • We resume our chronological reading of the Bible with the history of Terah’s descendants.
  • Abram departs Ur with his father Terah, Sarai, and Lot.
  • Abram, by God’s commandment, goes to Canaan.
  • Christ is promised through Abram (“All the families of the earth shall be blessed through you”).
  • Abram builds altars to declare his faith.
  • Because of the famine, Abram goes into Egypt.
  • Pharaoh takes Abram’s wife, and is punished.
  • Abram leaves Egypt
  • Abram calls upon the name of the Lord.

†††††††

Now this is the history of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot. Haran died in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldees, while his father Terah was still alive. Abram and Nahor married wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, who was also the father of Iscah. Sarai was barren. She had no child. Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife. They went from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan. They came to Haran and lived there. The days of Terah were two hundred five years. Terah died in Haran.

Now Yahweh said to Abram, “Leave your country, and your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. 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.”

So Abram went, as Yahweh had told him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 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. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time, Canaanites were in the land.

Yahweh appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your offspring.”

He built an altar there to Yahweh, who had appeared to him. 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 Yahweh and called on Yahweh’s name. Abram traveled, still going on toward the South.

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

When Abram had come into Egypt, Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. He dealt well with Abram for her sake. He had sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. Yahweh afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 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? 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.”

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

Abram went up out of Egypt—he, his wife, all that he had, and Lot with him—into the South. Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. He went on his journeys from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Abram called on Yahweh’s name.

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