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.

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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.

Shem’s Descendants

Genesis 11:10-26 (WEB)

Highlights From this Passage

  • This is the genealogy from Shem to Abram, who would later be called Abraham.
  • This is a part of Christ’s genealogy.

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This is the history of the generations of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old when he became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood. Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and became the father of more sons and daughters.

Arpachshad lived thirty-five years and became the father of Shelah. Arpachshad lived four hundred three years after he became the father of Shelah, and became the father of more sons and daughters.

Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber. Shelah lived four hundred three years after he became the father of Eber, and became the father of more sons and daughters.

Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg. Eber lived four hundred thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and became the father of more sons and daughters.

Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu. Peleg lived two hundred nine years after he became the father of Reu, and became the father of more sons and daughters.

Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug. Reu lived two hundred seven years after he became the father of Serug, and became the father of more sons and daughters.

Serug lived thirty years, and became the father of Nahor. Serug lived two hundred years after he became the father of Nahor, and became the father of more sons and daughters.

Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah. Nahor lived one hundred nineteen years after he became the father of Terah, and became the father of more sons and daughters.

Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

The Dispersion of the Nations and the Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:1-9; Genesis 10 (WEB)

Highlights from this Passage

  • Genesis 11:1-9 precedes Genesis 10 chronologically. Both passages are complementary accounts.
    • Chapter 11:1-9 presents the rebellious people of Babel, who build a city for themselves and prefer their own glory, dispersing because of God’s judgment.
    • Chapter 10 presents the nations as one lineage multiplying and filling the earth under God’s blessing.
  • God’s power is everywhere, and it needs no tower by which to descend or ascend.
  • The building of Babel brings God’s judgment through the confusion of languages.
  • The population increases after the flood through Noah and his sons.
  • Cities, countries, and nations begin to form.

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The whole earth was of one language and of one speech. As they traveled east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they lived there. They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let’s make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth.”

Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. Yahweh said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing will be withheld from them, which they intend to do. Come, let’s go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So Yahweh scattered them abroad from there on the surface of all the earth. They stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there Yahweh confused the language of all the earth. From there, Yahweh scattered them abroad on the surface of all the earth.

Now this is the history of the generations of the sons of Noah and of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.

The sons of Japheth were: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. Of these were the islands of the nations divided in their lands, everyone after his language, after their families, in their nations.

The sons of Ham were: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush were: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah were: Sheba and Dedan. Cush became the father of Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh. Therefore it is said, “like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Yahweh”. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land he went into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and the great city Calah. Mizraim became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim (which the Philistines descended from), and Caphtorim.

Canaan became the father of Sidon (his firstborn), Heth, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were spread abroad. The border of the Canaanites was from Sidon—as you go toward Gerar—to Gaza—as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim—to Lasha. These are the sons of Ham, after their families, according to their languages, in their lands and their nations.

Children were also born to Shem (the elder brother of Japheth), the father of all the children of Eber. The sons of Shem were: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aram were: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arpachshad became the father of Shelah. Shelah became the father of Eber. To Eber were born two sons. The name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided. His brother’s name was Joktan. Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. Their dwelling extended from Mesha, as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. These are the sons of Shem, by their families, according to their languages, lands, and nations.

These are the families of the sons of Noah, by their generations, according to their nations. The nations divided from these in the earth after the flood.