The call of Abram. Abram and Sarai in Egypt.
VERSE 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.
Leave your country. The LORD God called Abram to go. The instruction was to leave his inheritance, his extended family and culture. He was to go abroad. The exact destination was not revealed.
the land that I will show you. This destination was vague.
All Abram could do was go. He was probably buoyed up by the hope that the LORD God would reveal more along the way. It was a leap of faith.
Sometimes, we are called upon to make a bold decision, without knowing the outcome. We act, and hope that the needed answer will arrive.
That happened for ten men who were lepers. Jesus told them to go to a certain destination. As they went, they were healed:
Luke 17:14. When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” As they went, they were cleansed.
If they had not went, they probably would not have been healed.
VERSE 2. I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing.
God promised much to Abram. He would become a great nation. He would be greatly blessed. He would become quite famous. He would to enjoy divine protection. He would be a blessing for every nation on earth. Wow!
You will be a blessing. Abram will be a great source of blessing for the peoples of the world.
However, their ability to receive the blessing is conditional. If they bless Abram, then God will bless them. If they curse Abram, God will curse them.
In our day, Abram is no longer alive. However, his offspring is still with us: the Jewish people.
God’s blessing upon us Gentiles is conditional. It depends on how we treat the Jewish people. If we desire blessedness for ourselves, we must first be a blessing to the Jewish people.
VERSE 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.”
The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 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.
So Abram went. Abram didn’t ignore this call from the LORD God. He didn’t avoid it. He didn’t disbelieve it. Rather, he acted on it, even though he was 75 years old at the time.
Abram and his wife Sarai packed up their entire household and went. They followed a circuitous route. Through a seemingly random series of events, ended up in Egypt.
It seems that Abram didn’t quite know where he was called him to go! Yet he didn’t let that hold himself back. God said go. That’s what Abram did.
VERSE 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.
all their possessions. Some translations render it as “tents.”
In either case, the word is plural. They had stuff. Lots of it. And now they had to move it all.
Sometimes it is not convenient to go. But when God says “go,” we go.
the people whom they had acquired. This is probably a reference to slaves. Abram and Sarai had human slaves.
VERSE 6. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time, Canaanites were in the land.
the place of Shechem. In the centuries that follow, important events will continue to happen in Shechem:
Judges 9:1. Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s brothers, and spoke with them and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying,
Judges 9:6. All the men of Shechem assembled themselves together with all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem.
VERSE 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.
offspring. The Hebrew word is זָ֫רַע (“zera”). It means seed.
VERSE 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.
Bethel. The Hebrew word is אֵ֖ל. It means “house of God.”
VERSE 9. Abram traveled, still going on toward the South.
VERSE 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.
VERSE 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.
you are a beautiful woman to look at. A woman’s beauty does not escape the notice of most people. This was the case in the ancient biblical narrative, and it is still the case today.
VERSE 12. 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.
VERSE 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.”
VERSE 14. When Abram had come into Egypt, Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.
VERSE 15. The princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.
VERSE 16. He dealt well with Abram for her sake. He had sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
VERSE 17. The LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
VERSE 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?
VERSE 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.”
VERSE 20. Pharaoh commanded men concerning him, and they escorted him away with his wife and all that he had.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.