Abraham travels to Canaan.
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from
thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make
thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
(12:1-2) God tells Abraham to leave his country and travel to a land that God will show him. God will bless him,
make his name great, and make great nation from him.
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:
and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him:
and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their
substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the
land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain
of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
(12:4) Abraham was 75 years old when he left Haran.
How old was Abraham when he left Haran?
How old was Terah when he died?
A note about Abraham and Sarah's names
Abraham and Sarah were originally named Abram and Sarai, but, for some strange reason, God changed their names in chapter 17 (
17:5, 15) to Abraham and Sarah. To avoid confusion, I'll use their new, more familiar,
God-given names in the notes.
And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this
land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and
pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there
he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
Sarah lies for Abraham (the first time).
And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to
sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
(12:10) There was a famine in the land of Canaan, So Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt.
And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he
said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to
Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that
they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save
Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul
shall live because of thee.
(12:11-13) Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister.
Since the 70 year-old Sarah was such an attractive woman, Abraham
asked her to lie for him by saying she was his sister. (He was afraid the Egyptians would kill him if they thought
he was her husband.)
But at least it was half-true, since
she was his half-sister. Such incestuous marriages are condemned elsewhere in the
Bible, but god makes an exception for Abraham and Sarah. (See Gen 17:15-16
where God blesses their marriage and
Gen 20:2-18 where Abraham repeats the same "she's my sister" lie.)
And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was
The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken
into Pharaoh's house.
(12:14-15) Poor Pharaoh couldn't resist the "very fair", 70-year-old Sarah, and he takes her into his harem.
And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and
he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
(12:16a) He entreated Abram well for her sake
To pay Abraham for the use of his "sister", the Pharaoh gave him sheep, oxen and male and female asses and slaves.
Camels were first domesticated in the tenth century BCE more
than a thousand years after Abraham supposedly lived.
And the LORD plagued
Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto
me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to
wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and
his wife, and all that he had.
(12:17) The LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because
of Sarai Abram's wife.
God sent "great plagues" on the Pharaoh and his household because the Pharaoh believed