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Genesis 12

Abram leaves Haran

1 The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your land and your people. Leave your father's house. Go to the land that I will show you.’

12:1The LORD spoke to Abram, before Terah took them all to Haran. This is when Abram lived in Ur of the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans did not worship God. They worshipped a moon god. Terah (Abram's father) worshipped other gods. We can read about this in Joshua 24:2.

2 (The LORD said), ‘I will make you the father of many children. I will bless you. Everyone will know your name. You will be a blessing to other people.’ 3 ‘I will bless people who bless you. I will curse people who curse you. I will bless all the people on the earth through you.’

12:3Some people will say good things to Abram or do good things for Abram. God will make good things happen to those people. Some people will say bad things to Abram or do bad things for Abram. God will make bad things happen to those people.
12:3But Jesus Christ is a descendant of Abram. And by Jesus, God will bless all the people on the earth.

4 Abram left Haran as the LORD told him. Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot. Abram took everything that was theirs. He took their slaves and the servants that he had in Haran. They all left to go to the land of Canaan. And they arrived there.

12:5Abram does what God tells him to do.
12:5Someone's nephew is his brother's son.

6 Abram walked through the land. He went as far as the big tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time, Canaanites lived in this land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram. The LORD said ‘I will give this land to your children.’ So Abram built an altar to the LORD because the LORD had appeared to him.

12:7The people of Canaan did not worship God. The big tree of Moreh is a place where the Canaanites worshipped other gods. Abram built an altar to worship God. The Canaanites would see Abram worshipping God. But Abram was not afraid. Abram knew that this place belonged to God.

8 Abram left Shechem. He went to the hills. The hills are east of Bethel. This is where he put his tent. Bethel was to the west of his tent. Ai was to the east of his tent. Abram built an altar there to worship the LORD and he prayed to the LORD. 9 Then Abram took his tent and left that place. He began to go to the Negev.

12:9The Negev is a dry land. It goes to the South.

Abram and Sarai in Egypt

10 There was a famine in the land. So Abram went to live in Egypt for a while. He went there because the famine was very bad.

12:10A famine happens because there is no water in the land. And no rain has fallen for a long time. Nothing can grow in the ground because there is no water. So there is no food for people or their animals. Egypt did not often have famines because the River Nile went through the land.

11 When Abram was going into Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, ‘I know that you are a very beautiful woman. 12 When the people of Egypt see you they will say, “This is his wife.” They will kill me. But they will not kill you. 13 Tell them that you are my sister. Then they will do good things for me because of you. They will not kill me. Because they will think that you are my sister.’

12:13Pharaoh (this is the name of a king of Egypt) may want to take Sarai as one of his wives. If he knows that she is Abram's wife, Pharaoh will have to kill Abram.

14 When Abram came to Egypt, the people saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 Pharaoh's officers saw her. They said good things about her to Pharaoh. They took Sarai to Pharaoh's palace. (Pharaoh is the name for all the kings of Egypt.)

12:15A palace is a large house for a king.

16 Pharaoh did good things for Abram because of Sarai. He gave him sheep and cows. He also gave Abram male and female donkeys. And he gave him camels and male servants and female servants.

12:16Donkeys and camels are animals. People use them to carry things, and to ride on.

17 But the LORD made Pharaoh and the people in the palace very ill. The LORD did this because of Abram's wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram to come before him. Pharaoh said, ‘You have done this to me. You did not tell me that she was your wife! 19 You told me “She is my sister”, so I took her to be my wife. Now, here is your wife. Take her and go!’ 20 Pharaoh told his men what to do with Abram. They sent Abram away with his wife and everything that they had.

12:20People of Egypt thought it was important to say what was true. Abram did not do this. God made Pharaoh and the people in the palace ill. This was to stop Pharaoh from taking Sarai as his wife. It would be wrong for Pharaoh to take Sarai for his wife. God stopped Pharaoh from doing something wrong.
12:20God had blessed Abram. God would not let Pharaoh take Abram's wife. God had made a promise to Abram. This was that Abram would have many descendants. God always keeps his promise.