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The Lord Chooses Abram

12 The Lord said to Abram:

Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.[a]

4-5 Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran.

When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram went as far as the sacred tree of Moreh in a place called Shechem. The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time, but the Lord appeared to Abram and promised, “I will give this land to your family forever.” Abram then built an altar there for the Lord.

Abram traveled to the hill country east of Bethel and camped between Bethel and Ai, where he built another altar and worshiped the Lord. Later, Abram started out toward the Southern Desert.

Abram in Egypt

10-11 The crops failed, and there was no food anywhere in the land. So Abram and his wife Sarai went to live in Egypt for a while. But just before they got there, he said, “Sarai, you are really beautiful! 12 When the Egyptians see how lovely you are, they will murder me because I am your husband. But they won’t kill you. 13 Please save my life by saying that you are my sister.”

14 As soon as Abram and Sarai arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians noticed how beautiful she was. 15 The king’s[b] officials told him about her, and she was taken to his house. 16 The king was good to Abram because of Sarai, and Abram was given sheep, cattle, donkeys, slaves, and camels.

17 Because of Sarai, the Lord struck the king and everyone in his palace with terrible diseases. 18 Finally, the king sent for Abram and said to him, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me Sarai was your wife? 19 Why did you make me believe she was your sister? Now I’ve married her. Take her and go! She’s your wife.”

20 So the king told his men to let Abram and Sarai take their possessions and leave.

Footnotes

  1. 12.3 Everyone. . . you: Or “Everyone on earth will ask me to bless them as I have blessed you.”
  2. 12.15 The king’s: The Hebrew text has “Pharaoh’s,” a Hebrew word sometimes used for the king of Egypt.

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