Genesis 12-15 Common English Bible (CEB)
Abram’s family moves to Canaan
12 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
4 Abram left just as the Lord told him, and Lot went with him. Now Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all of their possessions, and those who became members of their household in Haran; and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the sacred place at Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. The Canaanites lived in the land at that time. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I give this land to your descendants,” so Abram built an altar there to the Lord who appeared to him. 8 From there he traveled toward the mountains east of Bethel, and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and worshipped in the Lord’s name. 9 Then Abram set out toward the arid southern plain, making and breaking camp as he went.
Abram and Sarai visit Egypt
10 When a famine struck the land, Abram went down toward Egypt to live as an immigrant since the famine was so severe in the land. 11 Just before he arrived in Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know you are a good-looking woman. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife,’ and they will kill me but let you live. 13 So tell them you are my sister so that they will treat me well for your sake, and I will survive because of you.”
14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw how beautiful his wife was. 15 When Pharaoh’s princes saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s household. 16 Things went well for Abram because of her: he acquired flocks, cattle, male donkeys, men servants, women servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17 Then the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram and said, “What’s this you’ve done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister,’ so that I made her my wife? Now, here’s your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Pharaoh gave his men orders concerning Abram, and they expelled him with his wife and everything he had.
Abram and Lot separate
13 Abram went up from Egypt toward the arid southern plain with his wife, with everything he had, and with Lot. 2 Abram was very wealthy in livestock, silver, and gold. 3 Abram traveled, making and breaking camp, from the arid southern plain to Bethel and to the sacred place there, where he had first pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai, 4 that is, to the place at which he had earlier built the altar. There he worshipped in the Lord’s name. 5 Now Lot, who traveled with Abram, also had flocks, cattle, and tents. 6 They had so many possessions between them that the land couldn’t support both of them. They could no longer live together. 7 Conflicts broke out between those herding Abram’s livestock and those herding Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites lived in the land.
8 Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have disputes between me and you and between our herders since we are relatives. 9 Isn’t the whole land in front of you? Let’s separate. If you go north, I will go south; and if you go south, I will go north.” 10 Lot looked up and saw the entire Jordan Valley. All of it was well irrigated, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as far as Zoar (this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). 11 So Lot chose for himself the entire Jordan Valley. Lot set out toward the east, and they separated from each other. 12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, and Lot settled near the cities of the valley and pitched his tent close to Sodom. 13 The citizens of Sodom were very evil and sinful against the Lord.
14 After Lot separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “From the place where you are standing, look up and gaze to the north, south, east, and west, 15 because all the land that you see I give you and your descendants forever. 16 I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth. If someone could count the bits of dust on the earth, then they could also count your descendants. 17 Stand up and walk around through the length and breadth of the land because I am giving it to you.” 18 So Abram packed his tent and went and settled by the oaks of Mamre in Hebron. There he built an altar to the Lord.
Abram rescues Lot
14 While Amraphel was king of Shinar, Ellasar’s King Arioch, Elam’s King Chedorlaomer, and Goiim’s King Tidal 2 declared war on Sodom’s King Bera, Gomorrah’s King Birsha, Admah’s King Shinab, Zeboiim’s King Shemeber, and the king of Bela, that is, Zoar. 3 These latter kings formed an alliance in the Siddim Valley (that is, the Dead Sea[b]). 4 For twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they revolted. 5 In the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and the kings of his alliance came and attacked the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in the mountains of Seir as far as El-paran near the desert. 7 Then they turned back, came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and attacked the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar.
8 Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bera (that is, Zoar) took up battle positions in the Siddim Valley 9 against King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five.
10 Now the Siddim Valley was filled with tar pits. When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah retreated, they fell into them; and the rest fled to the mountains. 11 They took everything from Sodom and Gomorrah, including its food supplies, and left. 12 They also took Lot, Abram’s nephew who lived in Sodom, and everything he owned, and took off. 13 When a survivor arrived, he told Abram the Hebrew, who lived near the oaks of the Amorite Mamre, who was the brother of Eshcol and Aner, Abram’s treaty partners.
14 When Abram heard that his relative had been captured, he took all of the loyal men born in his household, three hundred eighteen, and went after them as far as Dan. 15 During the night, he and his servants divided themselves up against them, attacked, and chased them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He brought back all of the looted property, together with his relative Lot and Lot’s property, wives, and people.
Abram blessed by Melchizedek
17 After Abram returned from his attack on Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom came out to the Shaveh Valley (that is, the King’s Valley) to meet him. 18 Now Melchizedek the king of Salem and the priest of El Elyon[c] had brought bread and wine, 19 and he blessed him,
“Bless Abram by El Elyon,
Abram gave Melchizedek one-tenth of everything. 21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and take the property for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I promised the Lord, El Elyon, creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I wouldn’t take even a thread or a sandal strap from anything that was yours so that you couldn’t say, ‘I’m the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 The only exception is that the young men may keep whatever they have taken to eat, and the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre—may keep their share.”
God’s covenant with Abram
15 After these events, the Lord’s word came to Abram in a vision, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your protector.[d] Your reward will be very great.”
2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you possibly give me, since I still have no children? The head of my household is Eliezer, a man from Damascus.”[e] 3 He continued, “Since you haven’t given me any children, the head of my household will be my heir.”
4 The Lord’s word came immediately to him, “This man will not be your heir. Your heir will definitely be your very own biological child.” 5 Then he brought Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them.” He continued, “This is how many children you will have.” 6 Abram trusted the Lord, and the Lord recognized Abram’s high moral character.
7 He said to Abram, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”
8 But Abram said, “Lord God, how do I know that I will actually possess it?”
9 He said, “Bring me a three-year-old female calf, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.” 10 He took all of these animals, split them in half, and laid the halves facing each other, but he didn’t split the birds. 11 When vultures swooped down on the carcasses, Abram waved them off. 12 After the sun set, Abram slept deeply. A terrifying and deep darkness settled over him.
13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Have no doubt that your descendants will live as immigrants in a land that isn’t their own, where they will be oppressed slaves for four hundred years. 14 But after I punish the nation they serve, they will leave it with great wealth. 15 As for you, you will join your ancestors in peace and be buried after a good long life. 16 The fourth generation will return here since the Amorites’ wrongdoing won’t have reached its peak until then.”
17 After the sun had set and darkness had deepened, a smoking vessel with a fiery flame passed between the split-open animals. 18 That day the Lord cut a covenant with Abram: “To your descendants I give this land, from Egypt’s river to the great Euphrates, 19 together with the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”