Genesis: The Call of Abram & Abram in Egypt

Genesis 12:1-20

In The Call of Abram, God says to Abram, “‘Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you’”. God tells Abram that He will make him a great nation, make his name will known, bless all that bless him, and curse all that curse Abram. Abram leaves and brings his nephew Lot, his wife Sarai, and the people he had acquired while in Haran with him. God tells him to go to Canaan where the Canaanites already reside. Abram wanders through the land of Canaan. He stops first at the site of “the great tree of Moreh at Shechem” and builds an altar to God. God, pleased with his offerings, promises Abram the lands of Canaan. He then leaves and travels to a location between Bethel and Ai, and builds an altar there. Abram then continues to Negev.

Abram in Egypt

Famine strikes the land of Canaan, so Abram leaves Canaan for Egypt. Before Abram enters Egypt, he tells his wife that if the Egyptians know they are married then they will kill him and take her, because she is beautiful. So he tells his wife to lie and say they are brother and sister, so he would “‘be treated well for [her] sake and [his] life will be spared for [her]’” When they enter Egypt, she tells the official that they are brother and sister. The officials, impressed by her beauty, bring her to the Pharaoh to become his wife. Abram is taken care of, as he had said, and given livestock and servants. According to this story, God inflicts “serious diseases on the Pharaoh and his household”. The Pharaoh summons Abram and asks, “‘What have you done to me?’” “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife, and allow me to marry her?” The Pharaoh then tells him to take his wife, everything he has, and leave his land. A lenient punishment for such a crime. Abram is the original con-artist.

Next, the story of how Abram and Lot separate.

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