וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל אַבְרָם, לֶךְ לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ 12:1
Gene. 12:1 And the Lord said to Abram, “Get yourself from your country and from your race and from the house of your father to the land that I will show you,
From this verse we can surmise that Charan was indeed still in the Chaldees.
וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ וֶהְיֵה בְּרָכָה 12:2
Gene. 12:2 and I will make you into a great nation and bless you and magnify your name, and it shall be a blessing,
וַאֲבָרְכָה מְבָרְכֶיךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה 12:3
Gene. 12:3 and I will bless whoever blesses you. But I will curse whoever curses you; yet all the families of the earth shall be blessed because of you.” [Return to Gene. 28:14]
In these two verses, v. 12:2 and v. 12:3, God is saying that Abram’s name will be a blessing to the world. More >>
וַיֵּלֶךְ אַבְרָם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו יְהוָה וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתּוֹ לוֹט וְאַבְרָם בֶּן חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה בְּצֵאתוֹ 12:4
Gene. 12:4 Then Abram went as the Lord spoke to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy years and five years of age on his leaving from Charan.
[Return to Gene. 16:3] [Return to Dani. 9:24]
Well, here’s an interesting observation. Terach was 70 when Abram was born (Gene. 11:26) and Abram was 75 when he left Charan. That means that Terach was 145. So Terach, who died at 205 (Gene:11:32), was still alive when Abram left. Abram’s leaving his father’s house represents to me the Israelites leaving Egypt. The Lord says He is making Abram into a great nation (v. 12:2), and the Israelites started to become a nation when they left Egypt.
וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָם אֶת שָׂרַי אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת לוֹט בֶּן אָחִיו וְאֶת כָּל רְכוּשָׁם אֲשֶׁר רָכָשׁוּ וְאֶת הַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁרּ 12:5
עָשׂו בְחָרָן וַיֵּצְאוּ לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן וַיָּבֹאוּ אַרְצָה כְּנָעַן
Gene. 12:5 And Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot, his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had acquired and the life that they had made in Charan, and they left to go to the country of Canaan. And they came to the land of Canaan.
וַיַּעֲבֹר אַבְרָם בָּאָרֶץ עַד מְקוֹם שְׁכֶם עַד אֵלוֹן מוֹרֶה וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי אָז בָּאָרֶץ 12:6
Gene. 12:6 And Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the terebinth of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. [Return to Gene. 13:7]
The word אֵלוֹן, terebinth, refers to a large tree, such as an oak. We can tell from the wording at the end of the verse that the scribe, when writing this, was of a later time, when the Canaanite was no longer in the land, i.e., when the Israelites occupied the land, 600 or more years later. Abram’s settling in Canaan is representative of the Israelites coming into the Promised Land. [Return to Josh. 24:1]
וַיֵּרָא יְהוָה אֶל אַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר לְזַרְעֲךָ אֶתֵּן אֶת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וַיִּבֶן שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה הַנִּרְאֶה אֵלָיו 12:7
Gene. 12:7 And the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your seed will I give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, Who had appeared to him.
I wonder if this prophecy refers to Ishmael as well as to Isaac. Surely the Lord foresees that the Arabs would also claim the land of Israel for their own.
וַיַּעְתֵּק מִשָּׁם הָהָרָה מִקֶּדֶם לְבֵית-אֵל וַיֵּט אָהֳלֹה בֵּית-אֵל מִיָּם וְהָעַי מִקֶּדֶם וַיִּבֶן שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ 12:8
לַיהוָה וַיִּקְרָא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה
Gene. 12:8 And he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And he built there an altar to the Lord and he called on the name of the Lord.
From this verse we can presume that at least some early altars were for prayer. [Return to Gene. 13:4]
וַיִּסַּע אַבְרָם הָלוֹךְ וְנָסוֹעַ הַנֶּגְבָּה 12:9
Gene. 12:9 And Abram journeyed, going and setting out to the south.
וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּרֶד אַבְרָם מִצְרַיְמָה לָגוּר שָׁם כִּי כָבֵד הָרָעָב בָּאָרֶץ 12:10
Gene. 12:10 And famine was in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to abide there, for the famine was hard in the land.
וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר הִקְרִיב לָבוֹא מִצְרָיְמָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל שָׂרַי אִשְׁתּוֹ הִנֵּהנָא יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אִשָּׁה יְפַת מַרְאֶה 12:11
Gene. 12:11 And it was, as he came near to enter Egypt, that he said to Sarai, his wife, “Behold, please, I know that you are a woman of beautiful appearance.”
Does this statement appear strange to anyone? Sarai must have been about seventy years old by then. Soon after this, she will have been too old to have children according to subsequent text. Is it possible that hidden in this verse is the fact that God intervened and temporarily restored youth and beauty to Sarai? Use of the word appearance in the phrase “a woman of beautiful appearance” may be a subtle clue to this possibility. Was this incident intended as a test for Abram? We learn later that God tests Abram on other occasions as well. In keeping with my belief, Sarai could be representative of the land of Israel. It was beautiful and desirable to all the surrounding kingdoms.
וְהָיָה כִּי יִרְאוּ אֹתָךְ הַמִּצְרִים וְאָמְרוּ אִשְׁתּוֹ זֹאת וְהָרְגוּ אֹתִי וְאֹתָךְ יְחַיּוּ 12:12
Gene. 12:12 “And it will be when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife,’ and they will kill me, but they will keep you alive.”
אִמְרִי נָא אֲחֹתִי אָתְּ לְמַעַן יִיטַבלִי בַעֲבוּרֵךְ וְחָיְתָה נַפְשִׁי בִּגְלָלֵךְ 12:13
Gene. 12:13 “Please say you are my sister, in order that it may be well with me for your sake, and may my soul live because of you.”
וַיְהִי כְּבוֹא אַבְרָם מִצְרָיְמָה וַיִּרְאוּ הַמִּצְרִים אֶת הָאִשָּׁה כִּי יָפָה הִוא מְאֹד 12:14
Gene. 12:14 And it was when Abram came to Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, how very beautiful she was.
וַיִּרְאוּ אֹתָהּ שָׂרֵי פַרְעֹה וַיְהַלְלוּ אֹתָהּ אֶל פַּרְעֹה וַתֻּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה בֵּית פַּרְעֹה 12:15
Gene. 12:15 And the princes of Pharoah saw her and praised her to Pharoah, and the woman was taken to the house of Pharoah.
וּלְאַבְרָם הֵיטִיב בַּעֲבוּרָהּ וַיְהִילוֹ צֹאן וּבָקָר וַחֲמֹרִים וַעֲבָדִים וּשְׁפָחֹת וַאֲתֹנֹת וּגְמַלִּים 12:16
Gene. 12:16 And he dealt well with Abram for her sake, and he had sheep and cattle and he-asses and man-servants and maidservants and she-asses and camels.
וַיְנַגַּע יְהוָה אֶת פַּרְעֹה נְגָעִים גְּדֹלִים וְאֶת בֵּיתוֹ עַל דְּבַר שָׂרַי אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם 12:17
Gene. 12:17 But the Lord plagued Pharoah and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, the wife of Abram.
In keeping with my view that Sarai represents the land of Israel, each of the conquerors of the land or Israel or its cities was in turn beaten back and some were plagued for the land’s sake.
וַיִּקְרָא פַרְעֹה לְאַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר מַה זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ לִּי לָמָּה לֹא הִגַּדְתָּ לִּי כִּי אִשְׁתְּךָ הִוא 12:18
Gene. 12:18 And Pharoah called to Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?”
לָמָה אָמַרְתָּ אֲחֹתִי הִוא וָאֶקַּח אֹתָהּ לִי לְאִשָּׁה וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה אִשְׁתְּךָ קַח וָלֵךְ 12:19
Gene. 12:19 “Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so I took her to me as a wife? And now here is your wife. Take and go.”
וַיְצַו עָלָיו פַּרְעֹה אֲנָשִׁים וַיְשַׁלְּחוּ אֹתוֹ וְאֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ 12:20
Gene. 12:20 And Pharoah commanded men on his behalf, and they sent him off, with his wife and all that was his.
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