Translation and Transliteration of
Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1Hashem said to Avram, “Go forth from your native land and from your father's house to the land that I will show you.
va-YO-mer a-do-NAI el av-RAM lekh l'-KHA may-ar-tz'-KHA u-mi-mo-lad-t'-KHA u-mi-BAYT a-VEE-kha el ha-A-retz a-SHER ar-E-ka
אוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃
12:1 Go forth from your native land
With the words lech l’cha (לך לך), literally ‘go for yourself,’ Avraham is commanded to leave everything behind and head to the Holy Land. It would have been enough for God to command him lech (לך), ‘go’; what is added by the word l’cha (לך), ‘for yourself’? According to Rashi, the word l’cha implies that the travel was for Avraham’s benefit. Though he is leaving his homeland, family, and father’s house, God promises Avraham that the journey will be beneficial to him. As a result of his relocation, he will merit the children he has always wanted and will become influential throughout the world, so that he will be able to accomplish his mission to positively influence the world. A journey to Eretz Yisrael is not always simple, but the impact it can have is immeasurable.
2I will make of you a great nation, And I will bless you; I will make your name great, And you shall be a blessing.
v'-e-e-SHE-kha l'-GOY ga-DOL va-a-va-REKH-kha va-a-ga-d'-LAH sh'-ME-kha ve-h'-YEH b'-ra-KHA
בוְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה׃
3I will bless those who bless you And curse him that curses you; And all the families of the earth Shall bless themselves by you.”
va-a-va-r'-KHA m'-VA-r'-KHE-kha um-ka-lel-KHA a-OR v'-niv-r'-KHU v'-KHA KOL mish-p'-KHOT ha-a-da-MAH
גוַאֲבָֽרְכָה֙ מְבָ֣רְכֶ֔יךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ֖ אָאֹ֑ר וְנִבְרְכ֣וּ בְךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָֽה׃
12:3 I will bless those who bless you and curse him that curses you
Avraham is commanded to travel to a land unknown to him. To assuage his fears that he would not find friends or supporters in his new home, Hashem promises that He will remain on Avraham’s side by blessing those who bless him and cursing those who curse him. He concludes with the promise that Avraham and his descendants will become a source of blessing to the entire world. This promise has remained in effect through the generations. History has shown that whenever a nation persecutes the Jewish people, curses ultimately befall it. However, wherever the Children of Israel have been welcomed, they have made immeasurable contributions to society, thus earning divine favor for their host nation. On an individual level as well, many non-Jews look to this verse as an important reason to stand with the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.
4Avram went forth as Hashem had commanded him, and Lot went with him. Avram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
vai-YAY-lekh av-RAM ka-a-SHER di-BER e-LAV a-do-NAI vai-YAY-lekh i-TO lot, v'-av-RAM ben-kha-MAYSH sha-NEEM v'-shiv-EEM sha-NAH b'-tze-E-to may-kha-RAHN
דוַיֵּ֣לֶךְ אַבְרָ֗ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֤ר אֵלָיו֙ יְהֹוָ֔ה וַיֵּ֥לֶךְ אִתּ֖וֹ ל֑וֹט וְאַבְרָ֗ם בֶּן־חָמֵ֤שׁ שָׁנִים֙ וְשִׁבְעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה בְּצֵאת֖וֹ מֵחָרָֽן׃
5Avram took his wife Sarai and his brother's son Lot, and all the wealth that they had amassed, and the persons that they had acquired in Haran; and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in the land of Canaan,
vai-YI-kakh av-RAM et-sa-RAI ish-TO v'-et-LOT ben a-KHEEV v'-et-KOL re-KHU-sham a-SHER ra-KHA-shu v'-et ha-NE-fesh a-SHER a-SU v'-kha-RAN vai-YETZ-u la-LE-khet a-RETZ k'-NA-an vai-ya-VO-u a-RETZ k'-NA-an
הוַיִּקַּ֣ח אַבְרָם֩ אֶת־שָׂרַ֨י אִשְׁתּ֜וֹ וְאֶת־ל֣וֹט בֶּן־אָחִ֗יו וְאֶת־כׇּל־רְכוּשָׁם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר רָכָ֔שׁוּ וְאֶת־הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־עָשׂ֣וּ בְחָרָ֑ן וַיֵּצְא֗וּ לָלֶ֙כֶת֙ אַ֣רְצָה כְּנַ֔עַן וַיָּבֹ֖אוּ אַ֥רְצָה כְּנָֽעַן׃
6Avram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, at the terebinth of Moreh. The Canaanites were then in the land.
vai-ya-a-VOR av-RAM ba-A-retz ad m'-KOM she-KHEM ad e-LON mo-REH v'-ha-k'-na-a-NEE az ba-A-retz
ווַיַּעֲבֹ֤ר אַבְרָם֙ בָּאָ֔רֶץ עַ֚ד מְק֣וֹם שְׁכֶ֔ם עַ֖ד אֵל֣וֹן מוֹרֶ֑ה וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י אָ֥ז בָּאָֽרֶץ׃
7Hashem appeared to Avram and said, “I will assign this land to your offspring.” And he built a mizbayach there to Hashem who had appeared to him.
va-yay-RA a-do-NAI el av-RAM va-YO-mer l'-ZAR-a-KHA e-TAYN et ha-A-retz ha-ZOT va-YI-ven SHAM miz-BAY-akh la-do-NAI ha-nir-EH ay-LAV
זוַיֵּרָ֤א יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לְזַ֨רְעֲךָ֔ אֶתֵּ֖ן אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֑את וַיִּ֤בֶן שָׁם֙ מִזְבֵּ֔חַ לַיהֹוָ֖ה הַנִּרְאֶ֥ה אֵלָֽיו׃
12:7 Hashem appeared to Avram
This is the first time that the Bible describes God revealing Himself to Avraham. Even at the beginning of this chapter when Hashem commanded Avraham to leave his land, it does not say that Hashem appeared to him. The Kli Yakar, a biblical commentator who lived in Prague in the early seventeenth century, explains this by reference to the principle that Hashem does not reveal Himself prophetically outside the Land of Israel. The command given in Haran at the start of this chapter was heard, but not seen. Only once he arrived in Israel did God actually appear to Avraham, which then prompted Avraham to build an altar to mark the occasion. God’s presence is felt most intensely in Eretz Yisrael.
8From there he moved on to the hill country east of Beit El and pitched his tent, with Beit El on the west and Ai on the east; and he built there a mizbayach to Hashem and invoked Hashem by name.
vai-YA-a-TEK mi-SHAM ha-HA-ra mi-KE-dem l'-VEIT-EL va-YAYT a-ho-LOH b'-VEIT-EL mi-YAM v'-ha-AI mi-KE-dem va-YI-ven-SHAM miz-BAY-aKH la-do-NAI va-YIK-ra b'-SHEM a-do-NAI
חוַיַּעְתֵּ֨ק מִשָּׁ֜ם הָהָ֗רָה מִקֶּ֛דֶם לְבֵֽית־אֵ֖ל וַיֵּ֣ט אׇהֳלֹ֑ה בֵּֽית־אֵ֤ל מִיָּם֙ וְהָעַ֣י מִקֶּ֔דֶם וַיִּֽבֶן־שָׁ֤ם מִזְבֵּ֙חַ֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה וַיִּקְרָ֖א בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהֹוָֽה׃
9Then Avram journeyed by stages toward the Negev.
vai-YI-sa A-v'RAM ha-LOKH v'-na-SO-a ha-NEG-VAH.
טוַיִּסַּ֣ע אַבְרָ֔ם הָל֥וֹךְ וְנָס֖וֹעַ הַנֶּֽגְבָּה׃
10There was a famine in the land, and Avram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.
vai-YA-hee ra-AV ba-A-retz, va-YAY-red av-RAHM mitz-RA-yi-MAH la-GUR sham, KEE-ka-VED ha-ra-AV ba-A-retz.
יוַיְהִ֥י רָעָ֖ב בָּאָ֑רֶץ וַיֵּ֨רֶד אַבְרָ֤ם מִצְרַ֙יְמָה֙ לָג֣וּר שָׁ֔ם כִּֽי־כָבֵ֥ד הָרָעָ֖ב בָּאָֽרֶץ׃
11As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are.
vai-HI ka-a-SHER hik-REEV la-BO-o mitz-ra-YE-ma, va-YO-mer el sa-RA-i ish-TO, hi-NEH-NA ya-da-TI KI ish-AH ye-FAT ma-REH a-TE.
יאוַיְהִ֕י כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר הִקְרִ֖יב לָב֣וֹא מִצְרָ֑יְמָה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֶל־שָׂרַ֣י אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ הִנֵּה־נָ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי כִּ֛י אִשָּׁ֥ה יְפַת־מַרְאֶ֖ה אָֽתְּ׃
12If the Egyptians see you, and think, ‘She is his wife,' they will kill me and let you live.
v'-ha-YA ki-yir-U o-TAKH ha-mitz-RA-yim v'-a-M'-RU ish-TO zot v'-ha-RE-gu o-TI v'-o-TAKH ye-kha-YU
יבוְהָיָ֗ה כִּֽי־יִרְא֤וּ אֹתָךְ֙ הַמִּצְרִ֔ים וְאָמְר֖וּ אִשְׁתּ֣וֹ זֹ֑את וְהָרְג֥וּ אֹתִ֖י וְאֹתָ֥ךְ יְחַיּֽוּ׃
13Please say that you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may remain alive thanks to you.”
im-ri-NA a-KHO-ti a-TET l'-ma-an yi-TAV-li va-a-vu-REKH v'-kha-y'-TAH naf-SHI bi-g'-la-LEKH
יגאִמְרִי־נָ֖א אֲחֹ֣תִי אָ֑תְּ לְמַ֙עַן֙ יִֽיטַב־לִ֣י בַעֲבוּרֵ֔ךְ וְחָיְתָ֥ה נַפְשִׁ֖י בִּגְלָלֵֽךְ׃
14When Avram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw how very beautiful the woman was.
vai-HI k'-VO av-RAHM mitz-RA-y'-MAH, va-yir-U ha-mitz-REEM et ha-i-SHAH, ki-ya-FAH hee me-OD.
ידוַיְהִ֕י כְּב֥וֹא אַבְרָ֖ם מִצְרָ֑יְמָה וַיִּרְא֤וּ הַמִּצְרִים֙ אֶת־הָ֣אִשָּׁ֔ה כִּֽי־יָפָ֥ה הִ֖וא מְאֹֽד׃
15Pharaoh's courtiers saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's palace.
vai-YI-ru o-TAH sa-RAY par-O va-ye-HAL-lu o-TAH el par-O va-TU-kakh ha-i-SHA bayt par-O
טווַיִּרְא֤וּ אֹתָהּ֙ שָׂרֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֔ה וַיְהַֽלְל֥וּ אֹתָ֖הּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה וַתֻּקַּ֥ח הָאִשָּׁ֖ה בֵּ֥ית פַּרְעֹֽה׃
16And because of her, it went well with Avram; he acquired sheep, oxen, asses, male and female slaves, she-asses, and camels.
u-l'-av-RAM hay-TEEV ba-a-vu-RAH va-y'-HEE lo tzo-ON u-va-KAR va-kha-MO-reem va-a-va-DEEM u-sh'-fa-KHOT va-a-to-NOT u-g'-ma-LEEM
טזוּלְאַבְרָ֥ם הֵיטִ֖יב בַּעֲבוּרָ֑הּ וַֽיְהִי־ל֤וֹ צֹאן־וּבָקָר֙ וַחֲמֹרִ֔ים וַעֲבָדִים֙ וּשְׁפָחֹ֔ת וַאֲתֹנֹ֖ת וּגְמַלִּֽים׃
17But Hashem afflicted Pharaoh and his household with mighty plagues on account of Sarai, the wife of Avram.
vai-NAG-a a-do-NAI et par-OH ne-ga-EEM g'-do-LEEM v'-et bai-TO al d'-VAR sa-RAI e-SHET av-RAHM
יזוַיְנַגַּ֨ע יְהֹוָ֧ה ׀ אֶת־פַּרְעֹ֛ה נְגָעִ֥ים גְּדֹלִ֖ים וְאֶת־בֵּית֑וֹ עַל־דְּבַ֥ר שָׂרַ֖י אֵ֥שֶׁת אַבְרָֽם׃
18Pharaoh sent for Avram and said, “What is this you have done to me! Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
vai-YIK-ra pa-ROH l'-av-RAHM va-YO-mer mah ZOT a-SEE-ta LEE, la-MAH lo hi-GAD-ta LEE, KEE ish-TE-kha hee
יחוַיִּקְרָ֤א פַרְעֹה֙ לְאַבְרָ֔ם וַיֹּ֕אמֶר מַה־זֹּ֖את עָשִׂ֣יתָ לִּ֑י לָ֚מָּה לֹא־הִגַּ֣דְתָּ לִּ֔י כִּ֥י אִשְׁתְּךָ֖ הִֽוא׃
19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,' so that I took her as my wife? Now, here is your wife; take her and begone!”
la-MA a-MAR-ta a-KHO-ti HI va-e-KAKH o-TAH li li-SHAH v'-a-TAH hi-NEH ish-TE-kha KAKH va-LEKH
יטלָמָ֤ה אָמַ֙רְתָּ֙ אֲחֹ֣תִי הִ֔וא וָאֶקַּ֥ח אֹתָ֛הּ לִ֖י לְאִשָּׁ֑ה וְעַתָּ֕ה הִנֵּ֥ה אִשְׁתְּךָ֖ קַ֥ח וָלֵֽךְ׃
20And Pharaoh put men in charge of him, and they sent him off with his wife and all that he possessed.
vai-TZA a-LAV par-OH a-na-SHEEM, va-y'-sha-l'-KHU o-TO v'-et ish-TO v'-et kol a-SHER lo
כוַיְצַ֥ו עָלָ֛יו פַּרְעֹ֖ה אֲנָשִׁ֑ים וַֽיְשַׁלְּח֥וּ אֹת֛וֹ וְאֶת־אִשְׁתּ֖וֹ וְאֶת־כׇּל־אֲשֶׁר־לֽוֹ׃