Genesis 12
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1  Hashem 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

א  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־אַבְרָם לֶךְ־לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ׃

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.7 comments

2  I will make of you a great nation, And I will bless you; I will make your name great, And you shall be a blessing.

ב  וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ וֶהְיֵה בְּרָכָה׃

3  I 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

ג  וַאֲבָרֲכָה מְבָרְכֶיךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה׃

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.7 comments

4  Avram went forth as Hashem had commanded him, and Lot went with him. Avram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

ד  וַיֵּלֶךְ אַבְרָם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו יְהוָה וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתּוֹ לוֹט וְאַבְרָם בֶּן־חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה בְּצֵאתוֹ מֵחָרָן׃

5  Avram 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,

ה  וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָם אֶת־שָׂרַי אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת־לוֹט בֶּן־אָחִיו וְאֶת־כָּל־רְכוּשָׁם אֲשֶׁר רָכָשׁוּ וְאֶת־הַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־עָשׂוּ בְחָרָן וַיֵּצְאוּ לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן וַיָּבֹאוּ אַרְצָה כְּנָעַן׃

6  Avram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, at the terebinth of Moreh. The Canaanites were then in the land.

ו  וַיַּעֲבֹר אַבְרָם בָּאָרֶץ עַד מְקוֹם שְׁכֶם עַד אֵלוֹן מוֹרֶה וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי אָז בָּאָרֶץ׃

7  Hashem 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

ז  וַיֵּרָא יְהוָה אֶל־אַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר לְזַרְעֲךָ אֶתֵּן אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וַיִּבֶן שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה הַנִּרְאֶה אֵלָיו׃

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.

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8  From 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.

ח  וַיַּעְתֵּק מִשָּׁם הָהָרָה מִקֶּדֶם לְבֵית־אֵל וַיֵּט אָהֳלֹה בֵּית־אֵל מִיָּם וְהָעַי מִקֶּדֶם וַיִּבֶן־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה וַיִּקְרָא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה׃

9  Then Avram journeyed by stages toward the Negev.

ט  וַיִּסַּע אַבְרָם הָלוֹךְ וְנָסוֹעַ הַנֶּגְבָּה׃

10  There was a famine in the land, and Avram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.

י  וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּרֶד אַבְרָם מִצְרַיְמָה לָגוּר שָׁם כִּי־כָבֵד הָרָעָב בָּאָרֶץ׃

11  As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are.

יא  וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר הִקְרִיב לָבוֹא מִצְרָיְמָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־שָׂרַי אִשְׁתּוֹ הִנֵּה־נָא יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אִשָּׁה יְפַת־מַרְאֶה אָתְּ׃

12  If the Egyptians see you, and think, ‘She is his wife,’ they will kill me and let you live.

יב  וְהָיָה כִּי־יִרְאוּ אֹתָךְ הַמִּצְרִים וְאָמְרוּ אִשְׁתּוֹ זֹאת וְהָרְגוּ אֹתִי וְאֹתָךְ יְחַיּוּ׃

13  Please 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.”

יג  אִמְרִי־נָא אֲחֹתִי אָתְּ לְמַעַן יִיטַב־לִי בַעֲבוּרֵךְ וְחָיְתָה נַפְשִׁי בִּגְלָלֵךְ׃

14  When Avram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw how very beautiful the woman was.

יד  וַיְהִי כְּבוֹא אַבְרָם מִצְרָיְמָה וַיִּרְאוּ הַמִּצְרִים אֶת־הָאִשָּׁה כִּי־יָפָה הִוא מְאֹד׃

15  Pharaoh’s courtiers saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s palace.

טו  וַיִּרְאוּ אֹתָהּ שָׂרֵי פַרְעֹה וַיְהַלְלוּ אֹתָהּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וַתֻּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה בֵּית פַּרְעֹה׃

16  And because of her, it went well with Avram; he acquired sheep, oxen, asses, male and female slaves, she-asses, and camels.

טז  וּלְאַבְרָם הֵיטִיב בַּעֲבוּרָהּ וַיְהִי־לוֹ צֹאן־וּבָקָר וַחֲמֹרִים וַעֲבָדִים וּשְׁפָחֹת וַאֲתֹנֹת וּגְמַלִּים׃

17  But Hashem afflicted Pharaoh and his household with mighty plagues on account of Sarai, the wife of Avram.

יז  וַיְנַגַּע יְהוָה אֶת־פַּרְעֹה נְגָעִים גְּדֹלִים וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ עַל־דְּבַר שָׂרַי אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם׃

18  Pharaoh sent for Avram and said, “What is this you have done to me! Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?

יח  וַיִּקְרָא פַרְעֹה לְאַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר מַה־זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ לִּי לָמָּה לֹא־הִגַּדְתָּ לִּי כִּי אִשְׁתְּךָ הִוא׃

19  Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now, here is your wife; take her and begone!”

יט  לָמָה אָמַרְתָּ אֲחֹתִי הִוא וָאֶקַּח אֹתָהּ לִי לְאִשָּׁה וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה אִשְׁתְּךָ קַח וָלֵךְ׃

20  And Pharaoh put men in charge of him, and they sent him off with his wife and all that he possessed.

 

כ  וַיְצַו עָלָיו פַּרְעֹה אֲנָשִׁים וַיְשַׁלְּחוּ אֹתוֹ וְאֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ׃

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Comments ( 9 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • To me this shows G-d’s faithfulness in spite of Abraham not speaking the whole truth. It shows HE will fulfill HIS will even when we as HIS creation chose to protect ourselves over HIS aye for our lives.

  • Abram was afraid of the people of the New Land he had got into and wanted his Wife to say she is his sister. Still God was faithful to Abram and like Father, protected his wife from the Egyptian King who was powerful and mighty in the land.

  • An example of each one of us answering the call to go to Eretz Israel. God calls us and we should go with faith. We are spiritually blessed to do this.
    Abraham was chosen as the Father of the covenant nation perhaps because he had the faith to go for himself. He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.

  • Genesis 12:3 for me is God’s promise that still holds true today. Either be a Blessing to Israel and receive Blessings or be cursed. Look at the nations that have turned away from God and continue to go against Israel and God’s chosen people.

  • Gen 12:17 “And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Avram’s wife.”
    The fact that Pharaoh and his house were plagued with great plagues – was this a warning of what was to happen to him and his country in the future if they were to try to appropriate the Lord’s “bride” Israel?
    Pharaoh also relented upon being subject to plagues – a precursor to the events 430 years later. It appears to me that if we diligently pay attention to God’s Words we get ample guidance in advance to keep in His ways. Deserving of praise is the Lord our God for giving us His instructions

  • I'm so grateful HaShem is merciful and kind. Time and again, He shows His willingness and ability to work with and bless His servants, even when they make stupid mistakes. Certainly, Avram was welcomed by the Egyptians and blessed by Elohim. However, it should be noted that without HaShem's intervention, things very well could have "gone south" in a heart beat.

  • "As the Israel Bible relates, Abram’s patience (it took 400 years for the promises God makes in this portion to be fulfilled!) set an example for his children. After 2,000 years of exile, they have returned to the State of Israel."
    *
    Absolutely! They have returned or have the ability to return. However, keep in mind it's ONLY Judah and Benjamin that have returned. There are 10 other brothers are still out here, scattered among the nations. We'd like to come home too. However, we CANNOT deny Yeshua to do it. We have to remain patient in exile until He brings us home.

  • As much as I love the Jews as chosen people of God there will come a time Israel will be destroyed.

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