God Calls Abram
1 The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country and your people. Leave your father’s family and go to the country that I will show you.
2 I will build a great nation from you.
I will bless you
and make your name famous.
People will use your name
to bless other people.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and I will curse those who curse you.
I will use you to bless
all the people on earth.”
Abram Goes to Canaan
4 So Abram left Haran just like the LORD said, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the slaves, and all the other things he had gotten in Haran. Then he and his group moved to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the town of Shechem and then to the big tree at Moreh. The Canaanites were living in the land at that time.
7 The LORD appeared* The LORD appeared God often used special shapes so that people could see him. Sometimes he was like a man, an angel, a fire, or a bright light. to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.”
Abram built an altar to honor the LORD who appeared to him there. 8 Then he left that place and traveled to the mountains east of Bethel. He set up his tent there. Bethel was to the west, and Ai† Ai The name of this town means “the ruins.” was to the east. Abram built another altar at that place to honor the LORD, and he worshiped the LORD there. 9 Then he moved on toward the Negev, stopping for a time at several places on the way.
Abram in Egypt
10 During this time there was not enough food in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to live. 11 Just before they arrived in Egypt, Abram told Sarai, “Look, I know that you are a very beautiful woman. 12 When the Egyptian men see you, they will say, ‘This woman is his wife.’ Then they will kill me and keep you alive because they want you. 13 So tell them that you are my sister. Then they will be good to me because of you. In this way you will save my life.”
14 So when Abram went into Egypt, the Egyptian men saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 Even some of Pharaoh’s officials noticed her and told Pharaoh how beautiful she was. So they took her to Pharaoh’s house. 16 Pharaoh was kind to Abram because he thought Abram was Sarai’s brother. He gave Abram sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and men and women servants.
17 Pharaoh took Abram’s wife, so the LORD caused Pharaoh and all the people in his house to have very bad diseases. 18 Pharaoh called Abram and said to him, “You have done a very bad thing to me! Why didn’t you tell me Sarai was your wife? 19 You said, ‘She is my sister.’ Why did you say that? I took her so that she could be my wife, but now I give your wife back to you. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh commanded his men to lead Abram out of Egypt. So Abram and his wife left that place and took everything they had with them.
*12:7 The LORD appeared God often used special shapes so that people could see him. Sometimes he was like a man, an angel, a fire, or a bright light.
†12:8 Ai The name of this town means “the ruins.”