The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis

Chapter 12

God calls Abram and blesses him with a promise of Christ, 1-3. He departs with Lot from Haran and comes to Canaan, 4, 5. He journeys through Canaan, 6, which is promised to him in a vision, 7-9. He is driven by a famine into Egypt, 10. Fear makes him feign his wife to be his sister, 11-13. Pharaoh, having taken her from him, by plagues is compelled to restore her, 14-17. He reproves Abram, whom he dismisses, 18-20.

1 Now the LORD had said to Abram, "Depart from your country, from your kindred, and from your father's house to a land that I will show you.

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

3 And I will bless those who bless you and curse him who curses you. And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed."

4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, Lot his brother's son, all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls whom they had gotten in Haran, and they went to go forth into the land of Canaan. And into the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land to the place of Sichem to the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." And there he erected an altar to the LORD who appeared to him. 8 And he departed from there to a mountain on the east of Beth-el and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west and Hai on the east. And there he erected an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. 9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

10 And there was a famine in the land. And Abram went down into Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was grievous in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he had come near to enter into Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "Behold now, I know that you are a fair woman to look upon; 12 Therefore, it will come to pass, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife,' and they will kill me, but they will save you alive. 13 Say, I pray you, you are my sister so that it may be well with me for your sake, and my soul shall live because of you." 14 And it came to pass, that when Abram had come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her before Pharaoh, and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And he treated Abram well for her sake, and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, men-servants, women-servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 And the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues, because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, "What is this that you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she is your wife? 19 Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her to be my wife? Now therefore, behold your wife, take her and go your way." 20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him. And they sent him away, along with his wife and all that he had.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Genesis, Chapter 12[➚]


[v.1] - Quoted in Acts 7:3.

[v.3] - Quoted in Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8. Reference, Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4.

[v.7] - Quoted in Acts 7:5. Reference, Genesis 15:18, 17:8.

[v.9] - LXX: "And Abram departed and went and encamped in the wilderness."

[v.19] - "so that I took her to be my wife" - Pharaoh took Sarai intending to make her his wife.