Genesis  ◦   Chapter 12

1The Lord had told Abram, “Leave your homeland, your relatives and your father’s house, and go to the land I will show you. 2My plan is for your descendants to become a great nation that lives out my methods, for they will be the avenue for the Messiah. I will change your character and make it a great example of my healing plan – that healing comes through trust – and you will be a blessing.'3I will bless those who bless and support you, but those who oppose you I will oppose; and the entire human race – all earthlings – will be blessed through you.”

4So Abram did as the Lord instructed and left his homeland; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated, along with all the servants they acquired in Haran, and they moved to the land of Canaan.

6Abram traveled through the land until he came to the great trees of Moreh at Shechem. At that time, the Canaanites still lived in the land. 7The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “This land I will give to your descendants.” Thankful, Abram built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.

8Then Abram moved on to the hills east of Bethel and encamped with his household, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built and altar to the Lord and publicly worshipped the Lord. 9Then Abram traveled on toward the Negev.

10But there was a severe famine in Canaan, so Abram fled to Egypt and lived there for a while. 11As he was approaching the border of Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, “Listen carefully: I know you are an incredibly beautiful woman. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will want you and say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but let you live. 13So emphasize the fact that you are my half-sister and simply tell them you are my sister; don’t mention that you are my wife. That way they will treat me well and won’t kill me because of you.”

14When Abram arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians saw how incredibly beautiful Sarai was, 15and Pharaoh’s officials praised her to Pharaoh; so she was taken into his palace. 16Pharaoh then gave Abram many gifts because of her: sheep, cattle, male and female donkeys, camels, and male and female servants.

17Mercifully, the Lord sent warning to Pharaoh by allowing sickness to strike Pharaoh and his household, because he had taken Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18When Pharaoh discovered the cause of the sickness, he summoned Abram and said, “What in the world have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’ and allow me to take her to become my wife? So, here is your wife. Take her and leave Egypt!” 20Then Pharaoh ordered his men to escort Abram, Sarai, and all they owned, out of the country.