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12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
12:10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
12:11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
12:14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
12:15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
12:16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
12:17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
12:18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 12:19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
12:20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

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King James Bible:Genesis
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Genesis
Book: Genesis
Chapter: 12

God calls Abram, and blesses him with a promise of Christ.
(1-3) Abram departs from Haran. (4,5) He journeys through
Canaan, and worships God in that land. (6-9) Abram is driven By
a Famine into Egypt, He feigns his Wife to be his sister.

1-3 God made choice of Abram, and singled him out from among
his fellow-idolaters, that he might reserve a people for
himself, among whom his true Worship might be maintained till
the Coming of Christ. From henceforward Abram and his seed are
almost the only subject of the history in the Bible. Abram was
tried whether he loved God better than all, and whether he could
willingly leave all to go with God. His kindred and his Father's
House were a constant Temptation to him, he could not continue
among them without danger of being infected By them. Those who
leave their sins, and turn to God, will be unspeakable gainers
By the change. The command God gave to Abram, is much the same
with the Gospel Call, for natural Affection must give way to
Divine Grace. Sin, and all the occasions of it, must be
forsaken; particularly bad company. Here are many great and
precious promises. All God's precepts are attended with promises
to the obedient. 1. I will make of thee a great nation. When God
took Abram from his own people, he promised to make him the head
of another people. 2. I will Bless thee. Obedient believers
shall be sure to inherit the blessing. 3. I will make thy name
great. The name of obedient believers shall certainly be made
great. 4. Thou shalt be a blessing. Good men are the blessings
of their country. 5. I will Bless them that Bless thee, and
Curse him that curseth thee. God will take care that none are
losers, By any service done for his people. 6. In thee shall all
the families of the Earth be blessed. Jesus Christ is the great
blessing of the world, the greatest that ever the world
possessed. All the true blessedness the world is now, or ever
shall be possessed of, is owing to Abram and his posterity.
Through them we have a Bible, a Saviour, and a Gospel. They are
the stock On which the Christian Church is grafted.

4,5 Abram believed that the blessing of the Almighty would make
up for all he could lose or leave behind, supply all his wants,
and answer and exceed all his desires; and he knew that nothing
but misery would follow disobedience. Such believers, being
justified By Faith in Christ, have peace with God. They Hold On
their way to Canaan. They are not discouraged By the
difficulties in their way, nor drawn aside By the delights they
meet with. Those who set out for Heaven must persevere to the
End. What we undertake, in obedience to God's command, and in
humble attendance On his Providence, will certainly succeed, and
End with comfort at last. Canaan was not, as other lands, a mere
outward possession, but a Type of Heaven, and in this respect
the patriarchs So earnestly prized it.

6-9 Abram found the country peopled By Canaanites, who were bad
neighbours. He journeyed, going On still. Sometimes it is the
Lot of good men to be unsettled, and often to remove into
various states. Believers must look On themselves as strangers
and sojourners in this world, Heb 11:8,13,14. But observe how
much comfort Abram had in God. When he could have little
satisfaction in converse with the Canaanites whom he found
there, he had abundance of pleasure in Communion with that God,
who brought him thither, and did not leave him. Communion with
God is kept up By the Word and By Prayer. God reveals himself
and his favours to his people By Degrees; before, he had
promised to show Abram this land, now, to give it to him: as
Grace is growing, So is comfort. It should seem, Abram
understood it also as a grant of a better land, of which this
was a Type; for he looked for a heavenly country, Heb 11:16.
As soon as Abram was got to Canaan, though he was but a Stranger
and sojourner there, yet he set up, and kept up, the Worship of
God in his family. He not only minded the ceremonial part of
religion, the Offering of Sacrifice; but he made Conscience of
seeking his God, and Calling On his name; that spiritual
Sacrifice with which God is Well pleased. He preached concerning
the name of the Lord; he taught his family and neighbours the
knowledge of the true God, and his holy religion. The way of
family Worship is a good old way, No new thing, but the ancient
usage of the saints. Abram was rich, and had a numerous family,
was now unsettled, and in the midst of enemies; yet, wherever he
pitched his Tent, he built an Altar: wherever we go, let us not
fail to take our religion along with us.

10-20 There is No state On Earth free from trials, nor any
character free from blemishes. There was Famine in Canaan, the
Glory of all lands, and unbelief, with the evils it ever brings,
in Abram the Father of the Faithful. Perfect happiness and
perfect purity Dwell only in Heaven. Abram, when he must for a
time quit Canaan, goes to Egypt, that he might not seem to look
back, and meaning to tarry there No longer than needful. There
Abram dissembled his relation to Sarai, equivocated, and taught
his Wife and his attendants to do So too. He concealed a Truth,
So as in effect to deny it, and exposed thereby both his Wife
and the Egyptians to Sin. The Grace Abram was most noted for,
was Faith; yet he thus fell through unbelief and distrust of the
Divine Providence, even after God had appeared to him twice.
Alas, what will become of weak Faith, when strong Faith is thus
shaken! If God did not deliver us, many a time, out of straits
and distresses which we bring ourselves into, By our own Sin and
folly, we should be ruined. He deals not with us according to
our deserts. Those are happy chastisements that hinder us in a
sinful way, and bring us to our duty, particularly to the duty
of restoring what we have wrongfully taken or kept. Pharaoh's
reproof of Abram was very just: What is this that thou hast
done? How unbecoming a Wise and good Man! If those who profess
religion, do that which is unfair and deceptive, especially if
they say that which borders upon a Lie, they must expect to hear
of it; and they have reason to thank those who will tell them of
it. The sending away was kind. Pharaoh was So far from any
design to kill Abram, as he feared, that he took particular care
of him. We often perplex ourselves with fears which are
altogether groundless. Many a time we fear where No fear is.
Pharaoh charged his men not to hurt Abram in any thing. It is
not enough for those in authority, that they do not hurt
themselves; they must keep their servants and those about them
from doing hurt.

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