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Genesis Chapter 12: Abraham Goes to the Land of Canaan
Abraham Goes to the Land of Canaan
Genesis 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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

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 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.

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.

14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.

15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.

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.

17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.

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?

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.

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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Matthew Henry's Genesis Chapter 12 Bible commentary...

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. (10-20)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.


Recent Comments for Genesis Chapter 12...


Evangelist Chatauna Robinson's Genesis Chapter 12 comment on 10/20/2014, 3:47pm...

In addition to my five part comment, this is the Fourth Dispensation. Some scholars will probably say that this dispensation ended with them being freed from Egypt, however others say when God decided to give Moses the laws for his people.


Evangelist Chatauna Robinson's Genesis Chapter 12 comment on 10/20/2014, 3:38pm...

Part 5 of 5 He brought the children of Israel under bondage and oppression, brought the end of this dispensation with the seed of Abraham working as salve, in poverty, miserable, and wretched, in the brickyards of Egypt and other services, Exodus 1 14. By the time this new Pharaoh was done with them, the children of Israel was ready to get out of Egypt. They longed for the promise and the deliverance to a land that flowed with mild and honey. Now that God got their attention they became focused on the one true God, longing to be free. They began to put their priorities back in order.


Evangelist Chatauna Robinson's Genesis Chapter 12 comment on 10/20/2014, 3:38pm...

Part 4 of 5 Summing up this dispensation Some of the promises to Abram and his descendants were purely gracious and unconditional upon the faithfulness and obedience of the Israelites. Every one of these conditions was violated and the dispensation of promise resulted in the failure of Israel and closed in the judgment of bondage in Egypt. Judgment fell after Joseph died and a new Pharaoh arose who did not know Joseph, Exodus 1 8. He feared that the Israelites, who became numerous and was strong, would one day side with their enemies and overthrow Egypt, Exodus 1 10.


Evangelist Chatauna Robinson's Genesis Chapter 12 comment on 10/20/2014, 3:37pm...

Part 3 of 5 God salvation was for Abram to get out from amongst his kindred and go into a land that God would show him. His reminder of this salvation was the covenant he would make with him through the circumcision of all the males with Abraham. There is no Bible reference to any women being circumcised. It was only with the males. Also did you know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was circumcised as well, St. Luke 2 21? Now for all men, especially Christian men, if our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was circumcised then all men should be circumcised. He is our example.


Evangelist Chatauna Robinson's Genesis Chapter 12 comment on 10/20/2014, 3:37pm...

Part 2 of 5 During this time God established his covenant with Abram. He changed his name from Abram to Abraham. He stated that Abraham would be the father of many nations, Genesis 17 4 thru 9. God also changed the name of Abraham s wife from Sarai to Sarah, Genesis 17 15. The covenant that God established between him and Abraham was that every male child would be circumcised of the **, Genesis 17 10 thru 14.


Evangelist Chatauna Robinson's Genesis Chapter 12 comment on 10/20/2014, 3:36pm...

Part 1 0f 5 Hello Everyone First let me say this, the Bible is broken up into seven dispensations of time. God has always had one way of salvation under each dispensation. These passages of scriptures fall up under the Dispensation of Promise. It starts with the call of Abram, whose name was changed later to Abraham, to the giving of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. This dispensation was exclusively for the Israelites. It was a time of testing of God s chosen people. The salvation plan was that Abram was to get out of his country and from his kindred and father s house and go to a land that God would show him, Genesis 12 1 thru 3.


Ar's Genesis Chapter 12 comment on 8/25/2014, 8:20pm...

To Debbie chapter 6 vs 12 remark. I believe it does not refer to just one man by saying " the Canaanite was there, but it is referring to the whole tribe race of Canaanite


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