Genesis 12

 

Genesis 12:1–20

God Directs Abram to the Land of Promise


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


This is a collection of the weekly lessons of Genesis (HTML) (PDF) interspersed with the complete word-by-word exegesis of this chapter from the Hebrew with some information from Genesis (HTML) (PDF) thrown in. Furthermore, the examination of this chapter has been expanded with additional commentary as well. However, much of this material was thrown together without careful editing. Therefore, from time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated, because there was no overall editing done once all of this material was combined. At some point in the future, I need to go back and edit this material and consider other source material as well. Links to the word-by-word, verse-by-verse studies of Genesis (HTML) (PDF).

 

One more thing: it is not necessary that you read the grey Hebrew exegesis tables. They are set apart from the rest of the study so that you can easily skip over them. However, if you ever doubt a translation of a phrase or a verse, these translation tables will tell you exactly where that translation came from.


This should be the most extensive examination of Gen. 12 available, where you will be able to examine in depth every word of the original text.


Quotations:

 

Kukis: [Genesis 12:7] is the first time that God makes a promise to Abraham about his seed, but fathering a son will be fundamental to all of the promises which God makes to Abraham. Without the son, all of God’s promises to Abraham are meaningless. And for us, without the Son, all that is found in the Bible is meaningless.


Outline of Chapter 12:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–3           God Gives Marching Orders to Abram

         vv.     4–9           Abram Enters into the Land of Promise

         vv.    10–13         A Famine Cause Abram to Move to Egypt

         vv.    14–16         Abram Deceives Pharaoh about his Wife Sarai

         vv.    17–20         God Afflicts Pharaoh’s Household; Pharaoh Ejects Abram from Egypt

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         The Prequel of Genesis 12

         Introduction         The Principals of Genesis 12

         Introduction         The Abrahamic Timeline

         Introduction         A Synopsis of Genesis 12

 

         v.       1              A Map of Abram’s Journeys

         v.       1              When Did Terah and His Family Move to Haran? When Did Abram Move to Canaan?

         v.       2              How God Would Bless Abram

         v.       3              The Abrahamic Covenant—Gen. 12:2–3

         v.       3              “I will Bless Those who Bless you; and I will Curse Those who Curse you.”

         v.       3                        Examples from Ancient History

         v.       3                        Examples from Modern History

         v.       4              Should Abram have taken Lot with Him?

         v.       6              Map of the Route that Abram took

         v.       7              The Doctrine of Theophanies

         v.       7              Links to the Doctrine of Theophanies

         v.       7              Categories of Passages with a Double Meaning

         v.       8              A Map of Central Canaan

         v.      10              The Doctrine of the Will of God

         v.      10              Abram and the Geographic Will of God

         v.      13              Abram’s Half-Lie about Sarai

         v.      13              The Doctrine of Faith-Rest

         v.      13              The Goals of Communism in America

         v.      16              The Abbreviated Doctrine of the Laws of Divine Establishment

         v.      16                        The 5 divine institutions

         v.      16                        Attacks against the 5 divine institutions

         v.      16                        The Ten Commandments

         v.      16                        The Purpose of the Laws of Divine Establishment

         v.      16                        Countries Which Reject the Laws of Divine Establishment

         v.      16                        The Separation of Church and State

         v.      16                        An Example of Illegitimate Authority

         v.      16                        Establishment and Morality

         v.      16                        The Component Parts of the Laws of Divine Establishment in a Nation

         v.      16                        Unregenerate Man and the Laws of Divine Establishment

         v.      17              Parallels to the Exodus

 

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes Genesis 12

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Genesis 12


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Genesis


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

Faith-Rest

Abrahamic Timeline

Slavery

Laws of Divine Establishment

Will of God

The Trinity in the Old Testament

Wealthy Men in the Bible


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Genesis 11

Genesis 17

 

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 



Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. Also, I have developed a few new terms and concepts which require definition as well.

In addition, there are other more traditional yet technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Sometimes the terms in the exegesis of this chapter are simply alluded to, without any in-depth explanation of them. Sometimes, these terms are explained in detail and illustrated. A collection of all these terms is found here: (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Definition of Terms

Abrahamic Covenant

A contract made between God and Abram.

Blessing by Association

Friends and relatives and associates of a spiritually mature believer receive some overflow of blessing from that believer.

Dispensations

A reference to the different game plans which God has for various periods of time in history.

The Jewish Age

The period of time which includes the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob); the nation Israel; and the Tribulation (which takes place at the end of the Church Age).

Positional Truth

Things which are true of us positionally at the point of salvation. Such as, we are in Christ; because of this, we share His eternal life, His destiny, His righteousness. We may not act very righteous, but his righteousness is imputed to us as a part of positional truth.

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers). See the Doctrine of Rebound (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Suzerain-vassal treaty

The is a treaty or contract made between the sovereign ruler of a nation and the people in another location. Often, this contract would demand taxes or some form of remuneration, which brought them both protection from the sovereign and from other foreign powers. It would be the sovereign who proposed the details of the contract.

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


——————————


An Introduction to Genesis 12


I ntroduction: Gen. 11 end with a chronology which mentions Abram. In Gen. 12:1, we will pick up with God speaking to Abram and giving him marching orders. Although this will appear to be a seamless transition, it will become apparent, with a little study, that when God first gave this order, Abram only obeyed it halfway.


Abram, known today to us as Abraham, is the father of the Jews. He is the first Jew (along with his wife Sarai). The children that they will produce together will be Jews and children of Abraham with other women will be Arabs. The promises of this chapter are directed specifically to Abraham and his descendants through Sarai.


Genesis 12 is the first time it is noted that God spoke to anyone since Noah emerged from the ark, roughly 400 years previous. This does not mean that God has not spoken to others; but, if He has, we are not told about it.


Abram has just about traveled as far as he could go and still be near fresh water. The next travel leg is going to take Abram away from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers toward the coast of the Mediterranean Sea into the land of the Canaanites.


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of Genesis 12

Gen. 11:10–26 gives us the line of Abram (Abraham), however, at the end of that chapter, everything is spoken of in terms of Abram’s father, Terah:

Gen. 11:27–32 These are the family records of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran, and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans, during his father Terah's lifetime. Abram and Nahor took wives: Abram's wife was named Sarai, and Nahor's wife was named Milcah. She was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. Sarai was barren; she had no child. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran's son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran. (HCSB).

So, for unspecified reasons at the end of this chapter, it appears that this family is going to the land of Canaan, but they stop in Haran (Charan) and they stay there.

See Genesis 11 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD) for more detail.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of Genesis 12

Characters

Commentary

Abram

Abram was named in the previous chapter as the son of Terah. In this chapter, God will speak directly to Abram, giving him both marching orders and a promise.

Sarai

Sarai is Abram’s wife, who goes with him. When they come into Egypt, Abram asks her to represent herself as his sister and not as his wife, in order to protect Abram.

Lot

Lot is Abram’s nephew, who is mentioned in this chapter, but who simply goes along with Abram into Canaan.

Pharaoh

Pharaoh is a general term for the king, if you will, of Egypt. He apparently had many wives and attempted to add Sarai to his harem.

Also, there are the servants of Abram and the servants of Pharaoh, each of whom are mentioned in this chapter.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Here is the basic plot line of Gen. 12, with a few details from Gen. 11 thrown in.

A Synopsis of Genesis 12

God comes to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees and tells him to leave that place and to leave his family, and go to the land of Canaan. As a result, God would greatly bless Abram. Gen. 12:1–3

Abram half-obeys, and moves about ¾ths of the way to Canaan, stopping in Charan (Haran), moving there with several members of his family, including his father. Gen. 11:31

After his father dies, Abram moves to Canaan and travels through, stopping at Shechem and later Bethel and Ai, moving in a southern direction. Gen. 11:32 12:4–9

There is a famine in the land, and Abram, therefore, moves his family temporarily to Egypt. He asks his wife to pretend to be his sister, so that the Egyptians do not kill Abram in order to take her. However, with that as their cover story, the Pharaoh summons Sarai to his palace, having been told already of her great beauty. He reward Abram with a great dowry. Gen. 12:10–16

However, Pharaoh and his household are plagued by God over taking Sarai, so he calls in Abram. Finding out the truth, Pharaoh deports Abram and his family, apparently allowing him to keep the great dowry. Gen. 12:17–20


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


The Abrahamic Timeline


Legend

Birth or death

God speaks with Abraham

Historical incidents (most of which are related to Abraham)

Parenthetical dates (2065 b.c.) simply refer to taking the date assigned by the chronologist and using Scripture to determine the next date.


Brent MacDonald

Age of Abraham

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Event/Description

2164 b.c.

0

1967 b.c.

Gen. 11:26–27

Abraham (Terah’s son) and Lot (Haran’s son) born in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram would be the 43rd generation from Adam. Gen 11:26 Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

 

 

1961 b.c.

1963 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 11:28

Death of Haran, brother of Abram

Reese occasionally supplies 2 dates in his Chronological Bible; the first is his and the second is Klassen’s.

 

 

1957 b.c.

 

Birth of Sarai

 

 

1927 b.c.

Gen. 11:29–30

Marriage of Abram to Sarai

 

 

1907 b.c.

1927 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 11:28, 31

Abram’s family travel from Ur to Haran, although their original intention had been to go to the land of Canaan. Gen 11:28, 31 Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans, during his father Terah's lifetime. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran's son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.

 

 

1892 b.c.

Gen. 11:32

Death of Terah, Abram’s father. Gen. 11:32 Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran.

2089 b.c.

75

1892 b.c.

Gen. 12:1–4

Abraham leaves for Promised Land from Haran, after being so instructed by God. Gen 12:4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.

Reese actually gives the date of Terah’s death as April 1–4, 1892 b.c. and the date of Abram leaving Haran as April 5, 1892 b.c. The New Berkeley Bible gives this date as 2091 b.c.

 

 

1891 b.c.

1892 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 12:10–20

Abraham & Sarah in Egypt (Goshen, Memphis), return to the Land of Promise (Genesis 12:10-31:1)

This is a portion of the complete Abrahamic Timeline (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

If anything, I might give Abram a few more years in the land before he travels down to Egypt than Reese or Klassen do.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


It is not unusual in God’s plan for God to move someone from point A to point B. We find this repeatedly, and one purpose appears to be that of separation. We develop habits and we have set influences where we are raised, and, for some people, it is best to change that. This is not to imply that you personally need to sell your house and move to wherever; but this is found on several occasions in Scripture.


In the case of Abraham (actually, Abram), God was not just separating him from his idolatrous family, but God was going to show off the Land of Promise to Abram. God is going to give a huge chunk of land to Abraham’s descendants, and God wanted Abram to walk through this land to see it and to appreciate what God was promising him and his descendants. Ultimately, God was not a proponent of the two-state solution with regards to Israel.


At this point, we will begin to examine the life and person of Abram (later renamed Abraham by God), who is known as the father of the Jewish race.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


God Gives Marching Orders to Abram


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so says Yehowah unto Abram, “Go, for yourself, from your land and from your family and from a house of your father unto the land which I will make you see.

Genesis

12:1

Yehowah said to Abram, “Go, for yourself, away from your land and [away] from your family and [away] from your father’s house, [and go] to the land I will show you.

Jehovah said to Abram, “Leave your land and your family and your father’s home, and go to the land I will show you.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

The Targum of Onkelos is actually the Pentateuchal Targumim, which are The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. Take from http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/ and first published in 1862.

 

Targum of Onkelos                AND the Lord said to Abram, Go you from your land; separate thyself from your kindred; go forth from the house of your father; go into the land which I will show you. And I will make you a great people, and will bless you, and magnify your name, and you will be blessed.

Latin Vulgate                          And the Lord said to Abram: Go forth out of your country, and from your kindred, and out of your father”s house, and come into the land which I will shew you.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Yehowah unto Abram, “Go, for yourself, from your land and from your family and from a house of your father unto the land which I will make you see.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    NOW the LORD said to Abram, Depart from your country, and from the place of your nativity, and from your fathers house, to a land that I will show you;...

Septuagint (Greek)                And the Lord said to Abram, Go forth out of your land, and out from your family, and out of the house of your father, into the land which I will show you.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Abram's family moves to Canaan

The Lord said to Abram, "Leave your land, your family, and your father's household for the land that I will show you.

Easy English                          God calls Abram, 12:1-9

Abram leaves Haran

The *Lord said to Abram, `Go from your country, your *tribe and your father's house. Go to the country that I shall show you.

Easy-to-Read Version            The Lord said to Abram,

“Leave your country and your people.

Leave your father’s family

and go to the country I will show you.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The LORD said to Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's home, and go to a land that I am going to show you.

New Berkeley Version           The Lord said to Abram: as for you, Leave your land, your relatives and your father’s household for a land which I will show you,...

New Century Version             God Calls Abram

The Lord said to Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land I will show you.

The Voice                               One day, the Eternal One called out to Abram.

Eternal One: Abram, get up and go! Leave your country. Leave your relatives and your father's home, and travel to the land I will show you [Acts 7:3]. Don't worry-I will guide you there.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then Jehovah said to Abram: 'Leave this land, your family, and your father's home, and go to a land that I will to show you; because, I'm going to make a great nation of you. A portion of v. 2 was included for context.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Abram's Call and Migration.

The LORD said to Abram: Go forth [Go forth.find blessing in you: the syntax of the Hebrew suggests that the blessings promised to Abraham are contingent on his going to Canaan.] from your land, your relatives, and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. Acts 7:3; Heb 11:8.

NIRV                                      God Chooses Abram

The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country and your people. Leave your father's family. Go to the land I will show you.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Now the Lord said to Abram, Go out from your country and from your family and from your father's house, into the land to which I will be your guide:...

The Expanded Bible              God Calls Abram

The Lord said to Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's ·family [Lhouse], and go to the land I will show you [CCanaan, the Promised Land].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 History of the House of Abram

The Ever-living then said to Abram, “Depart from your native land, and from the home of your forefathers, to the land to which I will direct you.

New Advent Bible                  Meanwhile, the Lord said to Abram, Leave thy country behind thee, thy kinsfolk, and thy father's home, and come away into a land I will shew thee.

NET Bible®                             The Obedience of Abram

Now the Lord said [The Lord called Abram while he was in Ur (see Gen 15:7; Acts 7:2); but the sequence here makes it look like it was after the family left to migrate to Canaan (11:31-32). Genesis records the call of Abram at this place in the narrative because it is the formal beginning of the account of Abram. The record of Terah was brought to its end before this beginning.] to Abram [The call of Abram begins with an imperative לֶךְ־לְךָ (lekh-lÿkha, “go out”) followed by three cohortatives (v. 2a) indicating purpose or consequence (“that I may” or “then I will”). If Abram leaves, then God will do these three things. The second imperative (v. 2b, literally “and be a blessing”) is subordinated to the preceding cohortatives and indicates God’s ultimate purpose in calling and blessing Abram. On the syntactical structure of vv. 1-2 see R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 37. For a similar sequence of volitive forms see Gen 45:18.] [It would be hard to overestimate the value of this call and this divine plan for the theology of the Bible. Here begins God’s plan to bring redemption to the world. The promises to Abram will be turned into a covenant in Gen 15 and 22 (here it is a call with conditional promises) and will then lead through the Bible to the work of the Messiah.],

"Go out [The initial command is the direct imperative (לֶךְ, lekh) from the verb הָלַךְ (halakh). It is followed by the lamed preposition with a pronominal suffix (לְךָ, lÿkha) emphasizing the subject of the imperative: “you leave.”] from your country, your relatives, and your father's household

to the land that I will show you [To the land that I will show you. The call of Abram illustrates the leading of the Lord. The command is to leave. The Lord's word is very specific about what Abram is to leave (the three prepositional phrases narrow to his father's household), but is not specific at all about where he is to go. God required faith, a point that Heb 11:8 notes.]. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

NIV – UK                                The call of Abram

The Lord had said to Abram, `Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Now ADONAI said to Avram, "Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you.

exeGeses companion Bible   YAH VEH CALLS ABRAM

And Yah Veh says to Abram,

Go from your land and from your kindred

and from the house of your father

to a land I show you:...

Hebrew Names Version         Now the LORD said to Avram, "Get out of your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you.

Kaplan Translation                 Abram's Call and Migration

God said to Abram, 'Go away from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           [LECH LECHA]

Now Hashem had said unto Avram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from the bais avicha, unto ha'aretz that I will show thee;.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Now [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father's house, to the land that I will show you.

Concordant Literal Version    Now saying is Yahweh to Abram, "Go you from your land and from your kindred and from your father's house to the land which I shall show you.

Context Group Version          Now YHWH said to Abram, Get out of your country, and from your family, and from your father's house, to the land { or earth } that I will show you.

English Standard Version      The Call of Abram

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

The updated Geneva Bible    Now the LORD had said unto Abram [From the flood to this time were four hundred and twenty-three years. ], Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your fathers house, unto a land [In appointing him no certain place, he proves so much more his faith and obedience.] that I will shew you.

NASB                                     Abram Journeys to Egypt

Now the Lord said to Abram,

"Go forth [Lit Go for yourself] from your country,

And from your relatives

And from your father's house,

To the land which I will show you;...

New King James Version       Promises to Abram

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

"Get out of your country,

From your family

And from your father's house,

To a land that I will show you.

Syndein/Thieme                     Now Jehovah/God had said {'amar} unto Abram, "Get you out of your country and from your kindred/relatives {Lot}, and from your father's house {his father Terah}, unto a land {his promised land of Canaan} that I will show you." {Note: See Acts 7:2 and following. 'Your country' is not Haran, but Ur of the Chaldees}.

Webster updated Bible           Now the LORD had said to Abram, Depare from your country, and from your kindred, and from your father”s house, to a land that I will show you.

World English Bible                Now Yahweh said to Abram, "Get out of your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you.

Young’s Updated LT             And Jehovah says unto Abram, “Go for yourself, from your land, and from your kindred, and from the house of your father, unto the land which I will show you.

 

The gist of this verse:          God tells Abram to leave his country and family for a land that God would show him.


Genesis 12:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4


Translation: Yehowah said to Abram,... It appears almost out of nowhere, God speaks to Abram, who was mentioned in the previous chapter in a family line. This suggests that there was some communion between God and Abram before and that Abram was almost ready to accept God’s authority in this matter.


Prior to this, God spoke to individuals and worked through individuals. God spoke with Adam and Eve, with Cain to place judgement upon him, with Enoch (we assume), with Noah, with Job and with Abram. Approximately 2000 years of human history have passed and God's Word has revealed a very small number of individuals who God spoke to. This is why, if you meet someone with whom God speaks, you might want to distance yourself from that person. We live in the dispensation of the completed Word of God, so direct communications with God are not necessary, and probably a sign of mental illness, drug-induced hallucinations (I know at least two people who have claimed to speak with God when under the influence of drugs), some chemical-imbalance in the body producing hallucinations, or they are liars (often with a very vivid imagination).


The Bible does not give us an organization for the worship of God, beyond animal sacrifices (which are barely mentioned) and the prohibition of murder (along with its punishment) at the exit of Noah and company from the ark. We have followed the line of Seth through the line of Shem, but this is the first time we have the promise of blessing upon an ancestral line.


We also do not know what form that God took or under what conditions God came to Abram. However, when we are told this information, God appears to Abram as a man.


The last recorded incident when God spoke to man was God speaking to Noah when he exited the ark (Gen. 9:1–17). 300 (or 1200) years have passed since then (recall the difference between the Hebrew and Greek texts). It is possible that during this time, the incidents recorded in the book of Job took place.


Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, God is speaking to Abram. We do not know what has led to this. We do not know anything about Abram’s background, apart from his family lineage recorded in the previous chapter. We do not know in what form God is. We may reasonably assume that Abram has believed in Jehovah Elohim (which will be confirmed in Gen. 15:6), and Jehovah Elohim is speaking directly to Abram.


Application: If you have a believer in Jesus Christ, and you think that you have spoken with God (not in prayer, but as a conversation with audible speech from God), then you may want to rethink this. (1) Even when God spoke to various men, it was less than 1/1000th of 1%; and (2) it all took place prior to the completion of the Canon of Scripture. If you are in a church where the pastor claims to have had visions of having splash fights with Jesus in the heavenly River Jordan, you are in the wrong church.


Genesis 12:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

go, come, depart, walk; advance

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation:...“Go, for yourself, away from your land... Recall that Abram was originally living in Ur of the Chaldees (near the Persian Gulf), and now is living with his father northeast of Canaan. He is actually fairly close to the land where God wants him to be.


What begins here is the Abrahamic covenant. Abram has done nothing of note to that time, because this information is not recorded. He is certainly a believer in Jesus Christ and has some semblance of maturity since God is speaking to him, but God is giving him an unconditional covenant. That means, that what God promised him, God would perform, regardless of his behavior.


This informally introduces the concept of the geographical will of God. There is a place where God wants us to be. This is obviously related to the will of God, a doctrine that we will cover in an upcoming lesson.


Terah (Abram’s father) has moved his family to Haran (also transliterated Charan) and they have lived there long enough for it to be called his country.


There is a point to Abram leaving his father’s house. Abram is 75 years old and he lives in the shadow of his father and he is under the authority of his father. Abram has to separate himself like a man, and raise his family separate from his father. Abram cannot be seen as the patriarch of his family if he is living in his father’s shadow under his father’s authority.


So far, this is what we have: Yehowah said to Abram, “Go, for yourself, away from your land... Abram is originally living with his family in Ur of the Chaldeans. It appears that God spoke to Abram while there and not while in Hebron, as at the end of the previous chapter.


abram'sjourney.jpg

There are actually two possibilities here: God spoke to Abram while he was in Ur, and Abram half-obeyed; or God spoke to Abram first in Ur, and then again in Haran, after his father died. The former scenario appears to be the case. Originally, Abram was supposed to leave this land of Ur and go to Canaan.


The Map of Abram’s Journeys is taken from The Christian Community Bible website (which I believe is a Catholic organization), accessed June 20, 2013. This map will cover Abram’s travels throughout this chapter. One slight quibble I have with this map is, Abram and his family move up between the rivers. I would have guessed that Abram and company remain south of the Euphrates River, but travel along side of it. Also, given the proximity (in time) to the flood, the Arabian desert would not have been the desert then that it is today.


Abram half-obeyed this order given him by God.


Genesis 12:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

môwledeth (מוֹלְדֶת) [pronounced mohle-DETH]

birth, origin, native; kindred, family; progeny, [female] offspring, children; circumstances of birth

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4138 BDB #409


Translation: ...and [away] from your family... Here is the first problem. Abram was to separate from the rest of his family. He was to leave his family and come into Canaan only with his wife. It was to be clear to all observers that the family of Jews came from Abram exclusively.


Genesis 12:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

ʾâb (אָב)[pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: ...and [away] from your father’s house,... God is very specific here—Abram was to separate from his father’s house. When he left to go where God told him to go, it was to be without his father. Abram did not obey God in this way. His father came with him. It will become clear that his father slowed him down.


The first verse indicates that his father is still alive when these words are first spoken. Abram had to separate from his father in order to grow spiritually. He had to get out from under his father’s shadow and his father’s influence. We know that there is a problem in this regard, as God told Abram these things in Ur, yet Abram came as far as Charan (Haran), with his father and, apparently, with several members of his family, and he stopped right there. In one ear, God is telling Abram one thing, and in the other, his father Terah is modifying God’s commands.


Genesis 12:1e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to cause to see, to cause to look; to show; to cause to see [with pleasure]; to cause to know, to cause to learn; to cause to experience [evil or good]

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7200 BDB #906


Translation:...[and go] to the land I will show you. The land that God would show Abraham would be Canaan.


The emphasis here is not on Abram, but upon God’s mandates, God’s promises, and God’s grace. The idea is, God is telling Abram, “Here is your pathway, here is your destination; and I will greatly bless you if you get onto that pathway.”


Gen 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your family and your father's house to the land that I will show you.


The final word in this verse is the Hiphil (causative) imperfect (future and/or continuous action) of the very common verb râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH], which means to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know. In the Hiphil stem, it means to cause to see, to cause to look; to show; to cause to see [with pleasure]; to cause to know, to cause to learn; to cause to experience [evil or good]. Strong's #7200 BDB #906. God is going to show Abram this great land that He is giving him; and the imperfect tense indicates that this will be a process, not a singular event. That is, Abram will not go into the land, park himself in one spot, look around, and think, “That’s not bad.” He is going to walk throughout much of the land over a period of decades. God will prosper Abram as He shows him the land He is giving to him.


Application: Even though God speaks directly to Abram and directs him, God does not give Abram every single detail. Abram does not know exactly where he is going to move to. Our lives as believers are much the same. We have a whole set of principles and mechanics in Scripture, so that we do not know where we might go, but God is still guiding us, nonetheless.


There is a lot of narrative found in this and the previous verses (from the end of Gen. 11) which really require a fleshing out.

When Did Terah and His Family Move to Haran? When Did Abram Move to Canaan?

Let’s now take this apart bit by bit. First, let’s look at Stephen’s sermon: Acts 7:2–4 He [Stephen] said, "Brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, 'Get out of your land, and from your relatives, and come into a land which I will show you.' Then he came out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and lived in Haran. From there, when his father was dead, God moved him into this land, where you are now living. (WEB)

Many people look at this passage and assume that the quotation comes from Gen. 12:1, which reads: And Yehowah speaks unto Abram, “Go for yourself from your country and [away] from your family and from your father’s house unto the land which I will cause you to see [or, I will show you].” When Yehowah speaks, that is a Qal imperfect preceded by a wâw consecutive. This means that we are weaving into a narrative of consecutive actions, which actually began in the previous chapter and verse, which reads . And so the life of Terah is 205 years and so Terah dies in Haran (Gen. 11:32). And this continues a series of consecutive events from the previous verse.

Therefore Stephen is speaking of God appearing to Abram in Mesopotamia before he moved to Haran; and Gen. 12:1, which occurs after Terah (whose name means delay) dies at the age of 205 in Haran. So, Abram’s family began to move in this direction toward Canaan, but they stopped in Haran. What happened? Haran, the son of Terah, died when they were all still living in Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:28). So, Terah (whose name means delayed) moves the family up to Haran (probably a settlement that he named after his son who died). But they stop there and Terah eventually dies there (Gen. 11:32).

Now God tells Abram (Abraham) to get off his duff and take his personal family and move to Canaan, leaving the rest of his relatives behind. Abram is therefore leaving Haran after his father has died (Gen. 11:32 12:1, 4 Acts 7:2–4). Since Abram is 75 when he leaves (Gen. 12:4), then he was born to Terah when or after Terah is 130 years old.

So, just exactly as the AEB tells us, Abram was not born when Terah is 70, but when Terah is 130. So, Terah’s sons of note—Abram, Haran and Nahor—are born when Terah is between the ages of 70 and 130. Furthermore, this tells us the Haran (probably the firstborn) was born in Ur of the Chaldees, where he subsequently died, which gave Terah the impetus to do what God had told him and Abram to do, to go west to Canaan.

I want you to consider these ages. Stephen tells us that God spoke to Abram in Mesopotamia first. So, Abram had to be an adult (say at least 20 years old); meaning that Terah would have been 150 years old (at least), and Haran, if he was the firstborn, would have been 80 years old. At this time, they would have all been in Ur of the Chaldees, with God telling Abram to separate from his family and to move all the way to Canaan.

Haran will die as an adult in Mesopotamia; Terah will move his family from there in Ur of the Chaldees (that is in Mesopotamia) up the Euphrates river, moving northwest, staying along the River. This suggests that, to go westward, that the family would have to take a leap of faith and move away from the Euphrates River, which would have been their water supply, which would have been, even in a lush wilderness, their guarantee of life. Going straight west puts them on a difficult pathway, where they are moving away from water into a land of Canaanites, which takes a serious leap of faith. Terah would not do it, and hence, his name is Terah (delayed). It is very possible that this is not exactly his real name, but how he became known, as he delayed God’s plan for Abram.

You may say, “Well, hell’s bells, Abraham got to the Land of Promise and he had a good and prosperous life there. What’s the problem?” Although God’s focus was blessing for Abram, this would have been extended to his entire family, including his father and brothers. However, because they all stopped in Haran, God told Abram not just to go to Canaan, but to leave his whole family behind. There is no confusion here—“You leave your family, your home and your country behind and go where I tell you to go.” Abram’s family held him back. His own father delayed blessings to the family. This was not something which God said impulsively—Abram already knew that his father kept him from going all the way to Canaan. God always knew this, but now Abram knows this from personal experience.

There is certainly the implication that Abram’s brother, Haran, dying, probably caused the family to move; and that Terah’s dying was the impetus to get Abram to move.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


——————————


And I will make you for a nation—great— and I will bless you and I could cause to be great your name and be a blessing.

Genesis

12:2

Then I will make you into a great people [or, nation] and I will bless you and I could make your name great; therefore, be a blessing.

Then I will make you into a great people and I will bless you; and I could make your reputation in that land great. Therefore, be a blessing to all you meet.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And I will make you a great people, and will bless you, and magnify your name, and you will be blessed.

Jerusalem targum                  And I will constitute you a great people, and I will bless you; and Abram will be strengthened with many blessings.

Latin Vulgate                          And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and magnify your name, and you will be blessed.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And I will make you for a nation—great— and I will bless you and I could cause to be great your name and be a blessing.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And I will make of you a great people, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.

Septuagint (Greek)                And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and magnify your name, and you shall be blessed.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing.

Contemporary English V.       I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others.

Easy English                          I will make you into a great nation. I will *bless you and I will make your name great. I will *bless other people, too, because of you.

Easy-to-Read Version            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.

Good News Bible (TEV)         I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing.

The Message                         I'll make you a great nation and bless you. I'll make you famous; you'll be a blessing.

New Life Bible                        And I will make you a great nation. I will bring good to you. I will make your name great, so you will be honored.

New Living Translation           I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.

The Voice                               I have plans to make a great people from your descendants. And I am going to put a special blessing on you and cause your reputation to grow so that you will become a blessing and example to others.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...because, I'm going to make a great nation of you. I will bless you, make your name famous, and you will become a blessing [to others].

New American Bible (R.E.)    I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. The call of Abraham begins a new history of blessing (18:18; 22:15-18), which is passed on in each instance to the chosen successor (26:2-4; 28:14). This call evokes the last story in the primeval history (11:1-9) by reversing its themes: Abraham goes forth rather than settle down; it is God rather than Abraham who will make a name for him; the families of the earth will find blessing in him. Related Scriptures: Gn 17:6; Sir 44:20-21; Rom 4:17-22.

New Jerusalem Bible             ...and I shall make you a great nation, I shall bless you and make your name famous; you are to be a blessing!.

Revised English Bible            I shall make you into a great nation; I shall bless you and make your name so great that it will be used in blessings.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      I will bless and make you a great nation and grow your name to be a blessing!

The Expanded Bible              I will make you a great nation,

and I will bless you.

I will make ·you famous [Lyour name great],

·and [or so that] you will be a blessing to others.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And I will make you a great nation, and I will prosper and ennoble your name; and you shall be a benefactor;...

New Advent Bible                  Then I will make a great people of thee; I will bless thee, and make thy name renowned, a name of benediction;...

NET Bible®                             Then I will make you [The three first person verbs in v. 2a should be classified as cohortatives. The first two have pronominal suffixes, so the form itself does not indicate a cohortative. The third verb form is clearly cohortative] into a great nation, and I will bless you [I will bless you. The blessing of creation is now carried forward to the patriarch. In the garden God blessed Adam and Eve; in that blessing he gave them (1) a fruitful place, (2) endowed them with fertility to multiply, and (3) made them rulers over creation. That was all ruined at the fall. Now God begins to build his covenant people; in Gen 12-22 he promises to give Abram (1) a land flowing with milk and honey, (2) a great nation without number, and (3) kingship.],

and I will make your name great [Or "I will make you famous."],

so that you will exemplify divine blessing [Heb “and be a blessing.” The verb form הְיֵה (hÿyeh) is the Qal imperative of the verb הָיָה (hayah). The vav (ו) with the imperative after the cohortatives indicates purpose or consequence. What does it mean for Abram to “be a blessing”? Will he be a channel or source of blessing for others, or a prime example of divine blessing? A similar statement occurs in Zech 8:13, where God assures his people, “You will be a blessing,” in contrast to the past when they “were a curse.” Certainly “curse” here does not refer to Israel being a source of a curse, but rather to the fact that they became a curse-word or byword among the nations, who regarded them as the epitome of an accursed people (see 2 Kgs 22:19; Jer 42:18; 44:8, 12, 22). Therefore the statement “be a blessing” seems to refer to Israel being transformed into a prime example of a blessed people, whose name will be used in blessing formulae, rather than in curses. If the statement “be a blessing” is understood in the same way in Gen 12:2, then it means that God would so bless Abram that other nations would hear of his fame and hold him up as a paradigm of divine blessing in their blessing formulae.].


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and I work you to become a great goyim

and I bless you and greaten your name;

that you become a blessing:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name, and you shall be a blessing.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And I will make of thee a goy gadol (great nation), and I will bless thee, and make thy shem great; and thou shalt be a brocha (blessing);...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others].

Concordant Literal Version    And make you will I into a great nation, and bless you will I and make your name great, and become must you a blessing.

Context Group Version          ...and I will make of you a great nation, and I will esteem you, and make your name great; and you shall be a [ source of ] esteem...

English Revised Version        And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

The updated Geneva Bible    And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you will be a blessing [The world shall recover by your seed, which is Christ, the blessing which they lost in Adam.].

NASB                                     And I will make you a great nation,

And I will bless you,

And make your name great;

And so you shall be a blessing [Lit be a blessing];....

Syndein/Thieme                     And I {God} will make of you {Abram's descendants} a great nation, and I will bless you {Abram}, and make your name/reputation great. And you shall be a blessing.

Young’s Updated LT             And I make you become a great nation, and bless you, and make your name great; and be you a blessing.

 

The gist of this verse:          God promises to make Abram into a great nation, to bless him, to make him renown, and to make him a blessing to others.


Genesis 12:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

1st person singular, Qal imperfect with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

Owen has that this is a 3rd person masculine singular, which I think is a typo.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


The meanings of the lâmed preposition broken down into groups: ➊ to, towards, unto; it is used both to turn one’s heart toward someone as well as to sin against someone; ➋ to, even to;  in this sense, it can be used with a number to indicate the upper limit which a multitude might approach (nearly). ➌ Lâmed can be equivalent to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς), meaning into, as in transforming into something else, changing into something else (Gen. 2:7). This use of lâmed after the verb hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW] (Strong’s #1961 BDB #224) is one thing becoming another (Gen. 2:7). ➍  Its fourth use is the mark of a dative, after verbs of giving, granting, delivering, pardoning, consulting, sending, etc. This type of dative is broken down into several categories, but one includes the translation by, which would be apropos here. ➎ With regards to, as to. Similar to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς) plus the dative. [Numbering from Gesenius]. ➏ On account of, because, propter, used of cause and reason (propter means because; Gesenius used it). ➐ Concerning, about, used of a person or thing made the object of discourse, after verbs of saying. ➑ On behalf of anyone, for anyone. ➒ As applied to a rule or standard, according to, according as, as though, as if. ➓ When associated with time, it refers to the point of time at which or in which anything is done; or it can refer to the space of time during which something is done (or occurs); at the time of.

gôwy (גּוֹי) [pronounced GOH-ee]

people, nation

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1471 BDB #156

gâdôwl (גָּדוֹל) [pronounced gaw-DOHL]

large, great or mighty [in power, nobility, wealth; in number, or magnitude and extent], loud, older, important, distinguished; vast, unyielding, immutable, significant, astonishing

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #1419 BDB #152


Translation: Then I will make you into a great people [or, nation]... There are many things to be found in this verse which you will find surprising, and they will not be presented in the way that you have heard them before. However, this first phrase is pretty standard. God has given orders to Abram, and then He tells Abram what the results will be. Abram would be made into a great people. This is interesting because, in the previous chapter, Sarah, his wife, is said to be barren.


As a nation, there is no nation like Israel upon the earth. The Jews, dispersed prior to the birth of Christ; dispersed again in the first century a.d., their nation destroyed and occupied for the next 1900 years, still exist as a people and as a nation. No other group of people can make a claim like that. Even though Jews look very much like the people whose nations they inhabit, they are a separate people and will remain a separate people, a people peculiar to our God. God has made Abraham into a great nation.


Genesis 12:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bârake (בָּרַ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to invoke God, to praise, to celebrate, to adore, to bless [God]; to bless [men], to invoke blessings; to bless [as God, man and other created things], therefore to cause to prosper, to make happy; to salute anyone [with a blessing]; to curse

1st person singular, Piel imperfect with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138


Translation: ...and I will bless you... God would bless Abram and all of the associated with Abram.


God's first promise to Abraham is that He would bless him.

How God Would Bless Abram

1.      One way that he would be blessed is with a child. Children were considered a great blessing in the ancient world and Abram will wait for a quarter century past this calling before he is blessed with a child. The key is, Isaac, his son, would foreshadow the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is a blessing to all.

2.      Before he dies, Abraham will have been blessed with several children, all born past the time that he was able to sire children.

3.      Abraham will also be blessed materially; Gen. 13:2 indicates that his material wealth had become great.

4.      He had servants (Gen. 24:2, 35) and vast possessions (Gen. 24:35).

5.      He had another wife after Sarai had passed away (Gen. 25:1); and many children from that union.

6.      Most importantly, Abraham was blessed spiritually by God. He left a spiritual legacy equaled by very few, which will be the study of the next few chapters.

7.      In fact, God blessed Abraham in every way (Gen. 24:1).

 


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 12:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gâdal (גָּדַל) [pronounced gaw-DAHL

to make [one] great, to cause to be magnified, to value highly, thus to praise, to celebrate; to make rich and powerful; to cause one to grow [something]; to nourish

1st person masculine singular, Piel perfect with the cohortative hê

Strong’s #1431 BDB #152

The cohortative hê, when applied to the first person, the idea is an expression of will or compulsion, and in the singular, may be expressed with I must, I could, I would, I will, I should, I may. When applied to the 1st person plural, the verb is often preceded by let us (as in Gen. 1:26).

Although this is the first occurrence of this verb in the Bible, the adjective cognate has already occurred several times previously.

shêm (שֵם) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character; fame, glory; celebrated; renown; possibly memorial, monument

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027


Translation: ...and I could make your name great;... Here is where the translation begins to be a little different. The cohortative could be translated with a could. So now we are in the realm of potentiality. God has issued a mandate, and He will do these other things; but this time, making Abram’s name great—this is not as much of a guarantee.


Just as many religions and individuals claim Jesus Christ as exemplary of what they teach and/or believe in, Abraham is claimed by many religions. Judaism rightly claims them as their racial father, but many of them have not followed him into regeneration. Abraham is second only to Mohammed in Islam, insofar as prophetic importance is concerned. The Koran, their religious book, contains 188 references to Abraham. We as Christians look to him as our father in faith; and Paul several times referred back to the fact that Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. In fact, Abram’s name (Abraham) will be found over 100 times in the New Testament. God has clearly made Abraham's name great.


Two great cities are mentioned in connection with Abram: Ur of the Chaldees and Charan. We know far more about Abram than we know about either of those cities. There were many nations around the world during the time of Abram—can you name a single king over any of these nations from that time? Probably not. But you know about Abram. From that era, there is no man whose name is more famous. And what did he do? He believed God. He trusted God. He did what God asked of him.


Genesis 12:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and; even; in particular, namely; when, since, seeing, though; so, then, therefore; or, but yet; who, which; or; that, in that; with; also, in addition to, at the same time

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

be, become; make, do

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

berâkâh (בְּרָכָה) [pronounced braw-KAW]

blessing, benediction, invocation of good; extremely fortunate and happy; a gift, a present; peace, prosperity

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1293 BDB #139


Translation: ...therefore, be a blessing. Then, in the final phrase, we have the 2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative of hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW], which is the simple verb to be. With the imperative mood, this means be, become; make, do. Strong’s #1293 BDB #139.


V. 2 reads: Then I will make you into a great people [or, nation] and I will bless you and I could make your name great; therefore, be a blessing. This is essentially the same blessing which God makes to the Christian believer in the dispensation of the Church Age. We will be made into a great people who are preserved throughout eternity. God blesses us both on earth and in heaven. For believers who advance in the plan of God, we will become renown and a blessing to others.


Gen 12:2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.


This begins what is called, the Abrahamic Covenant, which will be repeated and added to throughout the next few chapters. God is making specific promises to Abraham. This is known as an unconditional covenant—these things will come to pass no matter what Abram does. The first thing which God promises is, He would make a great nation from Abram.


In subsequent chapters, it is going to be clear that God blesses Abram. Before he dies, Abram will have been blessed with several children, all born past the time that he was able to sire children. Abram will also be blessed materially; Gen. 13:2 indicates that his material wealth had become great. He had another wife after Sarai had passed away (Gen. 25:1); he had many servants (Gen. 24:2, 35); and vast possessions (Gen. 24:35).


God also promises Abram that, in his life and through his descendants, he would be a blessing to all mankind. The greatest blessing from Abraham to mankind will be his Son, Jesus Christ.


——————————


And let Me bless the ones blessing you; and those cursing you, I put under a curse. And bless themselves in you all families of the ground.”

Genesis

12:3

Consequently, I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you. Furthermore, all the families of the earth will bless themselves in you.”

Consequently, I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. Furthermore, all mankind will be blessed because of you.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And I will bless the priests who will spread forth their hands in prayer, and bless thy sons; and Bileam, who will curse them, I will curse, and they shall slay him with the mouth of the sword; and in thee shall be blessed all the generations of the earth.

Jerusalem targum                  And I will bless him who blesseth thee, and he who curseth thee shall be accursed; and in thy righteousness shall all the generations of the earth be blessed.

Latin Vulgate                          I will bless them that bless you, and curse them that curse you, and IN You will all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And let Me bless the ones blessing you; and those cursing you, I put under a curse. And bless themselves in you all families of the ground.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you: and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Septuagint (Greek)                And I will bless those that bless you, and curse those that curse you, and in you shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           I will bless those who bless you,

those who curse you I will curse;

all the families of earth

will be blessed because of you." Or will bless themselves because of you; or will find a blessing because of you

Contemporary English V.       I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.

Easy English                          I will *bless those that *bless you. And I will *curse anyone that does not respect you. I will *bless all the families on the earth, because I *bless you.'

New Berkeley Version           I will bless those who bless you and upon him who insults you I will put My curse. Also in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed [In God’s friend Abraham, in the godly nation and supremely in Christ].

New Century Version             I will bless those who bless you,

and I will place a curse on those who harm you.

And all the people on earth

will be blessed through you."

New Life Bible                        I will bring good to those who are good to you. And I will curse those who curse you. Good will come to all the families of the earth because of you."

New Living Translation           I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you."

The Voice                               I will also bless those who bless you and further you in your journey, and I'll trip up those who try to trip you along the way. Through your descendants, all of the families of the earth will find their blessing in you. Galatians 3:8


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          I will bless those who praise you and curse those who curse you. all tribes will be blest because of you.'

New American Bible              I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you." Shall find blessing in you: the sense of the Hebrew expression is probably reflexive, "shall bless themselves through you" (i.e., in giving a blessing they shall say, "May you be as blessed as Abraham"), rather than passive, "shall be blessed in you." Since the term is understood in a passive sense in the New Testament ( Acts 3:25; Gal 3:8), it is rendered here by a neutral expression that admits of both meanings. So also in the blessings given by God to Isaac (? Genesis 26:4) and Jacob ( Genesis 28:14).

New American Bible (R.E.)    I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will find blessing in you. Will find blessing in you: the Hebrew conjugation of the verb here and in 18:18 and 28:14 can be either reflexive ("shall bless themselves by you" = people will invoke Abraham as an example of someone blessed by God) or passive ("by you all the families of earth will be blessed" = the religious privileges of Abraham and his descendants ultimately will be extended to the nations). In 22:18 and 26:4, another conjugation of the same verb is used in a similar context that is undoubtedly reflexive ("bless themselves"). Many scholars suggest that the two passages in which the sense is clear should determine the interpretation of the three ambiguous passages: the privileged blessing enjoyed by Abraham and his descendants will awaken in all peoples the desire to enjoy those same blessings. Since the term is understood in a passive sense in the New Testament (Acts 3:25; Gal 3:8), it is rendered here by a neutral expression that admits of both meanings. Related Scripture: Gn 18:18; 22:18; Acts 3:25; Gal 3:8.

NIRV                                      I will bless those who bless you.

I will put a curse on anyone who calls down a curse on you.

All nations on earth

will be blessed because of you."

New Jerusalem Bible             I shall bless those who bless you, and shall curse those who curse you, and all clans on earth will bless themselves by you.'

Revised English Bible            ...those who bless you, I shall bless;

Those who curse you, I shall curse;

All the peoples on earth

Will wish to be blessed as you are blessed.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      I will bless those that bless you, and reprimand your cursers. You will bless all the families of the earth."

Bible in Basic English             To them who are good to you will I give blessing, and on him who does you wrong will I put my curse: and you will become a name of blessing to all the families of the earth.

The Expanded Bible              I will bless those who bless you,

and I will place a curse on those who ·harm [or curse] you.

And all the ·people [families; clans] on earth

will be blessed through you [Cthe promises of the Abrahamic covenant]."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and I will bless those who benefit you, and punish those who injure you, and all the nations of mankind shall become benefited from you.”

New Advent Bible                  ...those who bless thee, I will bless, those who curse thee, I will curse, and in thee all the races of the world shall find a blessing [`Shall find a blessing'; some commentators would interpret this, `shall bless themselves in thy name', that is, use it as a proverbial instance of prosperity.].

NET Bible®                             I will bless those who bless you [The Piel cohortative has as its object a Piel participle, masculine plural. Since the Lord binds himself to Abram by covenant, those who enrich Abram in any way share in the blessings.],

but the one who treats you lightly [In this part of God’s statement there are two significant changes that often go unnoticed. First, the parallel and contrasting participle מְקַלֶּלְךָ (mÿqallelkha) is now singular and not plural. All the versions and a few Masoretic mss read the plural. But if it had been plural, there would be no reason to change it to the singular and alter the parallelism. On the other hand, if it was indeed singular, it is easy to see why the versions would change it to match the first participle. The MT preserves the original reading: “the one who treats you lightly.” The point would be a contrast with the lavish way that God desires to bless many. The second change is in the vocabulary. The English usually says, “I will curse those who curse you.” But there are two different words for curse here. The first is קָלַל (qalal), which means “to be light” in the Qal, and in the Piel “to treat lightly, to treat with contempt, to curse.” The second verb is אָרַר (’arar), which means “to banish, to remove from the blessing.” The point is simple: Whoever treats Abram and the covenant with contempt as worthless God will banish from the blessing. It is important also to note that the verb is not a cohortative, but a simple imperfect. Since God is binding himself to Abram, this would then be an obligatory imperfect: “but the one who treats you with contempt I must curse.”] I must curse,

and all the families of the earth will bless one another [Theoretically the Niphal can be translated either as passive or reflexive/reciprocal. (The Niphal of "bless" is only used in formulations of the Abrahamic covenant. See Gen 12:2; 18:18; 28:14.) Traditionally the verb is taken as passive here, as if Abram were going to be a channel or source of blessing. But in later formulations of the Abrahamic covenant (see Gen 22:18; 26:4) the Hitpael replaces this Niphal form, suggesting a translation "will bless [i.e., "pronounce blessings on"] themselves [or "one another"]." The Hitpael of "bless" is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 12:2 predicts that Abram will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae. For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11.] by your name."


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and I bless them who bless you

and curse him who abases you:

and in you all families of the soil become blessed.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And I will bless the one blessing you, and curse him that curses you; and kol mishpochot haadamah shall be blessed through you.[T.N. There is a brocha in this verse that many do not know but that every true follower of Moshiach should know.]


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves]. To look with disfavor on the Jews was to invite God's displeasure; to treat the Jews offensively was to incur His wrath. But to befriend the Jews was to bring down upon one's head the rewards of a promise that could not be broken.

Concordant Literal Version    And bless those will I who bless you, and those making light of you will I curse. And blessed in you and in your seed are all the families of the ground.

Context Group Version          ...and I will esteem those that esteem you, and him who curses you I will curse: and in you shall all the families of the land { or earth } be esteemed.

English Standard Version      I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Green’s Literal Translation    And I will bless those who bless you, and curse the one despising you. And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed.

NASB                                     And I will bless those who bless you,

And the one who curses [Or reviles] you I will curse [Or bind under a curse].

And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."

Young’s Updated LT             And I bless those blessing you, and him who is disesteeming you I curse, and blessed in you have been all families of the ground.”

 

The gist of this verse:          God will bless those who bless Abram (and his seed); and God will remove from blessing those who treat Abram lightly. All families of the earth will be blessed by means of Abram (and his Seed).


Genesis 12:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bârake (בָּרַ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to invoke God, to praise, to celebrate, to adore, to bless [God]; to bless [men], to invoke blessings; to bless [as God, man and other created things], therefore to cause to prosper, to make happy; to salute anyone [with a blessing]; to curse

1st person singular, Piel imperfect with the cohortative hê

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138

The cohortative hê, when applied to the first person, the idea is an expression of will or compulsion, and in the singular, may be expressed with I must, I could, I would, I will, I should, I may. When applied to the 1st person plural, the verb is often preceded by let us (as in Gen. 1:26).

bârake (בָּרַ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

those blessing [praising, celebrating, adoring], the ones invoking blessings; those who cause to prosper, the ones making happy; those saluting anyone [with a blessing]

masculine plural, Piel participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138


Translation: Consequently, I will bless those who bless you... God now states the concept of blessing by association. Those who have a good relationship with Abram would be blessed by God. We will find this fulfilled in many places throughout the next few chapters of Genesis.


There is also a far fulfillment here for those who believe in Jesus Christ, Who is descended from Abram; such men who believe in this Son will be greatly blessed by God. What we have here is a promise which has a near-fulfillment (friend, relatives and associates of Abram will be blessed by God) and a far-fulfillment (those who believe in Jesus Christ will be blessed by God). In fact, the first fulfillment foreshadows the second.


Genesis 12:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

qâlal (קָלַל) [pronounced kaw-LAL]

cursing, execrating; seeing as despicable; making despicable

Piel participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7043 BDB #886

ʾârar (אָרַר) [pronounced aw-RAHR]

to curse, to bitterly curse; put under a curse

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #779 BDB #76


Translation: ...and I will curse those who curse you. And those who curse Abram (and curse his line, the Jews), God will curse.


I write this in 2013 and most of the Arab world is in great chaos. One thing which appears to be a great part of their thinking nowadays is antisemitism. So, where is the worst place ot live right now? In nearly any Arab country (let me be more specific: in nearly any Muslim country). If they curse the Jews, they will be cursed. It does not matter that we are in the Church Age. Now, you may say, “Well, the Arab world has always been lousy.” Not so. Lebanon, Indonesia and other parts of the Muslim and Arab world were, at one times, places where Jews and Christians were tolerated and where these prospered. Egypt had a treaty with Israel, and received millions of visitors (with millions of tourist dollars) each year. The attitudes of the people of Lebanon, Egypt and Indonesia have changed over the past decade; and, as a result, tourism is off and their economies are in turmoil; and life in those countries is oppressive and depressing.


Genesis 12:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bârake (בָּרַ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to be blessed, to bless oneself

3rd person masculine plural, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

mishepâchâh (מִשְפָּחָה) [pronounced mish-paw-KHAWH]

family, clan, tribe, sub-tribe, class (of people), species [genus, kind] [of animals], or sort (of things)

feminine plural construct

Strong's #4940 BDB #1046

ʾădâmâh (אֲדָמָה) [pronounced uh-daw-MAWH]

ground, soil, dirt, earth, tillable earth, land, surface of the earth

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #127 BDB #9


Translation: Furthermore, all the families of the earth will bless themselves in you.” All mankind will be blessed because of Abram. From him will come the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, all mankind will be blessed in Him.


Paul discusses this in Gal. 3:1–9:


Gal. 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

Gal. 3:2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Gal. 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Gal. 3:4 Did you suffer so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain?

Gal. 3:5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith--

Gal. 3:6 just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"?

Gal. 3:7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Gal. 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed."

Gal. 3:9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.


Gen 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those cursing you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."


God’s original promises are made directly to Abram. In vv. 2–3, we find the 2nd person masculine singular suffix again and again, which refers to Abram. However, we may reasonably apply this to the not just Abram but to his descendants as well. It makes little sense for all the families of the earth to be blessed by Abram alone. However, God will work through Abram.


This blessing and cursing promise continues to this day, to all those who are descendants of Abraham (Jews), and to all of those who have any sort of relationship with his descendants.


As an application of this, today, the United States is in a precarious position. We have a high debt, we have a nation with large numbers of dependents, we have great enemies in the world (Islam and communism, 2 of the most powerful forces for evil in the history of mankind); and yet we are the most prosperous and the greatest nation in all of human history. Part of this comes from our alliance with the modern-day nation Israel. The people there are the seed of Abraham, and God watches over them, despite the fact that many of them are unbelievers. We are blessed greatly because of the Jewish population in our country and because of our relationship to Israel. “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.”


Look at the Arabic nations in contrast. Whereas these nations have the potential of building hundreds of great cities like Dubai (which is an incredible achievement), they instead consume their resources on hatred. Nations like Iraq and Iran and Saudi Arabia have this potential along with the actuality of billions upon billions of dollars flowing into their countries. With this money, they could turn their backward desert nations into a paradise like Dubai. However, despite the great influx of wealth which Arab lands have enjoyed for decades, the Middle East is one of the most backward and wretched places of the world. The key is their hatred of the Jew. The Jews live in a postage stamp-sized country (approximately 0.2% of the Middle East) and they have made it beautiful and prosperous once again, even though they have no oil resources, and the Arabs, with all of their great wealth, are unable to do this. In the U.A.E., we see the potential that all Arabic countries have. However, most of these nations hate Jews and God curses those who curse Abraham and his seed. Hatred is expensive.


Spain is another excellent example. At one time, Spain was a world power, sending out explorers throughout the world. However, almost simultaneous to this was Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition, which resulted in both the execution and expulsion of Jews from Spain. This evil continued into the 1800's, by which time, Spain was no longer a great power. They became a third-rate power on a downhill slide since then. “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.” This is a promise from God which is as true today as it was 4000 years ago.


God would continue to make promises to Abram, throughout his life, but so far, God has promised him. A covenant is a contract made between two parties. However, it is possible for one party to both initiate and set all of the terms of a covenant, like the Suzerain-vassal treaty, which we will study in Gen. 17 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

The Abrahamic Covenant—Gen. 12:2–3

(1)     I will make a great nation from you; This would be the nation Israel, which will be the central nation in both the Tribulation and the Millennium. .

(2)     I will prosper you; Abram personally became very prosperous. Gen. 13:2

(3)     I will make your reputation great; Abram became well-known in the land of Canaan. Abraham and Moses are 2 of the most well-known Jews of history. And, during Abram’s day, he became known to kings (Gen. 14) and great armies (Gen. 21:22–33).

(4)     You will be a blessing; Jesus Christ would come from the line of Abram. Through Jesus Christ, all men are blessed.

(5)     I will bless those who bless you; Nations, peoples and individuals who have treated the Jews graciously are so treated by God. This has been true throughout human history.

(6)     I will curse those who curse you. Nations, peoples and individuals who have persecuted the Jews, or even have spoken disparagingly of them, are cursed by God.

In 2 short verses, written thousands of years ago, one of the most dynamic factors of history is clearly laid out, and fulfilled as history plays out, over and over again.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Through Abram, through his progeny, the Jewish race, we as Gentiles have been blessed, as they recorded and preserved God's Word with accuracy unknown in the rest of the literary world. The Jews destroyed cancerous nations which threatened to severely pollute the world. Through the Jews, we have our Savior (and their Savior) our Lord Jesus Christ. The contributions of all other races put together are minuscule compared to the preservation of God's Word and the incarnation of Jesus Christ.


Let’s look at the final 2 promises made by God to Abram, 4000 years ago.

“I will Bless Those who Bless you; and I will Curse Those who Curse you.”

Examples from Ancient History:

1.      The Amalekites

         1)      As the Jews march toward the Land of Promise, after spending nearly 40 years in the desert, they are viciously attacked by the Amalekites. Ex. 17:8

         2)      Joshua, Moses’ general, led the Israelites against Amalek and defeated them. Ex. 17:9–13

         3)      Because this is the first people to attack Israel as a nation, God told Moses to be certain to record this incident, because He would blot out Amalek completely. Ex. 17:14 Num. 24:20

         4)      Amalek has vanished from history. Even archeologists cannot find anything which can be clearly associated with the Amalekites.

2.      The Assyrians

         1)      In the ancient world, the Assyrians became one of the eminent empires of that day.

         2)      For 200 years, their army was undefeated, and they, along with the Phœnicians, controlled the world’s iron market (and its application to weapons manufacturing).

         3)      Their kings are well-known to ancient historians: Tiglath-Pileser III, Shalmaneser V, Sargon, Sennacherib, Esar-Haddon and Assur-bani-pal.

         4)      As they began to decline as a nation, God sent Jonah to them to evangelize them in 754 b.c. (a mission Jonah rebelled against, because he hated the Assyrians).

         5)      However, anti-Semitism began to fester in this empire (even though the Assyrians were a Semitic people—i.e., descended from Shem). In 739 b.c., they threatened Judah for the first time. Jonah’s evangelization had about a 15 year effect, upon one generation of Assyrians.

         6)      Essentially what happened was, many Assyrians were saved under the ministry of Jonah, but there was no dissemination of Bible doctrine. They had no truth to take them from being evangelized to becoming a nation with a subset of mature believers, which would have helped to guide the nation away from anti-Semitism.

         7)      Although there were a myriad of reasons for the fall of the Assyrian empire, the chief cause was their unrelenting anti-Semitism. Jonah hated the Assyrians and it irked him to evangelize them; but that hatred was a two-way street. So, even though many Assyrians responded to Jonah’s message, their anger toward the Jews overtook this evangelical movement in a very short period of time.

         8)      Isaiah, of the Bible, records a very unusual incident. The Assyrians had invaded Judah in 701 b.c. and were about to take down Jerusalem. However, they launched a psychological attack first, where the Rabshakeh (a trained propagandist for the Assyrians) taunted the Jews, warning them of their imminent defeat (Isa. 36:20), in hopes of crushing their spirit. Although the leaders of the Jews were ready to surrender, the people of Jerusalem held fast on the wall. The Assyrians prepared for war, intending to attack the next morning. Then something unusual occurred. The Angel of the Lord [Jesus Christ in His preincarnate form] went out and He struck down the camp of the Assyrians, all 185,000 of them, so that, when they [the Israelites] awoke, they [the Assyrians] were all dead corpses (Isa. 37:36).

         9)      As you may well imagine, you will find that incident recorded in the Bible, but not in any of your ancient history books. However, in the 3rd Volume of the 1965 Edition of The Cambridge Ancient History, we read the following: The disappearance of the Assyrian people will always remain an unique and striking phenomenon in ancient history. Other, similar, kingdoms and empires have indeed passed away, but the people have lived on. Recent discoveries have proved it is true, and have shown that poverty-stricken communities perpetuated the old Assyrian names at various places, for instance on the ruined site of Ashur, for many centuries, but the essential Truth remains the same. A nation which had existed two thousand years and had ruled a wide area, lost its independent character. To account for this two considerations may be urged. First, even in lands where, as Gibbon has remarked, the people are of a lustful complexion, the Assyrians seem to have been unduly devoted to practices which can only end in racial suicide . . . No other land seems to have been sacked and pillaged so completely as was Assyria; no other people, unless it be Israel, was ever so completely enslaved.

This quotation came from R. B. Thieme, Jr.’s book Antisemitism, ©1974, pp. 21–22. Portions or all of this quotation can also be found here:

http://sermons.logos.com/submissions/89651-Anti-Semitism#content=/submissions/89651

http://www.jaas.org/edocs/v13n1/yildiz.pdf (p. 16, footnote).

http://www.enotes.com/topic/Assyrianism (footnote)

http://www.betnahrain.net/1History/Parpola1.htm

3.      We could also examine the Syrians, Phœnicians and Philistines for additional evidence of God cursing those who curse Israel.

Examples from Modern History:

4.      Spain

         1)      The king and queen of Spain, Ferdinand V and Isabella I, desired to make Spain into a purely Catholic nation.

         2)      Spain was more or less divided at that time into Christian Spain and Moorish Spain; the former controlled by Catholicism and the latter a mixture of Catholics, Christians, Jews and Moslems.

         3)      Previously, Spain had been a refuge for the Jews, but in 1482, the Inquisition began (however, it was not full-blown at that time).

         4)      Torquemada, who apparently originated the inquisition, demanded the expulsion of all Jews in 1492, but Pope Sixtus IV told him no.

         5)      So, Spain simultaneously was a world power, sending out explorers all over the globe; and beginning a persecution of the Jews (among others).

         6)      By 1569, Jews had been mostly expelled from Spain and Western Europe, as this anti-Semitic Inquisition began, and with that began the sharp decline of many western European nations, including Spain.

         7)      This quotation is from the Columbia Encyclopedia, from p. 1863 of its 1950 edition: The expulsion of the Jews deprived Spain of part of its most useful and active population. Many went to the Levant, to the Americas, and to the Netherlands, where their skills, capital, and commercial connections benefited their hosts....Jewish scholars such as Maimonides had a major share in the development of Christian scholasticism..

http://reference.allrefer.com/encyclopedia/S/Spain-history-muslim-spain-and-the-christian-reconquest.html R. B. Thieme, Jr. references the actual encyclopedia that this quotation comes from.

5.      Great Britain, German and the United States could all be examined so show a correlation between the rise and fall of Germany, the rise and decline of Great Britain, and the rise of the United States, all occurring simultaneously to these nations and their positive or negative attitudes toward the Jews. Germany is particularly interesting with respect to this promise of God, because Germany was once a center of Christian theology, and, in a generation, this was completely lost and replaced by concentration camps for the Jews. In the war, God had to destroy this cancer in Germany, which included the bombing and killing of millions of German civilians, in order to cleanse this nation of antisemitism (there is antisemitism in every nation, but during WWII, this reached a crisis point in Germany). Estimates of combined military and civilian German war dead range from 5.5 to 6.9 million.

The principle that God would bless those who blessed the Jew and curse those who curse the Jew, is stated outside of the Bible. We read in the 14th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol 13, p. 51: It is a noteworthy fact of history that great conquerors—Alexander, Cæsar, and Napoleon—have always treated the Jew well; On the other hand, lesser men, endowed with narrower outlooks, have failed to recognize the Jew and have sought to crush him. But such Procrustean methods are contrary to nature and tyranny, whether toward the Jew or toward any other [group of people] and this has never secured permanent results. The same policy of religious unification has characterized subsequent dynasties from the Assyrians to the Romanovs, and the same fate has overtaken them The Jews have always survived their disappearance. I am quite certain that this quotation was scrubbed from more modern editions.

I took this quote from R. B. Thieme, Jr.’s study of Jeremiah, lesson #96. This quotation can also be found here:

http://sermons.logos.com/submissions/89651-Anti-Semitism#content=/submissions/89651 and elsewhere on the internet, as well as in Bob’s book Anti-Semitism.

The examples of historical anti-Semitism came from R. B. Thieme, Jr., Anti-Semitism; ©1974 by R. B. Thieme, Jr.; pp. 15–22, 31–36. This 150 page book examines these histories in much greater detail and may be obtained from Berachah Church without charge (713-621-3740).

http://www.rbthieme.org/publicationsalphabeticallistings.html provides a complete list of booklets available from Berachah.

This phenomenon, I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, is examined on several websites, and many examples from modern and ancient history are given; one of the best is:

http://sermons.logos.com/submissions/89651-Anti-Semitism#content=/submissions/89651

http://www.churchisraelforum.com/CH_11_Blessing_or_Cursing.htm is also a reasonable page on this particular topic, of nations which have been both blessed and cursed based upon their relationship with the Jews. I do not know enough about this website to either endorse or disparage the other materials found there.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


So far, we have examined the first 3 verses of Gen. 12:


Gen 12:1–3 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those cursing you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."


God promises blessing to those who bless Israel and cursing to those who curse the Jews, which can be followed throughout history (as we saw, even the Encyclopedia Britannica has made this observation). We can add this to one of the amazing things found in the book of Genesis; 4000 years ago, an historical trend is prophesied, and this trend holds true even to today.


I want you to go back in time, and think about the Hittites, the Amalekites, the Phœnicians, the Canaanites, the Ammonites, the Edomites, the Moabites—how many people from these ancient civilizations do you know? None. They have disappeared from history. And yet God has promised us here that God would make a great people from Abram, and that his direct descendants would be blessed. There are Jews throughout the world, and, in most cases, these Jews are found in the middle to upper class of that society; and, as we examined last time, nations which treat the Jew fairly are blessed by God.


There is something even more important about Jews—when they become a part of a country, they become a reasonably well-integrated and always contributing people. Although some carry on the traditions of Judaism, many do not. Because of years of intermarriage, Jews rarely look much different from those around them. And yet, Jews are singled out regularly for discriminatory behavior. This is because they are God’s people, chosen by God and blessed by God and, when necessary, disciplined by God.


There is an interesting dynamic which we can observe in the United States—most of us have an opinion about Israel and the Palestinians, and for a reasonably large percentage of us, we have strong opinions on this matter. However, a much smaller percentage of us think about the Kurds in Iraq and what Saddam Hussein did to them. Few of us give much thought to Lebanon, a country once known, very recently in fact, for its tolerance and diversity, and now controlled, for the most part, by radical Muslims. There are all kinds of dynamics taking place throughout the world, but most of us tend to be aware of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is because the Jews are an important part of ancient and contemporary history.


As we will eventually find out, Jews will be with us until the end, and the Jewish Age—a period of time which begins with Abram—will suddenly pick up again and continue, with the Jews playing a key role in the Tribulation (a 7 year period of time which concludes the Jewish Age—see the doctrine of Dispensations (HTML) (PDF) (WPD)). This helps to explain the radical anti-Semitism, which is so deep as to cause a nation to attempt to exterminate all of its Jews. Why would such a thing occur? Jews are nearly always good for a society (I cannot think of any instances where they are not). Therefore, it seems counterintuitive that a culture would turn against them. However, this is because the Jews are the people of God and Satan has a vested interest in removing them from history. If Satan can destroy the Jews, then God’s promises for the future become void, making God out to be a liar.


One fact which may surprise you is, even though there are roughly the same amount of Jews in the United States as Muslims, and even though Muslims attacked us on 9/11, there are far more incidents of anti-Semitism than there are which are anti-Muslim. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, when anti-Muslim actions would be at their peak, 27% of religious hate crimes were against Muslims and 56% of religious hate crime incidents were against Jews. Since 2002, hate crimes against Muslims have never risen above 13% of anti-religion hate crimes; and, in 2008, these were down to 8%. For most people, this is counterintuitive, but that is simply because you believe Satanic propaganda, also known as doctrines of demons in 1Tim. 4:1 (But the Spirit expressly says that, in later times, some will fall away from the faith [Bible doctrine], devoting one’s thoughts to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons). When it comes to the Arabs and Jews, you may fully expect a barrage of lies from Satan. This is why it is possible for some nations to actually hold Holocaust Denial conferences, where they seriously debate whether or not the holocaust occurred. This demonstrates just how powerful Satan’s propaganda is.


Back to Abram:


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Abram Enters into the Land of Promise


And so goes Abram as which was spoken unto him Yehowah. And so goes with him Lot. And Abram was five years and seventy a year in his departing from Charan.

Genesis

12:4

So Abram went as Yehowah told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Charan.

So Abram went just as Jehovah told him; and Lot went along with him. Abram was 75 when he left Haran.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Abram went, according as the Lord had spoken with him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was the son of seventy and five years at his going forth from Haran.

Latin Vulgate                          So Abram went out as the Lord had commanded him, and Lot went with him: Abram was seventy-five years old when he went forth from Haran.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so goes Abram as which was spoken unto him Yehowah. And so goes with him Lot. And Abram was five years and seventy a year in his departing from Charan.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    So Abram did as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abram went as the Lord spoke to him, and Lot departed with him, and Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Abram was seventy-five years old when the LORD told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran. When they came to the land of Canaan,...

Good News Bible (TEV)         When Abram was seventy-five years old, he started out from Haran, as the LORD had told him to do; and Lot went with him.

New Century Version             So Abram left Haran as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. At this time Abram was 75 years old.

New Living Translation           So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

The Voice                               Without any hesitation, Abram went. He did exactly as the Eternal One asked him to do. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, Abram did just as Jehovah told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran, 5 taking along his woman Sara, his nephew Lot, all the many things that they owned, and all the souls that they had accumulated in Haran, as they traveled to the land of CanaAn. V. 5 is included for context.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Abram went as the LORD directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Gn 11:31; Jos 24:3; Acts 7:4.

 

New Simplified Bible              So Abram left, just as Jehovah told him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

Revised English Bible            Abram, who was seventy-five years old when he left Haran, set out as the Lord had bidden him, and Lot went with him.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abram went as Yahweh spoke to him, and Lot went with him. Abram, a son of seventy five years, proceeded from Harran.

Bible in Basic English             So Abram went as the Lord had said to him, and Lot went with him: Abram was seventy-five years old when he went away from Haran.

The Expanded Bible              So Abram left Haran [11:31] as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. At this time Abram was 75 years old.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 So Abram departed, as the Ever-living had told him; and Lot accompanied him; and Abram was seventy-five years old at his departure from Haran.

New Advent Bible                  So Abram went out, as the Lord bade him, and with him went his nephew, Lot. Abram was seventy-five years old [It seems that Thare was still alive at the time of Abram's migration (cf. 11.26, 32). St Jerome, assuming that Thare was dead, would date Abram's age of seventy-five not from his birth, but from the time of his leaving Ur.] at the time when he left Haran, took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot with him, all the possessions they had acquired in Haran, and all the retainers born in their service there, and set out for the land of Chanaan. Most of v. 5 was included for context.

NET Bible®                             So Abram left [So Abram left. This is the report of Abram's obedience to God's command (see v. 1).], just as the Lord had told him to do [Heb "just as the Lord said to him."], and Lot went with him. (Now [The disjunctive clause (note the pattern conjunction + subject + implied "to be" verb) is parenthetical, telling the age of Abram when he left Haran.] Abram was 75 years old [Heb "was the son of five years and seventy year[s]."] [Terah was 70 years old when he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran (Gen 11:26). Terah was 205 when he died in Haran (11:32). Abram left Haran at the age of 75 after his father died. Abram was born when Terah was 130. Abram was not the firstborn - he is placed first in the list of three because of his importance. The same is true of the list in Gen 10:1 (Shem, Ham and Japheth). Ham was the youngest son (9:24). Japheth was the older brother of Shem (10:21), so the birth order of Noah's sons was Japheth, Shem, and Ham.] when he departed from Haran.)

NIV – UK                                So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           So Avram went, as ADONAI had said to him, and Lot went with him. Avram was 75 years old when he left Haran.

exeGeses companion Bible   So Abram goes, as Yah Veh worded to him;

and Lot goes with him:

and Abram is a son of seventy-five years

when he departs from Haran:...

Kaplan Translation                 Abram went as God had directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Charan [According to the genealogies, Abram was born in 1948, so this was the year 2023.].

Orthodox Jewish Bible           So Avram departed as Hashem had told him; and Lot went with him; and Avram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Charan.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                So Abram departed, as the Lord had directed him; and Lot [his nephew] went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Abram went out, even as Jehovah had spoken to him. And Lot went with him. And Abram was a son of seventy five years when he went out from Haran.

New King James Version       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.

Syndein/Thieme                     So Abram departed, as Jehovah/God had 'spoken categorically'/decreed {dabar} unto him. And Lot went with him {still a violation of God's command to separate from kindred}. And Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

World English Bible                So Abram went, as Yahweh had spoken to him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran.

Young’s Updated LT             And Abram goes on, as Jehovah has spoken unto him, and Lot goes with him, and Abram is a son of five and seventy years in his going out from Charan.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram left Charan at age 75, as ordered by God. He took Lot with him.


Genesis 12:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kaʾăsher (כַּאֲשֶר) [pronounced kah-uh-SHER] means as which, as one who, as, like as, just as; because; according to what manner, in a manner as. Back in 1Sam. 12:8, I rendered this for example.

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: So Abram went as Yehowah spoke to him;... As previously discussed, Abram did not follow God’s orders at first; and his father died. That seems to have given him the impetus to do just as God required.


Genesis 12:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object) with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #854 BDB #85

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532


Translation: ...and Lot went with him. His nephew Lot went with him. Abram had been told to separate from his family. He will have nothing but problems from Lot and Lot will eventually not even appreciate all that Abram had provided for him.


There are two views of Abram’s relationship to Lot: Lot’s father and grandfather had both died, so that Abram was, for all intents and purposes, his guardian. But we really do not know Lot’s age. By the next chapter, Lot and Abram clearly own their own businesses which operate together. We do not know how long it was until this occurred.

Should Abram have taken Lot with Him?

1.      There are, quite obviously, two points of view here. R. B. Thieme, Jr. said1 that bringing Lot along violated God’s command to Abram to separate from his family.

2.      The New Berkeley Bible, on the other hand, footnotes this verse: Abram became Lot’s guardian at Haran and Terah’s death.2 Obviously, if Abram has assumed responsibility for Lot, then he cannot abandoned a young Lot.

3.      Lot’s father (Abram’s older brother) and Lot’s grandfather both died, in Ur and Charan, respectively.

4.      Given this, along with the fact of the move, and Haran is older than Abram, it is reasonable to assume that Abram is probably older than Lot by 20–40 years. However, that makes Lot 35–55 years old a this time (these are wild guesses).

5.      Furthermore, Lot separates from Abram early on (Gen. 13).

6.      This suggests that Lot was old enough to take care of himself when in Haran.

7.      Lot apparently was not without family in that area, as Gen. 24 seems to indicate.

8.      Abram did no favors to Lot by fathering him after age 30 or so.

9.      Despite Abram saving Lot from eastern kings invading his city, Lot remains independent from Abram. Despite his own city going up in flames, so to speak, and Lot ending up in extreme poverty, Lot and his 2 girls continue to be independent of Abram.

10.    Therefore, let me suggest that Abram should have followed God’s instructions exactly and left Lot in Charan.

1 From http://syndein.com/Genesis_12.html accessed June 22, 2013.

2 The Modern Language Bible (The New Berkeley Version); Gerrit Verkuyl, Ph.D., Editor-in-chief; revised edition; Hendrickson Publishers, © 1969, p. 10 (footnote).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Given that Lot is by now an adult, I would think that Abram should have separated from Lot to begin with. You may counter with, “Well, isn’t it gracious for Abram to take Lot with him?” Not necessarily. Lot’s life sucked in Canaan. He was blessed greatly at first, but when he separated from Abram, his life was lousy in nearly all respects. Perhaps his life would have been much improved had he remained in Charan.


Genesis 12:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

châmêsh (חָמֵש) [pronounced khaw-MAYSH]

five

masculine singular numeral

Strong’s #2568 BDB #331

shânîym (שָנִים) [pronounced shaw-NEEM]

years

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shibeʿîym (שִבְעִים) [pronounced shibv-ĢEEM]

seventy

numeral

Strong’s #7657 BDB #988

shânâh (שָנָה) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go [come] out, to go [come] forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Chârân (חָרָן) [pronounced khaw-RAWN]

parched; mountaineer; transliterated Haran, Charan

masculine singular proper noun/location

Strong’s #2771 BDB #357


Translation: Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Charan. 75 years old for Abram is much more like 35–40 years old for most of us. Abram will live to be 175, so he is not even halfway there yet.


——————————


And so takes Abram Sarai his woman and Lot a son of his brother and all of their possessions which they had collected and the souls they had made in Charan. And so they go out to depart land-ward of Canaan. And so they come in land-ward of Canaan.

Genesis

12:5

Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot, his brother’s son, and all their possessions which they had acquired and the slaves and employees [lit., souls] that they had acquired [as property] in Charan. They went forth to depart for the land of Canaan; and they [finally] came in to the land of Canaan.

He took with him Sarah his wife and Lot his nephew, along with all of the possessions which they had collected and all of the slaves that they had acquired in Haran. Then they departed for the land of Canaan and finally arrived there.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Abram took Sara his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all the substance which they had acquired, and the souls whom they had proselyted in Haran, and went forth to go to the land of Kenaan. And they came to the land of Kenaan.

Jerusalem targum                  And the souls of the proselytes.

Latin Vulgate                          And he took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all the substance which they had gathered, and the souls which they had gotten in Haran: and they went out to go into the land of Chanaan. And when they were come into it,...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so takes Abram Sarai his woman and Lot a son of his brother and all of their possessions which they had collected and the souls they had made in Charan. And so they go out to depart land-ward of Canaan. And so they come in land-ward of Canaan.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brothers son and all their possessions which they had gained and the persons that they had gotten in Haran, and they went on their way to the land of Canaan, and to the land of Canaan they came.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot the son of his brother, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and every soul which they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go into the land of Canaan.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all of their possessions, and those who became members of their household in Haran; and they set out for the land of Canaan. A portion of this verse will be placed with v. 6.

Easy English                          Abram took with him his wife Sarai and his brother's son Lot. He also took the slaves. And he took everything that he had got in Haran. They left to go to the country called Canaan. And they arrived at Canaan.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the slaves and all the other things he got in Haran. Then Abram and his group moved to the land of Canaan.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the wealth and all the slaves they had acquired in Haran, and they started out for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan,...

The Message                         Abram took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot with him, along with all the possessions and people they had gotten in Haran, and set out for the land of Canaan and arrived safe and sound.

New Century Version             He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and everything they owned, as well as all the servants they had gotten in Haran. They set out from Haran, planning to go to the land of Canaan, and in time they arrived there.

New Life Bible                        Abram took his wife Sarai, and his brother's son Lot, and all the things they had gathered, and the people who joined them in Haran. And they left to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.

The Voice                               He took with him his wife Sarai, his brother's son Lot, all of their possessions, and all of the persons they had acquired for their household while in Haran; and they all set off toward the land of Canaan. When they reached Canaan, 6 Abram kept going through it to a sacred place called Shechem where the oak of Moreh stood. A portion of v. 6 was included for context.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran, taking along his woman Sara, his nephew Lot, all the many things that they owned, and all the souls that they had accumulated in Haran, as they traveled to the land of CanaAn. A portion of v. 4 is included for context.

New American Bible              Abram took his wife Sarai, his brother's son Lot, all the possessions that they had accumulated, and the persons [Persons: slaves and retainers that formed the social aggregate under the leadership of Abraham; cf Genesis 14:14.] they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land as far as the sacred place at Shechem, by the terebinth of Moreh. (The Canaanites were then in the land.) V. 6 was included for context.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Abram took his wife Sarai, his brother's son Lot, all the possessions that they had accumulated, and the persons [Persons: servants and others who formed the larger household under the leadership of Abraham; cf. 14:14.] they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan,... The ancestors appear in Genesis as pastoral nomads living at the edge of settled society, and having occasional dealings with the inhabitants, sometimes even moving into towns for brief periods. Unlike modern nomads such as the Bedouin, however, ancient pastoralists fluctuated between following the herds and sedentary life, depending on circumstances. Pastoralists could settle down and farm and later resume a pastoral way of life. Indeed, there was a symbiotic relationship between pastoralists and villagers, each providing goods to the other. Related passages: Gn 11:31; Jos 24:3; Acts 7:4.

NIRV                                      He took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot. They took all of the things they had gotten in Haran. They also took the workers they had gotten there.

They set out for the land of Canaan. And they arrived there.

New Jerusalem Bible             Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had amassed and the people they had acquired in Haran. They set off for the land of Canaan, and arrived there.

New Simplified Bible              He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran. They set out for the land of Canaan and soon arrived there.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abram took Sarai his woman, Lot the son of his brother, all the goods they acquired, and the souls that they made in Harran. They proceeded to go into the land of Canaan. They came to the land of Canaan.

The Expanded Bible              He took his wife Sarai, ·his nephew [Lthe son of his brother] Lot, and everything they owned, as well as all the ·servants [Lpeople] they had gotten in Haran. They set out from Haran, planning to go to the land of Canaan, and in time they arrived there.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Abram also too Sarai, his wife, and Lot the son of his brother, and the whole of his property which he possessed, and the slaves which he had acquired in Haran; and he proceeded to travel to the land of Canaan; and he came to the country of Canaan.

New Advent Bible                  So Abram went out, as the Lord bade him, and with him went his nephew, Lot. Abram was seventy-five years old at the time when he left Haran, took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot with him, all the possessions they had acquired in Haran, and all the retainers born in their service there, and set out for the land of Chanaan. When they reached it, Abram went across country as far as Sichem and the Valley of Clear Seeing [`The Valley of Clear Seeing'; in the Hebrew text, `The oak of Moré' (a proper name). The Latin version evidently follows a different tradition, which would connect the name of the place with the Hebrew word for `appearance' (cf. the verse following).]. Those were the days when the Chanaanites still dwelt in the land. Vv. 4–6 are included for context.

NET Bible®                             And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew [Heb "the son of his brother."] Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired [For the semantic nuance “acquire [property]” for the verb עָשָׂה (’asah), see BDB 795 s.v. עָשָׂה.] in Haran, and they left for [Heb "went out to go."] the land of Canaan. They entered the land of Canaan.

New Heart English Bible        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 forth to go into the land of Canaan. Into the land of Canaan they came.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Avram took his wife Sarai, his brother's son Lot, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, as well as the people they had acquired in Haran; then they set out for the land of Kena'an and entered the land of Kena'an.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and Abram takes Saray his woman

and Lot the son of his brother

and all the acquisitions they acquired

and the souls they worked in Haran;

and they go - go to the land of Kenaan;

and to the land of Kenaan they come: ...

Kaplan Translation                 Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all their belongings, as well as the people they had gathered [Literally, 'the soul that they had made,' or 'the souls that they had made.' It can be interpreted to mean the servants they had acquired (Rashi), or the people that they had converted to God's cause (Rashi; Ibn Ezra). It can also denote the spiritual gifts that they had acquired (Sefer Yetzirah 6; Raavad ad loc.)], and they left, heading toward Canaan. When they came to Canaan,...

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Avram took Sarai his isha, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had amassed, and the nefesh that they had gotten in Charan; and they went forth to go into the land of Kena'an; and they arrived in the land of Kena'an.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the persons [servants] that they had acquired in Haran, and they went forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the locality of Shechem, to the oak or terebinth tree of Moreh. A portion of v. 6 was included for context.

Context Group Version          And Abram took Sarai his woman { or wife }, and Lot his brother's son, and all their wealth that they had gathered, and the lives { souls } that they had acquired in Haran; and they went out to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Darby Translation                  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had acquired, and the souls that they had obtained in Haran, and they went out to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

English Standard Version      And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan,...

The Geneva Bible                  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brothers son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls [Meaning servants as well as cattle. ] 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.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Abram took his wife Sarai, and his brother's son, Lot, and all their substance that they had gained, and the persons they had gotten in Haran. And they went out to go into the land of Canaan. And they came into the land of Canaan.

NASB                                     Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons [Lit souls] which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out [Lit went forth to go to] for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.

Syndein/Thieme                     And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot - his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered/earned, and the souls {nephesh - referring to over 200 slaves Abram had acquired} 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. {Note: This verse may give us a hint as to why Abram 'tarried' in Haran. It was a great place of business. Abram is leaving here now with great wealth. This very easily could have been a hindrance to the spiritual growth of Abram - you cannot worship gold and God at the same time. And, this does not mean that wealth is 'evil'. It means get doctrine and then you have the capacity to enjoy your wealth. Cart and horse type thing.}

World English Bible                Abram took Sarai his wife, Lot his brother's son, all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls who they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan. Into the land of Canaan they came.

Young’s Updated LT             And Abram takes Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother”s son, and all their substance that they have gained, and the persons that they have obtained in Charan; and they go out to go towards the land of Canaan; and they come in to the land of Canaan.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram too Sarai, his wife, and his nephew Lot, and all of the possessions and people they had acquired while in Charan, and went to the land of Canaan.


Genesis 12:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Sâray (שָׂרַי) [pronounced saw-RAY or saw-RAH-ee]

my prince; my princess, nobility; transliterated Sarai

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8297 BDB #979

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #802 BDB #61

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, half-brother; kinsman or close relative; one who resembles

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26


Translation: Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot, his brother’s son,... Abram actually had quite a bit to take with him to the land of Canaan. He had his wife, of course, and his nephew Lot, whom he had assume responsibility for, since his father Haran had died back in Ur.


Genesis 12:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

rekûwsh (רְכוּש) [pronounced rehk-OOSH]

that which is acquired; substance, wealth; [moveable, transportable] property, goods; possessions; livestock

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #7399 BDB #940

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

râkash (רָכַש) [pronounced raw-KAHSH]

to acquire, to gain; to collect [gather, get], to gather property

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7408 BDB #940


Translation: ...and all their possessions which they had acquired... Abram had a successful family, and God had blessed them, even though Abram had not yet fully followed God’s stated plan. They had acquired a great many possessions, which would have included livestock, a measure of great riches in the ancient world.


This also implies that, Abram and his family were quite successful in Haran. Here is a difficult decision to make—when everything is going your way, can you pick up and move? This may explain Abram’s not going immediately to the land of Canaan, despite being ordered to do so by God. Perhaps his father convinced him to stay there. “We are prospering here, my son, and everyone is happy. Do we really need to move right now to Canaan? Let’s build up our wealth a little more; stay and get while the getting is good.”


Genesis 12:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

nephesh (נֶפֶש) [pronounced NEH-fesh]

soul, life, living being; breath; mind; desire, volition; will

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5315 BDB #659

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

3rd person plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

The full set of Qal meanings from BDB: to do, work, make, produce; to do; to work; to deal (with); to act, act with effect, effect; to produce; to prepare; to make (an offering); to attend to, put in order; to observe, celebrate; to acquire (property); to appoint, ordain, institute; to bring about; to use; to spend, pass.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Chârân (חָרָן) [pronounced khaw-RAWN]

parched; mountaineer; transliterated Haran, Charan

masculine singular proper noun/location

Strong’s #2771 BDB #357


Translation: ...and the slaves and employees [lit., souls] that they had acquired [as property] in Charan. Abram and his family also owned slaves and they had employees. They are gathered here under the banner souls. It was a blessing for a slave to be attached to a successful family and we will find out, in later chapters, that these men were very loyal to Abram.


All of this indicates that Abram and his family were quite successful in Charan (also known as, Haran); but this is not where God wanted them to be.


We are not given any reason for this move, apart from, this was because God told Abram to go to Canaan. The catalyst appears to be the death of Abram’s father (Gen. 11:32). We are never told of the interaction, but I would suppose that Abram told his father, Terah, that God had told him to go to Canaan. My guess is, Abram did not include the part about “God told me to separate from my family.” So they go toward Canaan (Gen. 11:31), but they settled in Charan. Perhaps Terah said, “This looks like a fine place for us.” And they stopped right there.


It will become apparent, in subsequent chapters, that a large portion of Abram’s family went to Charan. Whether they all went together or whether Terah later sent for them, we do not know. But we certainly know that many of them ended up on the western side of the Tigris-Euphrates valley, as Abram’s son and grandson will come back to this place to get wives from their family.


Obviously, Abram had enjoyed some prosperity in Charan, as he no doubt did in Ur. He was not a simple nomad with a tent and a couple relatives, but a businessman who did business in great ancient cities. He was a man with great possessions, and an owner of slaves. Speaking of which, note that God did not tell Abram to release his slaves prior to his trip to the Holy Land, a some means of purification. Abram purchased or traded for slaves in Charan, as a result of his prosperity, and nowhere in the Bible is he castigated for having slaves. See the Doctrine of Slavery (HTML) (PDF) (WPD). Something else that God did not tell Abram to do: “Sell all your goods and give them to the poor.” See the Doctrine of Wealthy Men in the Bible (which reference include McEwan's Doctrine of Wealth) (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


Scofield lists the end of chapter 11 as wasted years in Charan. God has perfect timing and Abram has some spiritual growth to go through. The incredible high points of his spiritual life all occur when he is 100 years old and older. He still has another 25 years to go until that time. Those will be years of testing and preparation; and they will be years of spiritual growth. God has given Abram a promise that he will be the father of a great nation. God has to give Abram some time to believe this. He is in a half hopeless situation—his wife is barren—God will wait until Abram is in a totally helpless situation before He begins to fulfill His promises. For Abram's part in God's plan, there needs to be a quarter of century of faith in God's Word.


Genesis 12:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come [go] forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]; [of money:] to be expended, laid out, spent; promulgated; outgoing [end of a time period]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earthward (all or a portion thereof), on [toward, upon] the earth; on [upon, toward] the land [territory, country, continent; ground, soil]

feminine singular construct with the directional hê

Strong's #776 BDB #75

The directional hê is the âh (הַ] ending to a noun, usually found after a verb of motion. This is called the directive hê or the he locale, which often indicates direction and puts somewhat of an adverbial spin on the noun. Essentially, it answers the question where? The pronunciation of the word does not change. The directional hê indicates the direction in which something moves. It is often used with the noun heaven and the most literal rendering in the English would be heavenward. We can also indicate the existence of the hê directional by supplying the prepositions to or toward.

Kenaʿan (כְּנַעַן) [pronounced keNAH-ģahn]

which possibly means merchant and is transliterated Canaan

masculine proper noun; territory

Strong’s #3667 BDB #488


Translation: They went forth to depart for the land of Canaan;... This is where God sent Abram to originally. This would be the land that God would eventually give to the descendants of Abram. Because this was a gift from God to Abraham’s descendants, we should expect this piece of dirt to be the center of controversy forever—at least until our Lord comes.


Genesis 12:5e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earthward (all or a portion thereof), on [toward, upon] the earth; on [upon, toward] the land [territory, country, continent; ground, soil]

feminine singular construct with the directional hê

Strong's #776 BDB #75

The directional hê is the âh (הַ] ending to a noun, usually found after a verb of motion. This is called the directive hê or the he locale, which often indicates direction and puts somewhat of an adverbial spin on the noun. Essentially, it answers the question where? The pronunciation of the word does not change. The directional hê indicates the direction in which something moves. It is often used with the noun heaven and the most literal rendering in the English would be heavenward. We can also indicate the existence of the hê directional by supplying the prepositions to or toward.

Kenaʿan (כְּנַעַן) [pronounced keNAH-ģahn]

which possibly means merchant and is transliterated Canaan

masculine proper noun; territory

Strong’s #3667 BDB #488


Translation: ...and they [finally] came in to the land of Canaan. Although this seems almost redundant; in the previous section, they were going to Canaan, and now here they have arrived.


As you saw in many of the other translations, this final phrase is often added to the first phrase or two in v. 6.


Gen 12:4–5a So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Charan. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot, his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people [slaves and employees] that they had acquired in Charan, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan.


Abram takes his wife, his possessions and his nephew Lot, and they all travel southwest to the land of Canaan, as directed by God.


The writer of Hebrews speaks to this 2000 years later: By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out into a place where he was afterward going to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he went. By faith he lived in the land of promise as an immigrant, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs of the same promise with him. For he was waiting for a city which has foundations upon [God] and whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:8–10).


——————————


And so passes through Abram the land as far as a place of Shechem as far as an oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite then in the land.

Genesis

12:6

Abram passed through the land as far as the town of Shechem to the oak of Moreh. The Canaanites [were] in the land at that time.

Abram passed through the land and went as far as Shechem to the oak of Moreh. The Canaanites inhabited the land at the time.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shekem, unto the plain which had been showed. [JERUSALEM. The plain (or valley) of vision.] And the Kenaanites were then in the land; for the time had not yet come that the sons of Israel should possess it.

Latin Vulgate                          Abram passed through the country unto the place of Sichem, as far as the noble vale: now the Chanaanite was at that time in the land.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so passes through Abram the land as far as a place of Shechem as far as an oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite then in the land.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abram passed through the land as far as the country of Shechem, and as far as the oak of Mamre. And the Canaanites were settled then in the land.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abram traveled the land lengthwise as far as Shechem, to the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites then inhabited the land.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           When they arrived in Canaan, Abram traveled through the land as far as the sacred place at Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. The Canaanites lived in the land at that time. A portion of v. 5 is included for context.

Contemporary English V.       Abram went as far as the sacred tree of Moreh in a place called Shechem. The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time,...

Easy English                          And Abram went through the country. He went as far as the place called Shechem. He came to the *oak there that was called Moreh. The *Canaanites (Canaan's *descendants) owned the country at that time.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abram traveled through the land of Canaan as far as the town of Shechem and then went to the big tree at Moreh. The Canaanite people lived in that place at this time.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Abram traveled through the land until he came to the sacred tree of Moreh, the holy place at Shechem. (At that time the Canaanites were still living in the land.).

The Message                         Abram passed through the country as far as Shechem and the Oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites occupied the land.

New Living Translation           Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.

The Voice                               ...Abram kept going through it to a sacred place called Shechem where the oak of Moreh stood. (At this time, the Canaanite people were living on this land, so Abram could not take it as his own.)


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Abram traveled down through the land as far as a place called Shechem, where there was a tall tree. And at the time, the CanaAnites were living in the land.

Christian Community Bible     They arrived at Canaan. Abram traveled through the country as far as Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. A portion of v. 5 is included for context.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Abram passed through the land as far as the sacred place at Shechem, by the oak of Moreh. The Canaanites were then in the land. Abraham's journey to the center of the land, Shechem, then to Bethel, and then to the Negeb, is duplicated in Jacob's journeys (33:18; 35:1, 6, 27; 46:1) and in the general route of the conquest under Joshua (Jos 7:2; 8:9, 30). Abraham's journey is a symbolic "conquest" of the land he has been promised. In building altars here (vv. 7, 8) and elsewhere, Abraham acknowledges his God as Lord of the land.

NIRV                                      Abram traveled through the land. He went as far as the large tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the people of Canaan were living in the land.

New Jerusalem Bible             Abram passed through the country as far as the holy place at Shechem, the Oak of Moreh. The Canaanites were in the country at the time.

Today’s NIV                          Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And Abram went through the land till he came to Shechem, to the holy tree of Moreh. At that time, the Canaanites were still living in the land.

The Expanded Bible              Abram ·traveled [passed] through that land as far as the great oak [or terebinth] tree of Moreh at Shechem [Ca town in northern Palestine]. The Canaanites were living in the land at that time.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then Abram traveled in that country to the village of Shekhem, as far as Alon-Moreh, and the Canaanites were still in the land.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               When they arrived in the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, at the terebinth of Moreh. The Canaanites were then in the land. A portion of v. 5 is included for context.

NET Bible®                             Abram traveled through the land as far as the oak tree [Or "terebinth."] of Moreh [The Hebrew word Moreh (מוֹרֶה, moreh) means “teacher.” It may well be that the place of this great oak tree was a Canaanite shrine where instruction took place.] at Shechem [Heb "as far as the place of Shechem, as far as the oak of Moreh."]. (At that time the Canaanites were in the land [The disjunctive clause gives important information parenthetical in nature - the promised land was occupied by Canaanites.].)


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Avram passed through the land to the place called Sh'khem, to the oak of Moreh. The Kena'ani were then in the land.

Kaplan Translation                 Abram traveled through the land as far as the area of Shechem [A city near the center of the Holy Land, in the vicinity of the present Nablus.], coming to the Plain of Moreh [(Targum; Rashi). Elon Moreh in Hebrew. See Deuteronomy 11:30. Other sources translate it as 'the Terebinth of Moreh' (Ibn Ezra; Ramban on 14:6). The terebinth of the Torah is a large tree (Pistacia atlantica) of the sumac family, also related to the pistachio. It is also sometimes identified with the oak. The terebinth could live for over a thousand years, and was often as much as twenty feet in diameter. The Terebinth of Moreh would have been a particularly large tree that served as a landmark in the area. See Genesis 35:4, Judges 9:6.]. The Canaanites were then in the land.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Avram passed through the land unto the makom Shechem, unto Elon Moreh. And the Kena'ani was then in ha'aretz.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And passing is Abram into the land as far as the place of Shechem, as far as the high oak. And the Canaanite is then dwelling in the land.

English Standard Version      Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

The Geneva Bible                  And Abram passed through [He wandered to and fro in the land before he could find a settling place: thus God exercises the faith of his children.] the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite [Which was a cruel and rebellious nation, by whom God kept his in continual exercise. ] [was] then in the land.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Abram passed through the land as far as the place of Shechem, to the Oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

New King James Version       Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh [Hebrew Alon Moreh]. And the Canaanites were then in the land.

Syndein/Thieme                     And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sachem {Sh@kem means 'shoulder' but represents power - like a left hook - or the archer turning the left-shoulder to the foe to shoot an arrow - David used it this way is Psalm 21:12}, unto the plain of Moreh {Mowreh - means instruction or teaching}. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

Young’s Updated LT             And Abram passes over into the land, unto the place Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh; and the Canaanite is then in the land.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram travels through the land to Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Canaanites live in the land at this time.


Genesis 12:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʿâbar (עָבַר) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over [beyond], to cross, to cross over; to go away, to depart; to violate [a law]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

ʿad (עַד) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until; while, so long as; to, even to [some certain limit]; even to [unto], unto

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

mâqôwm (מָקוֹם) [pronounced maw-KOHM]

place, situated; for a soldier, it may mean where he is stationed; for people in general, it would be their place of abode (which could be their house or their town)

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4725 BDB #879

Shekem (שְכֶם) [pronounced shek-EHM]

shoulder; back; [elevated] track of land; transliterated Shechem

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #7927 BDB #1014

A district in northern Palestine. This is the first time this area is named in Scripture.


Translation: Abram passed through the land as far as the town of Shechem... Abram would be coming from the north, so we would expect him to pass through a northern area first, which he does.


Genesis 12:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿad (עַד) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until; while, so long as; to, even to [some certain limit]; even to [unto], unto

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

ʾêlôwn (אֵלוֹן) [pronounced AY-lohn]

oak, terebinth, tall tree, a strong and hardy tree; plain; hill?

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #436 BDB #18

Môwreh (מוֹרֶה) [pronounced moh-REH]

teacher; transliterated Moreh

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4175&4176 BDB #435


Translation: ...to the oak of Moreh. Apparently there is a tall tree which stands out, and Abram appears to stop here.


Gen 12:5b–6 When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.


Shechem is pretty much smack dab in the middle of Canaan, which area we know as Palestine or modern-day Israel. As an aside, the Jews in that land today are descendants of Abram, who was given that land by God. The Palestinians in that land have absolutely no clear, definable relationship to any other ancient group of people who have lived in this land.


Gen 12:5b–6 When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.


abrahams-journey-map.jpgFrom:

http://www.ccg.org/_domain/abrahams-legacy.org/images/abrahams-journey-map.gif

Map of the Route that Abram took (remember, Charan = Haran).


Although we know where Shechem is, scholars are divided on what the oak of Moreh is. The first word is ʾêlôwn (אֵלוֹן) [pronounced AY-loan], which means oak, terebinth, tall tree, a strong and hardy tree; a plain; possibly a hill. Strong’s #436 BDB #18. The second word is môwreh (מוֹרֶה) [pronounced moh-REH], which means teacher; and is transliterated Moreh. Strong’s #4175 & #4176 BDB #435 (there is much more to know about this word, but I will leave it at that).


With regards to the oak of Moreh, let me suggest this theory: an ancient teacher of Biblical truth had a specific place in his area where he would go and teach, and this place was marked by some clearly-defined landmark, such as a great oak or terebinth. Or, maybe this place acquired this name, as this is where Jehovah Elohim would teach Abram (what follows is another appearance of God to Abram). Either theory would allow for these designated areas of learning to be in different places throughout Canaan (Gen. 12:6 Deut. 11:30 Judges 7:1); and it would allow êlôwn to be singular (Gen. 12:6) or plural (Deut. 11:30) or for Moreh to be preceded by a different noun altogether (Judges 7:1). Furthermore, these places would have been well-known to the inhabitants of that era; and hence, there is little need for an explanation within the text (which is what we find to be the case). Finally, we know enough from the Hebrew words themselves to come up with a reasonable explanation as to what the Oak of Moreh was all about.


Genesis 12:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Kenaʿănîy (כְּנַעֲנִי) [pronounced ke-nah-ģuh-NEE]

merchant, trader; and is transliterated Canaanite, Canaanites

adjective/nominative gentilic; with the definite article

Strong’s #3669 BDB #489

ʾâz (אָז) [pronounced awz]

then, after that, at that time, in that case (when following an if or though), now, as things are; that being so, therefore, because of that

adverb

Strong’s #227 BDB #23

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: The Canaanites [were] in the land at that time. This was a beautiful land, and it was occupied at this time by the Canaanites.


At least 11 generations of Canaanites have been brought into the world. It would be possible, with uninhibited growth, with the size families which are given, to have millions of Canaanites extent at that time. In fact, at the average number of children in each family being 5, this allows us enough generations to have 10,000,000 Canaanites in existence at that time (these are not all the Hamites, as we have another three sets of families at least which have come from Ham, allowing approximately another 30 million.


Theologians, so that they can agree with the presuppositions of archeology, have thought that several generations are missing in the enumeration of the line of Shem. However, each missing generation essentially multiplies the population by 5 (using that as a median value for the number of persons in a family, a very conservative figure). There would be some attrition due to famine, pestilence, disease and likely warfare and crime (although none of these things have been mentioned). From the standpoint of reasonable population amounts and mathematics, there is unlikely many gaps, if any, in Shem's lineage in Gen 11.


In one verse, Abram has moved to the southern portion of Judah, 3/4ths of the way to Egypt from Haran. They have traveled perhaps 500 miles, on the simple command of God to come out to the land of Canaan.


Gen 12:6b At that time the Canaanites were in the land.


Noah had 3 sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Ham had 4 named sons, one of whom was Canaan. Canaan apparently went west and settled in this beautiful land off the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.


The Canaanites were, at one time, a great people (great in number and in power). Canaan or some form of Canaan occurs nearly 160 times in the Bible (mostly between Genesis and Judges). They are among the peoples inhabiting the Land of Promise, and God will tell the Jews to expel or to destroy these people from the land. For many of us, that sounds quite harsh, but, when the time is right, I will give you the details.


——————————


And so appears Yehowah unto Abram, and so He says, “To your seed I will give the land the this.” And so builds there an altar to Yehowah, the one appearing unto him.

Genesis

12:7

Yehowah appeared to Abram [there] and He said, “I will give this land to your descendants [lit., seed].” Therefore, [Abram] built an altar there to Yehowah, Who appeared to him.

Jehovah appeared to Abram there and He said to Abram, “I will give this land to your descendants.” Therefore, Abram built an altar there to Jehovah, Who appeared to him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the Lord was revealed unto Abram, and said, To thy sons will I give this land. And he builded there an altar before the Lord, who was revealed to him.

Latin Vulgate                          And the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him: To thy seed will I give this land. And he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so appears Yehowah unto Abram, and so He says, “To your seed I will give the land the this.” And so builds there an altar to Yehowah, the one appearing unto him.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, To your descendants will I give this land; and Abram built there an altar to the LORD, for he had appeared to him.

Septuagint (Greek)                Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, I will give this land to your seed. And Abram built an altar there to the Lord who appeared to him.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       ...but the LORD appeared to Abram and promised, "I will give this land to your family forever." Abram then built an altar there for the LORD.

Easy English                          Abram saw the *Lord. And the *Lord said to him, `I shall give this country to your *descendants.' Then Abram built an *altar for the *Lord's honour. Abram built it where he had seen the *Lord.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "This is the country that I am going to give to your descendants." Then Abram built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

The Message                         GOD appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your children." Abram built an altar at the place GOD had appeared to him.

New Life Bible                        Then the Lord showed Himself to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your children and to your children's children." So Abram built an altar there to the Lord Who had shown Himself to him.

New Living Translation           Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your descendants [Heb seed]." And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

The Voice                               There the Eternal appeared to Abram.

Eternal One: I am going to give this land to your future generations [Galatians 3:16].

So, out of honor and respect, there Abram built an altar table to the Eternal One, who had appeared to him and spoken these words of promise.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

New American Bible (R.E.)    The LORD appeared to Abram and said: To your descendants I will give this land. So Abram built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him. Ex 33:1; Dt 34:4; Acts 7:5.

NIRV                                      The Lord appeared to Abram at Shechem. He said, "I will give this land to your children after you." So Abram built an altar there to honor the Lord, who had appeared to him.

New Jerusalem Bible             Yahweh appeared to Abram and said, 'I shall give this country to your progeny.' And there, Abram built an altar to Yahweh who had appeared to him.

New Simplified Bible              Jehovah appeared to Abram and said: »I will give this land to your offspring (seed).« He built an altar there to Jehovah, who had appeared to him.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the Lord came to Abram, and said, I will give all this land to your seed; then Abram made an altar there to the Lord who had let himself be seen by him.

The Expanded Bible              The Lord appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your ·descendants [Lseed]." So Abram built an altar [Ca place to offer sacrifices] there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will assign this land to your offspring.” And he built an alta there to the Lord who had appeared to him.

New Advent Bible                  Here the Lord appeared to Abram, promising to give the whole land to his posterity; and this appearance he commemorated by building the Lord an altar there.

NET Bible®                             The Lord appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants [The same Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.] I will give this land." So Abram [Heb "he"; the referent (Abram) has been supplied in the translation for clarification.] built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           ADONAI appeared to Avram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So he built an altar there to ADONAI, who had appeared to him.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Hashem appeared unto Avram, and said, Unto thy zera will I give ha'aretz hazot: and there built he a Mizbe'ach unto Hashem, Who appeared unto him.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your posterity. So Abram built an altar there to the Lord, Who had appeared to him.

English Standard Version      Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

The Geneva Bible                  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar [It was not enough for him to worship God in his heart, but it was expedient to declare by outward profession his faith before men, of which this altar was a sign] unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your seed. And he built an altar there to Jehovah, who appeared to him.

Syndein/Thieme                      {Abrahamic Unconditional Covenant from God}

And Jehovah/God appeared unto Abram, and said, "Unto your seed will I {God} give this land." And there he {Abram} built {banah} an altar unto Jehovah/God, Who appeared unto him. {Note: Abram in Canaan is a picture of rebound. He is in fellowship here. His FIRST thought is to please God - build an altar. In the next verse, he THEN builds a shelter for his own physical needs!}.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, To thy seed will I give this land: and there he erected an altar to the LORD, who appeared to him.

Young’s Updated LT             And Jehovah appears unto Abram, and says, “To your seed I give this land;” and he builds there an altar to Jehovah, who has appeared unto him.

 

The gist of this verse:          God appears to Abram there and tells him that the land where he is will be given to his seed. Abram builds an altar to God.


Genesis 12:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to be seen, to be visible; to let oneself be seen, to appear; to present oneself; to be provided [cared] for (i.e., looked after)

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4


Translation: Yehowah appeared to Abram [there]... Abram is in the land where God had told him to move to; and God appears to Abram at this juncture.


God appears to Abram, and, as we have seen before, nothing is said about God’s physical form. I believe that most of the time, God appears to be a man. Furthermore, this would be Jesus Christ in His Preincarnate form. Jesus Christ is the revealed member of the Trinity. God the Father is the Planner, God the Son is the revealed member of the Godhead, and God the Holy Spirit is the power or the energy. They are all persons, but with the same essence and different function.


Prior to the incarnation, Jesus Christ appeared to man in a number of different forms; primarily as a man or as an angel, but also he was the burning bush and the cloud and the pillar of fire in Exodus. These appearances prior to the incarnation are called theophanies.


This is basically thrown together from the internet.

The Doctrine of Theophanies

"What is a theophany? What is a Christophany?"


Answer: A theophany is a manifestation of God in the Bible that is tangible to the human senses. In its most restrictive sense, it is a visible appearance of God in the Old Testament period, often, but not always, in human form. Some of the theophanies are found in these passages:

 

1.      Genesis 12:7-9-The Lord appeared to Abraham on his arrival in the land God had promised to him and his descendants.

2.      Genesis 18:1-33-One day, Abraham had some visitors: two angels and God Himself. He invited them to come to his home, and he and Sarah entertained them. Many commentators believe this could also be a Christophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ.

3.      Genesis 32:22-30-Jacob wrestled with what appeared to be a man, but was actually God (vv. 28-30). This may also have been a Christophany.

4.      Exodus 3:2 - 4:17-God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush, telling him exactly what He wanted him to do.

5.      Exodus 24:9-11-God appeared to Moses with Aaron and his sons and the seventy elders.

6.      Deuteronomy 31:14-15-God appeared to Moses and Joshuah in the transfer of leadership to Joshua.

7.      Job 38-42-God answered Job out of the tempest and spoke at great length in answer to Job's questions.


Frequently, the term "glory of the Lord" reflects a theophany, as in Exodus 24:16-18; the "pillar of cloud" has a similar function in Exodus 33:9. A frequent introduction for theophanies may be seen in the words "the Lord came down," as in Genesis 11:5; Exodus 34:5; Numbers 11:5; and 12:5.


Some Bible commentators believe that whenever someone received a visit from "the angel of the Lord," this was in fact the pre-incarnate Christ. These appearances can be seen in Genesis 16:7-14; Genesis 22:11-18; Judges 5:23; 2 Kings 19:35; and other passages. Other commentators believe these were in fact angelophanies, or appearances of angels. While there are no indisputable Christophanies in the Old Testament, every theophany wherein God takes on human form foreshadows the incarnation, where God took the form of a man to live among us as Emmanuel, "God with us" (Matthew 1:23).

Links to the Doctrine of Theophanies

What is a theophany (from Answers . Com)?

http://www.answers.com/topic/theophany

From the Quartz Hill School of Theology:

http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume3/theoph.htm

H.P. Liddon on Anticipations of Christ in the Old Testament

http://www.gospelpedlar.com/articles/Christ/liddon4.html

The Trinity in the Old Testament (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

The first treatise is from Got Answers . Org http://www.gotquestions.org/theophany-Christophany.html


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


A theophany might be a vision, a dream or real life. We do not have the occasional appearance of our Lord throughout modern history because we have the written Word of God, in its entirety. This is a blessing beyond comprehension which most Christians take for granted. We often think that if we were alive in our Lord's time, we would drop everything and follow Him because we could see, touch and listen to Him. Realize that very few people, comparatively speaking, spoke to our Lord and were guided specifically by Him during His incarnation. Those that had that opportunity often rejected Him and those who didn't often failed. With God's Word, it is just as though we have our Lord Jesus Christ right with us every step of the way to guide us in our lives and in our every decision. No previous dispensation had such blessing and guidance. Furthermore, we all participate in God's plan. In past dispensations, there were heroes of the faith, many enumerated in Heb. 11. However, in this dispensation, everyone of us has purpose, meaning and definition. Our lives can count as every bit as much as Abram's. We are given more specific guidance than Abram and we are given the Holy Spirit, our Helper, to guide us through this life. We do not have to go to the Bible and try to ascertain its contents for ourselves; God has provided men with the gift of pastor-teacher who will guide us through His Word. It takes just one thing; our choice, our free will, our volition.


Genesis 12:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

zeraʿ (זֶרַע) [pronounced ZEH-rahģ]

a seed, a sowing; an offspring, progeny, descendant; posterity

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2233 BDB #282

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

zeh (זֶה) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

masculine singular demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260


Translation: ...and He said, “I will give this land to your descendants [lit., seed].” In many Old Testament passages, there are two ways of looking at things. Here, clearly God will give this land to the Jews; and He would begin to fulfill this promise with the younger people of the Exodus generation (the generation of promise). And this is the way that most people understood this passage for centuries. But, as Paul points out, seed is in the singular (it generally always is), and God would give this land—a larger piece of it—to His Son.

 

Arthur Pink: [Abraham’s seed] Isaac was the child of promise. The Lord took great interest in the birth of this boy. More was said about him before his birth than about any other, excepting only Abraham's greater Son.


This is the first time that God makes a promise to Abraham about his seed, but fathering a son will be fundamental to all of the promises which God makes to Abraham. Without the son, all of God’s promises to Abraham are meaningless. And for us, without the Son, all that is found in the Bible is meaningless.


This is different than saying, “It could mean this; or it could mean that.” This passage means both things. Abram, here, and subsequently, understood that this referred to his children and to his children’s children. That is the common understanding. However, God also means for this to refer to His Son, Jesus Christ. As King, He would also possess this land and rule over it.


I should point out that this is different than most passages with a double meaning.

Categories of Passages with a Double Meaning

Type of Double Meaning

Examples

Ambiguity allows for a double meaning.

Gen. 12:7 (and similar passages) where it has one understanding which is superceded by another understanding. Here, for many centuries, those who read this passage understood that God was promising the land to the Jews, and, indeed, He was. However, Paul will teach that this passage refers to Jesus, as per the singular word Seed, should be understood as the One to inherit the land. This is different from co-authors (Divine and human), as God is saying this directly.

Near fulfillment; far fulfillment.

A prophecy is given which is both fulfilled in the short-term (usually within a few years of it being given) and then again, centuries later. We saw this earlier in this chapter where God made promises to Abram about his seed (or, Seed).

Prophecies with a double meaning.

Isa. 53 clearly refers to Jesus Christ on the cross; there is no more graphic description of Him on the cross anywhere else in the Bible. However, Jews understood this to refer to the Jews as God’s suffering servants for many centuries.

Human author versus Divine Author.

The human author means one thing with a set of words; but God the Holy Spirit means something different, using the exact same words.

 


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


This is what we have so far: Yehowah appeared to Abram [there] and He said, “I will give this land to your descendants [lit., seed].” God has already promised Abram that He would make a great nation from him; in order to be a great nation, one has to have a plot of ground upon which to found this nation. About 4000 years ago, God promises this land where Abram is standing as the land where the nation Israel would be. About 600 years later, Joshua would go into this land and conquer it. And even today, 4000 years later, there are still Jews living in this land given them by God (from what I can gather, there have always been Jews living in the land throughout history, going back to Abram at this point in Genesis).


Part of what is being taught here is, positional truth. Positional truth is where we stand in relationship to God after salvation. We may be the worst Christians to walk the face of the earth, but, if we have believed in Jesus Christ, we are eternally saved, and our position is in Christ. We share His righteousness and His Sonship by our position in Him. Our lives may not reflect this even in the least, but our position is secure.


So it is with unconditional promises. “I will give this land to your seed” is positional truth. Abram will fail and so will his children in the line of promise; but this promise stands forever; it is their eternal, irrevocable promise from God, as is our position in Christ.


Genesis is the book of beginnings, and nearly every important doctrine to the believer is found in seed form in Genesis.


Abram has revealed a certain amount of spiritual maturity. When God told him to move, he moved. This was not likely Sarai's choice, which would make this a difficult trip to make. They had been living in a rather cosmopolitan city and they were very well off. Why fix was ain't broken? Sarai was obedient to her husband, but it is likely that she gave her opinion once and awhile as to what a fool idea this was. In order for Abram to be made into a great nation, he will need to have a piece of geography. So God takes him to the land of Canaan and points out the land that he will possess through his progeny.


Genesis 12:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bânâh (בָּנָה) [pronounced baw-NAWH]

to build, to construct; to erect; to rebuild, to restore

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1129 BDB #124

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

mizebêach (מִזְבֵּחַ) [pronounced miz-BAY-ahkh]

altar; possibly monument

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4196 BDB #258

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

being seen, being visible to; letting oneself be seen, appearance

Niphal participle with the definite article

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: Therefore, [Abram] built an altar there to Yehowah, Who appeared to him. Because God met with Abram, Abram built an altar here to Yehowah.


As Abram moves through the land, he builds altars to God. We are not given any specifics about these altars, but we may reasonably assume that animal sacrifices were offered on these altars.


Abram does not have to be told what to do; just like Noah, he builds an altar to God; not something which is worshipped, just as we would not worship a church building or a pew, but an instrument of worship where from Abram would offer animal sacrifices. We do not know how specific God was in what He expected in the way of animal sacrifices. This was certainly revealed to the many generations previous to Noah on down to Abram, but not recorded in Scripture. It was certainly not near as defined as we will find in Exodus. The primary purpose was to teach the gospel. This is how God the Holy Spirit explained salvation to unbelievers. An innocent animal was slain on the altar to God. When a person at God consciousness, then as today, desired a relationship or knowledge of God, then God the Holy Spirit took the spiritual information available to this person, often revealing it through the animal sacrifices, and made it real and understandable to them. At that point they either followed Abram into salvation by believing God or they did not.


I have spoken before of the subtlety of the Bible. When God covered Adam and Eve with animal skins, an animal had to have been killed (sacrificed) in order for this to happen. The Bible does not make a big deal about this, even though this would have been a big deal (no animal had been killed prior to that time). Then there is Cain and Abel and God respects Abel’s offering to God, which is an animal sacrifice, but not Cain’s (which were his human works). Noah offers up animal sacrifices to God. In fact, he took additional animals into the ark specifically to sacrifice. Finally, here, Abram builds altars, presumably to sacrifice animals upon.


From the very beginning of the Bible, scores of innocent animals were sacrificed to God. These animals did not take away sin, but they were object lessons. Every Jew for over 1000 years saw lambs (or bulls, rams, or goats)—without spot or blemish—being offered up as a sacrifice to their God. They may have known a little or a lot about their own religion, but they saw animal after animal after animal being offered in their stead, to cover their sins. All of this looks forward to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, Who was without sin, Who would offer Himself as our sacrifice, Who would take upon Himself the punishment for our sins. He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as it were a hiding of faces from Him, He being despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken. And He put His grave with the wicked, and with a rich one in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased Jehovah to crush Him; to grieve Him; that He should put forth His soul as a guilt-offering. He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand (Isa. 53:3–10). He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed (1Peter 2:24).


The offering of an animal sacrifice is a type which looks forward to Jesus Christ being sacrificed (which is the antitype). The type, by itself, makes little or no sense. However, when compared to its fulfillment in the antitype (Jesus Christ), it suddenly makes perfect sense. When Jesus was being offered up on the cross, Jews were to be thinking Isa. 53 or Zech. 12:10 (“I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to Me Whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only Son, and will grieve bitterly for Him, as one grieves for his firstborn.”). In their minds, because they had seen hundreds of animal sacrifices during their lifetimes, they were to draw a line between the type and the antitype (which many Jews of the era did).


——————————


And so he moves from there the mountain-ward from eastward to Bethel. And so he stretches out his tent, Bethel from westward and Ai from eastward. And so he builds there an altar to Yehowah and so he calls in a name of Yehowah.

Genesis

12:8

He moved from there to the mountains, from the east toward Bethel. He pitched his tent [with] Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built there an altar to Yehowah and [again] he proclaimed the name of Yehowah.

He moved from there to the mountains, coming from the east and arriving near Bethel. He pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He also built an altar there to Jehovah and he proclaimed there the name and reputation and character of Jehovah.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:


 

argum of Onkelos                  And he went up from thence to a mountain which was eastward of Bethel, and outspread his tent, having Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and he builded there an altar before the Lord, and prayed in the Name of the Lord.

Latin Vulgate                          And passing on from thence to a mountain, that was on the east side of Bethel, he there pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: he built there also an altar to the Lord, and called upon his name.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he moves from there the mountain-ward from eastward to Bethel. And so he stretches out his tent, Bethel from westward and Ai from eastward. And so he builds there an altar to Yehowah and so he calls in a name of Yehowah.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And from thence he removed to a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.

Septuagint (Greek)                And he departed from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and there he pitched his tent in Bethel near the sea, and Ai toward the east, and there he built an altar to the Lord, and called on the name of the Lord.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           From there he traveled toward the mountains east of Bethel, and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and worshipped in the Lord's name.

Contemporary English V.       Abram traveled to the hill country east of Bethel and camped between Bethel and Ai, where he built another altar and worshiped the LORD.

Easy English                          From there, Abram moved his camp. He went to the hills that are east from Bethel. He put up his tent between Bethel and Ai. There he built an *altar for the *Lord's honour. Abram built it where he had seen the *Lord. And he prayed to the *Lord there.

Easy-to-Read Version            Then Abram left that place and traveled to the mountains east of Bethel. Abram set up his tent there. The city of Bethel was to the west. The city of Ai was to the east. At that place Abram built another altar to the Lord. And Abram worshiped the Lord there.

Good News Bible (TEV)         After that, he moved on south to the hill country east of the city of Bethel and set up his camp between Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There also he built an altar and worshiped the LORD.

The Message                         He moved on from there to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent between Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. He built an altar there and prayed to GOD.

New Living Translation           After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord.

The Voice                               After that, Abram traveled on to the hill country east of Bethel, and there he pitched a tent and made a home for himself and his family between Bethel in the west and Ai in the east. Here Abram built another altar table for the Eternal One, where he called upon the name of the Eternal frequently.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then he moved on from there to a mountain that was east of BethEl, and he pitched his tent near BethEl, close to the sea and east of AgGai. There he built an altar to Jehovah and started calling on the Name of the Lord.

New American Bible (R.E.)    From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel, pitching his tent with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. He built an altar there to the LORD and invoked the LORD by name.

NIRV                                      From there, Abram went on toward the hills east of Bethel. He set up his tent there. Bethel was to the west, and Ai was to the east.

New Jerusalem Bible             From there he moved on to the mountainous district east of Bethel, where he pitched his tent, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to Yahweh and invoked the name of Yahweh.

Revised English Bible            From there he moved on to the hill-country east of Bethel and pithced his tent between Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He build there an altar to the Lord whom he invoked by name.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      He originated there in a mount east of Bethel, and fixed his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar there to Yahweh, and called on the name of Yahweh.

Bible in Basic English             And moving on from there to the mountain on the east of Beth-el, he put up his tent, having Beth-el on the west and Ai on the east: and there he made an altar and gave worship to the name of the Lord.

The Expanded Bible              Then he traveled from Shechem to the mountain east of Bethel [Ca town in the central hill country south of Shechem] and set up his tent there. Bethel was to the west, and Ai [Ca town near Bethel] was to the east. There Abram built another altar to the Lord and ·worshiped him [Lcalled on the name of the Lord].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Afterwards, he removed from there to the hills at the East of Bethel and pitched his tent with Bethel at the west and Haai at the east. There he also built an Altar to the Ever-living, and called upon the name of the Ever-living.

New Advent Bible                  Then he moved on from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, where he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Hai on the east; here too he built an altar to the Lord, and invoked his name before it.

NET Bible®                             Then he moved from there to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and worshiped the Lord [Heb "he called in the name of the Lord." The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 13:4; 21:33; 26:25). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116, 281.].


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           He left that place, went to the hill east of Beit-El and pitched his tent. With Beit-El to the west and 'Ai to the east, he built an altar there and called on the name of ADONAI.

exeGeses companion Bible   And from there

he removes to a mountain east of Beth El

and spreads his tent,

having Beth El seaward and Ay eastward:

and there he builds a sacrifice altar to Yah Veh

and calls on the name of Yah Veh.

Hebrew Names Version         He left from there to the mountain on the east of Beit-El, and pitched his tent, having Beit-El on the west, and `Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.

Kaplan Translation                 God appeared to Abram and said, 'I will give this land to your off-spring.' [Abram] built an altar there to God who had appeared to him.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And he removed from there unto the harah mikedem Beit-El, and pitched his tent, having Beit-El on the west, and Ai on the east; and there he built a Mizbe'ach unto Hashem,and called upon the Shem of Hashem.

The Scriptures 1998              And from there he moved to the mountain east of Bĕyth Ěl, and he pitched his tent, with Bĕyth Ěl on the west and Ai on the east. And he built there an altar to יהוה, and called on the Name of יהוה.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                From there he pulled up [his tent pegs] and departed to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.

Concordant Literal Version    And shifting is he thence toward the mountain on the east of Beth-El, and there is stretching out his tent, with Beth-El on the seaward side, and Ai on the east, and building is he there an altar to Yahweh. And calling is he on the name of Yahweh.

Darby Translation                  And he removed thence towards the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, [having] Bethel toward the west, and Ai toward the east; and there he built an altar to Jehovah, and called on the name of Jehovah.

The Geneva Bible                  And he removed from thence [Because of the troubles that he had among that wicked people. ] 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 [And so served the true God, and renounced all idolatry.] unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

Green’s Literal Translation    And he moved from there to a mountain on the east of Bethel, and stretched his tent with Bethel toward the sea, and Ai on the east. And he built an altar there to Jehovah, and called on the name of Jehovah.

New RSV                               From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord.

Syndein/Thieme                     And he proceeded forward from there unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel {Beyth-'El - means 'house of God} on the west, and Hai {'Ay - means 'heap of ruins'} on the east. And there he built an altar unto Jehovah/God, and called upon the name of Jehovah/God.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And he removed from thence 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.

World English Bible                He left from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to Yahweh, and called on the name of Yahweh.

Young’s Updated LT             And he removes from there towards a mountain at the east of Beth-El, and stretches out the tent (Beth-El at the west, and Hai at the east), and he buildes there an altar to Jehovah, and preaches in the name of Jehovah.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram continued on the move, going south a little more, and camping between Ai and Bethel. He will build an altar to Yehowah there.


Genesis 12:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʿâthaq (עָתַק) [pronounced ģaw-THANK]

to move, to advance, to advance in years, to be stricken with age, to become old; to be manumitted, to be set free

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6275 BDB #801

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

har (הַר) [pronounced har]

hill; mountain, mount; hill-country, a mountainous area, mountain region

masculine singular noun with the definite article with the directional hê

Strong’s #2022 (and #2042) BDB #249

This word, after a verb of motion, has the locale âh (הַ] ending. This is called the directive hê or the he locale, which often indicates direction and puts somewhat of an adverbial spin on the noun. Essentially, it answers the question where? The pronunciation of the word does not change. The directional hê indicates the direction in which something moves. It is often used with the noun heaven and the most literal rendering in the English would be heavenward. We can also indicate the existence of the hê directional by supplying the prepositions to or toward.

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

qêdem (קֶדֶם) [pronounced KAY-dem]

east, antiquity, front, that which is before, aforetime; in front, mount of the East; ancient time, aforetime, ancient, from of old, earliest time; anciently, of old ; beginning; eastward, to or toward the east

noun/adverb

Strong’s #6924 BDB #870

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Bêyth-ʾêl (אֵל בֵּית) [pronounced bayth-AYHL]

house of God; transliterated Bethel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1008 BDB #110

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.


Translation: He moved from there to the mountains, from the east toward Bethel. Abram had been in Shechem for awhile, and God appeared to him there. Then Abram went westward toward Bethel.


Genesis 12:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâţâh (נָטָה) [pronounced naw-TAWH]

to stretch out, to spread out, to pitch [a tent]; to bow, to extend, to incline, to turn

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5186 BDB #639

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

ʾohel (אֹהֶל) [proonunced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #168 BDB #13

Bêyth-ʾêl (אֵל בֵּית) [pronounced bayth-AYHL]

house of God; transliterated Bethel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1008 BDB #110

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâm (יָם) [pronounced yawm]

sea, lake, river, seaward, west, westward

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3220 BDB #410

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿay (עַי) [pronounced ĢAH-ee]

heap of ruins; and is transliterated Ai, Aija, Aiath, Hai

proper singular noun; location, with the definite article

Strong’s #5857 BDB #743

There are several alternative spellings, which correspond to the different transliterations above.

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

qêdem (קֶדֶם) [pronounced KAY-dem]

east, antiquity, front, that which is before, aforetime; in front, mount of the East; ancient time, aforetime, ancient, from of old, earliest time; anciently, of old ; beginning; eastward, to or toward the east

noun/adverb

Strong’s #6924 BDB #870


Translation: He pitched his tent [with] Bethel on the west and Ai on the east.


Bethel means House of God; and Ai means heap of ruins. The believer in the Revealed God always lives between these two extremes.


This map has Shechem in central Israel, where God first appeared to Abram. He built an altar there, and then he came down going toward Bethel. He apparently traveled down the Jordan River (which would have been consistent with how his father and family traveled from Ur to Haran) and then went westward to Bethel and he stays between Bethel and Ai.


genesis12.gif

The map of Central Canaan is from www.bible-history.com, located here and accessed June 18, 2013.


What God is doing is, taking Abram throughout the land of Canaan, showing him the land which was going to belong to his ancestors. All of these cities which are named (Shechem, Bethel and Ai) all will play significant parts in the history of Israel.


Abram has led his family across the land of Canaan and he has almost gone through it without recorded incident. His family might have an interest in stopping and settling somewhere and Abram needs some guidance. What does he do from here? He followed God into the land of Canaan and he's walked through the land of Canaan.


Genesis 12:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bânâh (בָּנָה) [pronounced baw-NAWH]

to build, to construct; to erect; to rebuild, to restore

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1129 BDB #124

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

mizebêach (מִזְבֵּחַ) [pronounced miz-BAY-ahkh]

altar; possibly monument

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4196 BDB #258

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: He built there an altar to Yehowah... You will note how an altar is central to the worship of Yehowah. Animal sacrifices were offered on these altars to atone for (to cover up) sin. This was fundamental to Yehowah worship.


In the same way, the cross is central to Christianity. Jesus being born in Bethlehem in not central to the Christian message; the Sermon on the Mount is not central to the Christian message; the healing of the lame and the blind is not central to the Christian message. The central theme of Christianity is that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that we are saved only because of this.


Genesis 12:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâʾ (קָרָא) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

shêm (שֵם) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character; fame, glory; celebrated; renown; possibly memorial, monument

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and he proclaimed the name of Yehowah. Although many Bible translations have, and he called on the name of the Lord; it sounds too much as if Abram is out there shouting for God to come to him. That is not what is happening here. Abram is proclaiming the character and essence of God, and central to this is the altar where an innocent animal is offered on our behalf.


Gen 12:8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.


In this verse, Abram goes due-south and camps again, and building another altar to Jehovah God. Here, he calls upon the name of God. Abram did not have unbroken contact with God. God was not there as a visible presence at each and every place where Abram camped. Abram was to walk through the land and to see all that God was going to give to his descendants, which is why God had instructed Abraham to walk through this beautiful land.


——————————


And so pulls up stakes Abram going and pulling up stakes the negev-ward.

Genesis

12:9

Abram [continues to] pull up stakes [and] traveling and breaking camp [going] toward the Negev.

Abram continues pulling up stakes, traveling a bit, and then stopping, and breaking camp again as he made his way toward the Negev.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Abram migrated, going and migrating unto the south.

Latin Vulgate                          And Abram went forward, going and proceeding on to the south.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so pulls up stakes Abram going and pulling up stakes the negev-ward.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abram departed and went and encamped in the wilderness.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Then Abram set out toward the arid southern plain, making and breaking camp as he went.

Contemporary English V.       Later, Abram started out toward the Southern Desert.

Easy English                          Then Abram went on towards the area called the Negev.

Easy-to-Read Version            After this, Abram began traveling again. He traveled toward the Negev. The Negev is the desert area in the southern part of Judah.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then he moved on from place to place, going toward the southern part of Canaan.

The Message                         Abram kept moving, steadily making his way south, to the Negev.

New Berkeley Version           Then Abram traveled on, continuing toward the southland.

New Century Version             After this, he traveled on toward southern Canaan.

New Living Translation           Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then Abram left from there and camped in the desert.

Beck’s American Translation Again he moved, and he kept on moving toward the Negeb.

God’s Word                         Abram kept moving toward the Negev.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Thus Abram journeyed on, travelling always further south.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Then Abram journeyed on by stages to the Negeb [The Negeb: the semidesert land south of Judah.].

NIRV                                      Then Abram left and continued toward the Negev Desert.

Today’s NIV                          Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abram journeyed, going and journeying to the south.

The Expanded Bible              After this, he traveled on toward ·southern Canaan [Lthe Negev; 13:1].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then Abram marched on his journey, and proceeded to the south.

NET Bible®                             Abram continually journeyed by stages [The Hebrew verb נָסַע (nasa’) means “to journey”; more specifically it means to pull up the tent and move to another place. The construction here uses the preterite of this verb with its infinitive absolute to stress the activity of traveling. But it also adds the infinitive absolute of הָלַךְ (halakh) to stress that the traveling was continually going on. Thus “Abram journeyed, going and journeying” becomes “Abram continually journeyed by stages.”] down to the Negev [Or "the South [country]."] [Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.].

NIV – UK                                Then Abram set out and continued towards the Negev.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   And in pulling stakes,

Abram pulls stakes toward the south:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Abram traveled, continually traveling southward.

Kaplan Translation                 Abram then continued on his way, moving steadily toward the south [Negev in Hebrew, literally the drylands.].

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Avram journeyed, going on still toward the Negev.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And journeying goes Abram. And the journey is toward the south-rim.

A Conservative Version         And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

Darby Translation                  And Abram moved onward, going on still toward the south.

Emphasized Bible                  Thus Abram brake up, again and again, towards the South.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Abram pulled up stakes, going on and pulling up stakes toward the Negeb.

 

New RSV                               And Abram journeyed on by stages towards the Negeb.

Young's Updated LT              And Abram journeys, going on and journeying towards the south.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram continued moving toward the south.


Genesis 12:9

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâçaʿ (נָסַע) [pronounced naw-SAHĢ]

to pull up [stakes], to pull out, to break camp and move out, to set out, to journey, to march, to depart; to bend a bow

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5265 BDB #652

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal infinitive absolute

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

A Qal infinitive absolute is a verb which can act like noun, a verb or an adverb. Generally it takes the place of a noun and serves to intensify meanings. When it is found before the finite verb of the same root, it emphasizes the certainty or the decisiveness of the verbal idea of the root. When used as a complement of affirmation, it may be rendered surely, indeed, definitely; and when it is a complement of improbability and condition, we render it at all, freely, indeed. The Qal infinitive absolute can also serve as an adverbial complement; or, as a verb, it can replace finite verbs, imperatives, participles, and the infinitive constructs.

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâçaʿ (נָסַע) [pronounced naw-SAHĢ]

to pull up [stakes], to pull out, to break camp and move out, to set out, to journey, to march, to depart; to bend a bow

Qal infinitive absolute

Strong’s #5265 BDB #652

negeb (נֶגֶב) [pronounced ne-GHEBV]

south, south-country; southern portion of Judah, southern district of Palestine; often transliterated Negev or Negeb

masculine singular noun with the definite article with the directional hê

Strong's #5045 BDB #616

The directional hê is the âh (הַ] ending to a noun, usually found after a verb of motion. This is called the directive hê or the he locale, which often indicates direction and puts somewhat of an adverbial spin on the noun. Essentially, it answers the question where? The pronunciation of the word does not change. The directional hê indicates the direction in which something moves. It is often used with the noun heaven and the most literal rendering in the English would be heavenward. We can also indicate the existence of the hê directional by supplying the prepositions to or toward.


Translation: Abram [continues to] pull up stakes [and] traveling and breaking camp [going] toward the Negev. The Qal infinitive absolutes seem to indicate that Abram did a lot of traveling through the land, as God encouraged him to do, moving toward the south. They would settle in, then break camp and travel further, and the repeat the process. The land through which Abram was traveling was his land—God was giving this to him and to his descendants.


The Negev (also spelled Negeb—it is a transliterated word) refers to the southern portion of the land of Canaan, so Abram is making a simple north to south sweep of the land.


Gen 12:9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negev.


This is fairly easy to understand. Let’s say you were given 5 acres or 40 acres or 1000 acres—what would you want to do? You would want to travel through this land and get a feel for it, and enjoy the dirt and the plants and whatever sources of water there might be. Abram did it on foot; we might do this on horseback or in a jeep, depending upon the size of the land, the terrain and our own personal resources.


This is a gratifying notion to be able to own the dirt over which you walk, and it often changes the way that you treat the land where you live. You want to take care of it. You want to walk throughout that land, and maybe do some plantings of sorts. This is what Abram was doing.


God obviously gave Abraham some direction, as he continues to head south (the Negev is the southern portion of the land of Canaan). God leads us in various ways. Sometimes there are circumstances which seem to allow us only one direction. Abram will be led in this manner next.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


A Famine Causes Abram to Move to Egypt


And so is a famine in the land. And so goes down Abram Egypt-ward to [temporarily] live there, for was heavy the famine in the land.

Genesis

12:10

There was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to temporarily live there, for the famine was great in the land.

Because of a great famine in the land, Abram temporarily moved to Egypt to live.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down into Mizraim to be a dweller there, because the famine was strong in the land.

Latin Vulgate                          And there came a famine in the country: and Abram went down into Egypt, to sojourn there: for the famine was very grievous in the land.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so is a famine in the land. And so goes down Abram Egypt-ward to [temporarily] live there, for was heavy the famine in the land.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was severe in the land.

Septuagint (Greek)                Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, because the famine prevailed in the land.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Abram and Sarai visit Egypt

When a famine struck the land, Abram went down toward Egypt to live as an immigrant since the famine was so severe in the land.

Contemporary English V.       The crops failed, and there was no food anywhere in the land. So Abram and his wife Sarai went to live in Egypt for a while. But just before they got there, he said, "Sarai, you are really beautiful!

Easy English                          Abram and Sarai in Egypt, 12:10-20

Verses 10-20 Abram left the country that God had promised to him. Abram went to Egypt because he needed food. God would have taken care of Abram where he was. But Abram could not believe that.

We remember Abram because, especially, he trusted God. But Abram had to learn how to trust God. And Abram made some serious mistakes as he learned.

There was a very bad *famine in the country called Canaan. So Abram went down to Egypt in order to stay there. He went to Egypt because there was no food in Canaan.

Easy-to-Read Version            During this time, the land was very dry. There was no rain, and no food was able to grow. So Abram went down to Egypt to live.

Good News Bible (TEV)         But there was a famine in Canaan, and it was so bad that Abram went farther south to Egypt, to live there for a while.

The Message                         Then a famine came to the land. Abram went down to Egypt to live; it was a hard famine.

New Century Version             Abram Goes to Egypt

At this time there was not much food in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to live because there was so little food.

New Life Bible                        Now there was no food in the land. So Abram went south to Egypt to stay there, because it was very hard to live in the land with no food.

New Living Translation           Abram and Sarai in Egypt

At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canaan, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner.

The Voice                               Now at this time, there came a severe famine in the land of Canaan. Food was scarce, so Abram made his way to Egypt to live there for a while as a foreigner.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, there came a famine in the land; so, Abram went down to Egypt to stay, because the famine had virtually devastated the land.

Christian Community Bible     There was famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to stay there for some time, for the famine was severe in the land. Gen. 42:1, 20; 26:1-11; Psalm 105:14

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And now the country was stricken with famine; and Abram made his way into Egypt, to take refuge there, so grievous was the famine all over the country.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Abram and Sarai in Egypt. Abraham and Sarah's sojourn in Egypt and encounter with Pharaoh foreshadow their descendants' experience, suggesting a divine design in which they must learn to trust. The story of Sarah, the ancestor in danger, is told again in chap. 20, and also in 26:1-11 with Rebekah instead of Sarah. Repetition of similar events is not unusual in literature that has been orally shaped.

There was famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, since the famine in the land was severe. Gn 26:1.

NIRV                                      Abram Goes to Egypt

At that time there wasn't enough food in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And because there was little food to be had in that land, he went down into Egypt.

The Expanded Bible              Abram Goes to Egypt

At this time there was ·not much food [La famine] in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to ·live [Lsojourn] because ·there was so little food [Lthe famine was severe].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Abram’s Visit to Egypt, or the Mitzeraim

But a famine occurred in the land; and Abram went down to Egypt to stay there for a time, as the famine was severe in the land.

NET Bible®                             The Promised Blessing Jeopardized

There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt [Abram went down to Egypt. The Abrahamic narrative foreshadows some of the events in the life of the nation of Israel. This sojourn in Egypt is typological of Israel's bondage there. In both stories there is a famine that forces the family to Egypt, death is a danger to the males while the females are preserved alive, great plagues bring about their departure, there is a summons to stand before Pharaoh, and there is a return to the land of Canaan with great wealth.] to stay for a while [The Hebrew verb גּוּר (gur), traditionally rendered “to sojourn,” means “to stay for a while.” The “stranger” (traditionally “sojourner”) is one who is a temporary resident, a visitor, one who is passing through. Abram had no intention of settling down in Egypt or owning property. He was only there to wait out the famine.] because the famine was severe [Heb "heavy in the land." The words "in the land," which also occur at the beginning of the verse in the Hebrew text, have not been repeated here in the translation for stylistic reasons.].


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and there is a famine in the land:

and Abram descends into Misrayim to sojourn there;

for the famine is heavy in the land.

Kaplan Translation                 Troubles

There was a famine in the land. Abram headed south to Egypt to stay there for a while, since the famine had grown very severe in the land.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And there was a ra'av in the land; and Avram went down into Mitzrayim to sojourn there; for the ra'av was severe in ha'aretz.

The Scriptures 1998              And a scarcity of food came to be in the land, and Ab?ram went down to Mitsrayim to dwell there, for the scarcity of food was severe in the land.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down into Egypt to live temporarily, for the famine in the land was oppressive (intense and grievous). Some books on archaeology frequently allude to the critical view that strangers could not have come into Egypt in earlier times, quoting Strabo and Diodorus to that effect; but later archaeological discoveries show that people from the region of Palestine and Syria were coming to Egypt in the period of Abraham. This is clearly indicated by a tomb painting at Beni Hassan, dating a little after 2000 b.c. It shows Asiatic Semites who had come to Egypt. Furthermore, the archaeological and historical indications of the coming of the Hyksos into Egypt around 1900 b.c. provided another piece of evidence that strangers could come into that land (J.P. Free, Abraham in Egypt).

Concordant Literal Version    And coming is a famine in the land. And down is Abram going to Egypt to sojourn there, for heavy is the famine in the land.

Context Group Version          And there was a famine in the land { or earth }: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was intense in the land { or earth }.

English Standard V. – UK       Abram and Sarai in Egypt

Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.

The Geneva Bible                  And there was a famine [This was a new trial of Abrams faith: by which we see that the end of one affliction is the beginning of another.] in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine [was] grievous in the land.

Green’s Literal Translation    And a famine was in the land, so Abram went down into Egypt to stay there. For the famine was heavy in the land.

New King James Version       Abram in Egypt

Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.

New RSV                               Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to reside there as an alien, for the famine was severe in the land.

Syndein/Thieme                     And there was a famine in the land. And Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn/'temporally dwell' there {escapism - failure to rest in the promises of the Lord - stay until 'pressure' gone}. For the famine was grievous in the land.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was intense in the land.

Webster’s Bible Translation  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.

World English Bible                There was a famine in the land. Abram went down into Egypt to live as a foreigner there, for the famine was sore in the land.

Young's Updated LT              And there is a famine in the land, and Abram goes down towards Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine is grievous in the land.

 

The gist of this verse:          Because there is a famine in the land, Abram moves his family to Egypt.


Genesis 12:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

râʿâb (רָעָב) [pronounced raw-ĢAWBV]

famine, hunger; scarcity of grain; used figuratively for a lack of God’s Word

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7458 BDB #944

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: There was a famine in the land. A famine in the ancient world was equivalent to a depression in our times. Not since the 1930's have we really understood just how bad and difficult that life could be. We have several generations of Americans who have had a wonderful life here in the United States, and they have no clue as to just how blessed they have been over this time.


A famine caused Abram to consider his situation and to make a decision.


Abram and family were not starving because they had great wealth and herds. However, for anyone who has lived off their savings, you can live off the interest, in which case you have money which will theoretically last you into perpetuity and you can delve into the principal, which means that you have a limited time that you can survive until the savings are depleted. Abram realized that with his slaves and family that he was beginning to dig into the principal, and, although he might be able to survive for several years on his present possessions, Abram is not that kind of a person. He looks to experience growth in his wealth and possessions and, when that does not occur, he takes steps to correct the situation.


Genesis 12:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yârad (יָרַד) [pronounced yaw-RAHD]

to descend, to go down

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3381 BDB #432

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

Mitserayim (מִצְרַיִם) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim]

double straights; transliterated Mizraim; also Egypt, Egyptians

proper noun with the directional hê

Strong’s #4714 BDB #595

The directional hê is the âh (הַ] ending to a noun, usually found after a verb of motion. This is called the directive hê or the he locale, which often indicates direction and puts somewhat of an adverbial spin on the noun. Essentially, it answers the question where? The pronunciation of the word does not change. The directional hê indicates the direction in which something moves. It is often used with the noun heaven and the most literal rendering in the English would be heavenward. We can also indicate the existence of the hê directional by supplying the prepositions to or toward.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

gûwr (גּוּר) [pronounced goor]

to reside, to temporarily reside, to sojourn; to reside without ownership; to gather together with, band together with

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1481 BDB #157

NET Bible footnote: The Hebrew verb גּוּר (gur) means "to live temporarily without ownership of land." Abraham's family will not actually possess the land of Canaan until the Israelite conquest hundreds of years later.

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027


Translation: So Abram went down to Egypt to temporarily live there,... Abram seems to have at least a rudimentary concept of the geography there, and he certainly would have communicated with trading caravans, and he would have gotten information from there. Furthermore, those that he has acquired (his slaves) would have had some information. Some of them may have even been Egyptian.


From southern Canaan, Abram will move in a southwesterly direction into Egypt.


Sometimes you might find yourself spinning your wheel in a town where there is a depression; some people will pick up stakes and move to a more prosperous city in order to survive. This is what Abram was doing. However, as we will see, this is outside of God’s will for Abram.


One of the fascinating things in the Bible is there are similar situations which reoccur. Abram’s great grandson, Joseph, will also go down to Egypt, and he will be there during a famine, and his actions will preserve his family. However, you will also note that God does not tell Abram to go down to Egypt.


Genesis 12:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

kâbêd (כָבֵד) [pronounced kawb-VADE]

to honor, to glorify, to recognize; to be great, to be vehement, to be heavy, weighty, burdensome

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #3513 BDB #457

The KJV+ in e-sword lists this as an adjective (there would be, therefore, no verb here).

râʿâb (רָעָב) [pronounced raw-ĢAWBV]

famine, hunger; scarcity of grain; used figuratively for a lack of God’s Word

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7458 BDB #944

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: ...for the famine was great in the land. This is repeated, which suggests that the famine was quite bad. However, you will note what we do not find here. Nowhere do we find God coming to Abram and saying, “Famine in the land, Abram; time to move to Egypt for awhile”


I have mentioned the Bible’s subtlety many times. Here is another example: God has been telling Abram what to do and where to go. There is a famine in the land of Canaan, so, did God tell Abram, “Get up, gather up your possessions, and go to Egypt?” No, He did not. Therefore, when Abram leaves Canaan and enters into Egypt, he will be out of the geographical will of God.


Knowing the will of God is related to divine guidance. How do I know what God wants me to do? Some believers—particularly new and enthusiastic believers—want to know God’s will for their life. They even become weird about it, wondering, does God want them to take this street or that street when driving to work. You may be surprised, but, for the believer, knowing the will of God for your life is relatively easy. And we will cover that next time.


When we last left Abram, he was in the land of Canaan—the land which God had promised to him and his seed, and then there was a famine in that land, so Abram went down to Egypt to live for awhile. A famine in the ancient world is equivalent to an economic depression today.


Gen 12:10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to temporarily reside there, for the famine was severe in the land.


As I mentioned in the previous lesson, this was not God’s will for Abram. God did not tell Abram, “If things get tough in Canaan, I want you to travel southwest to Egypt and cool your heels there.” However, the Bible is subtle. There is not this literary booming voice from heaven telling Abram, “Stop right there, mister; don’t take another step! I never told you to go down to Egypt. Now, turn around and come back to the land.” God does not necessarily do that. Now, on occasion, God will do things to let you know, do this, but don’t do that. However, most of the time, it is much more subtle than that. In fact, your life, as guided by God, can be as subtle as this passage. How do we know God does not want Abram to go down to Egypt? Even more importantly, how do we know what the will of God is for our own lives?


The will of God is a topic which seems to baffle a lot of believers, and it shouldn’t. For me personally, it has always been one of the simplest aspects of the Christian life. Knowing the will of God for me has always been fairly simple. It is obeying the will of God which is much more difficult for me.

The Doctrine of the Will of God

1.      There are three categories of will:

         1)      Divine will, which is also known as sovereignty. Job 1:12

         2)      Angelic will. Job 1:9–11 Isa. 14:12–14

         3)      Human will. It is important ot recognize that you have free will and that you are not simply a product of your genes and your environment. This explains why even identical twins are never identical. Gen. 3:1–7 Isa. 53:6

2.      The will of God for the human race:

         1)      For the unbeliever, God’s will is salvation. 2Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance [= a changing of the mind toward Jesus Christ]. God wills for all men to believe in Him. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31a).

         2)      For the believer, God’s will is spirituality. Ephesians 5:18: And do not be drunk with wine, in which is excess, but be filled with the Spirit. That is in the imperative mood, which means, Be filled with the Spirit is a mandate. Furthermore, for the believer, God desires for us to grow spiritually: Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—2Peter 3:18). This is also a mandate, as we have the imperative mood here as well.

         3)      Therefore, for us as believers, God desires for us to name our sins to Him in order to restore fellowship with Him (1Cor. 11:31 1John 1:9); and for us to learn the Word of God in a church which teaches the Word of God (Heb. 10:25) under the authority of a pastor-teacher (Heb. 13:17). Simply obeying the will of God in these 2 things sets up a believer for always being in the will of God (when he chooses to be).

         4)      Jesus has promised that becoming a believer and discipleship under Him is not a difficult or burdensome thing. “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28–30).

3.      God desires for us to grow into spiritual adulthood. This can be illustrated with you and your children. You want your children to grow up to become independent, productive adults. When you first put little Jimmy on a bicycle with the training wheels, and you are behind him, keeping the bike balanced, pushing it, the last thing you want is, for this to end up being the norm for bike rides for Jimmy. What you desire is, after awhile, that the training wheels are removed and that he will no longer require you to be behind him, pushing and balancing the bike. God is the same way—ideally speaking, He wants us to progress to become spiritual adults, able to direct and organize our own lives. The term R. B. Thieme, Jr. used for this is, spiritually self-sustaining. We do not outgrow God any more than we dissolve our relationship with our parents when we grow up; but God wants us to become spiritual adults. This is a matter of free will on our part.

4.      The humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ had free will.

         1)      No free will in mankind would imply no free will in the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hyper-Calvinism teaches that there is no true free will in man, but they never follow this out to its logical end, which would be that Jesus Christ, in His humanity, lacks true free will.

         2)      The basic principle of Divine Guidance, however, is based on the fact that man possesses volition (free will) of the soul.

         3)      Matthew 26:42 is an example of Jesus Christ expressing His free will: Again a second time having gone away, He prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to pass away unless I drink it, then let Your will be done." Jesus did not want to go to the cross. In His humanity, He prayed not to have to go to the cross. Going to the cross involved suffering which we cannot imagine, and God the Holy Spirit makes certain that we know, Jesus, in His humanity, did not want to do this. However, He became obedient to the point of death, even the death on a cross (Philip. 2:8).

         4)      The Lord’s free will, in principle, is expressed in Hebrews 10:7, 9a: Then I said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God, as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book.” Then He added, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” (Psalm 40:7). Jesus Christ willingly placed Himself under the authority of the plan of God the Father; this was a choice which He made in His humanity.

         5)      It only makes sense for Jesus to have free will in His humanity if we have free will. These things are either both true together or both false. Otherwise, Jesus Christ is not true humanity.

5.      Free will, foreknowledge and predestination (this point is parenthetical, to explain the relationship between these things).

         1)      There is one stripe of Christian theology (hyper-Calvinism) that does not believe in human free will. They believe that, not only is God sovereign, but that His sovereignty controls our choice to believe in Jesus Christ. They point to predestination to explain this. They may quote Eph. 1:11 to support this position: In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose, Who works out all things according to the counsel of His will. This theology is wrong, although the verse is, of course, correct.

         2)      God has a plan, and His will (sovereignty), our will and angelic will are all a part of this plan.

         3)      God foreknows all things; that is, He knows every single free will choice that will be made by man or angelic being in advance.

         4)      His plan is based upon His foreknowledge. The best illustration of this is, you and your children. Throughout the young life of your child, you make plans upon how to train him correctly and how to bring him up right. Your child has free will, and you adjust your plans in such a way as to consider his free will. The fact that you, as a parent, know what your child is going to do in certain situations, is called foreknowledge (in a limited, human way). That you anticipate the choices of your child and make plans which anticipate those choices, that is predestination and the divine decrees (again, in a limited, human sense). A good illustration of this is the way that we discipline our children—we may spank this one, sternly talk to that one, and ground another. We apply the discipline which we believe is appropriate and might have the greatest affect upon the child’s behavior. That is an application of limited human foreknowledge.

         5)      We do all of this imperfectly; we do all of this apart from knowing each and every choice our children will make. However, God knows each and every choice that we will make and He makes this a part of His divine decrees.

         6)      All of this occurs simultaneously, but is presented to us logically in Rom. 8:29–30: For those whom He foreknew, [those] He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.

         7)      Logically, it works like this. God foreknew us, therefore He predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son (which is His plan, the divine decrees). Since we are predestined (foreknowledge and predestination occur in eternity past), God must call us in time. When we respond with positive volition (remember, God foreknew us, so He knew in eternity past that we would respond to His call), we are justified (God declares us positionally righteous because Jesus died for our sins). Then, in time and in eternity future, God will glorify us, with the result that we will be conformed to the image of His Son).

6.      There are 3 categories of the will of God as related to the human race. An example of all 3 types of will are illustrated by Balaam:

         1)      Directive will of God. Numbers 22:12: God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed." The King of the Moabites wanted to hire Balaam to curse the Jews and God told him not to go.

         2)      Permissive will of God. Numbers 22:20: And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, "If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you." Balaam had, by that time, decided that he would go, in violation of God’s directive will. Therefore, God had plan B, which is what He wanted Balaam to do, if he went to the King of Moab.

         3)      Overruling will of God. In this example, Balaam wants to do one thing, and God overrules what he wants to do. Balaam wanted to curse the Jews and God did not allow him to do this. Numbers 23.

         4)      So you do not misapply this, this incident does not mean that God will ultimately overrule all of your bad decisions. This is simply a classification of God’s various wills. Man quite obviously will commit sins and God will allow man’s free will to function. Therefore, you do not get to make a bad decision and then turn around and blame God for that bad decision that you made. To illustrate this, 99% of parents do not want their children to take drugs, and they will do what they can to keep them from taking drugs. However, if a kid starts using drugs, he cannot turn around and blame his parents for this bad decision. Therefore, if you marry the wrong person, take the wrong job, go to a church where you do not grow spiritually, this is all on you; it is not God’s fault.

7.      What we need in order to ascertain Divine guidance.

         1)      Knowledge of the Word of God.

                  (1)     Psalm 32:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. God pays attention to us and His will is ascertain from being taught.

                  (2)     Proverbs 3:1-6: My son, do not forget My teaching, but let your heart keep My commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let grace and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart, so that you will find grace and success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, learn to know Him, and He will direct your path. We are not to depend upon our own thinking, but we are to endeavor to know Him, and, as a result, He will guide us.

                  (3)     Isaiah 58:11: And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. This is a promise, and the mechanics are stated in the previously cited verses.

         2)      Yieldedness, which is the filling of the Holy Spirit.

                  (1)     Romans 6:13: Do not present parts of your body to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and every part of your body to God as instruments for righteousness. The word present in this verse means to proffer; to provide; to place a person or thing at one’s disposal; to place yourself under orders to. The Christian life is not some one-shot decision that you make when under great duress or under some sort of emotional or social coercion; it is a minute by minute set of decisions which you make each and every day of your life (the tense of this verb in the Greek indicates continuous action). .

                  (2)     Romans 12:1–2: I appeal to you therefore, members of the royal family, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [which means, place yourself under orders to God] as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world [= the cosmic system], but be transformed by the renovation of your mind [the key is what occurs in your thinking], that by testing you may discern what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. Note that you need to have your thinking renovated in order to know what the good and acceptable will of God is. Furthermore, there is periodic testing. That is spiritual growth; when God tests the Bible doctrine in your soul. Notice first and foremost that the transformation which we go through occurs by the renovation of our thinking (which is exactly what is occurring right now, as you read this and if you believe it).

                  (3)     Ephesians 5:17-18: Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. Notice that the two key features are: knowledge of doctrine (understand what the will of the Lord is) and the filling of the Holy Spirit.

                  (4)     We get out of fellowship with sin; we get back into fellowship by naming these sins directly to God. 1John 1:9: If we admit [cite, name, acknowledge] our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Faithful means that God does this every time; just means that forgiveness does not violate God’s character (Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins, so God is just in forgiving us our sins). Cleansing from all unrighteousness means that God forgives us for our unknown sins as well as the sins which we name to Him.

                  (5)     As we advance is the Christian life, by the filling of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of Bible doctrine, we experience spiritual growth, which leads to spiritual maturity. This, in fact, is what God commands us to do. Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2Peter 3:18a). As we grow spiritually, we become more grace-oriented. James 4:6: He gives more grace. Therefore, He has said, God resists the arrogant but He gives grace to the humble [or, grace oriented] (Prov. 3:34).

8.      The principle of spiritual growth: as a believer in Jesus Christ, you can choose to remain an infant (child, or adolescent) believer, or you can choose to grow spiritually. Where you presently work, there was some training to get you to the point where you are now. If someone had picked you up as an infant, and assigned you your present job, it is quite likely, as an infant, that you would be unable to perform the duties assigned to you. Assuming that you have personal integrity when it comes to your job, then your maximum production is dependent upon your age, schooling, maturity and training. The same is true of the Christian life. As an infant believer, you are saved and will spend eternity with God, but, insofar as the plan of God goes, you are nearly worthless. If you have chosen not to grow spiritually (and, let me make it clear, that is a choice that you make), then you will never amount to much spiritually. Your production will be minimal or nonexistent. Only a believer who has doctrine in his soul and who remains in the Spirit for extended periods of time actually does anything worthwhile in the plan of God. Your spiritual growth or your lack of spiritual growth is a personal choice that you make each and every day.

9.      The will of God for the Christian here on earth.

         1)      God wants us to think like He thinks. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Philip. 2:5). See also Rom. 12:1–2

         2)      We need to know what God wants us to do. This can be determined by obeying all of the mandates found in the New Testament epistles.

         3)      The geographical will of God, which is closely related to our study of Abram. Where does God want Abram to be? In the land of Canaan or in the land of Egypt?

10.    The mechanics of the will of God is revealed in Acts 11:

         1)      Guidance through prayer. Acts 11:5: "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me.” I need to say something about prayer, because this is the most misunderstood and misused gift of God. Let me give you an analogy to help explain how prayer is misused: a hammer is a fantastic tool. You can use it to pound in nails and to remove nails. When I go to work, I always carry a hammer. However, you do not use a hammer when you want to cut off a 6' piece of 2x4. You use a saw. Believers without doctrine use prayer as their primary tool—in fact, as their only tool—and they try to use it for everything (“You want me to saw those board there? Good, because I brought my hammer.”). Most of the time, when someone wants to know something or to discern God’s will, they pray. Depending upon their predisposition and emotions at the time, after praying a lot and working up some emotion, they then go ahead and do exactly what they wanted to do in the first place (with some exceptions, of course, who do the opposite of what they want to do). When you are faced with a decision, do not expect to pray and for God to tap your left shoulder for no and your right shoulder for yes. God speaks to us and guides us through His Word. Most of the time, if you are growing, God is guiding you to make whatever decisions need to be made. However, if you are not growing, then God puts in front of you serious decisions which make you recognize that you do not have enough doctrine in your soul to make these decisions.

         2)      Guidance through the thinking. Acts 11:6: Looking intently on this, I observed. And I saw the four-footed animals of the earth, and the wild beasts, and the creeping things, and the birds of the heaven. If you understand principles from the Word of God, then you can properly evaluate the circumstances that you are in.

         3)      Guidance through the Word. Acts 11:7-9: And I heard a voice saying to me, “Peter, rise up, slay and eat.” But I said, “No, Lord, because never has anything common or unclean entered into my mouth.” But a voice answered me the second time out of the heaven, “What God has cleansed, you do not make common.” Hopefully, it is clear to you that God does not periodically speak to us out of heaven. However, His words in this passage represent the words found in the Bible (also called, by the way, the Word of God).

         4)      Guidance through providential circumstances. Acts 11:11: And, behold, at once three men stood at the house in which I was, having been sent from Caesarea to me. There are things which are going to cause you to take certain steps in your life. Personally, I had to move in order to find a job, and the places I wanted to move to, had no jobs available. The place I considered moving to, but did not really want to move to, is Houston; and, of course, every door opened for me to move here. Therefore, you may find yourself spinning your wheels in city A, and God is simply guiding you to city B. Or, you may get a job offer out of town, and the is God’s way of saying, “Move to that town.”

         5)      Guidance through the filling of the Holy Spirit. Acts 11:12: And the Spirit said to me to go with them, not discriminating. And these six brothers also were with me, and we went into the man's house. Just as God the Father does not speak to us audibly out of heaven, God the Holy Spirit does not tell us what to do audibly or through our emotions. However, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, then we are in His will (we are doing what God wants us to do).

         6)      Guidance through fellowship and comparison of data. Acts 11:13-15: And he told us how he saw an angel in his house, standing and saying to him, Send men to Joppa, and send for Simon who is surnamed Peter, who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved. And in my beginning to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as also on us in the beginning. One of the things which I have observed is, believers who have the opportunity to gather with others but choose not to, tend to get a bit wacky. This is even true of those who take in doctrine regularly. Maybe it is the academic discipline of listening to teaching with others, but it tends keep believers more balanced.

         7)      Guidance through recalling Scriptures. Acts 11:16: And I recalled the Word of the Lord, how He said, John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit. You have to know the Word of God in order to remember the Word of God. It is not legitimate, when you are in a jam, to grab your Bible, close your eyes, and put your finger on some miscellaneous verse. It is legitimate to go to the Bible for guidance, and look up this or that particular subject (or, far better than this, get the teaching of your pastor on MP3 on that particular topic). It is legitimate to google promises of God so that you can find a promise which applies to your situation. However, it is far better to have this information in your soul as a result of good Bible teaching (which is more difficult to find than you may realize).

11.    Young believers, immature believers, and carnal believers and the will of God: simply put off big decisions until you have grown spiritually. For most people, this means daily Bible doctrine for a year (or 2 or 3) before they ought to make a decision like, getting married, getting divorced, changing jobs, moving, etc. In any case, do not allow yourself to be bullied into some particular course of action. 1Cor. 7:18–28

12.    Young believers, immature believers, and carnal believers and the will of God: avoid cults or churches where other members of the church attempt to bully you into some course of action. When pastors or others inside the church tell you what to do outside of the church, and enforce this in some way, they are out of line. A pastor can certainly teach what you ought to do (do not commit adultery, for instance), but once your walk out the doors of your church, you make the decision before God to do these things or not. There should not be some kind of pressure applied to you (e.g., social ostracism, or assigning someone to disciple you, etc.). If there is any kind of pressure for you to do something within the church (give your testimony, confess your sins before others, pray in front of others, speak in tongues, come forward for any reason, give money, etc.), then you are in the wrong church. A pastor and deacons must maintain some semblance of order in a church, taking into account that this is a gathering of dozens (hundreds or thousands) of sin natures; but whatever you are required to do within the church building ought to be related to the teaching of the Word of God, your personal privacy and the privacy of others. So, if you are a disturbance during the teaching of the Word of God, a pastor may go so far as to chew you out or have you removed; because this impacts the ability of others to be taught. However, if there is pressure put upon you to, say, get baptized in front of everyone, that is a different matter. There, the pastor has exceeded his authority.

13.    Do not confuse legitimate authority with someone bullying you into a course of action.

         1)      Parents have authority over their children, so if you are under the roof of one or both of your parents, they do have the authority to tell you what to do.

         2)      Employers have authority over employees on work-related matters.

         3)      In the armed forces, commanding officers have authority over their subordinates.

         4)      The coach has authority over his team, the teacher over his students, etc.

         5)      The pastor over the congregation with respect to what goes on inside of the church in order to maintain academic discipline to teach the Word of God. That is, the pastor cannot tell you that you must go out and witness to 10 people this week, nor can he assign a spiritual mentor to invade your privacy, but he can certainly tell you to shut up if you are a disturbance during the teaching of the Bible.

         6)      We are all subject to legitimate authorities, and we need to obey those authorities. Rom. 13:1–7

         7)      Furthermore, let me add a little application. You ought to have figured out that, your behavior and actions are between you and God. No one in a church has the right to bully you into some course of action, even if the end result is avoidance of sin. The free will decisions which you make are significant, but not if you are simply going along to get along.

         8)      However, you may have a morals clause where you work. That is legitimate, and you have to obey this morals clause if you choose to work for that school district, business or company. As an example, if you are a school teacher, and you are involved in gross immorality, then a school district ought to be able to remove you as an employee. That is not an invasion of your privacy, as you are not just a teacher of young adults but an example to them.

         9)      More application: you can choose to allow people to invade your privacy for your own good, e.g., interaction with a sponsor if you belong to Alcoholics Anonymous or some similar organization. You have made a choice to give them this authority over you.

14.    Summary Points: How to be in the will of God and how to remain in the will of God.

         1)      You need to be in fellowship, which is achieved by 1John 1:9: If we name our sins, He [God] is faithful [i.e., He does it every time] and just [God operates within His Own essence] to forgive us our sins [these are the sins we name] and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [these are sins which we do not name].

         2)      You need to be growing spiritually. This does not mean that you reduce the number of overt sins in your life or that you speak a holy language now and again (Amen, God willing) or that you become more and more involved at your church (teaching Sunday school, acting as a deacon, etc.). Spiritual growth is achieved by the daily intake of the Word of God taught by a doctrinal pastor-teacher. Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2Peter 3:18a). Grace is the grace system which God has provided. All believers in Jesus Christ are given the means and the opportunity to grow spiritually, regardless of geographical location. 99% of the time, this will be learning under the ministry of a doctrinal pastor-teacher (I provide a list of them here: http://kukis.org/Links/thelist.htm). Many of these pastor-teachers, if they are outside of your geographical area, provide an online MP3 ministry, where you can download (or order) previous lessons and listen to the teaching of the Word of God without any financial obligation. Many of them will provide these lessons by sending them to your home by mail. If you are relatively near to any of these churches, then that is where you ought to go.

         3)      If you are not in the geographical area of any of these churches, then you need to operate under normal academic discipline when listening to a lesson. You don’t surf the internet, you do not text, you do not do housework, nor do you do anything else which takes your concentration away from the message that you are listening to. Ideally speaking, if you live within driving distance of a doctrinal church, then that is where you need to be when the church doors are open.

         4)      The short explanation is, as long as you are in fellowship and growing, then you will be in the will of God.

         5)      Now, let’s say that you are a new believer or a believer who has decided to get with God’s program and to start growing, and you face a momentous decision (to get married, to change jobs, to move elsewhere). If you face this as a new believer or as a believer just about to get with doctrine, then you choose not to change your status until you know enough doctrine in order to make this decision. 1Cor. 7:18–24.

         6)      If you are at city A and God wants you to be in city B, do not worry. God will make that happen. Where I was raised up, I had studied God’s Word for about 5 years, but I was spinning my wheels career-wise, and it did not seem as if that would change anytime in the near future. I began exploring my options in other cities. On my list of 3 cities to move to, #3 on the list (and, way, way down from #2) was Houston. I thought of moving to Houston because Bob Thieme was teaching Bible doctrine there. However, this was so far down the list from my 1st and 2nd choices. In any case, every door closed to me for my first two choices; and door after door after door opened for me for choice #3. God did almost everything necessary to move me in that direction.

         7)      When it comes to your day-to-day life, God has things mapped out. You have a job or school that you go to, which takes up perhaps 9–10 hours of your day. You do this job (or attend this school) as unto the Lord. That is, you function as if you are working for God, and you remain faithful in all respects, whether anyone else can see what you are doing or not. You have a couple of hours that you spend eating, an hour for Bible teaching, and a few hours for relaxation. If you stay in fellowship all of this time, or get back into fellowship when you get out, then you are in the will of God.

         8)      If you do not have a job or school, then (1) you spend 9 or 10 hours of every single day looking for a job or (2) you set your sights to moving to a different city or to a different state. If you have begun to listen to a particular pastor from the list I provided, then you seriously consider packing up all that you own and move to the city where he teaches (obviously, it is normal to seek out job opportunities in that city by phone and by the internet and then you go there for interviews). God uses your lack of opportunity in city A to get you to move to city B. God allows man to enact foolish political policies, which negatively impact a particular geographical area, to move some believers from point A to point B.

         9)      Gathering together with other believers is extremely important. Heb. 10:25 exhorts us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. I have known a lot of believers over the years, many of them squared away on doctrine. However, when they go off on their own—they make no attempt to gather under the authority of a well-qualified pastor-teacher or as a group—they get goofy, and I can name a whole host of believers I have known in my life who stopped gathering under this sort of authority, and got goofy. Personally, I gather with believers under the ministry of R. B. Thieme III every time the church is in session, and, on off-nights, listen to his father’s teaching. Even though I clearly understand what God’s will is for my life, that does not mean I no longer need to study under my pastor’s authority.

Again, the key to being in the will of God is to be in fellowship, to grow spiritually, and to carry out your duties in life (at your job, in school, or in the home) as unto the Lord.

This is taken, in part, from http://www.divineviewpoint.com/Gods_will_your_life.pdf (Buddy Dano’s website) and edited and appended. Also used as a reference: http://rbthieme.org/Divine_Guidance.pdf which is an online booklet which I strongly recommend, if this is an area of the Christian life where you want more information. Another source for more information is: http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=315


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Gen 12:10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.


Abram made a choice here. Abram is going to be out of the geographical will of God, so now, the rest of his decisions are going to be poor as well.


This doctrine was inspired by and taken in part from the Syndein Notes from R. B. Thieme, Jr.’s Bible Class.

Abram and the Geographic Will of God

1.      God wanted Abram to move to Canaan. This is where God was going to bless and prosper Abram.

2.      Ur is where Abram was presumably born and raised, and this represents his old life.

3.      Moving to Canaan represents Abram’s new life.

4.      God told him to move without his family, but Abram took Terah, his father, and Lot, his nephew.

5.      Terah means delay and Abram was delayed from fully participating in the plan of God for his life.

6.      They stopped in Charan (Haran) as a family. The name appears in Assyro-Babalonian as Ḥarran, which means “road.”1 R. B. Thieme, Jr. indicates that it is the dried up place.2 Easton says it means parched.3 A road is hard, dried up and dusty; so perhaps that is the pertinent association.

7.      Even though Abram is apparently quite prosperous in Haran (and in Ur), spiritually, this is a dried up place for him. He cannot grow and advance there as he ought. This helps us to understand that, part of who we are is where we live; and where we live can constrain us and it can be helpful in our spiritual progress. Furthermore, where we are is related to our spiritual destiny. Don’t take this in some cultic way. Some cults thrive on removing a person from his family and removing a person from his previous life and surroundings. This is not God’s mandate for every single person. When Abram got to the Land of Promise, God will not have Isaac or Jacob (his son and grandson) move back to Ur or to some other place. They are born and raised in the right place for them. God does not separate them from their land or from their father Abram. Therefore, we learn from Abram that God will move some of us from point A to point B; but not all of us.

8.      Abram will bring his nephew Lot with him. Lot is selfish and self-seeking. He is a believer in the Revealed Lord but he shows very little growth. He adheres, to some degree, to the laws of divine establishment, but is only blessed when in association with Abram. Lot, when he is at the lowest point of his life, living with his two daughters in a cave, he could have said, with the prodigal son, “I would be better off as one of Abram’s slaves than living here.” But he did not make that choice to move; and he apparently poisons his daughter’s view of Abram as well, as they do not consider this as a viable option.

9.      In Canaan, which is where God wants Abram to be, he enjoys fellowship with God. In fact, there are 9 things which Abram has in Canaan:

         1)      Shechem represents power (of the Word and of God the Holy Spirit and the power of the Son).

         2)      Moreh is instruction or teaching of the Word of God; which is only effective when one is in fellowship.

         3)      The Canaanite in the land represents challenge and opposition; it represents the opportunity to evangelize and also the opportunity to grow, which comes through testing and opposition.

         4)      Canaan represents the promise from God and a challenge to claim the promises of God. Here, Abram is to apply the faith rest technique.

         5)      The altar speaks of occupation with Christ. The altar looks forward to the cross. Today, we have the retrospective view of the cross today—the Communion.

         6)      The tent speaks of total dependence on the Lord. Abram no longer depends upon the walls of a city (Hebrews 11 tells us that Abram waited for God to build the great city).

         7)      Beyth-'El is the house of God and it represents the worship of the Lord.

         8)      Finally, ʿAy (or, Ai) means heap of ruins. Even in fellowship you still have your old sin nature; it is just under control when in fellowship.

         9)      Finally, we have testing. When we we have victory in our lives, then that prosperity will be tested. Abram failed the test at the first sign of prosperity testing.

1 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic:  Haran (2).

2 From http://syndein.com/Genesis_12.html accessed June 23, 2013.

3 M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary; 1897; from e-Sword, topic: Haran.

The basis of this doctrine comes from: http://syndein.com/Genesis_12.html accessed June 23, 2013.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


You will recall that we last left Abram, he is about to move to Egypt. He is in the land of Canaan, which God would give to him and his descendants; but now, Abram is under a little pressure, so he decides to move to Egypt.


Gen 12:10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.


This is not God’s will for Abram, because God did tell Abram to move to the land of Canaan, but He did not tell Abram to move out of the land of Canaan into Egypt. Therefore, since Abram is out of God’s geographical will, he is going to do some stupid things.


Let me try to give you an example that you can relate to. Most of us understand something about our sin natures and where our own weaknesses lie. Let’s say that you are a recovering substance abuser; for most people—particularly in the early stages of escaping the hold of drugs—it is better for them not to associate at all with their former druggie friends. You do not decide, “Drugs are ruining my life; I need to stop doing them;” and then, a few days later, hear about a party where all your drug-taking friends are going to be, and go to that party. That is an unsound move, geographically speaking. As a roommate once told me, with regards to remaining faithful to his girlfriend (and later, his wife): he knew his weaknesses with regards to other women, so he did not put himself in a position were he would have to deal with this weakness. He was careful about personal relationships with other women and he was careful about being in situations where he would be alone with other women. Or, as Clint Eastwood once said, “A man has got to know his limitations.”


Abram and family were not starving because they had great wealth and herds. However, for anyone who has lived off their savings, you can live off the interest, in which case you have money which will theoretically last you into perpetuity and you can delve into the principal, which means that you have a limited time that you can survive until the savings are depleted. Abram realized that with his slaves and family that he was beginning to dig into the principal, and, although he might be able to survive for several years on his present possessions, Abram is not that kind of a person. He looks to experience growth in his wealth and possessions and, when that does not occur, he takes steps to correct the situation. Sometimes you might find yourself spinning your wheel in a town where there is a depression; some people will pick up stakes and move to a more prosperous city in order to survive. This is what Abram was doing.


Now this is fine. It is not outside of God’s will to think, to reason or to depend upon past experience. However, as we will see, going to Egypt is outside of God’s will for Abram. What should Abram have done? He should have depended upon God. God wanted him in the land of Canaan, so he should not have left the land of Canaan apart from God’s direction.


Abram is leaving God’s geographical will; therefore, Abram is going to make some stupid choices. Being outside of God’s geographical will, makes you more vulnerable to your own weaknesses; and, you are less likely to grow spiritually.


——————————


And so he is as which he has drawn near to enter Egypt-ward; and so he says unto Sarai his woman, “Behold, please, I have known that a woman—beautiful of appearance you [are].”

Genesis

12:11

And it is, just as he has drawn near to enter into Egypt, that he said to Sarai, his wife, “Listen, now: I know that you [are] a woman [who is] beautiful in appearance.

Just as they are about to enter into Egypt, Abraham turns to his wife Sarai, and says, “Listen, honey, I know that you are a very attractive woman.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And it was, as he approached to enter the limit of Mizraim, and they had come to the river, and were uncovering their flesh to pass over, that Abram, said to Sara his wife, Behold, until this I have not beheld your flesh; but now I know that you are a woman of fair aspect.

Latin Vulgate                          And when he was near to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife: I know that thou art a beautiful woman.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he is as which he has drawn near to enter Egypt-ward; and so he says unto Sarai his woman, “Behold, please, I have known that a woman—beautiful of appearance you [are].”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And it came to pass when he was about to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that you are a woman beautiful to look upon; ...

Septuagint (Greek)                And it came to pass when Abram approached Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, I know that you are a beautiful woman.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Easy English                          When Abram was near Egypt, he said this to his wife Sarai: `I know that you are a beautiful woman.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abram saw how beautiful his wife Sarai was. So just before they arrived in Egypt, Abram told Sarai, “I know that you are a very beautiful woman.

Good News Bible (TEV)         When he was about to cross the border into Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "You are a beautiful woman.

New Berkeley Version           As he was approaching Egypt, he said to Sarai, his wife, “See here! I know you are a good-looking woman.

New Living Translation           As he was approaching the border of Egypt, Abram said to his wife, Sarai, "Look, you are a very beautiful woman.

The Voice                               As Abram was about to enter Egypt, he pulled Sarai his wife aside.

Abram: Sarai, you are a very beautiful woman, and I am well aware that...


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And as Abram was about to enter Egypt, he said to his woman Sara: 'You're a beautiful woman,...

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And when he had nearly reached Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, I have it in mind that thou art a woman fair to see...

New American Bible              When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai: "I know well how beautiful a woman you are.

Revised English Bible            As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, ‘I am well aware that you are a beautiful woman, and I know that when the Egyptians see you and think, “She is his wife,” they will let you live but they will kill me. V. 12 was included for context.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      When he was nearing coming into Egypt, he said to Sarai his woman, Please, I know you are a beautiful woman to behold in appearance.

Bible in Basic English             Now when he came near to Egypt, he said to Sarai, his wife, Truly, you are a fair woman and beautiful to the eye;...

The Expanded Bible              Just before they arrived in Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "I know you are a very beautiful woman.

NET Bible®                             As he approached [Heb "drew near to enter."] Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "Look [The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) is deictic here; it draws attention to the following fact.], I know that you are a beautiful woman [Heb "a woman beautiful of appearance are you."].

New Heart English Bible        It happened, when he had come near to enter Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look at.

NIV – UK                                As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, `I know what a beautiful woman you are.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   And so be it,

when he approaches to enter into Misrayim,

he says to Saray his woman, Behold I beseech,

I know that you are a fair woman in visage:...

Kaplan Translation                 As they approached Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, 'I realize that you are a good-looking woman.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And it came to pass, when he was about to enter into Mitzrayim, that he said unto Sarai his isha, Hinei now, I know that thou art an isha yafeh to look upon;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And when he was about to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, I know that you are beautiful to behold.

Concordant Literal Version    And coming is it, as Abram nears to come to Egypt, that saying is Abram to Sarai, his wife, "Behold, pray! I know that a woman of lovely appearance are you,...

Context Group Version          And it happened, when he came near to enter into Egypt, that he said to Sarai his woman { or wife }, Now see, I know that you are a fair woman to look at:...

English Standard Version      When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, "I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance,...

Green’s Literal Translation    And it happened when he had drawn near to come to Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, Behold, please, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look upon.

New King James Version       And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance.

New RSV                               When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, `I know well that you are a woman beautiful in appearance;...

Syndein/Thieme                     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 you are an extremely beautiful {yapheh} woman to look upon. {Note: Sarai is now around 76 years old, but still a glamour girl at 76! She is contentious, but extremely beautiful. Abram thinks that lecherous old Pharaoh will want to add her to his harem.}.

World English Bible                It happened, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look on.

Young’s Updated LT             And it comes to pass as he has drawn near to enter Egypt, that he says unto Sarai his wife, “Lo, I pray you, I have known that you are a woman of beautiful appearance.

 

The gist of this verse: 


Genesis 12:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]<