BIBLE: Genesis Chapter 12 – Headline “Abraham Evicted”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Genesis 12

The culture of Abram’s day was such that it would be dangerous for him to leave his family, or “tribe”. He would not be welcomed into other tribes but he would be a threat to those in a foreign land, with little to defend himself.

Promises to Abram

Genesis 12:1 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.
Genesis 12:2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

@Prophecy Fulfillment Alert: Gal 3:8; Acts 3:25-26 (Seed of Abraham will bless all nations) (Old Testament prophecy fulfilled by Jesus)

Genesis 12:4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
  • Jonah ran from God. Abram obeyed and went.
Genesis 12:5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.

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Humor: Abraham was the smartest man in scripture because he knew a “Lot.”

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Genesis 12:6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.

Abram made a place for himself:

  • Genesis 14:13 Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram.

The “terbinth tree” prophetically represents the nation Israel which will come from Abram’s loins. When the nation is cut down God will always leave a remnant, a holy seed.

  • Isaiah 6:13 But yet a tenth will be in it, And will return and be for consuming, As a terebinth tree or as an oak, Whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump.”

God appeared to Abram at the terebinth tree to tell him his barren wife Sarai would have a son which will become a great nation.

Genesis 12:7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”

Compare God’s “I Will” to Satan’s “I Will”

God’s “I Wills”Satan’s “I Wills”
Genesis 12:2 I will make you a great nation;Isaiah 14:13 ‘I will ascend into heaven,
Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you;Isaiah 14:13 I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
Genesis 12:7 “To your descendants I will give this land.”Isaiah 14:13 I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;

God’s “I Wills” center on giving. Satan’s “I Wills” center on taking.

@Prophecy Fulfillment Alert: Gal 3:16 (The Promise made to Abraham’s Seed) (Old Testament prophecy to be fulfilled by Jesus)

And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Genesis 12:8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel (meaning: House of God), and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai (meaning: A Heap of Ruins) on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

►Between two cities:

Abraham, like all men, finds himself between a place meaning the House of God and a place meaning Heap of Ruins: a contrast of life choices. This is the story of all men, Jacob went his “way” and Esau went his “way”. (See Jacob and Esau after they parted as friends).

But the House of God is the only way to life. Jesus declared Himself to be THE WAY. Any other way is a Heap of Ruins.

►Spiritual events that occurred in Bethel

  • Near Bethel, Abraham built one of the first altars mentioned in the Bible, and there he “invoked the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 12:8)
  • After Abraham had fled to Egypt to escape a famine in the Holy Land, he returned to the same place near Bethel, and once again invoked the name of the Lord. (Genesis 13:1–4)
  • When Jacob was fleeing from the wrath of his brother Esau, he stopped for the night at Bethel. That is where he first encountered God, in a dream in which he saw a stairway to heaven, with angels of God ascending and descending on it, and the Lord standing above it. (Genesis 28:10–22)
  • After Jacob’s return to the Holy Land, Bethel was the second place where he and his family settled. There he set up an altar to God, and God spoke to him. (Genesis 35:1–15)
  • ­Upon first entering the Holy Land, after conquering Jericho, Joshua and the Israelites next conquered Ai and Bethel. (Joshua 8:10–17; 12:7-9, 16)
  • Bethel was one of the first places in the Holy Land where the ark of the covenant of God was set up, and where the priests offered sacrifices and inquired of God. (Judges 20:18, 26–28; 21:2)
  • When the northern kingdom of Israel seceded from the southern kingdom of Judah, its first king, Jereboam, set up golden calves in Bethel and Dan. He had the people worship there instead of going to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple where the ark was. (1 Kings 12:25–33)
  • After Assyria conquered and exiled the northern kingdom of Israel, the king of Assyria sent one of the captured Israelite priests back to Bethel to teach the people from other nations who had been resettled in Israel how to worship “the god of the land.” However, they continued to worship their own gods as well. (2 Kings 17:24–41)
  • Because Bethel had become corrupted by the worship of idols and other gods, several of the prophets railed against it. See, for example, Jeremiah 48:13; Hosea 10:15; Amos 3:13–4:4; 5:1–6.
Genesis 12:9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

Abram in Egypt

Genesis 12:10 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.

Note: Egypt is symbolic for the world and worldliness.  The root meaning of the word is “captivity” or to “be bound up” (like Lazarus in his grave clothes)

Genesis 12:11 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.
Genesis 12:12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live.
Genesis 12:13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”

When a woman’s name is mentioned in scripture, it reveals the husband’s spirit. In Sarai’s case, she is his life-giving spirit.

Genesis 12:14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful.
Genesis 12:15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house.
Genesis 12:16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
Genesis 12:17 But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.

Unlike the Pharaoh of the Red Sea, this Pharaoh recognized the plagues came from God.

Genesis 12:18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
Genesis 12:19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.”

Abram’s wife Sarai was also his half-sister. Terah fathered them both from different wives.

 Genesis 12:20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.
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