Genesis Chapter 12
Covenant, promise, contract but it embodies the will and Spirit of the most high God. A divine covenant NEVER fails and you can be certain the Lord’s Will will be carried out at the source is the very spirit of God. Abraham is the first in a series of men in the Bible called the patriarchs- (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).
Acts 7:2-3: And he answered, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory [the Shekinah, the radiance of God] appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and He said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and come to the land that I will show you.
says before Abraham (Abram) reaches Haran, that the Lord appears to him. You see Tera Abrams father was still living therefore he would of have been the one who decided where the family moved.
Now remember Abrams family was just as pagan in their beliefs as the rest of the world was during this time. So Abram could not have divorced himself from worshiping multiple gods BEFORE God called him, otherwise Abram would have been embroiled in drama and in contention with his entire family.
You see before Abram, Noah had been judged by god as one of the most righteous men on earth, you see Noah was serving the Lord before the Lord called him to build the ark, there is no such claim with Abram(Abraham).
Even Moses nobility of character is revealed to us before he is called to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt. ahead of time when we see he killed an Egyptian foreman who was viciously beating a Hebrew slave, he stands up for the Midianite women, however we only learn of Abram’s greatness after he is called not before. What does the Lord tell Abram to do?
Genesis 12:1: Now [in Haran] the Lord had said to Abram,“Go away from your country, And from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.
Genesis 12:1: is a command by God that requires separation, Abram separating from his ENTIRE family. What Abram was being called out, set apart by God to do in no way could it be accomplished by remaining a part of a family that was into pagan worship and was not fully serving the Lord. Abrams family had perverted the worship of God with idolatry. Abram must leave everything that is familiar and comfortable to him in order for the Lord to raise him up into who he has been called to be.
We see the Lord do the same with Abram in Genesis 22:2: God said, “Take now your son, your only son [of promise], whom you love, Isaac, and go to the region of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. Once again this is about faith and obedience. Leave what is familiar to you and go to where I tell you.
In both, Genesis 12:1 and Genesis 22:2 the Lord uses 3 words to describe what Abram must let go of as in Genesis 12:1:Go away from your country, And from your relatives, and from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you.
God said, “Take now your son, your only son [of promise], whom you love, Isaac, and go to the region of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.
What I find interesting is 3 words are used. The numerical value 3 in the Hebrew Alphabet is Gimel (ג) (hebrewtoday.com).What I find interesting is what Gimel represents, which coincides with these verses.
The Sages teach that the gimel symbolizes a rich man running after a poor man, the dalet, to give him charity. The word "gimel" is derived from the word "gemul", which in Hebrew means both the giving of reward as well as the giving of punishment. In Torah, both reward and punishment have the same ultimate aim: the rectification of the soul to merit to receive G‑d's light to the fullest extent.Reward and punishment imply that man is free to choose between good and evil. (Chabad.org).
In both instances Abram had a choice to obediently walk toward the Lord in Submission or to rebel and move away from the Lord and what he was asking and be rewarded or disobey and face consequences of His free will decision.
There is a pattern that continues with Abram of the Lord electing, and separating those he has called for His work (for example, Noah).
For many are called (invited, summoned), but few are chosen.”
We are witnessing the creation of a nation, by the Lord setting 1 man apart who He foreknew would be faithful, to create a people set apart and consecrated to Almighty God. Abram had to leave behind everything he knew in exchange for a PROMISE from Almighty God, keep in mind there was no manifestation yet just a PROMISE.
Genesis 12:2-3: And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you [abundantly], and make your name great (exalted, distinguished); and you shall be a blessing [a source of great good to others]; and I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you, And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you. And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”
The idea that one nation would be a blessing for all other nations has no parallel
Unfortunately during the course of Jewish history and what has transpired with the Jewish people that they have lost sight of the fact that this was the very purpose in which the Lord created this nation and raised up this people. One very key factor at the core of this is anti Antisemitism-throughout history the Jewish people have so often been preoccupied with merely surviving, they have forgotten their very mission on this earth toward humanity.
Also many Jews have abandoned Judaism for other religions.
Genesis 12:3: And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you,
And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you. And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”
NOTE:This verse is a foundation and has held true even into the present day. One does not have to hold a religious set of views to see the fact that Nations who have treated the Jews favorably and even been their allies, the United States for example, have seen throughout History prosperity and more importantly Freedom.
Pharaoh sought to enslave the Jewish nation who had migrated to Egypt during the time of Joseph, Ordered the killing of countless baby boys, of which Moses was spared, and refused to let the people of God go as if they were His possession. Egypt ended up destroyed by plagues, losing their firstborn children and animals with the final plague, and their whole army was destroyed when the Red sea came Crashing down on them.
Back during the medieval time of the world, Spain plunged into an economic and cultural decline after the 1492 banishment of the Jews. In the more modern era Germany is probably one of the severest examples of what happens when one nation attempts to curse and destroy the Lord’s firstborn. Germany under hitler’s regime sought to outright exterminate thew Jews in Europe and even worldwide. Because of this During World war two 7.5 MILLION Germans were killed, 2 million German women were assaulted, mostly by Russian troops, and Germany was divided for the next 44 years.
NOTE: In present day, Germany is becoming less and less secure as mass immigration of people who have an entire cultural and religious set of ideals about government, women, rule of law. This problem is magnified by the fact that German women have a very low birth rate.This all happened after Germany exterminated 6 million of God’s people.
After world War two many of the Arab Countries that were birthed through the line of Ishmael, Abraham’s out of covenant child he had with Hagar the Servant, who have now attempted to curse the Jews. Among these countries is a level of moral ignorance as well as spiritual ignorance that is quite pitiful. We have seen now the squeeze more and more upon Iran for ‘threatening to blow Israel off the map.
The second part of this birth is such an incredible promise the Lord makes to Abram. The Lord does not say Abram’s family would be blessed through him, BUT that ALL the world’s families will be blessed through Him, through this single act of obedience and entering into a covenant with the Lord which births forth a nation.
This is mentioned only (3) verses after we are introduced to Abram, because the Lord knows the end from the beginning and the beginning from the ending, he foreknew what would come forth from Abram’s obedience. The mission of Abram and the Jewish people is universal. There are (4)times in genesis where this theme of universal blessing through the Jews is mentioned.
Genesis 18:17-18: The Lord said, “Shall I keep secret from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, since Abraham is destined to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him?
Genesis 22:16-18: and said, “By Myself (on the basis of Who I Am) I have sworn [an oath], declares the Lord, that since you have done this thing and have not withheld [from Me] your son, your only son [of promise], indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies [as conquerors]. Through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.”
Genesis 26:2-4: The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I will tell you. Live temporarily [as a resident] in this land and I will be with you and will bless and favor you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will establish and carry out the oath which
Genesis 28:13-14: And behold, the Lord stood above and around him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your [father’s] father and the God of Isaac; I will give to you and to your descendants the land [of promise] on which you are lying. Your descendants shall be as [countless as] the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and the east and the north and the south; and all the families (nations) of the earth shall be blessed through you and your ]descendants.
NOTE: The present translation of this literally says “will bless themselves by you” not “be blessed by you” according to the Hebrew translation. How will families of the earth bless themselves by Abram/Israel? When the families of the earth learn how to live by the moral and spiritual laws God reveals to Abram and his descendants, however much of the world has ignored this fact and turned away from coming into agreement with the laws of Almighty God and His Word, and we see the effects of that famine, pestilence, wars and rumors of war, perversion, wickedness.
Romans 6:23:For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Genesis 12.4: So Abram departed [in faithful obedience] as the Lord had directed him; and Lot [his nephew] left with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
This is proof that it does not matter what age you are the lord is not done with you or operating through you for His Glory until we take our last breath! Abram is 75 when he begins this life changing journey with the Lord, can you imagine?
NOTE:Most people these days at 75 are retired and enjoying their lives. However in today's world people are remaining active and vibrant into their 80’s even 90 years old! Here is Abram at 75 put back into the workforce by Almighty God because a nation must be birthed forth! Another Example is found in Exodus 7:7: Moses is 80 when he confronts Pharaoh!
Isaiah 61:1-4: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor]and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolation and renew the ruined cities, the devastation of many generations.
When the Spirit of the Lord is upon an individual the true power of Almighty God, Age does not matter for the anointing supersedes the limitations of the body! Sarah Abram’s wife birthing forth Isaac, which we will get into later, is proof of this very fact.
Genesis 12:5: Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had acquired, and the people (servants) which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan.
This is not an insignificant detail that indeed Abram was a wealthy man. Few great thinkers have been poor. These types of thinkers tend to think about the purpose of existing, why they have been placed on this earth.
In poverty the objective is clear, meaning day in and day out, to provide food and shelter for them and their families, this is what consumes their thoughts and dictates their actions. However when one does not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from they tend to begin to broaden their thinking and ponder greater issues. This may also be connected to an account for the fact that hundreds of years later it was NOT a Hebrew Slave who lead the revolt against pharaoh, it was Moses, the one Hebrew in Egypt who had been raised in a privileged situation and educated in ways the Hebrew slaves were not. This caused Moses to become an out of the box type of thinker. Moses was in a way shown both sides of Egypt by the Lord, and it gave him an advantage against pharaoh.
NOTE:We must remember that there are good and bad individuals amongst the wealthy and amongst the poor.
Genesis 12:6: Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the [great] terebinth (oak) tree of Moreh. Now the Canaanites were in the land at that time.
What is the Significance of Moreh?
A place near Shechem, known fully as אלון מורה ('elon moreh), or Oak (Of) Moreh. This is where Abraham built an altar to YHWH right after his arrival in Canaan and just prior to his stay in Bethel (Genesis 12:6). The wording of these statements and the activities they describe strongly suggest that Abraham was not simply wandering around, but was rather on a specific course along a network of centers of learning. The second time the oaks (plural this time) of Moreh are mentioned is in the highly significant passage of Deuteronomy 11:26-32, where the Lord sets before Israel a blessing (Mount Gerizim) and a curse (Mount Ebal), beside the Oaks Of Moreh (Deuteronomy 11:30, only here spelled מרה). (abarim-publications.com).
NOTE:It is also interesting that it is made a point to say the Canaanites where in the land, as if they were squatters occupying what was not theirs. Even more interesting the Lord has Abram travel to Canaan and something very significant happens there to mark it as Holy and consecrated unto the Lord for His people, this nation being birthed, Israel.
Genesis 12:7: Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” So Abram built an altar there to [honor] the Lord who had appeared to him.
This was the first altar that Abram built unto the Lord signifying this was a place of worship to the Lord, of covenant as the people of Israel over 400 years later would arrive at their promised land, Canaan. It was planting the flag as we should say, setting this land apart for the people of Almighty God. An altar is a place of choice, of sacrifice. We are choosing whom we will serve, Abram had to make a choice.
Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Abram was truly choosing to serve the Lord, to lay his old life down on the altar, forsake the pagan worship of his ancestors, and serve the One true Living God. The Lord had to see this loyalty, this faithfulness in Abram, before he was even called, and this is one of the reasons he was chosen.
Genesis 12:10: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 and severe.
This is foreshadowing exactly how the nation Israel will enter Egypt, through Joseph’s rise to power during Famine
Genesis 43:1-4: But the hunger and destitution and starvation were very severe and extremely distressing in the land [Canaan]. And when [the families of Jacob’s sons] had eaten up the grain which the men had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, Go again; buy us a little food. But Judah said to him, The man solemnly and sternly warned us, saying, You shall not see my face again unless your brother is with you. If you will send our brother with us, we will go down [to Egypt] and buy you food.
Genesis 46:1-3: So Israel made his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba [a place hallowed by sacred memories] and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, Jacob! Jacob! And he said, Here am I. And He said, I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will there make of you a great nation.
Genesis 12:11-12: And when he was about to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, I know that you are beautiful to behold.So when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live.
NOTE: Now this is interesting in Genesis 12:12-First off the twelve letter lamed is in the Hebrew Alphabet. The name יִשְׂרָאֵל () starts with the letter , the smallest letter, and ends with the letter , the tallest and biggest letter. This leads scholars to the idea that when individuals from the nation of Israel start to learn they are small, but when they finish learning, they are big and tall (spiritually, of course). However we also see the nation starting off small with just Abraham and into present day has grown into a great nation!
Abraham being just one person being the yod of the beginning of this nation, even though he has this promise from the Lord, is afraid Pharaoh will kill him in order to take possession of Sarai his wife. Is it not interesting that this is perhaps where the Jews Fear of Egypt harming them and their people began, with Abram.Abram is human, he has doubts, doubts are a part of faith for in overcoming doubt the roots of our faith go even deeper.
NOTE: There was this great Rabbi by the name of Emmanuel Rackman, President of Bar-Ilan University wrote the following “Doubt is good for the human soul, its humility…God may have had His own reasons for denying us certainty with regard to His existence and nature. One apparent reason is that man’s certainty with regard to anything is poison to his soul. Who knows this better than moderns who have had to cope with dogmatic fascists, communists, and even scientists?”
In doubt we must choose, choose whether to continue in faith with the Lord or veer off at the nearest exit for some other dogmatic ideas that are falsely soothing us in our distress.
The Egyptians were a powerful pagan nation and it was not beyond them to kill to take possession of what they wanted. Perhaps the Lord had this included to demonstrate how revolutionary this new belief system of ethical monotheism was, in complete Contrast to the Egyptian beliefs the Lord commanded Israel to love the stranger in Leviticus 19:34, and Deuteronomy 10:19. The stranger was to be protected simply because he/she was a human being, thus the discovery of something called humanity. There does not appear to be another civilization where their laws and beliefs include loving the stranger.
Genesis 12:13: we see the humanness of Abram full throttle when he asks Sarai his wife to LIE to pharaoh and say that she is Abrams sister.Now there has been much criticism of what Abram did on two counts: (1) He asked his wife to lie. (2)He then would be putting her smack in the middle of a situation where adultery was almost certain to take place.
NOTE: Bible commentators believe Abram committed a great sin by placing Sarai in a compromising situation because of His fear of Pharaoh, however there is another side to this. In any situation you may have a small and finite number of choices, what were Abrams choices? Tell the truth and risk a very high chance of being killed which would of traumatized Sarai his wife and placed her in Egyptian bondage. In no way would Sarai’s safety of been guaranteed had Abram been killed. This was about a one time life saving lie and the preservation of life.
NOTE: Those who hid the Jews during the holocaust. Maria, Countess von Maltzan, was a veterinarian living in East Berlin at the time of her interview. She told of being raised on an 18,000-acre estate in the Silesia region of Germany, to fabulous wealth, a doting father and a cruel and unforgiving mother. Familial rebelliousness first drove her to become a member of the underground in Berlin during the war. “It was easy for me to resist Nazi authority because I had always resisted my mother’s authority,” she said. The countess hid Jews in a secret compartment in her sofa (among other places) and once dared an SS officer to shoot at it while her future husband, Hans, was still was inside. (He failed to call her bluff, thankfully.) "I was a queen on the black market all during the war,” she recalled, “but I had to be good at it because I had so many extra people to feed. I always said, no matter what came along, ‘I prefer to be in a tough situation than to go to bed with a bad conscience.’”
QUESTION: Let me ask you against a wicked regime who so sadistically wanted to slaughter God’s people like dogs, did Maria do the right thing hiding the Jews and bravely lying to Nazi officers?
This is very similar to the predicament Abram was faced with, knowing if he was not alive there would be nothing he could do to protect Sarai, so he chose this path trusting that the Lord would honor his heart and work all things together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. The Lord does similar with in the book of 1 Samuel when the Lord instructs Samuel to go anoint the son of Jesse as King. Samuel’s initial reaction is fear.
1 Samuel 16:1-3: The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve for Saul, when I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have chosen a king for Myself among his sons.”But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer from the herd with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do [after that]; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate.”
NOTE:The Lord’s official business supersedes answering to a corrupt leader.
Secondly Sarai would have not been considered an adulterer if pharaoh had taken her against her will which happened more than we would like to think during that time in history.
In the book of Esther, Esther is taken as one of the women to be brought before the King as some weird version of the Bachelor: we need a Queen edition was taking place. However, Esther did not have a say. And what does Mordeai do, he under the instruction of the Lord tells Esther to conceal or hide the fact that she is Jewish. Her name was even changed to Esther from Hadassah to blend into the Persian culture more.
So They enter Egypt and right out of the gate they notice what a looker Sarai is, she was beautiful! She is taken into Pharaoh’s palace.
Genesis 12:16: And he treated Abram well for her sake; he acquired sheep, oxen, he-donkeys, menservants, maidservants, she-donkeys, and camels.
NOTE: The favor of the Lord was upon this man!! Here we see the foreshadowing of Egypt just handing over their possessions and wealth to the father of the Hebrew Nation!
However there is one (VIG) Very important God who is none to happy Pharaoh has gotten his Egyptian paws on Sarai for she will be the carrier of the promise in the coming chapters.
Genesis 12:17-19: But the Lord scourged Pharaoh and his household with serious plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, She is my sister, so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her and get away [from here]!
NOTE: So it turns out Abram fear was founded for pharaoh would of NEVER returned Sarai without the plagues. Abram and Sarai did not know the Lord was going to act in this manner however this is acting as a precedent and foreshadowing events of the plagues upon the nation of Egypt 400 years later forcing the hand of Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt to literally throw the Jews out of their country and handing over their wealth while they do it. However instead of them driving just two people out, Abram and Sarai, they would drive out a nation of millions, with Moses leading them out!
Pharaoh here did exactly what Pharaoh 400 years later would do. The difference? Pharaoh in Abram’s case sent them on their way and was smart enough to know that the hand of the lord was upon them and to let them go in peace and have that be it done!
Pharaoh 400 years later was completely blind with power and dominance and made the lethal mistake of going after the Jews with His entire Army, out of pride, to capture them and force them back to Egypt as slaves. This Pharaoh paid a very devastating price and lost not only his firstborn son but his ENTIRE Army
Thus bringing us full circle you cannot curse what the Lord has blessed, and once it was set in motion by the Lord
Genesis 12:3: And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you, And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you. And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”