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Ge 12:1-20. CALL TO ABRAM.
1. Now the Lord had said unto Abram--It pleased God, who has
often been found of them who sought Him not, to reveal Himself to
Abraham perhaps by a miracle; and the conversion of Abraham is one of
the most remarkable in Bible history.
6. the place of Sichem--or Shechem, a pastoral valley then
7. Unto thy seed will I give this land--God was dealing with
Abram not in his private and personal capacity merely, but with a view
to high and important interests in future ages. That land his posterity
was for centuries to inhabit as a peculiar people; the seeds of divine
knowledge were to be sown there for the benefit of all mankind; and
considered in its geographical situation, it was chosen in divine
wisdom as the fittest of all lands to serve as the cradle of a divine
revelation designed for the whole world.
10. there was a famine . . . and Abram went down into Egypt--He did not go back to the place of his nativity, as regretting his pilgrimage and despising the promised land (Heb 11:15), but withdrew for a while into a neighboring country.
11-13. Sarai's complexion, coming from a mountainous country, would be fresh and fair compared with the faces of Egyptian women which were sallow. The counsel of Abram to her was true in words, but it was a deception, intended to give an impression that she was no more than his sister. His conduct was culpable and inconsistent with his character as a servant of God: it showed a reliance on worldly policy more than a trust in the promise; and he not only sinned himself, but tempted Sarai to sin also.
14. when Abram was come into Egypt--It appears from the monuments of that country that at the time of Abram's visit a monarchy had existed for several centuries. The seat of government was in the Delta, the most northern part of the country, the very quarter in which Abram must have arrived. They were a race of shepherd-kings, in close alliance with the people of Canaan.
15. the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house--Eastern kings have for ages claimed the privilege of taking to their harem an unmarried woman whom they like. The father or brother may deplore the removal as a calamity, but the royal right is never resisted nor questioned.
18-20. Here is a most humiliating rebuke, and Abram deserved it. Had not God interfered, he might have been tempted to stay in Egypt and forget the promise (Ps 105:13, 15). Often still does God rebuke His people and remind them through enemies that this world is not their rest.