'Leave your country and your people,' God said, 'and go to the land I will show you.'1
"So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.2
He gave him no inheritance here,3 not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land,4 even though at that time Abraham had no child.
God spoke to him in this way: 'Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.5
But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,' God said, 'and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.'6
Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision.7 And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth.8 Later Isaac became the father of Jacob,9 and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.10
"Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph,11 they sold him as a slave into Egypt.12 But God was with him13
and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.14
"Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our fathers could not find food.15
When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers on their first visit.16
On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was,17 and Pharaoh learned about Joseph's family.18
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)