From henceforward Abram and his seed are almost the only subject of the sacred history. In this chapter we have,
- God's call of Abram to the land of Canaan ver. 1, 2, 3.
- Abram's obedience to this call, ver. 4, 5.
- His welcome to the land of Canaan, ver. 6 - 9.
- His occasional remove into Egypt, with an account of what happened to him there. Abram's flight and fault, ver. 10 - 13.
Sarai's danger and deliverance, ver. 14 - 20.
|12:1||We have here the call by which Abram was removed out of the land of his nativity into the land of promise, which was designed both to try his faith and obedience, and also to set him apart for God. The circumstances of this call we may be somewhat helped to the knowledge of, from Stephen's speech, Acts 7:2 , where we are told, ||12:2||Here is added an encouraging promise, nay a complication of promises, ||12:4||So Abram departed - He was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.His obedience was speedy and without delay, submissive and without dispute.||12:5||They took with them the souls that they had gotten - That is, the proselytes they had made, and persuaded to worship the true God, and to go with them to Canaan; the souls which (as one of the Rabbins expresseth it) they had gathered under the wings of the divine Majesty.||12:6||The Canaanite was then in the land - He found the country possessed by Canaanites, who were likely to be but bad neighbours; and for ought appears he could not have ground to pitch his tent on but by their permission.||12:7||And the Lord appeared to Abram - Probably in a vision, and spoke to him comfortable words; Unto thy seed will I give this land - No place or condition can shut us out from God's gracious visits. Abram is a sojourner, unsettled, among Canaanites, and yet here also he meets with him that lives, and sees him. Enemies may part us and our tents, us and our altars, but not us and our God.||12:8||And there he built an altar unto the Lord who appeared to him, and called on the name of the Lord - Now consider this, ||12:10||And there was a famine in the land - Not only to punish the iniquity of the Canaanites, but to exercise the faith of Abram. Now he was tried whether he could trust the God that brought him to Canaan, to maintain him there, and rejoice in him as the God of his salvation, when the fig - tree did not blossom. And Abram went down into Egypt - See how wisely God provides, that there should be plenty in one place, whenthere was scarcity in another; that, as members of the great body, we may not say to one another, I have no need of you.||12:13||Say thou art my sister - The grace Abram was most eminent for was faith, and yet he thus fell through unbelief and distrust of the divine Providence, even after God had appeared to him twice. Alas, What will become of the willows, when the cedars are thus shaken ||12:17||And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house - Probably, those princes especially that had commended Sarai to Pharaoh. We are not told, particularly, what these plagues were; but, doubtless, there was something in the plagues themselves, or some explication added to them, sufficient to convince them that it was for Sarai's sake they were thus plagued.||12:18||What is this that thou hast done? - What an ill thing; how unbecoming a wife and good man! Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? - Intimating, that if he had known that, he would not have taken her. It is a fault, too common among good people, to entertain suspicions of others beyond what there is cause for. We have often found more of virtue, honour, and conscience in some people, than we thought there was; and it ought to be a pleasure to us to be thus disappointed, as Abram was here, who found Pharaoh to be a better man than he expected.||12:20||And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him - That is, he charged them not to injure him in any thing. And he appointed them, when Abram was disposed to return home, after the famine, to conduct him safe out of the country, as his convoy.|