Genesis 12; Genesis 13; Genesis 14; Genesis 15 (Good News Translation)

1 The Lord said to Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. 2 I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, But I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless all the nations." 4 When Abram was seventy-five years old, he started out from Haran, as the Lord had told him to do; and Lot went with him. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the wealth and all the slaves they had acquired in Haran, and they started out for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land until he came to the sacred tree of Moreh, the holy place at Shechem. (At that time the Canaanites were still living in the land.) 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "This is the country that I am going to give to your descendants." Then Abram built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 After that, he moved on south to the hill country east of the city of Bethel and set up his camp between Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There also he built an altar and worshiped the Lord. 9 Then he moved on from place to place, going toward the southern part of Canaan. 10 But there was a famine in Canaan, and it was so bad that Abram went farther south to Egypt, to live there for a while. 11 When he was about to cross the border into Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "You are a beautiful woman. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will assume that you are my wife, and so they will kill me and let you live. 13 Tell them that you are my sister; then because of you they will let me live and treat me well." 14 When he crossed the border into Egypt, the Egyptians did see that his wife was beautiful. 15 Some of the court officials saw her and told the king how beautiful she was; so she was taken to his palace. 16 Because of her the king treated Abram well and gave him flocks of sheep and goats, cattle, donkeys, slaves, and camels. 17 But because the king had taken Sarai, the Lord sent terrible diseases on him and on the people of his palace. 18 Then the king sent for Abram and asked him, "What have you done to me? Why didn't you tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say that she was your sister, and let me take her as my wife? Here is your wife; take her and get out!" 20 The king gave orders to his men, so they took Abram and put him out of the country, together with his wife and everything he owned. 1 Abram went north out of Egypt to the southern part of Canaan with his wife and everything he owned, and Lot went with him. 2 Abram was a very rich man, with sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as silver and gold. 3 Then he left there and moved from place to place, going toward Bethel. He reached the place between Bethel and Ai where he had camped before 4 and had built an altar. There he worshiped the Lord. 5 Lot also had sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as his own family and servants. 6 And so there was not enough pasture land for the two of them to stay together, because they had too many animals. 7 So quarrels broke out between the men who took care of Abram's animals and those who took care of Lot's animals. (At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were still living in the land.) 8 Then Abram said to Lot, "We are relatives, and your men and my men shouldn't be quarreling. 9 So let's separate. Choose any part of the land you want. You go one way, and I'll go the other." 10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole Jordan Valley, all the way to Zoar, had plenty of water, like the Garden of the Lord or like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself and moved away toward the east. That is how the two men parted. 12 Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, and Lot settled among the cities in the valley and camped near Sodom, 13 whose people were wicked and sinned against the Lord. 14 After Lot had left, the Lord said to Abram, "From where you are, look carefully in all directions. 15 I am going to give you and your descendants all the land that you see, and it will be yours forever. 16 I am going to give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all; it would be as easy to count all the specks of dust on earth! 17 Now, go and look over the whole land, because I am going to give it all to you." 18 So Abram moved his camp and settled near the sacred trees of Mamre at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord. 1 Four kings, Amraphel of Babylonia, Arioch of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer of Elam, and Tidal of Goiim, 2 went to war against five other kings: Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (or Zoar). 3 These five kings had formed an alliance and joined forces in Siddim Valley, which is now the Dead Sea. 4 They had been under the control of Chedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled against him. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and his allies came with their armies and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in the plain of Kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in the mountains of Edom, pursuing them as far as Elparan on the edge of the desert. 7 Then they turned around and came back to Kadesh (then known as Enmishpat). They conquered all the land of the Amalekites and defeated the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tamar. 8 Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela drew up their armies for battle in Siddim Valley and fought 9 against the kings of Elam, Goiim, Babylonia, and Ellasar, five kings against four. 10 The valley was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah tried to run away from the battle, they fell into the pits; but the other three kings escaped to the mountains. 11 The four kings took everything in Sodom and Gomorrah, including the food, and went away. 12 Lot, Abram's nephew, was living in Sodom, so they took him and all his possessions. 13 But a man escaped and reported all this to Abram, the Hebrew, who was living near the sacred trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his brothers Eshcol and Aner were Abram's allies. 14 When Abram heard that his nephew had been captured, he called together all the fighting men in his camp, 318 in all, and pursued the four kings all the way to Dan. 15 There he divided his men into groups, attacked the enemy by night, and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus, 16 and got back all the loot that had been taken. He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other prisoners. 17 When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in Shaveh Valley (also called King's Valley). 18 And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, 19 blessed him, and said, "May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram! 20 May the Most High God, who gave you victory over your enemies, be praised!" And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Keep the loot, but give me back all my people." 22 Abram answered, "I solemnly swear before the Lord, the Most High God, Maker of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not keep anything of yours, not even a thread or a sandal strap. Then you can never say, "I am the one who made Abram rich.' 24 I will take nothing for myself. I will accept only what my men have used. But let my allies, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, take their share." 1 After this, Abram had a vision and heard the Lord say to him, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I will shield you from danger and give you a great reward." 2 But Abram answered, "Sovereign Lord, what good will your reward do me, since I have no children? My only heir is Eliezer of Damascus. 3 You have given me no children, and one of my slaves will inherit my property." 4 Then he heard the Lord speaking to him again: "This slave Eliezer will not inherit your property; your own son will be your heir." 5 The Lord took him outside and said, "Look at the sky and try to count the stars; you will have as many descendants as that." 6 Abram put his trust in the Lord, and because of this the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him. 7 Then the Lord said to him, "I am the Lord, who led you out of Ur in Babylonia, to give you this land as your own." 8 But Abram asked, "Sovereign Lord, how can I know that it will be mine?" 9 He answered, "Bring me a cow, a goat, and a ram, each of them three years old, and a dove and a pigeon." 10 Abram brought the animals to God, cut them in half, and placed the halves opposite each other in two rows; but he did not cut up the birds. 11 Vultures came down on the bodies, but Abram drove them off. 12 When the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and fear and terror came over him. 13 The Lord said to him, "Your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land; they will be slaves there and will be treated cruelly for four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and when they leave that foreign land, they will take great wealth with them. 15 You yourself will live to a ripe old age, die in peace, and be buried. 16 It will be four generations before your descendants come back here, because I will not drive out the Amorites until they become so wicked that they must be punished." 17 When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch suddenly appeared and passed between the pieces of the animals. 18 Then and there the Lord made a covenant with Abram. He said, "I promise to give your descendants all this land from the border of Egypt to the Euphrates River, 19 including the lands of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
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