Genesis 12:1-4

The Call of Abram

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.[a]
3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”[b]
4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.

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Genesis 12:1-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 12

In this chapter an account is given of the call of Abram to depart from his own country, with a promise of a divine blessing, Ge 12:1-3 of his obedience to it, Ge 12:4,5 of his journey through the land of Canaan, and of the Lord's appearance to him in it, and his promise of it to his seed, and of Abram's building altars in it, and calling on the name of the Lord, Ge 12:6-9 and of a famine there, which occasioned him to go into Egypt, Ge 12:10 where, through fear of being slain, he desired his wife to call herself his sister, Ge 12:11-13 and she being greatly admired by the Egyptians for her beauty, it went well with Abram for her sake, Ge 12:14-16 but the Egyptians were plagued because of her, who, when they understood she was Abram's wife, sent them both away, and all that belonged to them, Ge 12:17-20.

Genesis 12:1-4 In-Context

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.
5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.
7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.

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Cross References 11

  • 1. Genesis 20:13; Genesis 24:4,27,40
  • 2. S Genesis 10:19
  • 3. Genesis 15:7; Genesis 26:2; Joshua 24:3; Acts 7:3*; Hebrews 11:8
  • 4. 1 Chronicles 27:23;1 Kings 3:8;1 Kings 4:20;2 Chronicles 1:9;2 Samuel 17:11;Isaiah 10:22;Deuteronomy 13:17;Deuteronomy 1:10;Deuteronomy 26:5;Exodus 1:7;Exodus 32:13;Exodus 5:5;Exodus 5:5;Genesis 13:16;Genesis 17:2,4;Genesis 18:18;Genesis 22:17;Genesis 26:4;Genesis 28:3,14;Genesis 32:12;Genesis 35:11;Genesis 41:49;Genesis 46:3;Genesis 47:27;Genesis 48:4,16,19;Isaiah 10:22;Isaiah 48:19;Isaiah 51:2;Isaiah 54:3;Isaiah 60:22;Isaiah 6:13;Jeremiah 33:22;Joshua 11:4;Joshua 24:3;Micah 4:7;Nehemiah 9:23;Psalms 107:38
  • 5. Genesis 24:1,35; Genesis 25:11; Genesis 26:3; Genesis 28:4; Exodus 20:24; Numbers 22:12; Numbers 23:8,20; Numbers 24:9; Psalms 67:6; Psalms 115:12; Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 61:9; Isaiah 65:23; Malachi 3:12
  • 6. Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 19:24; Jeremiah 4:2; Haggai 2:19; Zechariah 8:13
  • 7. Genesis 27:29; Exodus 23:22; Numbers 24:9; Deuteronomy 30:7
  • 8. Genesis 15:5; Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4; Genesis 28:4,14; Deuteronomy 9:5; Psalms 72:17; Isaiah 19:25; Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8*
  • 9. S Genesis 11:27
  • 10. Genesis 16:3,16; Genesis 17:1,17,24; Genesis 21:5
  • 11. S Genesis 11:31

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "be seen as blessed"
  • [b]. Or "earth" / "will use your name in blessings" (see 48:20)