Genesis 12:11-19

11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are.
12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live.
13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman.
15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace.
16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai.
18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife?
19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!”

Genesis 12:11 in Other Translations

KJV
11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
ESV
11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, "I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance,
NLT
11 As he was approaching the border of Egypt, Abram said to his wife, Sarai, “Look, you are a very beautiful woman.
MSG
11 As he drew near to Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, "Look. We both know that you're a beautiful woman.
CSB
11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are.

Genesis 12:11-19 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 12:11-19 In-Context

9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.
11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are.
12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live.
13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman.
15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace.
16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai.
18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife?
19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!”
20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

Cross References 10

  • 1. S Genesis 11:29
  • 2. ver 14; Genesis 24:16; Genesis 26:7; Genesis 29:17; Genesis 39:6
  • 3. Genesis 20:2; Genesis 26:7
  • 4. S ver 11
  • 5. S ver 5; Genesis 24:35; Genesis 26:14; Genesis 30:43; Genesis 32:5; Genesis 34:23; Genesis 47:17; Job 1:3; Job 31:25
  • 6. 2 Kings 15:5; Job 30:11; Isaiah 53:4,10
  • 7. 1 Chronicles 16:21; Psalms 105:14
  • 8. Genesis 20:9; Genesis 26:10; Genesis 29:25; Genesis 31:26; Genesis 44:15
  • 9. Isaiah 43:27; Isaiah 51:2; Ezekiel 16:3
  • 10. Genesis 20:5; Genesis 26:9
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