Abraham (Genesis 11:27-12:20)
- Abraham lived about ten generations after Noah.
- He was the oldest of three sons. His father's name was Terah. His brothers were Nahor and Haran. Initially, Abraham was known as Abram.
- The name "Abram" means "exalted father."
- Abram grew up in southern Mesopotamia, in a place called Ur.
- There, he married Sarah (Sarai), but they were unable to get pregnant.
- This made Sarai very sad, and her whole family was very disappointed with her.
- After awhile, Terah moved the whole family to Haran, — a city about 400 miles north and a little west of Ur.
- The plan was to continue on to Canaan, but they ended up staying in Haran.
- Haran is in modern-day Iraq.
- One day God called to Abram.
- He told Abram to leave his country, his kin, and his father's house.
- These were hard commands to obey because people were supposed to live together in the ancient world.
- Families stayed together to protect and help each other through life.
- But God also promised he would bless Abram and make him a great nation.
- Hearing this probably made Abraham very happy. He really wanted a son, and now God promised he would make him a great nation!
- God also said he would bless others through Abram.
- So, Abram brought his wife (Sarai), his nephew (Lot), and packed up all his possessions and set out for Canaan, which was roughly another 400 miles south and further west of Haran.
- Canaan is in modern-day Israel.
- Traveling with all those people was a great challenge. They would have had to find food not only for themselves, but also for the cattle and sheep along the way.
- The journey was long and dangerous.
- Yet Abram was determined to do exactly as God had said.
- He was seventy-five years old when he did this; Sarai was sixty-five.
- They simply kept at it, and, eventually, they arrived at Canaan safe and sound.
- However, when they got to Canaan, they found out that other people were already living on all the good land.
- Not long after they arrived, God appeared again to Abram.
- He told Abram that he would give all this land to his children.
- Abram was so thankful that he built an altar on the spot to honor God.
- Then they moved on, going farther south to Bethel.
- There, he built another altar and praised God.
- They kept on moving south.
- Suddenly, there was a big famine.
- He thought they might all die from starvation, so he took his whole group and headed towards Egypt.
- When they got close to Egypt, Abram told Sarai that if anyone asked, she should tell them that she was Abram's sister.
- Abram knew that she was so beautiful that other men would want to be with her.
- If they suspected she was married, they would simply kill her husband and take her away.
- If she said they were brother and sister, Sarai could save both their lives.
- As soon as they got to Egypt, Abram's worst fears were confirmed.
- Men raved about her beauty; they quickly decided to take her to Pharaoh so she could live in his palace.
- Pharaoh's princes gave Abram many gifts in return for his sister; he got cattle, sheep, donkeys, servants, and camels.
- However, this was not part of God's plan. So everyone in Pharaoh's palace got really sick.
- Pharaoh figured out right away that he must have done something bad.
- He was very upset when he found out that Sarai was married to Abram.
- He yelled at Abram for tricking him, and told him to get out of the country as soon as possible.
- Pharaoh's men provided a safe escort to the border.
- Abram and Sarai left Egypt safe and sound – and they got to keep all of Pharaoh's gifts.
- Abram truly was becoming a prosperous man.