Bereisheet (Genesis): Lech-Lecha > Ch 12

Abram travels to Canaan and then to Egypt

  • And the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name, and [you shall] be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you."
  • Abram left Haran and went to the land of Canaan. Abram was 75 years old. He took Sarai (his wife), Lot (his brother’s son) and all their possessions and slaves. Abram passed through the land, until the place of Shechem, until the plain of Moreh, and the Canaanites were then in the land.
  • And the Lord appeared to Abram, and He said, "To your seed I will give this land," and there he built an altar to the Lord, Who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain, east of Beth El, and he pitched his tent; Beth El was to the west and Ai was to the east, and there he built an altar to the Lord, and he called in the name of the Lord.
  • Abram continued traveling southward. There was a severe famine in the land, prompting Abram to descend to Egypt. As he drew near Egypt, Abram asked Sarai, his wife, to pose as his sister, so that Egyptians would not kill him for her beauty. When Pharaoh's princes saw Sarai, she was taken to the house of Pharaoh. And he benefited Abram for her sake, with flocks, cattle, donkeys, servants and camels. And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his household with great plagues, on account of Sarai, Abram's wife.
  • Pharaoh summoned Abram, and he said, "What is this that you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her to myself for a wife? And now, here is your wife; take her and go." And Pharaoh commanded men on his behalf, and they escorted him and his wife and all that was his.

Rashi Commentary

  • that I will show you He did not reveal the land to him immediately, in order to make it dear in his eyes and to give him reward for every command
  • a famine in the land in that land alone, to test him, whether he would think ill of the words of the Holy One, blessed be He, Who ordered him to go to the Land of Canaan, and now He was forcing him to leave it. [from Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer , ch. 26]