Bible: Genesis 12-14

The Obedience of Abram

12:1 Now the Lord said 1  to Abram, 2 

“Go out 3  from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household

to the land that I will show you. 4 

12:2 Then I will make you 5  into a great nation, and I will bless you, 6 

and I will make your name great, 7 

so that you will exemplify divine blessing. 8 

12:3 I will bless those who bless you, 9 

but the one who treats you lightly 10  I must curse,

and all the families of the earth will bless one another 11  by your name.”

12:4 So Abram left, 12  just as the Lord had told him to do, 13  and Lot went with him. (Now 14  Abram was 75 years old 15  when he departed from Haran.) 12:5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew 16  Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired 17  in Haran, and they left for 18  the land of Canaan. They entered the land of Canaan.

12:6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the oak tree 19  of Moreh 20  at Shechem. 21  (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) 22  12:7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants 23  I will give this land.” So Abram 24  built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

12:8 Then he moved from there to the hill country east of Bethel 25  and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and worshiped the Lord. 26  12:9 Abram continually journeyed by stages 27  down to the Negev. 28 

The Promised Blessing Jeopardized

12:10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt 29  to stay for a while 30  because the famine was severe. 31  12:11 As he approached 32  Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, 33  I know that you are a beautiful woman. 34  12:12 When the Egyptians see you they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will keep you alive. 35  12:13 So tell them 36  you are my sister 37  so that it may go well 38  for me because of you and my life will be spared 39  on account of you.”

12:14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 12:15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. So Abram’s wife 40  was taken 41  into the household of Pharaoh, 42  12:16 and he did treat Abram well 43  on account of her. Abram received 44  sheep and cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

12:17 But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe diseases 45  because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 12:18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram and said, “What is this 46  you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 12:19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her 47  to be my wife? 48  Here is your wife! 49  Take her and go! 50  12:20 Pharaoh gave his men orders about Abram, 51  and so they expelled him, along with his wife and all his possessions.

Abram’s Solution to the Strife

13:1 So Abram went up from Egypt into the Negev. 52  He took his wife and all his possessions with him, as well as Lot. 53  13:2 (Now Abram was very wealthy 54  in livestock, silver, and gold.) 55 

13:3 And he journeyed from place to place 56  from the Negev as far as Bethel. 57  He returned 58  to the place where he had pitched his tent 59  at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai. 13:4 This was the place where he had first built the altar, 60  and there Abram worshiped the Lord. 61 

13:5 Now Lot, who was traveling 62  with Abram, also had 63  flocks, herds, and tents. 13:6 But the land could 64  not support them while they were living side by side. 65  Because their possessions were so great, they were not able to live 66  alongside one another. 13:7 So there were quarrels 67  between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen. 68  (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at that time.) 69 

13:8 Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no quarreling between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives. 70  13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself now from me. If you go 71  to the left, then I’ll go to the right, but if you go to the right, then I’ll go to the left.”

13:10 Lot looked up and saw 72  the whole region 73  of the Jordan. He noticed 74  that all of it was well-watered (before the Lord obliterated 75  Sodom and Gomorrah) 76  like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, 77  all the way to Zoar. 13:11 Lot chose for himself the whole region of the Jordan and traveled 78  toward the east.

So the relatives separated from each other. 79  13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled among the cities of the Jordan plain 80  and pitched his tents next to Sodom. 13:13 (Now 81  the people 82  of Sodom were extremely wicked rebels against the Lord.) 83 

13:14 After Lot had departed, the Lord said to Abram, 84 Look 85  from the place where you stand to the north, south, east, and west. 13:15 I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants 86  forever. 13:16 And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted. 87  13:17 Get up and 88  walk throughout 89  the land, 90  for I will give it to you.”

13:18 So Abram moved his tents and went to live 91  by the oaks 92  of Mamre in Hebron, and he built an altar to the Lord there.

The Blessing of Victory for God’s People

14:1 At that time 93  Amraphel king of Shinar, 94  Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations 95  14:2 went to war 96  against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 97  14:3 These last five kings 98  joined forces 99  in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 100  14:4 For twelve years 101  they had served Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year 102  they rebelled. 103  14:5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings who were his allies came and defeated 104  the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 14:6 and the Horites in their hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is near the desert. 105  14:7 Then they attacked En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh) again, 106  and they conquered all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.

14:8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and prepared for battle. In the Valley of Siddim they met 107  14:9 Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, 108  Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar. Four kings fought against 109  five. 14:10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits. 110  When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into them, 111  but some survivors 112  fled to the hills. 113  14:11 The four victorious kings 114  took all the possessions and food of Sodom and Gomorrah and left. 14:12 They also took Abram’s nephew 115  Lot and his possessions when 116  they left, for Lot 117  was living in Sodom. 118 

14:13 A fugitive 119  came and told Abram the Hebrew. 120  Now Abram was living by the oaks 121  of Mamre the Amorite, the brother 122  of Eshcol and Aner. (All these were allied by treaty 123  with Abram.) 124  14:14 When Abram heard that his nephew 125  had been taken captive, he mobilized 126  his 318 trained men who had been born in his household, and he pursued the invaders 127  as far as Dan. 128  14:15 Then, during the night, 129  Abram 130  divided his forces 131  against them and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, which is north 132  of Damascus. 14:16 He retrieved all the stolen property. 133  He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the rest of 134  the people.

14:17 After Abram 135  returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram 136  in the Valley of Shaveh (known as the King’s Valley). 137  14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem 138  brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) 139  14:19 He blessed Abram, saying,

Blessed be Abram by 140  the Most High God,

Creator 141  of heaven and earth. 142 

14:20 Worthy of praise is 143  the Most High God,

who delivered 144  your enemies into your hand.”

Abram gave Melchizedek 145  a tenth of everything.

14:21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and take the possessions for yourself.” 14:22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I raise my hand 146  to the Lord, the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth, and vow 147  14:23 that I will take nothing 148  belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal. That way you can never say, ‘It is I 149  who made Abram rich.’ 14:24 I will take nothing 150  except compensation for what the young men have eaten. 151  As for the share of the men who went with me – Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre – let them take their share.”

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