Genesis 12:8-20    On to Egypt, “Sarai - My Sister”

8 “And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he 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. 9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.


10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, ‘Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. 12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.’


14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. 15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh's house. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17 But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, "What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, 'She is my sister'? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way." 20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.” NKJV


Facts Revealed:

Y      Since Moses wrote the book of Genesis after Israel came out of Egypt and before Israel crossed the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, he knew where Bethel was.  So he could make reference to it in telling about the location Abraham built his second Altar to Yahowah even though the place was not named “Bethel” until Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, saw a vision at the place. [see Genesis 28:10-22]

Y      God’s chosen and called people are not immune to plagues, such as famine, that impact a land.

Y      Abram was a prophet and under the protection of God. [Genesis 20:7]  However, he acted in faith with human reasoning and fears that prompted him to make decisions on his own based on his analysis of his immediate circumstances.

Y      Abram feared for his own life in both Egypt, the land of Ham, and again in Canaan because of the great beauty of his wife, Sarai, which led him to misrepresent his relationship with her. 

Y      His reasoning is revealed again in his encounter with Abimelech in the land of Canaan where he said,

"Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife. But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said to her, 'This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, "He is my brother.’" [Genesis 20:11-13 NKJV]

Y      Like many today, Abram was willing to use his own wife for his own advantage that it might go well for him because of her.

Y      Abram knew of the curse Noah had placed on descendants of Ham and did not realize that some of them still had a knowledge of God.

Y      God sends plagues on some people who do wrong unwittingly, but does not explain Himself to them. However, Pharaoh came to realize the truth and responded honorably by returning Sarai to Abram and commanding his people concerning them both.

Y      Because of God’s intervention, it did indeed go well for Abram as a result of the encounter.

Y      This is continuing evidence of the fulfillment of God’s promise to bless Abram if he did as God had commanded him.