Study Guide

Book of Genesis Chapter 12:1-9

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Chapter 12:1-9

Ready, Set, Go! Abram On the Move

  • The deity commands Abram, "Go!" He's supposed to settle in the land the deity will show to him.
  • The deity makes some big promises: Abram will give rise to a huge nation; he'll have more name-recognition than Michael Jackson; the fate of all nations will depend on how they treat Abram and the nation that stems from him. 
  • It's a simple equation: bless Abram, be blessed. Curse Abram, be cursed. Any questions?
  • He's 75 when he leaves Haran, and he takes his wife Sarai with him. Lot tags along with them, and Abram also takes his slaves. Yes, Abram was a slave-owner, and one of these slaves will play an important role as the story unfolds. Keep your eye out.
  • They all arrive in Canaan, specifically at a place called Shechem. This map will show you his basic route. 
  • The narrator underlines that the Canaanite people are still living in the land. Abram is basically an immigrant.
  • The Lord appears to Abram and makes more big promises. Listen up: This land belongs to you and your kids. Okay, this flies in the face of reality, for it's the Canaanites who are living here now (12:7).
  • Abram builds an altar, and then he moves to another place, builds another altar, and invokes the deity by his nickname, the Lord (Hebrew: YHWH) (people have been calling the deity that since 4:26).
  • Abram is still on the move, and lays his hat now in the Negeb.

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