Matthew Henry's Commentary
God calls Abram, and blesses him with a promise of Christ. (1-3) Abram departs from Haran. (4,5) He journeys through Canaan,
and worships God in that land. (6-9) Abram is driven by a famine into Egypt, He feigns his wife to be his sister. (10-20)
Verses 1-3: God made choice of Abram, and singled him out from among his
fellow-idolaters, that he might reserve a people for himself, among whom his true worship might be maintained till the coming
of Christ. From henceforward Abram and his seed are almost the only subject of the history in the Bible. Abram was tried whether
he loved God better than all, and whether he could willingly leave all to go with God. His kindred and his father's house
were a constant temptation to him, he could not continue among them without danger of being infected by them. Those who leave
their sins, and turn to God, will be unspeakable gainers by the change. The command God gave to Abram, is much the same with
the gospel call, for natural affection must give way to Divine grace. Sin, and all the occasions of it, must be forsaken;
particularly bad company. Here are many great and precious promises. All God's precepts are attended with promises to the
obedient. 1. I will make of thee a great nation. When God took Abram from his own people, he promised to make him the head
of another people. 2. I will bless thee. Obedient believers shall be sure to inherit the blessing. 3. I will make thy name
great. The name of obedient believers shall certainly be made great. 4. Thou shalt be a blessing. Good men are the blessings
of their country. 5. I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee. God will take care that none are
losers, by any service done for his people. 6. In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Jesus Christ is the
great blessing of the world, the greatest that ever the world possessed. All the true blessedness the world is now, or ever
shall be possessed of, is owing to Abram and his posterity. Through them we have a Bible, a Saviour, and a gospel. They are
the stock on which the Christian church is grafted.
Verse 4,5: Abram
believed that the blessing of the Almighty would make up for all he could lose or leave behind, supply all his wants, and
answer and exceed all his desires; and he knew that nothing but misery would follow disobedience. Such believers, being justified
by faith in Christ, have peace with God. They hold on their way to Canaan. They are not discouraged by the difficulties in
their way, nor drawn aside by the delights they meet with. Those who set out for heaven must persevere to the end. What we
undertake, in obedience to God's command, and in humble attendance on his providence, will certainly succeed, and end with
comfort at last. Canaan was not, as other lands, a mere outward possession, but a type of heaven, and in this respect the
patriarchs so earnestly prized it.
Verses 6-9: Abram found the country
peopled by Canaanites, who were bad neighbours. He journeyed, going on still. Sometimes it is the lot of good men to be unsettled,
and often to remove into various states. Believers must look on themselves as strangers and sojourners in this world, (Heb 11:8,13,14). But observe how much comfort Abram had in God. When he could have little satisfaction
in converse with the Canaanites whom he found there, he had abundance of pleasure in communion with that God, who brought
him thither, and did not leave him. Communion with God is kept up by the word and by prayer. God reveals himself and his favours
to his people by degrees; before, he had promised to show Abram this land, now, to give it to him: as grace is growing, so
is comfort. It should seem, Abram understood it also as a grant of a better land, of which this was a type; for he looked
for a heavenly country, (Heb 11:16). As soon as Abram was got to Canaan, though he was but a
stranger and sojourner there, yet he set up, and kept up, the worship of God in his family. He not only minded the ceremonial
part of religion, the offering of sacrifice; but he made conscience of seeking his God, and calling on his name; that spiritual
sacrifice with which God is well pleased. He preached concerning the name of the Lord; he taught his family and neighbours
the knowledge of the true God, and his holy religion. The way of family worship is a good old way, no new thing, but the ancient
usage of the saints. Abram was rich, and had a numerous family, was now unsettled, and in the midst of enemies; yet, wherever
he pitched his tent, he built an altar: wherever we go, let us not fail to take our religion along with us.
Verses 10-20: There is no state on earth free from trials, nor any character free from blemishes.
There was famine in Canaan, the glory of all lands, and unbelief, with the evils it ever brings, in Abram the father of the
faithful. Perfect happiness and perfect purity dwell only in heaven. Abram, when he must for a time quit Canaan, goes to Egypt,
that he might not seem to look back, and meaning to tarry there no longer than needful. There Abram dissembled his relation
to Sarai, equivocated, and taught his wife and his attendants to do so too. He concealed a truth, so as in effect to deny
it, and exposed thereby both his wife and the Egyptians to sin. The grace Abram was most noted for, was faith; yet he thus
fell through unbelief and distrust of the Divine providence, even after God had appeared to him twice. Alas, what will become
of weak faith, when strong faith is thus shaken! If God did not deliver us, many a time, out of straits and distresses which
we bring ourselves into, by our own sin and folly, we should be ruined. He deals not with us according to our deserts. Those
are happy chastisements that hinder us in a sinful way, and bring us to our duty, particularly to the duty of restoring what
we have wrongfully taken or kept. Pharaoh's reproof of Abram was very just: What is this that thou hast done? How unbecoming
a wise and good man! If those who profess religion, do that which is unfair and deceptive, especially if they say that which
borders upon a lie, they must expect to hear of it; and they have reason to thank those who will tell them of it. The sending
away was kind. Pharaoh was so far from any design to kill Abram, as he feared, that he took particular care of him. We often
perplex ourselves with fears which are altogether groundless. Many a time we fear where no fear is. Pharaoh charged his men
not to hurt Abram in any thing. It is not enough for those in authority, that they do not hurt themselves; they must keep
their servants and those about them from doing hurt.
David Burnette's Life Application
on the Journey
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making
an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue
in the book of Genesis with Chapter 12 and in today's text we see the descendants of Noah, Abram (soon
to be Abraham) has an encounter with God in which he is instructed to go to into a new land. What stands out to me is the
part where Abram has to go to Egypt because of famine and lies about his wife Sarai telling Pharaoh that she is his sister
because he is afraid of he will be killed. Although Abram had faith to do what God told him he lacked the complete faith to
trust Him on the journey. In making application I can relate to Abram as I too have this partial faith from time to time.
Doing what God has called me to do but doubting Him on the journey when an unexpected bill comes due or placed in a situation
doubting myself. The truth is that God is God. If tells you to do something to do then He will be with you on the Journey.
How about you? Are you trusting God to get you where He leading you? Let us learn from our text today and the life of
Abram to Have faith, trust the Lord, as He will deliver you on the Journey He Leads you too.
the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land
that I will shew thee:
2And I will make of
thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in
thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed
out of Haran.
5And Abram took Sarai his wife,
and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and
they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
6And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of
Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD,
who appeared unto him.
8And he removed from
thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there
he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
9And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
10And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine
was grievous in the land.
11And it came to
pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair
woman to look upon:
12Therefore it shall come
to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save
13Say, I pray thee, thou art my
sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
14And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld
the woman that she was very fair.
also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
16And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he
asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
17And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
18And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me?
why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy
20And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning
him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.