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Book of Genesis for Beginners: Chapters 12-17

Updated on September 1, 2016

The Calling of Abraham (Abram)

The Calling of Abraham (Abram)
The Calling of Abraham (Abram) | Source

Genesis Chapter 12

Abram’s Calling

Gen 12:1-9

God told Abram to leave his home and country to a place that God would show him. God told Abram that out of him would come a great nation. God also said to Abram that those who blessed Abram would be blessed, but those who cursed Abram would be cursed.

Abram did as God told him and brought with him his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and his possessions. Abram journeyed to the land of Canaan. God told him that the land of Canaan would be given to his ancestors. Abram built an altar, and burnt an offering to God to commemorate the event.

Abram and Sarai go to Egypt

Gen 12:10-20

Abram knew that when he entered Egypt the Egyptians would want to kill him for his beautiful wife. So Abram told Sarai to tell the Egyptians that she was Abram’s sister so things would go well there. When they entered into Egypt, the princes of Egypt took Sarai to Pharaoh for him to marry. God sent plagues to afflict Pharaoh and his people for taking Sarai away from Abram.

Pharaoh gave Sarai back to Abram and asked him why he did not tell Pharaoh that Sarai was his wife. Pharaoh ordered his men to send Abram and his wife away together with all Abram’s possessions.

Genesis Chapter 13

Abram and Lot Separate

Gen 13:1-13

Abram, his wife, and Lot left Egypt and entered in the land of Negeb to settle. Abram had many possessions and Lot also had many possessions. Amoung Abram’s possessions and Lot’s possessions, there was not enough room for both of them to live together.

The herdsmen of Abram’s livestock began fighting with the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Abram decided that Lot and his possessions needed to live elsewhere to stop the fighting. Lot decided to go to the Jordan Valley to live and finally settled in the city of Sodom.

God Speaks to Abram Again

Gen 13:14-18

Abram was left with his wife and his possessions in the land of Canaan. God said to Abram to look all around him. God said to Abram that as far as he could see, he and his descendants would possess the land forever. God also said to Abram that his offspring would be as many as the dust on the earth. Abram built an altar, and burnt an offering to God to commemorate the event.

The Rescue

Abram Rescues Lot
Abram Rescues Lot | Source

Genesis Chapter 14

Abram Rescues Lot

Gen 14:1-16

A war broke out between the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the kings of the rival kings. The rival kings won the battle and took all the possessions from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Along with the possessions that were taken from Sodom were Abram’s nephew Lot and all of Lot’s possessions.

One of Lot’s men escaped from capture and ran to Abram telling him all that had happened. The escapee also told Abram that his nephew Lot was captured along with all of his possessions. Abram took 318 of his men and battled the rival forces. Abram and his men won the battle and took back with them all of the stolen possessions along with Lot and all his possessions.

Melchizedek Blesses Abram

Gen 14:17-24

After the victory of battle, the king of Sodom, and the king of Salem, Melchizedek (also God’s high priest), came to Abram and honored him for the victory. Melchizedek brought wine and bread to Abram and blessed him for the victory. Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the possessions that was won in battle as an offering.

The king of Sodom wanted Abram to take his share of possessions from the battle. But, Abram told the king of Sodom to keep his share of possessions except what he brought with him because he did not want the king of Sodom to say that he made Abram rich.

Genesis Chapter 15

God’s Covenant with Abram

Gen 15:1-21

The Lord came to Abram in a vision saying that Abram’s reward would be great. Abram was confused about what the Lord said because Abram could not have any offspring because his wife’s womb was barren. Abram asked the Lord what could He possibly give him that was great; the only thing that would be great would be offspring.

The Lord told Abram that his offspring would not come from any other man in his house. The Lord also said that the offspring would come from Abram. The Lord told Abram to go outside and count all the stars; that would be as many offspring he would have.

The Lord told Abram that the land he was in would be his offspring’s as well. Abram asked the Lord to show him a sign to prove what the Lord was saying was true. The Lord told Abram to burn specific animal offerings to him and Abram did so. At night, Abram fell into a deep sleep and the Lord came to him in a dream confirming what was spoken.

Abram & Hagar

Abram & Hagar
Abram & Hagar | Source

Genesis Chapter 16

Abram and Hagar

Gen 16:1-16

Abram’s wife Sarai could not have children because her womb was barren. Abram wanted offspring, so Sarai let Abram go into his servant, Hagar. Hagar became pregnant and Sarai became jealous of her. Sarai became angry at Abram, but he reminded her that Hagar was still a servant and could still be treated as one. Sarai dealt with Hagar harshly, and Hagar ran away.

An angel came to Hagar and told her to go back to Sarai and submit to her. The angel also told Hagar that she would have a son and to name him Ishmael. The angel said that Ishmael would be mean and would be at war with everyone. The angel also said that Ishmael will have offspring that would be multiplied beyond numbers. Hagar went back to Sarai and submitted to her. Hagar bore Abram’s son and called him Ishmael.

Northern Israel. Place that the Covenant between God and Abraham was established.

Genesis Chapter 17

The Sign of Abraham’s Covenant

Gen 17:1-27

God told Abram that he must be circumcised as the sign of the covenant between him and God. God also told Abram that any male who was in his house also must be circumcised. Every male child from eight days old and on had to be circumcised. If a male did not get circumcised, he would be cut off from God’s people because he had broken the covenant.

God changed Abram’s name to Abraham because he would be the father of many nations. God told Abraham that his wife Sarai would now be called Sarah because she would be the mother of many nations. God said Sarah would have a child from Abraham, but Abraham was in disbelief because he was 99 years old and Sarah was 90 years old with a barren womb. Abraham offered his son Ishmael to God as the descendant from Abraham, but God said that the descendant would come from Abraham and Sarah.

God told Abraham that his son Ishmael would have a great nation and would have 12 princes as his offspring. But God told Abraham that His covenant would be established with his son who was to be called Isaac. God left Abraham and Abraham circumcised himself and all the males in his house.

Was Abraham Wise?

Was Abraham Wise for Trusting in God's Promises?

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