The first we hear of Abraham, God is telling him to “lech-lecha” – “take yourself out” from his family and from his father’s house in Harran.  God promises to make a great nation of Abraham.   (Actually, he was called Avram at this point.)

Avram doesn’t argue.  He just ups and leaves with his nephew Lot and his wife Sarai.  He is 75 years old when this happens.

He gets to Shechem and the first thing he does is build an altar to God.  He moves a little south, builds another altar near Bethel, and then gets to the Negev in what is now southern Israel.

Next thing we know, there’s a famine in Canaan, so Avram takes Sarai and they go off to Egypt.  Pharoah takes one look at Sarai and thinks she’s just gorgeous.  Avram tells Sarai “Tell him you’re my sister.  If he finds out you’re my wife, he’ll kill me.”  So Sarai moves in with Pharoah, and Pharoah gives Avram sheep and donkeys and servants. 

Lo and behold, God sends a plague on Pharoah and his household!  Pharoah freaks out.  “What have you done to me??  Why didn’t you tell me??” 

So Pharoah has Avram and Sarai escorted out of Egypt.

Well, Avram is back in what’s now central Israel.  But Lot’s shepherds and herders start fighting with Avram’s shepherds and herders.  So Avram tells Lot to move all his stuff and his people wherever he chooses, and Lot moves to the plain of Jordan.  Avram settles near Hebron, which is now in the West Bank.  And, of course, he builds an altar.

Food for Thought

How do you think Pharoah knew that God caused the plague?