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Genesis 12:10-11

Context
The Promised Blessing Jeopardized

12:10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt 1  to stay for a while 2  because the famine was severe. 3  12:11 As he approached 4  Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, 5  I know that you are a beautiful woman. 6 

1 sn Abram went down to Egypt. The Abrahamic narrative foreshadows some of the events in the life of the nation of Israel. This sojourn in Egypt is typological of Israel’s bondage there. In both stories there is a famine that forces the family to Egypt, death is a danger to the males while the females are preserved alive, great plagues bring about their departure, there is a summons to stand before Pharaoh, and there is a return to the land of Canaan with great wealth.

2 tn The Hebrew verb גּוּר (gur), traditionally rendered “to sojourn,” means “to stay for a while.” The “stranger” (traditionally “sojourner”) is one who is a temporary resident, a visitor, one who is passing through. Abram had no intention of settling down in Egypt or owning property. He was only there to wait out the famine.

3 tn Heb “heavy in the land.” The words “in the land,” which also occur at the beginning of the verse in the Hebrew text, have not been repeated here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

4 tn Heb “drew near to enter.”

5 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) is deictic here; it draws attention to the following fact.

6 tn Heb “a woman beautiful of appearance are you.”



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