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Genesis 12:4-7

Context

12:4 So Abram left, 1  just as the Lord had told him to do, 2  and Lot went with him. (Now 3  Abram was 75 years old 4  when he departed from Haran.) 12:5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew 5  Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired 6  in Haran, and they left for 7  the land of Canaan. They entered the land of Canaan.

12:6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the oak tree 8  of Moreh 9  at Shechem. 10  (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) 11  12:7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants 12  I will give this land.” So Abram 13  built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

1 sn So Abram left. This is the report of Abram’s obedience to God’s command (see v. 1).

2 tn Heb “just as the Lord said to him.”

3 tn The disjunctive clause (note the pattern conjunction + subject + implied “to be” verb) is parenthetical, telling the age of Abram when he left Haran.

4 tn Heb “was the son of five years and seventy year[s].”

sn Terah was 70 years old when he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran (Gen 11:26). Terah was 205 when he died in Haran (11:32). Abram left Haran at the age of 75 after his father died. Abram was born when Terah was 130. Abram was not the firstborn – he is placed first in the list of three because of his importance. The same is true of the list in Gen 10:1 (Shem, Ham and Japheth). Ham was the youngest son (9:24). Japheth was the older brother of Shem (10:21), so the birth order of Noah’s sons was Japheth, Shem, and Ham.

5 tn Heb “the son of his brother.”

6 tn For the semantic nuance “acquire [property]” for the verb עָשָׂה (’asah), see BDB 795 s.v. עָשָׂה.

7 tn Heb “went out to go.”

8 tn Or “terebinth.”

9 sn The Hebrew word Moreh (מוֹרֶה, moreh) means “teacher.” It may well be that the place of this great oak tree was a Canaanite shrine where instruction took place.

10 tn Heb “as far as the place of Shechem, as far as the oak of Moreh.”

11 tn The disjunctive clause gives important information parenthetical in nature – the promised land was occupied by Canaanites.

12 tn The same Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.

13 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abram) has been supplied in the translation for clarification.



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