Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Genesis 12:13


So tell them 1  you are my sister 2  so that it may go well 3  for me because of you and my life will be spared 4  on account of you.”


Ge 11:29; Ge 20:2,5,12,13; Ge 26:7; Ps 146:3-5; Isa 57:11; Jer 17:5-8; Eze 18:4; Mt 26:69-75; Joh 8:44; Ro 3:6-8; Ro 6:23; Ga 2:12,13; Col 3:6

NET © Notes

tn Heb “say.”

sn Tell them you are my sister. Abram’s motives may not be as selfish as they appear. He is aware of the danger to the family. His method of dealing with it is deception with a half truth, for Sarai really was his sister – but the Egyptians would not know that. Abram presumably thought that there would be negotiations for a marriage by anyone interested (as Laban does later for his sister Rebekah), giving him time to react. But the plan backfires because Pharaoh does not take the time to negotiate. There is a good deal of literature on the wife-sister issue. See (among others) E. A. Speiser, “The Wife-Sister Motif in the Patriarchal Narratives,” Oriental and Biblical Studies, 62-81; C. J. Mullo-Weir, “The Alleged Hurrian Wife-Sister Motif in Genesis,” GOT 22 (1967-1970): 14-25.

tn The Hebrew verb translated “go well” can encompass a whole range of favorable treatment, but the following clause indicates it means here that Abram’s life will be spared.

tn Heb “and my life will live.”

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