Chapter 12 Commentary
God calls Abraham (now just Abram)
We are reminded of where we are coming from. Abram is based at Ur of the Chaldeans. This place is same as Babel. It’s an important point to note that God is always calling us out of a sinful situation or place. Later on in scripture the term Chaldean and Babylon are used interchangeably. Therefore God is calling Abram from sinful Babel and wants to start with him.
Verse twelve begins with God blessing Abram. This blessing is repeated over and over in scripture. Look carefully at it and you see the Lord trying to do Genesis Chapter 1:28 again. You will notice that each time God wants to start with man, He begins by blessing man. We saw it with Adam in verse 1/28 and saw it in chapter 9/1 with Noah and now we see it with Abram in chapter 12.
Chapter 12 is important because here we see another mention of seed. We saw it earlier when the Lord talked of the seed of the woman. The purpose is stated clearly here. Through Abram the LORD word bless the nations. The purpose is to bless the nations. The purpose is to get back to 1/28 – the original mandate.
To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’
Acts 7:2-3 NIV
Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin does mention that Abram (not yet Abraham) was called from Mesopotamia. Chapter 11 has those details. The location is the Fertile Crescent – between Tigris and Euphrates. Here is Babel or Shinar. Here the LORD scattered man. Abraham was ‘scattered’ from here to Canaan.
After these lines Abram makes a trip to Egypt to escape famine. Israel and these trips to Egypt…the first of the many trips. The trip is a downer as fearful Abram lies.