The Bible Slam: Genesis Chapter 12

The 75-year-old Abram and his wife, Sarai, and his nephew Lot, are looking for a new home in this chapter. There's a drought and famine, so they move to Egypt, where Abram lies to Pharaoh about his relationship with his wife who is "fair to look upon," telling Pharaoh that Sarai was his sister. Pharaoh relies on what Abram says and is punished by God. Pharaoh kicks Abram, Sarai and all they had out of Egypt.

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Stuff to Talk About

Verse 3 of Genesis 12 (click for King James version with commentary) reads: "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."   Pharaoh is very good to Abram, giving him slaves, donkeys, goats and so on.   However, God plagues Pharaoh … is this consistent?

From a moralistic point of view, it is difficult to understand why God punishes Pharaoh.   Afraid that the Egyptians would kill him so that they could have his beautiful wife, Abram convinces Sarai to lie and say that she is is sister (true in part … according to Chapter 11, she's his half sister).   Relying on Abram's lie, Sarai is taken into Pharaoh's home.     Because of this, God sends plagues on Pharaoh.   Here's the exact passage:

12:15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.

12:16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.

12:17And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.

12:18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

Question for Christian apologists: What is the moral value in this?   Does this mean that if you find favor with God, it's okay to decieve people?

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