The Center for
Messianic Learning

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

WARNING: The text used for my commentary is my own paraphrase and must not be
considered “a translation” or authorative in any way. It is, in fact, simply my commentary.

Maps, when used, are from Created using BibleMapper 3.0.
Additional data from
Source of Dates Used

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


פָּרָשָׁה לֶךְ-לְךָ

Parashah Lekh L'kha
“Get Yourself Out”
B’resheet 12:1-17:27

Jewish Man Reading Torah Scroll

This week’s commentary from First Fruits of Zion (Messianic)
This week’s commentary from (Rabbinical)
This week’s commentary from (Christian)

This Week’s Reading Schedule

Review and meditate on
   last week’s Parashah

   Rishon [1st]: 12:1-13
   Sheni [2nd]: 12:14-13:4

   Shlishi [3rd]: 13:5-18
   R'vi'i [4th]: 14:1-20

   Chamishi [5th]: 14:21-15:6
   Shishi [6th]: 15:7-17:6

   Shvi'i [7th]: 17:7-23
   Maftir [Concluding]: 17:24-27

   Haftarah: Selections[GN]
      Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 40:27–41:16

   Ketuvei HaShalichim
      Basar: (Gospel)
         Yochanan (John) 8:51-58
      Kepherim (optional)
         P’yilut (Acts) 7:1-8
         Romim (Romans) 3:19-5:6
         Galitim (Galatians) 3:15-18; 5:1-6
         Kolosim (Colossians) 2:11-15
         Ivrim (Messianic Jews) 7:1-19; 11:8-12


The Blessing of the Torah

Click here to listen to this canted by
Cantor Kenneth B. Cohen
of Temple Sholom, Greenwich, CT.
Aliya: (the one who “goes up” to read)  
   Bar-khu et Adonai ham-vor-ack.
   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised.)
   Ba-rookh Adonai ham-vor-ack ley-oh-lam

   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised for
     all eternity.)
   Ba-rookh Adonai ham-vor-ack ley-oh-lam

   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised for
     all eternity.)
Ba-rookh ah-tah Adonai, Eh-lo-hay-noo
meh-lekh hah oh-lahm,
ah-sher ba-char ba-noo me-kol ha-ah­meem,
v’na-tahn lah-noo et torah-toe,
ba-rookh ah-tah Adonai, no-tane hah-torah.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who has chosen us from all peoples
and given us His Torah.
Blessed are You, O Lord, Giver of the Torah.

~ 12 ~
Listen to Parashah Lekh L'kha read from the CJB

Period of the Patriarchs (ca. 1967-1606)

III. Parashah Lekh L'kha (Get yourself out) (Gen. 12:1-17:27)

A. HaShem Calls Avram (12:1-9)

Rishon [1st] 1Then Yehovah [GN] said to Avram'exalted father',[1]Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s household, and go to the land that I will show you.

[The Covenant (Brit Bein Habetarim) with Avram — ca 1924-1927 BCE]

1. HaShem’s[GN] Promise to Avram (12:2-3)

 2I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make your name[2] great so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who treat you with contempt.[3a] All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.[3b]

[Haran [MAP] to Canaan [MAP] ca April 5, 1892 BCE]

2. Avram Leaves for Canaan (12:4-5)

4So Avram departed, as Yehovah had instructed him, and Lot went with him.[4] Avram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran. 5Avram took his wife Sarai“princess”, his nephew Lot“covering”, and all the possessions and people[5] they had acquired in Haran, and set out for the land of Kena'anCanaan.

3. Land Promised to Descendants (12:6-7) [At Shechem [MAP], ca April 15, 1892 BCE]

When they came to the land of Kena'an, 6Avram traveled through the land to the site the oak of Moreh at Shechem. At that time, the Kena'aniCanaanites were in the land.

7There Yehovah appeared to Avram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.[7]

So Avram built an altar there to Yehovah Who had appeared to him.

4. Worship Near Beit-El (12:8-9) [Between Beit-El and Ai]

 8From there Avram moved on to the hill country east of Beit-El“house of God” - Bethel [MAP] and made camp[8] with Beit-El to the west and Ai [MAP] to the east. There he built an altar to Yehovah and called on the name of Yehovah. 9Then Avram traveled on toward the NegbahNekeb, Negev, “south-country” [MAP].

B. Avram Dishonors Himself in Egypt (12:10-20)

1. Avram Leaves for Egypt (12:10) [ca May 1, 1892 BCE]

10There was a famine in the land, so Avram went down into Egypt [MAP] to live there for a while[10] because the famine was severe.

2. Avram Plans Deception (12:11-13)

 11As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Hinneh,[GN] I know that you are a beautiful woman. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but allow you to live. 13Please say that you are my sister[13] so that I will be treated well for your sake, and on account of you my life will be spared.”


3. Sarai Taken by Pharaoh (12:14-16)

Sheni [2nd] 14So When Avram entred Egypt [ca May 15, 1892 BCE], the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.[14] 15When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they commended her to Pharaoh; and she was taken into Pharaoh’s palace.[15] 16He treated Avram well for her sake, and Avram acquired sheep, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.

4. HaShem Delivers Sarai (12:17-20)

 17But Yehovah afflicted Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Avram’s wife Sarai. 18So Pharaoh called for Avram and asked, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my woman? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and leave!”

20Pharaoh gave his men orders concerning Avram, and they sent him away with his wife and all his possessions.

Chapter 13

 1. The Scriptures are silent about how HaShem first revealed himself to Avram, the son of a wealthy idol-maker. See note on Gen 11:27. If not for Avram, the father of all three of earth’s monotheistic religions, the world would still be lost in polytheism. [BACK]

 2. Name: Hebrew שםם, shem, name; but not just the personal name by which one is called. The Hebrew word denotes one’s reputation, fame, glory. Yehovah promised that He would make Avram’s reputation great. [BACK]

 3a. Treat with contempt, Hebrew קלל, qalal,  translated “curse” in most English versions. The verb means not only to curse but, as translated here, to treat with contempt, to treat lightly, to lightly esteem, to slight, to make light of. Any nation that treats Israel lightly, doesn’t take Israel seriously, can expect to be cursed [Heb. אָאֹ֑ר (’ā·’ōr), placed under a curse] by HaShem. America’s leaders need to be extremely careful in their dealings with Israel, especially in regards to Israel’s right to dwell securely in all the land that HaShem gave to Avraham and to his descendants forever! The so-called “Roadmap to Peace” and “Two-State Solution” both treat Israel with utter contempt, and HaShem will hold the American people accountable for the actions of their elected officials, just as He held the entire nation of Israel accountable for the activities of their evil kings. (See “What Adonai Says About the ‘Occupied Territories’.”  [BACK]

3b. Not only did HaShem’s Messiah come from the family of Avraham, as if that were not blessing enough for the entire world, but through Avraham and his descendants we were given not just the concept of monotheism, but also the human authors of all the Scriptures — everything we know about HaShem — were all his descendants. Had Avraham not been obedient to HaShem, we would likely still be sacrificing our children to Ba'al. Additionally, the restored State of Israel is the source of some of our most important recent advances in medicine and technology. “At least 208 Jews and people of half- or three-quarters-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize, accounting for 22% of all individual recipients worldwide between 1901 and 2020, and constituting 36% of all US recipients during the same period.” ( See also Wikipedia: “List of Jewish Nobel laureates.” [BACK]

 4. Avram immediately obeyed HaShem and left with his wife and his orphaned nephew. He had no idea at all of their destination, only that HaShem would show him. His obedience is frequently cited in the Apostolic Writings as a testimony to his great faith, e.g., Hebrews 11:8. [BACK]

 5. See the note on Gen 13:2. [BACK]

 7. “God was dealing with Abram not in his private and personal capacity merely, but with a view to high and important interests in future ages. That land his posterity was for centuries to inhabit as a peculiar people; the seeds of divine knowledge were to be sown there for the benefit of all mankind; and considered in its geographical situation, it was chosen in divine wisdom as the fittest of all lands to serve as the cradle of a divine revelation designed for the whole world.” (JF&B)

At the time the above commentary was written (1871), Israel had been in exile from her Promised Land for nearly two millennia. That she has since been restored to the Land is a stunning example of HaShem’s faithfulness. [BACK]

 8. Made camp, lit. “pitched his tent.” [BACK]

10. That Avram went to Egypt to live as a foreigner during the famine and not as a permanent resident speaks to the fact that he had not abandoned or lost faith in HaShem’s promise of a land for him and his descendents as a permanent possession. [BACK]

13. Sarai was indeed Avram’s half-sister, sharing the same father but with different mothers. (Gen 20:12) [BACK]

14. Avram was 75 years old when they left Haran (v. 4) and Sarai was ten years his junior (Gen 17:17). She must have been beautiful indeed if Pharaoh wanted her for his harem at the age of 65 or 66. [BACK]

15. “Eastern kings have for ages claimed the privilege of taking to their harem an unmarried woman whom they like. The father or brother may deplore the removal as a calamity, but the royal right is never resisted nor questioned.” (JF&B) [BACK]

Other commentaries on Genesis 12
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Pulpit Commentary
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Added outline, dates, notes, and comments on Monday 12 July 2021

Page last updated on Monday, 02 October 2023 12:52 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
Blue Letter Bible Search Tool

Range Options:

e.g. Gen;Psa-Mal;Rom 3-9