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)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 12 ~

Parashah Lech Lecha
(“Get Yourself Out,” Gen. 1-17:27)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

The brakah (blessing) to recite prior to reading the Parashah is here.

Period of the Patriarchs (ca. 2100-1525 BCE)

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

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

[i] Now hwhy [YeHoVaH] said to Avram,[1] “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s household, and go to the land that I will show you.

1. HaShem’s Promise to Avram (12:2-3)

 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make your name[2] great. You will be a blessing. I 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]

2. Avram Leaves for Canaan (12:4-5) [to Canaan,  ca 2091 BCE]

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

3. Land Promised to Descendants (12:6-7) [Shechem]

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

hwhy [YeHoVaH] appeared to Avram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.”[7]

So Avram built an altar there to hwhy [YeHoVaH], Who had appeared to him.

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

 From there Avram moved on to the hill country east of Beit-El“house of God” - Bethel and pitched his tent, with Beit-El to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to hwhy [YeHoVaH] and called on the name of hwhy [YeHoVaH]. Avram traveled on toward the NegbahNekeb, Negev, “south-country”.

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

1. Avram Leaves for Egypt (12:10)

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

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

 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, I know that you are a beautiful woman. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but allow you to live. 13 Please 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)

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

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

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

20 Pharaoh 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 wealth idol-maker. If not for Avram, the father of all three of earth’s monotheistic religions, the world would still be lost in polytheism. [RETURN]

 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. hwhy [YeHoVaH] promised that He would make Avram’s reputation great. [RETURN]

 3a. Contempt, Hebrew קלל, qalal,  translated “curses” 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 the same treatment from 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. [RETURN]

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. Additionally, the restored State of Israel is the source of some of our most important recent advances in medicine and technology. [RETURN]

 4. Avram immediately obeyed HaShem and left with his wife and his orphaned nephew. His obedience is frequently cited in the Apostolic Writings as a testimony to his great faith, e.g., Hebrews 11:8. [RETURN]

 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. [RETURN]

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. [RETURN]

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

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) [RETURN]

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Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return