“But there was a famine in the land, so Avram went down into Egypt to stay there, because the famine in the land was severe.”-Genesis 12:10
In the closing paragraph of Chapter 12, we are shown that even Abraham, the father of our faith, is capable of succumbing to worry and temptation when external circumstances appear severe and troublesome.
The narration states that there was a famine in the land and given its severity we are told that Abram fled from the promised land to Egypt.
This was an unworthy action because he should have trusted in God’s protection.
In the Scriptures, Egypt symbolizes the world that the true follower of God is to stay away from.
Egypt ALWAYS indicates slavery to the devil in the Bible.
One of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of our time, Maimonides (otherwise known as Ramban) offered the following concerning Abraham’s decision to journey to Egypt.
“The patriarch “committed a great sin inadvertently” by not trusting in God’s protection, leaving the promised land, and subjecting his righteous wife to the possibility of sexual victimization.”
One mishap leads to another as Abram ends up fibbing to the Pharaoh about the true identity of his wife Sarai fearing that a jealous Pharaoh might have him killed on account of his wife’s beauty (by the way, Sarai would have been about 75 years old at this time).
However, Abram’s plan backfires as the very fib he offers up becomes the very reason Pharaoh attempts to court Sarai.
Nevertheless, in spite of Abram’s less than commendable actions, the Lord intervenes on his behalf and smites Pharaoh and his household with as the Scriptures say “mighty plagues“.
In the end, Abraham prospers greatly and ends up leaving with an enormous number of animals and servants.
This would have been a customary bride’s price paid by the Pharaoh at the time.
One point we shouldn’t miss is that right here a pattern is established between how Israel will interact with Egypt in the future.
Abraham has a scuttle with Pharaoh.
God smites Egypt with mighty plagues.
Abraham leaves Egypt with great wealth.
There is no doubt that this event foreshadows Moses and the Exodus.
NEXT TIME WE WILL BEGIN GENESIS CHAPTER 13