Genesis Chapter 11 to 12 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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The World Divided 

11 {After the flood,} the whole world spoke one language. All people used the same words. 2People moved from the East.* They found a plain in the country of Shinar. The people stayed there to live. 3The people said, “We should make bricks and put them in fire so that they will become very hard.” So the people used bricks, not stones, to build their houses. And the people used tar,* not mortar.* 4Then the people said, “We should build a city for ourselves. And we should build a tower that will reach to the sky. We will be famous. {And this will keep us together.} We will not be scattered all over the earth.” 5The Lord came down to see the city and the very tall building. The Lord saw the people building these things. 6The Lord said, “These people all speak the same language. And I see that they are joined together to do this work. This is only the beginning of what they can do. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. 7So let’s go down and confuse their language. Then they will not understand each other.” 8So the Lord caused the people to spread all over the earth. So the people did not finish building the city. 9That is the place where the Lord confused the language of the whole world. So that place is called Babel.* So the Lord caused the people to spread out from that place to all the other places on earth.

The Story of Shem’s Family

10This is the story of Shem’s family. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, his son Arphaxad was born. 11After that Shem lived 500 years. He had other sons and daughters. 12When Arphaxad was 35 years old, his son Shelah was born. 13After Shelah was born, Arphaxad lived 403 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters. 14After Shelah was 30 years old, his son Eber was born. 15After Eber was born, Shelah lived 403 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters. 16After Eber was 34 years old, his son Peleg was born. 17After Peleg was born, Eber lived 430 years more. During that time he had other sons and daughters. 18After Peleg was 30 years old, his son Reu was born. 19After Reu was born, Peleg lived 209 years more. During that time he had other sons and daughters. 

20After Reu was 32 years old, his son Serug was born. 21After Serug was born, Reu lived 207 years more. During that time he had other sons and daughters. 22After Serug was 30 years old, his son Nahor was born. 23After Nahor was born, Serug lived 200 years more. During that time he had other sons and daughters. 24After Nahor was 29 years old, his son Terah was born. 25After Terah was born, Nahor lived 119 years more. During that time he had other sons and daughters. 26After Terah was 70 years old, his sons Abram, Nahor, and Haran were born.

The Story of Terah’s Family

27This is the story of Terah’s family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran was the father of Lot. 28Haran died in his home town, Ur of Babylonia,* while his father Terah was still alive. 29Abram and Nahor both married. Abram’s wife was named Sarai. Nahor’s wife was named Milcah. Milcah was the daughter of Haran. Haran was the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30Sarai did not have any children because she was not able to have children. 31Terah took his family and left Ur of Babylonia.* They planned to travel to Canaan. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai (Abram’s wife). They traveled to the city of Haran and decided to stay there. 32Terah lived to be 205 years old. He died in Haran.

East This usually means the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as far as the Persian Gulf. tar Or, “pitch,” a thick oil that must be heated to become liquid. mortar Cement used when building with bricks.Babel Or, “Babylon.” This is like a word meaning “confuse.” Ur of Babylonia Literally, “Ur of the Chaldeans.” A city in southern Babylonia.

God Calls Abram

12 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country and your people. Leave your father’s family and go to the country I will show you. 2 I will build a great nation from you. I will bless you and make your name famous. People will use your name to bless other people. 3 I will bless people who bless you, and I will curse people who curse* you. I will use you to bless all the people on earth.”

Abram Goes to Canaan

4So Abram left Haran just like the Lord said. And Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the slaves and all the other things he got in Haran. Then Abram and his group moved to the land of Canaan. 6Abram traveled through the land of Canaan as far as the town of Shechem and then went to the big tree at Moreh. The Canaanite people lived in that place at this time. 7The Lord appeared* to Abram. The Lord said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” The Lord appeared to Abram at that place. So Abram built an altar* for worshiping the Lord there. 8Then Abram left that place and traveled to the mountains east of Bethel. Abram set up his tent there. The city of Bethel was to the west. The city of Ai was to the east. At that place Abram built another altar to the Lord. And Abram worshiped the Lord there. 9After this, Abram began traveling again. He traveled toward the Negev.*

Abram in Egypt

10During this time, the land was very dry. There was no rain, and no food was able to grow. So Abram went down to Egypt to live. 11Abram saw how beautiful his wife Sarai was. So just before they arrived in Egypt, Abram told Sarai, “I know that you are a very beautiful woman. 12The Egyptian men will see you. They will say, ‘This woman is his wife.’ Then they will kill me because they want you. 13So tell people that you are my sister. Then they will not kill me. They will think I am your brother, and they will be kind to me. In this way, you will save my life.”

14So Abram went into Egypt. The men of Egypt saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15Some of the Egyptian leaders saw her also. They told Pharaoh that she was a very beautiful woman. Those leaders took Sarai to Pharaoh’s home. 16Pharaoh was kind to Abram because he thought Abram was Sarai’s brother. Pharaoh gave Abram sheep, cattle, and donkeys. Abram also got men servants, women servants, and camels. 17Pharaoh took Abram’s wife. So the Lord caused Pharaoh and all the people in his house to have very bad diseases. 18So Pharaoh called Abram. Pharaoh said, “You have done a very bad thing to me! You didn’t tell me Sarai was your wife! Why? 19You said, ‘She is my sister.’ Why did you say that? I took her so she could be my wife. But now I give your wife back to you. Take her and go!” 20Then Pharaoh commanded his men to lead Abram out of Egypt. So Abram and his wife left that place. And they carried everything they had with them.

curse To ask for bad things to happen to a thing or person. The Lord appeared God often used special shapes so people could see him. Sometimes he was like a man, an angel, a fire, or a bright light. altar(s) A stone table used for burning sacrifices that were offered as gifts to God. Negev The desert area in the southern part of Judah.

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