Genesis 12:4

Hebrew Bible

3 I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, so that all the families of the earth may receive blessing through you.” 4 So Abram left, just as the Lord had told him to do, and Lot went with him. (Now Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran.) 5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they left for the land of Canaan. They entered the land of Canaan.

Genesis 16:3

Hebrew Bible

2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me from having children, please sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her.” Abram did what Sarai told him. 3 So after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years, Sarai, Abram’s wife, gave Hagar, her Egyptian servant, to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. Once Hagar realized she was pregnant, she despised Sarai.

Jubilees 13:11


10 And he removed from thence and went towards the south, and he came to Hebron and Hebron was built at that time, and he dwelt there two years, and he went (thence) into the land of the south, to Bealoth, and there was a famine in the land. 11 And Abram went into Egypt in the third year of the week, and he dwelt in Egypt five years before his wife was torn away from him. 12 Now Tanais in Egypt was at that time built- seven years after Hebron.

Genesis Rabbah 41:1


“The Lord afflicted Pharaoh ... with great afflictions.” It is written: “The righteous man flourishes like a palm tree; [like a cedar in Lebanon he grows tall]” (Psalms 92:13) – just as the palm and cedar have neither curvatures nor protuberances, so, too, the righteous have neither curvatures nor protuberances. Just as the palm tree and cedar, their shade extends far away, so the reward of the righteous extends far away. Just as the palm tree and the cedar, their heart [trunk] goes straight upward, so too the righteous, their heart is straight toward the Holy One blessed be He. That is what is written: “My eyes are always toward the Lord, as He draws my feet out of the net” (Psalms 25:15). Just as the palm tree and the cedar have desire, so too the righteous have desire. What is their desire? It is for the Holy One blessed be He, as it is stated: “I hoped for the Lord” (Psalms 40:2). Rabbi Tanḥuma said: There was once an incident involving a palm tree that was situated in Ḥamtan, and it would not produce fruit. A certain palm farmer passed by and saw it. He said: ‘This palm is yearning toward Jericho.’ Once they pollinated it [from that Jericho palm], it produced fruit. But might one not argue: Just as vessels are not made from [the wood of] the palm tree, so, too with the righteous? That is astonishing. The verse therefore states: “Like a cedar.” Rav Huna said: There, they do craft utensils from it [palm wood]. And might one not argue: Just as the cedar does not produce fruit, so too the righteous? That is astonishing. The verse therefore states: “Flourishes [like a palm tree].” [Furthermore,] just as the palm has nothing that goes to waste, but, rather, it [produces] dates for eating, fronds for praise, branches for roofing, fiber for ropes, leaves for sieves, large beams for roofing the house, so, too, Israel has no one who goes to waste. Rather, some of them are masters of Bible, some of them are masters of Mishna, some of them are masters of Talmud, some of them are masters of aggada. [Furthermore,] just as with the palm tree and cedar, anyone who climbs to the top of them and does not take care falls and dies, so, too, anyone who comes to accost Israel, will receive his just deserts by their hand. You may know that it is so, since Sarah, because Pharaoh took her for just one night, he and the members of his household were punished with afflictions. That is what is written: “The Lord afflicted Pharaoh ... with great afflictions”

 Notes and References

"... The duration of Abram’s stay in Egypt was somewhat problematic for ancient interpreters. There is a tendency, especially in Rabbinic texts, to minimize the time Abram spent in Egypt to a very short period. This is derived from Genesis 12:4 (“Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran”) and Genesis 16:16 (“Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram”) in relation to Genesis 16:3 (“After Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife”). This allows only a short period for their stay in Egypt. Some texts even speak about a stay of one night. (See Genesis Rabbah 41:1) The dominant view in Hellenistic times (see, e.g., Josephus, Pseudo-Eupolemus, Artapanus), however, was to emphasize a lengthy stay in Egypt. In this period, Abram teaches his wisdom to the Egyptians. The lengthy stay can be derived from a different understanding of Genesis 16:3: when it is read in a way that it means Abram’s first entrance into Canaan, then a lengthy stay can be included. As we have seen, this view can also be found in Jubilees, five years probably unobserved, and two years in pharaoh’s house ..."

van Ruiten, J. Abraham in the Book of Jubilees: The Rewriting of Genesis 11:26-25:10 in the Book of Jubilees 11:14-23:8 (pp. 77-78) Brill, 2012

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