Genesis 12:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 12:11, NIV: As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, 'I know what a beautiful woman you are.

Genesis 12:11, ESV: When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance,

Genesis 12:11, KJV: And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:

Genesis 12:11, NASB: It came about, when he was approaching Egypt, that he said to his wife Sarai, 'See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman;

Genesis 12:11, NLT: As he was approaching the border of Egypt, Abram said to his wife, Sarai, 'Look, you are a very beautiful woman.

Genesis 12:11, CSB: When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, "Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are.

What does Genesis 12:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God has promised the land of Canaan to Abram's descendants (Genesis 12:7). However, Abram's large company are forced to leave the land of Canaan, and to enter the land of Egypt, in order to escape a severe famine. It is important to read verses 11–13 together to understand the full context of the scene which unfolds. For the first time, we get a glimpse of Abram's fearfulness in spite of his belief in the promises of God.

Abram plans to tell a half-lie to the people of the land of Egypt to protect himself from harm, at his wife's expense. Abram begins here by acknowledging to Sarai that she is a woman of great beauty. In the next verse, he will tell her why that's a problem. His concern seems to be that those interested in taking Sarai as their own wife might choose to kill her husband in order to make her available.