Genesis 12:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 12:15, NIV: "And when Pharaoh's officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace."

Genesis 12:15, ESV: "And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house."

Genesis 12:15, KJV: "The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house."

Genesis 12:15, NASB: "Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house."

Genesis 12:15, NLT: "When the palace officials saw her, they sang her praises to Pharaoh, their king, and Sarai was taken into his palace."

Genesis 12:15, CSB: "Pharaoh's officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken to Pharaoh's household."

What does Genesis 12:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abram's great fear immediately comes to be—in part, because of his own attempts to avoid it. Abram's plan was for his family tell a half-truth, intended as a whole lie: that Sarai (his wife and half-sister) was merely his sister. His hope may have been that, as Sarai's brother, he would have the right to refuse any marriage proposals. At the same time, Abram felt that a beautiful woman's "brother" would have been less a target for jealous violence than her "husband" (Genesis 12:12).

After Abram, Sarai, and their large company enter Egypt, the princes of Egypt's Pharaoh report on her great beauty. Pharaoh takes Sarai for his wife—most likely one of many. Apparently, the Pharaoh didn't need permission to take a man's sister for his wife. Ironically, as later verses will show, even the pagan Pharaoh balked at stealing a married woman (Genesis 12:18–19)!

The passage doesn't reveal whether Pharaoh actually slept with Sarai as his wife or was prevented from doing so by the affliction reported in the following verses. Given that Egypt's ruler probably had many wives already, and God's intentions for Sarai, the most likely situation is that he never had the opportunity to touch her.