Genesis 12:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 12:19, NIV: "Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!'"

Genesis 12:19, ESV: "Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.”"

Genesis 12:19, KJV: "Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way."

Genesis 12:19, NASB: "Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for myself as a wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go!'"

Genesis 12:19, NLT: "Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' and allow me to take her as my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and get out of here!'"

Genesis 12:19, CSB: "Why did you say, 'She's my sister,' so that I took her as my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take her and go!""

What does Genesis 12:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Pharaoh's one-sided conversation with Abram ends with this. This and the previous verse record Pharaoh's three pointed questions: What have you done to me? Why did you not tell me? Why? Pharaoh took with deadly seriousness the Lord's affliction of his household with plagues. He understood he was guilty of wrongdoing, and he held Abram responsible for putting him in that terrible position.

This makes Abram's attempt to protect himself all the more ironic. A pagan king recognized the moral crime of taking another man's wife—but Abram's deception almost cost him his wife! It's not surprising, therefore, that the Bible does not record any meaningful answer from Abram to Pharaoh. What could he say? Abram was guilty of causing all of this with his deceptive plan to protect himself from harm instead of trusting the Lord to protect him and Sarai from harm.

Pharaoh concludes by returning Sarai to Abram and telling him to "take her and go." It's impossible not to hear the foreshadowing of what will happen between Moses and another Pharaoh many years later. Again, the Lord will send plagues; again, God's people will be sent away. Again, God will keep His promises to Abram's descendants.