Genesis 12:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 12:9, NIV: "Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev."

Genesis 12:9, ESV: "And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb."

Genesis 12:9, KJV: "And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south."

Genesis 12:9, NASB: "Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev."

Genesis 12:9, NLT: "Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev."

Genesis 12:9, CSB: "Then Abram journeyed by stages to the Negev."

What does Genesis 12:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After the Lord appeared to Abram at Shechem, he and his large company moved through Bethel and may have settled there for a time. The reference to "pitching his tent" is most likely an indication that he stayed for some length of time.

Here, in this verse, Abram and his entourage move on again, heading farther south in the land of Canaan toward the region of the Negeb. The Negeb was a dry, desert area. Without extensive cultivation, the land there could not support crops. At that time, the region was sparsely populated, and so it was not a good source for food or resources. It may be that Abram and his large group of people and animals had to keep moving away from the more populated areas to find a place to settle down, though we are not told so explicitly.

In any case, Abram has now journeyed across much of the land which God has promised to his offspring (Genesis 12:7). He has both lived and worshiped God in significant places. In one sense, Abram had already begun to take some ownership of the land God would give to his descendants.