Genesis 12:14
And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14, 15) Pharaoh is not the name of a person, but was the title borne by all the Egyptian monarchs.

12:10-20 There is no state on earth free from trials, nor any character free from blemishes. There was famine in Canaan, the glory of all lands, and unbelief, with the evils it ever brings, in Abram the father of the faithful. Perfect happiness and perfect purity dwell only in heaven. Abram, when he must for a time quit Canaan, goes to Egypt, that he might not seem to look back, and meaning to tarry there no longer than needful. There Abram dissembled his relation to Sarai, equivocated, and taught his wife and his attendants to do so too. He concealed a truth, so as in effect to deny it, and exposed thereby both his wife and the Egyptians to sin. The grace Abram was most noted for, was faith; yet he thus fell through unbelief and distrust of the Divine providence, even after God had appeared to him twice. Alas, what will become of weak faith, when strong faith is thus shaken! If God did not deliver us, many a time, out of straits and distresses which we bring ourselves into, by our own sin and folly, we should be ruined. He deals not with us according to our deserts. Those are happy chastisements that hinder us in a sinful way, and bring us to our duty, particularly to the duty of restoring what we have wrongfully taken or kept. Pharaoh's reproof of Abram was very just: What is this that thou hast done? How unbecoming a wise and good man! If those who profess religion, do that which is unfair and deceptive, especially if they say that which borders upon a lie, they must expect to hear of it; and they have reason to thank those who will tell them of it. The sending away was kind. Pharaoh was so far from any design to kill Abram, as he feared, that he took particular care of him. We often perplex ourselves with fears which are altogether groundless. Many a time we fear where no fear is. Pharaoh charged his men not to hurt Abram in any thing. It is not enough for those in authority, that they do not hurt themselves; they must keep their servants and those about them from doing hurt.The inadequacy of Abram's expedient appears in the issue, which is different from what he expected. Sarai is admired for her beauty, and, being professedly single, is selected as a wife for Pharaoh; while Abram, as her brother, is munificently entertained and rewarded. His property seems to be enumerated according to the time of acquirement, or the quantity, and not the quality of each kind. Sheep and oxen and he-asses he probably brought with him from Kenaan; men-servants and maid-servants were no doubt augmented in Egypt. For she-asses the Septuagint has mules. These, and the camels, may have been received in Egypt. The camel is the carrier of the desert. Abram had now become involved in perplexities, from which he had neither the wisdom nor the power to extricate himself. With what bitterness of spirit he must have kept silence, received these accessions to his wealth which he dared not to refuse, and allowed Sarai to be removed from his temporary abode! His cunning device had saved his own person for the time; but his beautiful and beloved wife is torn from his bosom.14. when Abram was come into Egypt—It appears from the monuments of that country that at the time of Abram's visit a monarchy had existed for several centuries. The seat of government was in the Delta, the most northern part of the country, the very quarter in which Abram must have arrived. They were a race of shepherd-kings, in close alliance with the people of Canaan. No text from Poole on this verse. 1920 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt,.... To the city of Heliopolis; for there it was that Abram had his abode, as Eupolemus (r) says, when upon the famine he went into Egypt, and where he conversed with the Egyptian priests, and taught them astrology, and other things belonging to it; and of this descent of Abram into Egypt, and teaching astrology, Artapanus (s), another Heathen writer, speaks; Abram, he says, having learned the science of astrology, went first into Phoenicia and taught it the Phoenicians, and afterwards went into Egypt, and taught it there.

The Egyptians beheld the woman, that she was very fair; Abram knew that Sarai was a fair woman; but in the eyes of the Egyptians she was very fair, exceeding fair, they not being used to see very beautiful women.

(r) Apud Euseb. ut supra. (Praepar. Evangel. c. 17. p. 418, 419.) (s) Apud ib. c. 18. p. 420.

And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 14, 15. - And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also - literally, and the pronces (שָׂרֵי, mas. of Sarah), chief men or courtiers, who, in accordance with the ancient custom of Egypt that no slave should approach the priestly person of Pharaoh, were sons of the principal priests (vide Havernick, § 18) - of Pharaoh. The official title of the kings of Egypt (cf. Caesar, the designation of the Roman emperors, and Czar, that of the Emperor of Russia), who are never introduced in the Pentateuch, as in later books, by their individual names (1 Kings 3:1; 9:40); an indirect evidence that the author of Genesis must at least have been acquainted with the manners of the Egyptian Court. The term Pharaoh, which continued in use till after the Persian invasion - under the Greek empire the Egyptian rulers were styled Ptolemies - is declared by Josephus to signify "king" ('Ant.,' 8:06, 2), which agrees with the Koptic Pouro (Piouro; from ouro, to rule, whence touro, queen), which also means king. Modern Egyptologers, however, in. cline to regard it as corresponding to the Phra of the inscriptions (Rosellini, Lepeius, Wilkinson), or to the hieroglyphic Peraa, or Perao, "the great house (M. de Rouge, Brugsch, Ebers), an appellation which belonged to the Egyptian monarchs, and with which may be compared "the Sublime Porte," as applied to the Turkish sultans (cf. Canon Cook in 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 1. p. 47?). The particular monarch who occupied the Egyptian throne at the time of Abram's arrival has been conjectured to be Necao (Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 5. 9:4), Ramessemenes (Syncellus, p. 101), Pharethones (Euseb., 'Praep. Ev.,' 9:8), Apappus (Wilkinson, 'Anc. Egypt.,' vol. 1. p. 13, note 5, Dr. Bitch's edition), Achthoes, the sixth king of the eleventh dynasty (Osburn, 'Men. Hist. of Egypt,' vol. 1. Genesis 7. p. 375), Salatis or Saitas, the first king of the fifteenth dynasty, whose reign commenced B.C. 2080 (Stuart Peele in 'Smith's Dict.,' art. Pharaoh), a monarch belonging to the sixteenth dynasty of shepherd kings (Kalisch), and a Pharaoh who flourished between the middle of the eleventh and thirteenth dynasties, most probably one of the earliest Pharaohs of the twelfth (Canon Cook in 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 1. p. 447). Amid such conflicting testimony from erudite archaeologists it is apparent that nothing can be ascertained with exactitude as to the date of Abram's sojourn in Egypt; though the last-named writer, who exhibits the latest results of scholarship on the question, mentions in support of his conclusion a variety of considerations that may be profitably studied. Saw her. So that she must have been unveiled, which agrees with monumental evidence that in the reign of the Pharaohs the Egyptian ladies exposed their faces, though the custom was discontinued after the Pemian conquest (vide Hengstenberg's 'Egypt and the Books of Moses,' p. 199). And commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken. Capta (Targum of Jonathan), rapta (Arab.), abducta (Pagnini), capta et deducta (Rosenmüller); all implying more or less the idea of violence, which, however, besides being not warranted by the text, was scarcely likely in the circumstances, the king being perfectly honorable in his proposals, and Abram and Sarai by their deception having rendered it impossible to object without divulging their secret. Into Pharaoh's house. Or harem, with a view to marriage as a secondary wife. Cf. the Papyrus D'Orbiney, now in the British Museum, but belonging to the age of Rameses II., in which the Pharaoh of the time, acting on the advice of his counselors, sends two armies to fetch a beautiful woman by force, and then to murder her husband. A translation by M. Renouf will be found in The Tale of the Two Brothers, in 'Records of the Past,' vol. 2. p. 138. He did this also in the mountains, to which he probably removed to secure the necessary pasture for his flocks, after he had pitched his tent there. "Bethel westwards and Ai eastwards," i.e., in a spot with Ai to the east and Bethel to the west. The name Bethel occurs here proleptically: at the time referred to, it was still called Luz (Genesis 28:19); its present name if Beitin (Robinson's Palestine). At a distance of about five miles to the east was Ai, ruins of which are still to be seen, bearing the name of Medinet Gai (Ritter's Erdkunde). On the words "called upon the name of the Lord," see Genesis 4:26. From this point Abram proceeded slowly to the Negeb, i.e., to the southern district of Canaan towards the Arabian desert (vid., Genesis 20:1).
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