New Defender's Study Bible Notes
12:1 out of thy country. The call of Abram marks a critical turning point in history. Heretofore God’s covenant with mankind (Genesis 9:8-17) applied to all men alike. With the confusion of tongues at Babel, distinct nations necessarily began to develop. Though the Noahic covenant is everlasting, it was now necessary for this to be supplemented (not replaced) by a special relation with a particular nation through which the promised Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3:15) would eventually enter the human race to redeem lost mankind.
12:7 appeared. This is the first mention of an actual “appearance” of God to men (that is, a theophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ). Note that God’s promise to give Abram the land of Canaan was unconditional. Abram had already met the only condition; that of leaving his homeland to go to Canaan as God commanded him.
12:12 they will kill me. A papyrus document from ancient Egypt does indeed tell of a pharaoh who had a beautiful woman brought to his court after murdering her husband, which would indicate that Abram’s concern was realistic.
12:13 my sister. Sarai was Abram’s half-sister (Genesis 20:12), so this was not an outright lie. Abram’s faith was still weak. He should have stayed in Canaan in spite of the famine. Having gone into Egypt, he should have been open and consistent in his testimony, and so should Sarai. Instead, they compromised, following human reason instead of God’s Word. God protected them in spite of it, but they lost their testimony with the Egyptians, whom they might otherwise have led back to God.