Genesis 12 -- the chosen people, and adultery is very bad (even if you don't know she is already married)
I think I know where this is going. God chose Abram (doesn't he become Abraham later?) to become the father of a great nation that God will protect.
Abram took his wife, his nephew, his slaves, and followed God to Canaan, which God gave to Abram.
Canaan was an area roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan and Syria. You see, God gave this land to Abram and his descendants. God. The God. To Abram. Get it?
But the land was already occupied by others. And besides, there was a great famine at the time, so Abram and his family had to flee to Egypt to find food. Abram was afraid the Egyptians would kill him and take his beautiful wife Sarai, so instead he lied and said Sarai was his sister. Sarai was so beautiful, the Pharaoh took her as his wife. This worked out well for Abram, he used this connection to become quite wealthy.
But God was not pleased. God punished the Pharaoh for infidelity, killing many of the Pharaoh's house with plagues. Even though the Pharaoh didn't know! Even though Abram and Sarai lied to him! God punished the Pharaoh. And not even really the Pharaoh, but wholly uninvolved members of the Pharaoh's household.
So that's how this is going to work! The chosen people can lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead, and God won't punish them. Instead he'll punish their innocent victims. Must be nice being chosen people and all. The Pharaoh let Abram and Sarai go without incident. Now Abram was very rich! Yay chosen people!
[Previous entry: "Genesis 11 -- divide and subjugate?"] [TOC] [Next entry: "Genesis 13 -- again, the Promise to the Chosen"]