When Abram was 75 and living with his father in Haran, god told him he needed to leave. This sounds similar to when you're in the military and you get your orders. Except when god tells you to go, the place he sends you doesn't necessarily have food, and isn't necessarily unoccupied. The place is usually just filled with promises which god may or may not get around to fulfilling--he is a busy guy, after all.
The promise sounded pretty good at the start:
"I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."
Hey, Abram's thinking, sounds like a pretty sweet deal!
Yeah. So he left his father and took his wife Sarai with him, and his nephew Lot, and they traveled to this land where god told him to go. They went "as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem," which is quite a ways I imagine.
At that time the Canaanites were living there, but god told Abram that he and his offspring could have it. Which may translate to having a note from your parents. So Abram built an altar there. And that was probably the first sign the Canaanites had that trouble was brewing for them.
Abram pitched his tent to the east of a town called Bethel and celebrated by building yet another altar. God loves that smoky flavour. After building that altar, Abram continued on.
"Now there was a famine in the land. . ." Always a catch, isn't there? Joke's on you Abram! The land is yours but good luck *eating* off it! Oh, wait, I mean. . .I wanted to test your faith. That's it.
So, since he was hungry--I mean, impious--Abram went to Egypt to live, where there was food. Crossing the border, he told his wife that she was very beautiful. She probably blushed and said, oh, you, to which he replied, probably the Pharaoh will want you as a concubine, so say you're my sister. But I'm not your sister? I can see her eyeing him sideways.
I know, but he's going to have you as a concubine no matter what, and if you're my sister he won't kill me for the pleasure.
Can we just go back to the famine, please? This is sounding a little. . .I dunno. . . unholy?
No, no, I'm hungry. It's okay, dear. They'll feed you well in the harem, I promise.
Okay, so, because she said that she was Abram's sister, after the Pharaoh made her his fuck toy, he made her "brother" Abram into a wealthy man. I don't know how many sacred texts you have that involve a husband pimping out his barren wife, but this is rather shocking to me.
Who is god mad at for this adultery? The knowing perpetrators? The mastermind behind the ruse? No. God is mad at the Pharaoh. For not knowing something because he was being lied to by god's people.
Okay, so, bastard, right? God's acting a right bastard. He curses the Pharaoh's household for this!! They all got "serious diseases"!! So Pharaoh figures something's up. No disease *before* Sarai came. . . *Afterwards*. . . heeeeey. So he summons Abram. Says, "What the fuck?!?! Why didn't you tell me! I don't like committing adultery! I don't mind murder so much, but. . .Just get the fuck out!" So Abram--now a very rich man (and fat, I imagine)--takes his barren whore wife Sarai and leaves Egypt.