Abraham was born in Ur of the Chaldees in 1975 B.C. when his father Terah was 130 years old. At the age of 200 Terah decides to move his family, which includes his grandson Lot, his son Abram and his wife Sarai (Sarah), to Haran (Genesis 11:31). Terah dies in Haran five years later. Abram, now 75 years old, leaves Haran and takes the family to the land of Canaan (the land of promise - Hebrews 11:9) in obedience to God's command.
1 The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. ' (Genesis 12)
He settles for a short time in Shechem, where God promises to give his descendents all the land around him (Genesis 12:6-7). He soon journeys south from Shechem to an area between Bethel and Ai. It is while living in this general area that a great famine comes upon the land (Genesis 12:10). Abraham takes Sarah, Lot, and all their possessions to Egypt to escape the famine.
As they near Egypt Abraham, fearful the Egyptians will kill him in order to take his beautiful wife, tells Sarah (who is now 67 years old).
11 It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 "Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you." (Genesis 12:11-13)
Abraham's plan works, but with consequences. First, not only is his life spared, he is treated well and given gifts by Egypt's Pharaoh (Amenemhat II) when the ruler brings Sarah to his house. God, however, brings plagues to Pharaoh and his house because of Sarah. The angry ruler soon confronts Abram about his lie.
18 Then the king (Pharaoh of Egypt) sent for Abram and asked him, 'What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say that she was your sister, and let me take her as my wife? . . . ' (Genesis 12)
Abraham and family leave Egypt and go back to Canaan.