Daily Bible Reading for January 20, 2014: Genesis 12-15.
Context and Meaning: Today's reading is a turning point in Genesis. The first 11 chapters focus on the Lord's dealings with the human race as a whole. Now, Genesis focuses on one man, Abram (Abraham), his descendents, and the Lord's work in their lives. God asked Abram to give up everything, his family, his inheritance, and his land, but, in return, promises that he would be given new land, would father a nation, and would be under the Lord's protection. God's promise later becomes the Abrhamic Covenant. In today's reading, we see Abram's journey to Egypt, God's blessing on his life, and learn how Lot came to be in Sodom.
World History: The events in today's reading likely took place around 2000 BC. Historical dates are difficult to determine, especially at this point in history, as many writings from that time have been lost or no longer exist. Additionally, assigning dates to people and events is difficult as, events tended to assigned to the year of the ruler, instead of an exact date (example: instead of saying Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, it would have been said Pearl Harbor was attacked during the ninth year President Roosevelt held power). While the names of the kings mentioned in chapter 14 cannot be confirmed by secular sources, archeological evidence supports several cities were damaged and/or destroyed by outside attacks.