Parshas Lech Lecha has the first record of Hashem communicating with Avraham (Genesis 12:1):

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃

The LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

I heard somewhere that this was the first time that Avraham experienced prophecy. I looked in Torah Sheleimah on this verse and couldn't find any Midrash that says this. Is this a true fact?

  • 2
    The Covenant Between the Parts was 5 years before this, but is recorded later in the Torah (according to many commentaries).
    – Menachem
    Oct 17, 2018 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


The Kli Yakar seems to say that this verse was not a "prophecy" as much as a voice, so it wouldn't even count as a first Nevu'ah

…and for this reason it did not say at the beginning of this vision, ‘and Gd appeared to him’ but rather only once he (Avraham) had entered the land, because then he was prepared to behold visions of the Divine Presence. Beforehand, when he was still outside the land, he only heard a voice speaking of things. This is because Gd did not appear to him until he came to the land,

Here is a similar section from the Hebrew

כי מהידוע (תנחומא בא ה) שאין הנבואה שורה בחוצה לארץ וא״כ כל זמן היותו בח״ל עד שלא היה בו רוח נבואה לא ידע ולא יבין מהות הנשמה אשר מקורה מן הר המוריה, ואפילו מהות יצירת החומר משם, לא יבין. עד בואו אל תוך הארץ הקדושה מקום מוכן אל הנבואה אז הראה לו השי״ת מעלות המקום הקדוש ההוא ואיך הוא מקום לעצמותו של אדם כי שם ביתו ומקום חוצבה של הנשמה

The Ohr Hachaim seems to explain why there was no contact before this verse (which would be saying, implicitly, that this contact was the first one)

ויאמר ה׳ אל אברם, G'd said to Abram, etc. There are two reasons for the most unusual phenomenon of G'd speaking to Abraham without having first appeared to him in some kind of vision.

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