Since והיה generally refers to something not bad,

Vayikra Rabba (11:7) - כל מקום שנאמר ויהי אין שמחה והיה אין צרה

why does Avraham use the word to start the following potentially tragic statement (Bereishis 12:12)?

וְהָיָה כִּי־יִרְאוּ אֹתָךְ הַמִּצְרִים וְאָמְרוּ אִשְׁתּוֹ זֹאת וְהָרְגוּ אֹתִי וְאֹתָךְ יְחַיּוּ׃

If the Egyptians see you, and think, ‘She is his wife,’ they will kill me and let you live.

  • 2
    I think that qualification of Chazal (attributed to the Anshe Knesset HaGedolah, Meg. 10b) is limited to when the narrator is describing an event as opposed to when ‘ויהי’ or ‘והיה’ is when an individual (e.g. Avraham) is speaking. – Oliver Oct 21 '18 at 3:34
  • My general answer to all inconsistencies of this kind is R' Yochanan's statement in Kiddushin 34a - "אין למדין מן הכללות" (כללים) - meaning that ALL the generalization of the interpreters (like Midrashim) are partial, and can not be learned extensively on all cases. – Al Berko Oct 21 '18 at 8:52

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