Genesis 13: Abram and Lot Separate

1 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.

-”The Negeb” is the Southern-most region of Israel which borders the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt.

2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4a to the place where he had made an altar at the first.

-This is the place where “the Lord appeared” as opposed to when it stated he was spoken to.

4b And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. 5 And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6 so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, 7 and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.

-When he got here he “called” upon the name of the Lord. Shortly after, we are told about a problem between Abram and Lot’s men (not they themselves) because of the wealth and the fact that they were living together but had separate possessions. In the next few verses, Abram has what seems like the ideal solution. Interesting that it mentions he came before God and that had the right solution to this problem. Even in this time, prayer works. The Perizzites are mentioned yet of all the people’s we were given names for, there is no mention of Perizzites or anyone with the name Perizz. Given that they are mentioned separate from Canaanites, they man not be descendants of Canaan. The term has come to mean “people who dwell in villages” in Hebrew so perhaps these were random scattered people from varying genealogies living in unwalled cities and villages who happen to settle near the other Canaanite tribes and they were grouped together with this name.

8 Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other.

-This was an incredibly generous offer by Abram to allow Lot to choose which way he would rather go. We don’t know why he decided to do this, but it certainly ended up working in his favor. Lot saw the green Jordan valley and how well taken care of the land was and saw a much better deal. Lot’s decision was self-centered and he let his eyes decide for him. Abram on the other hand showed humility. As it seems to indicate in this account, Abram essentially took Canaan or what would become Israel and Lot took what would become the nation of Jordan. Zoar is one of the five cities in Jordan that God states that He would like to destroy along with Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim. Zoar is the one city spared on Lot’s plea and where he goes to take refuge.

12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.

-It seems reasonable to assume Lot had become, or perhaps was always, quite worldly and was attracted to the big city and the wickedness didn’t bother him. Lot appears to have been privileged his whole life, having inherited his father Haran’s possessions, having much under Abram and his father Terah, and then also getting the “royal treatment” in Egypt. We are never given Lot’s age in terms of how much younger he is than Abram but it seems reasonable to assume he has been quite privileged his whole life as was Abram.

14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18 So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

-Once again, God repeats His promise to Abram with a little more information this time. He is now told to “walk through the length and the breadth of the land”. So now he is given the command to travel “by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron”. Hebron is a city in the West Bank of Israel today and Mamre is just to the north. http://bibleatlas.org/valley_of_hebron.htm . Mamre is also the name of an Amorite ally of Abram later on and so it is assumed this place was called this because this was Mamre’s land.

Spanish Words:

subir = to go up, climb, get on

riquísimo = very rich, wealthy

ganado = cattle

habitar = to inhabit, live

morar = to dwell

contienda = contest

delante = in front of, before

ruego = request

apartar = to set aside, separate

llanura = plain

escoger = to choose

acampo = pasture

levantar = to pick up, lift, raise

ancho = wide

remover = to stir, remove, oust, revive