וַיַּעַל אַבְרָם מִמִּצְרַיִם הוּא וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ וְלוֹט עִמּוֹ הַנֶּגְבָּה 13:1
Gene. 13:1 And Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that was his, and Lot with him, to the south country.
They went back up to Canaan. The famine was probably over by then. And this is also the first time we are told that Lot went with Abram and Sarai to Egypt. Once more, I believe this is representative of the exodus from Egypt.
וְאַבְרָם כָּבֵד מְאֹד בַּמִּקְנֶה בַּכֶּסֶף וּבַזָּהָב 13:2
Gene. 13:2 And Abram was very rich, with cattle, with silver, and with gold.
Perhaps the Egyptian experience was intended to make Abram rich. Also we will learn later in Exodus that the Israelites left Egypt with great riches.
וַיֵּלֶךְ לְמַסָּעָיו מִנֶּגֶב וְעַד בֵּית-אֵל עַד הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר הָיָה שָׁם אָהֳלֹה בַּתְּחִלָּה בֵּין בֵּית-אֵל וּבֵין 13:3
Gene. 13:3 And he went on his journeys from the south, and even to Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
The sixth-from-last word, בַּתְּחִלָּה, can be translated as in the beginning in other contexts. [Return to Gene 1:1 notes]
אֶל מְקוֹם הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה שָׁם בָּרִאשֹׁנָה וַיִּקְרָא שָׁם אַבְרָם בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה 13:4
Gene. 13:4 to the place of the altar that he had made there at the first and Abram had called there on the name of the Lord.
The grammar at the end of this verse is ambiguous. The translation can also be “and Abram called there on the name of the Lord.” In the translation above, the implication, which was omitted in Gene. 12:7 and 12:8 (where this altar is first mentioned), was that Abram had also prayed at the first altar. In the alternative translation, Abram first prays there at this time.
וְגַם לְלוֹט הַהֹלֵךְ אֶת אַבְרָם הָיָה צֹאן וּבָקָר וְאֹהָלִים 13:5
Gene. 13:5 Now, having gone with Abram, Lot also had sheep and cattle and tents.
וְלֹא נָשָׂא אֹתָם הָאָרֶץ לָשֶׁבֶת יַחְדָּו כִּי הָיָה רְכוּשָׁם רָב וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לָשֶׁבֶת יַחְדָּו 13:6
Gene. 13:6 And the land could not support them dwelling together, for their substance was great. So they could not remain together.
וַיְהִי רִיב בֵּין רֹעֵי מִקְנֵה אַבְרָם וּבֵין רֹעֵי מִקְנֵה לוֹט וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי אָז יֹשֵׁב בָּאָרֶץ 13:7
Gene. 13:7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite then dwelled in the land.
Because the Perezzites are mentioned here with the Canaanites, does that mean that this incident is much later in time than the incident described in Genesis 12? The Canaanite is mentioned in Gene. 12:6, but not the Perezzite. Were the Perezzites simply not mentioned there, or were they not yet in that land? I presume that they just weren’t mentioned there.
וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֶל לוֹט אַל נָא תְהִי מְרִיבָה בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶךָ וּבֵין רֹעַי וּבֵין רֹעֶיךָ כִּי אֲנָשִׁים אַחִים 13:8
Gene. 13:8 And Abram said to Lot, “Please, let strife not be between me and you and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are men of brothers.”
הֲלֹא כָל הָאָרֶץ לְפָנֶיךָ הִפָּרֶד נָא מֵעָלָי אִם הַשְּׂמֹאל וְאֵימִנָה וְאִם הַיָּמִין וְאַשְׂמְאִילָה 13:9
Gene. 13:9 “Is not all the earth before you? Separate, please, from me; if the left, then I will choose the right, or if the right, then I will take the left.”
וַיִּשָּׂא לוֹט אֶת עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא אֶת כָּל כִּכַּר הַיַּרְדֵּן כִּי כֻלָּהּ מַשְׁקֶה לִפְנֵי שַׁחֵת יְהוָה אֶת סְדֹם 13:10
וְאֶת עֲמֹרָה כְּגַן יְהוָה כְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בֹּאֲכָה צֹעַר
Gene. 13:10 And Lot lifted his eyes and beheld all the plain of the Jordan -- because irrigation was everywhere before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt -- to your entering Zoar.
וַיִּבְחַר לוֹ לוֹט אֵת כָּל כִּכַּר הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיִּסַּע לוֹט מִקֶּדֶם וַיִּפָּרְדוּ אִישׁ מֵעַל אָחִיו 13:11
Gene. 13:11 So Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed from the east. So they separated, each from his relative.
Following my belief, this episode between Abram and Lot would be representative of the splitting of Israel into two kingdoms.
אַבְרָם יָשַׁב בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וְלוֹט יָשַׁב בְּעָרֵי הַכִּכָּר וַיֶּאֱהַל עַד סְדֹם 13:12
Gene. 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and he pitched tents as far as Sodom.
וְאַנְשֵׁי סְדֹם רָעִים וְחַטָּאִים לַיהוָה מְאֹד 13:13
Gene. 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked and great sinners to the Lord.
[Return to Gene. 14:24]
This is an isolated introduction, a one-verse digression, to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is not described until Genesis 19.
וַיהוָה אָמַר אֶל אַבְרָם אַחֲרֵי הִפָּרֶד לוֹט מֵעִמּוֹ שָׂא נָא עֵינֶיךָ וּרְאֵה מִן הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה 13:14
שָׁם צָפֹנָה וָנֶגְבָּה וָקֵדְמָה וָיָמָּה
Gene. 13:14 And after Lot separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Open now your eyes and look from the place where you are northward and southward and eastward and westward.”
כִּי אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה רֹאֶה לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה וּלְזַרְעֲךָ עַד עוֹלָם 13:15
Gene. 13:15 “Surely all the land that you are seeing, I will give it to you and to your seed forever.”
When Lot saw the plain of the Jordan, and here as Abram looks out in all directions, the location probably was a mountaintop. The mountaintop from which Abram was now looking would most likely have been east of Jerusalem, where the Jordan plain and all the surroundings were visible. So Abram must have been looking at what are now Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt perhaps as far as the Sinai and the Nile.
וְשַׂמְתִּי אֶת זַרְעֲךָ כַּעֲפַר הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אִם יוּכַל אִישׁ לִמְנוֹת אֶת עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ גַּם זַרְעֲךָ יִמָּנֶה 13:16
Gene. 13:16 “And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, that only when a man is able to count the dust of the earth, then might your seed be counted.”
Well! When will that promise be fulfilled? The number of Abram’s descendants has probably never been more than fifteen or so million. Even given the scribes’ apparent tendency to exaggerate, I might guess that the dust of the earth would have meant more millions than that. After all, the dust of the earth was everywhere.
קוּם הִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּאָרֶץ לְאָרְכָּהּ וּלְרָחְבָּהּ כִּי לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה 13:17
Gene. 13:17 “Arise, traverse throughout the land to its length and to its breadth, for to you will I give it.”
וַיֶּאֱהַל אַבְרָם וַיָּבֹא וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא אֲשֶׁר בְּחֶבְרוֹן וַיִּבֶן שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה 13:18
Gene. 13:18 And Abram moved tent and came and dwelled by the terebinths of Mamre, which were in Hebron, and built there an altar to the Lord.
This verse contains two beth prefixes, in the fifth word and the eighth word. The first is translated as by and the second as in. [Return to Gene. 2:2]
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