(Gen 13:1 NASB) So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, he and his wife and all that belonged to him; and Lot with him.
Gen 13:1: In the last chapter, we saw that Abram had used deception (of sorts) in order to spare his life from the Egyptians. Whether or not Elohim told Abram to tell Pharaoh that Sarai was his sister is unsure. But Elohim used plagues that were probably sexual in nature to protect Sarai from being defiled by Pharaoh.
They are now leaving Egypt. Pharaoh gave Abraham gold, silver, slaves, donkeys, and camels back when he thought Sarai was his sister. There is no indication that Pharaoh took these things back because of Abrams deception, so he probably kept them.
The last verse in the previous chapter tells us that Pharaoh apparently sent guards with them so they wouldn’t be captured again before they left Egypt.
(Gen 13:2 NASB) Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold.
Gen 13:2: We are not told the source of all his wealth, but Abram did receive much from Pharaoh.
(Gen 13:3 NASB) And he went on his journeys from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
(Gen 13:4 NASB) to the place of the altar, which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
Gen 13:4: Abram is now going back to the place Elohim gave him. The famine had originally driven Abram out of that land. But it would appear that Elohim never wanted him to leave. The previous event in Egypt was a miraculous deliverance by Elohim in a time of famine.
(Gen 13:5 NASB) Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.
Gen 13:5: It would appear that Lot was wealthy also. But his wealth seemed to have been on flocks and herds and tents only, not silver and gold.
(Gen 13:6 NASB) And the land could not sustain them while dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together.
Gen 13:6: It could be that the land had not recovered enough from the famine that both parties could not exist in the same locale.
(Gen 13:7 NASB) And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Now the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land.
Gen 13:7: Abram takes action while the strife is at a low level. He wants to act before discord reaches between himself and his nephew.
The fact that the Canaanites and the Perizzites already dwelt in the land tells us another reason why the land was not able to sustain these two clans.
(Gen 13:8 NASB) Then Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers.
(Gen 13:9 NASB) “Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me: if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.”
Gen 13:9: Abram is very courteous in this situation. He lets Lot choose the part of the land he wants. Abram is not selfish or angry. But he knows the best way to handle this is for them to split up.
The reference to the left or right is a reference to “north or south” when one is facing the direction of the sun.
(Gen 13:10 NASB) And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere– this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah– like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar.
Gen 13:10: This area was well watered, probably with irrigation. The temptation of taking this well-watered territory would serve to be his undoing as hinted at in this verse.
(Gen 13:11 NASB) So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other.
(Gen 13:12 NASB) Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom.
(Gen 13:13 NASB) Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD.
Gen 13:13: They split up with Lot taking the plain of Jordan and Abram dwelling the land of Canaan. Lot pitched his tent in a bad place. It would appear that he was dazzled by the affluence of the people and turned a blind eye to their immorality.
The men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked against Elohim. Whether or not they knew the Torah of Elohim is essentially irrelevant. It did exist at this time because without the law (Torah), there is no transgression, and they were definitely transgressors (Rom. 4:15, 5:13).
(Gen 13:14 NASB) And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;
(Gen 13:15 NASB) for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.
Gen 13:15: Notice that Elohim told Abram this after Lot departed. It would appear that Abram was to totally sever ties with his father’s house before Elohim would reaffirm His promise to give Abram the land of Canaan.
This land is promised to Abraham and his descendants forever. Paul makes it abundantly clear that this refers to those who are faithful to Yeshua and practice righteousness (Gal. 3:28-29). Notice that this happens before Abraham was circumcised. Paul points this out and states that it is wrong for those to require circumcision (becoming a Jew) before coming to faithfulness in Messiah. Abram was not circumcised before becoming faithful to Elohim (Romans 4:12-14).
(Gen 13:16 NASB) “And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.
Gen 13:16: The descendants of Abraham will be as the dust of the earth. They will be innumerable. This is described by the Apostle John as he describes Abraham’s descendants standing before the throne of Elohim (Rev. 7:9-10).
(Gen 13:17 NASB) “Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.”
(Gen 13:18 NASB) Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.
Gen 13:18: Abram went and staked out his land. He built another altar to honor Elohim. These altars probably were probably inscribed with the promises of Yahweh and the way He will bless His people.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas