Abram and Lot Part. 1From Egypt Abram went up to the Negeb with his wife and all that belonged to him, and Lot went with him.#Gn 12:9. 2#In this story of Abraham and Lot going their separate ways, Abraham resolves a family dispute by an act that shows both trust in God and generosity toward his nephew. The story suggests Lot rather than Abraham is the natural choice to be the ancestor of a great family; he is young and he takes the most fertile land (outside the land of Canaan). In contrast to Lot, who lifts his eyes to choose for himself (vv. 10–11), Abraham waits for God to tell him to lift his eyes and see the land he will receive (v. 14). Chaps. 18–19 continue the story of Abraham and Lot. Abraham’s visionary possession of the land foreshadows that of Moses (Dt 3:27; 34:4). Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.#Ps 112:1–3; Prv 10:22. 3From the Negeb he traveled by stages toward Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly stood, 4the site where he had first built the altar; and there Abram invoked the Lord by name.#Gn 12:8.
5Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6so that the land could not support them if they stayed together; their possessions were so great that they could not live together. 7There were quarrels between the herders of Abram’s livestock and the herders of Lot’s livestock. At this time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land.
8So Abram said to Lot: “Let there be no strife between you and me, or between your herders and my herders, for we are kindred. 9Is not the whole land available? Please separate from me. If you prefer the left, I will go to the right; if you prefer the right, I will go to the left.” 10Lot looked about and saw how abundantly watered the whole Jordan Plain was as far as Zoar, like the Lord’s own garden, or like Egypt. This was before the Lord had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 11Lot, therefore, chose for himself the whole Jordan Plain and set out eastward. Thus they separated from each other. 12Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain, pitching his tents near Sodom. 13Now the inhabitants of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.#Gn 18:20; Ez 16:49; 2 Pt 2:6–8; Jude 7.
14After Lot had parted from him, the Lord said to Abram: Look about you, and from where you are, gaze to the north and south, east and west;#Gn 28:14. 15all the land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever.#Gn 12:7; Mt 5:5; Lk 1:55, 73; Acts 7:5; Rom 4:13; Gal 3:16. 16I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth; if anyone could count the dust of the earth, your descendants too might be counted.#Gn 22:17; Nm 23:10. 17Get up and walk through the land, across its length and breadth, for I give it to you. 18Abram moved his tents and went on to settle near the oak of Mamre, which is at Hebron. There he built an altar to the Lord.#Gn 14:13.
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Abram and Lot Separate
1Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev#Gn 12:9 — he, his wife, and all he had, and Lot with him. 2Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. 3He went by stages from the Negev to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been, 4to the site where he had built the altar. And Abram called on the name of the Lord there.#Gn 12:7,8
5Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also had flocks, herds, and tents. 6But the land was unable to support them as long as they stayed together, for they had so many possessions that they could not stay together,#Gn 36:7 7and there was quarreling between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock.#Gn 26:20 (At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land.)#Gn 12:6; 15:20–21
8So Abram said to Lot, “Please, let’s not have quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, since we are relatives. 9Isn’t the whole land before you? Separate from me: if you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”
10Lot looked out and saw that the entire plain#13:10 Lit circle; i.e., probably the large round plain where the Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea, also in v. 11 of the Jordan#Gn 19:17–29 as far as Zoar#Gn 14:2,8; Dt 34:3 was well watered everywhere like the Lord’s garden#Gn 2:8–10 and the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)#Gn 19:24–25 11So Lot chose the entire plain of the Jordan for himself. Then Lot journeyed eastward, and they separated from each other. 12Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot lived in the cities on the plain and set up his tent near Sodom. 13(Now the men of Sodom were evil, sinning immensely#13:13 Lit evil and sinful against the Lord.)#Gn 18:20; Ezk 16:49; 2Pt 2:7–8
14After Lot had separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west,#Gn 28:14 15for I will give you and your offspring#13:15 Lit seed forever all the land that you see.#Gn 12:7; 15:18; 17:8; 24:7; 26:4; 28:13; 35:12; Dt 34:4; 2Ch 20:7; Ac 7:5 16I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth,#Gn 16:10; 28:14; Nm 23:10 so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width, for I will give it to you.”
18So Abram moved his tent and went to live near the oaks of Mamre at Hebron,#Gn 14:13; 18:1; 23:17–19 where he built an altar to the Lord.
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