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.a 2* Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.b 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.c
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.d
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;e 15all the land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever.f 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.g 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.h
* [13:2–18] 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).
b. [13:2] Ps 112:1–3; Prv 10:22.
d. [13:13] Gn 18:20; Ez 16:49; 2 Pt 2:6–8; Jude 7.
f. [13:15] Gn 12:7; Mt 5:5; Lk 1:55, 73; Acts 7:5; Rom 4:13; Gal 3:16.
g. [13:16] Gn 22:17; Nm 23:10.