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Song of Solomon
Genesis 13 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)
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And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife.
A special mercy that either of them returned, considering the sin they had committed and the peril in which they had been placed.
And all that he had
. Referring principally to the souls, "domestiei" (Peele), acquired in Haran (
Genesis 12:5, 16
), his material wealth being mentioned afterwards.
(who does not appear in the preceding paragraph, no part of which relates to him, but is now reintroduced into the narrative, the present portion of the story being connected with his fortunes)
with him into the south
(sc. of Canaan,
very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
And Abram was very rich
; used in the sense of abundance (
1 Kings 10:2
2 Kings 6:14
, to acquire by purchase, may apply to slaves as well as cattle (cf.
Genesis 17:12, 13, 23
In silver and gold
. Mentioned for the first time in Scripture; implying an acquaintance among the Egyptians with the operations of mining and the processes of refining the precious metals. Cf. the instructions of Amenemhat I., which speak of that monarch, belonging to the twelfth dynasty, as having built for himself a palace adorned with gold (
'Records of the Past,' vol. 2. p. 14).
And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
Verses 3, 4.
And he went on his journeys
in his journeyings
Numbers 10:6, 12
). The renderings
καὶ ἐπορεύθη ὅθεν η΅λθεν
reversus est per iter quo venerat
(Vulgate) imply without warrant that he used the same camping grounds in his ascent which he had previously occupied in his descent.
From the south even to Bethel
unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning.
Before his emigration into Egypt,
not to Shechem, the site of his first altar, where probably he had not encamped for any length of time, if at all, but to a spot
between Bethel and Ai
(the exact situation being more minutely described as)
unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first
. After entering the promised land. In reality it was the second altar he had erected (
And there Abram called on the name of the Lord.
Professed the true and pure worship of God (Calvin); preached and taught his family and Canaanitish neighbors the true religion (Luther).
Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
Verses 5, 6.
And Lot also
who went with Abram
going with Abram
flocks and herds and tents.
The uncle's prosperity overflowed upon the nephew. Rosenmüller includes in the tents the domestics and servants,
qui in tentoriis degebant
1 Chronicles 4:41
And the land was not able to bear them
did not bear, i.e.
support their households and flocks.
That they should dwell together
. In consequence partly of the scarce pasturage, the land probably having not yet sufficiently recovered from the drought, but chiefly because of their increasing wealth.
For their substance
was great, so that they could not
and they were not able to
And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
And there was a strife
(originating doubtless in the scarcity of pasture, and having for its object the possession of the best wells and most fertile grounds)
between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite
- the lowlander (
9:22; 12:6) -
and the Perizzite
- the highlander, or dweller in the hills and woods of Palestine (Josephus, Bochart); in the open country and in villages, as opposed to the Canaanites, who occupied walled towns (Kalisch, Wordsworth; a tribe of wandering nomads (Murphy), the origin of whose name is lost in obscurity (Keil), who, though not mentioned in
, are commonly introduced with the Canaanites (
Exodus 3:8, 17
), as dividing the land between them, and are probably to be regarded as the remnant of an early Shemite race displaced by the Hamite invaders of Palestine. Their introduction here is neither a sign of post-Mosaic authorship nor an interpolation, but an explanation of the difficulty of finding pasture - the land was occupied (vide
dwelt then in the land.
And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we
And Abram said unto Lot
. Perceiving probably that Lot's face was not towards him as usual, and being desirous to avert the danger of collision between his nephew and himself.
Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee,
(i.e. either identifying himself and his nephew with their subordinates, or fearing that the strife of their subordinates might spread to themselves, hence, as)
between my herd-men and thy herdmen; for we be brethren
Genesis 11:27, 31
). Abram and Lot were kinsmen by nature, by relationship, and by faith (
2 Peter 2:7
not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if
thou wilt take
the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if
to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
Is not the whole land before thee?
The Bethel plateau commands an extensive view of Palestine (
on ver. 10).
Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me.
Thus giving Lot the choice of the country. If thou wilt take
the left hand
if to the left hand
(sc. thou wilt go), the Hebrew term being in the accusative after a verb of motion (Kalisch, p. 344) -
then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it
well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah,
as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
And Lot lifted up his eyes
; with a look of eager, lustful greed (cf.
). The same expression is afterwards used of Abram (ver. 14), where perhaps also the element of satisfaction, though in a good sense, is designed to be included.
And beheld all the plain.
all the circle
, or surrounding region (
, to move in a circle; cf.
); now called El Ghor, the low country (Gesenius).
. Compounded of Jordan, the names of the two river sources (Josephus, Jerome); but, according to modern etymologists, derived from
, to go down, and signifying the Descender, like the German Rhine, from
hen, to run. The largest river of Palestine, rising at the foot of Antilibanus, and passing, in its course of 200 miles, over twenty-seven rapids, it pours its waters first into the lake of Merom, and then into the sea of Galilee, 653 feet, and finally into the Lacus Asphaltites, 1316 feet below the level of the Mediterranean (cf. Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine,'
. p. 282). It is now called Esh-Sheri'ah,
the ford, as having been of old crossed by the Israelites (Gesenius).
That it was well-watered everywhere
. Not by canals and trenches, as old interpreters imagined, but by copious streams along its course, descending chiefly from the mountains of Moab.
Before the Lord destroyed
- the same word is used for the destruction of all flesh in what is styled the Elohistic account of the Deluge (
Genesis 6:13, 17
Genesis 9:11, 15
; cf. ' Quarry on Genesis,' p. 423) -
Sodom and Gomorrha
as the garden of the Lord
. Paradise in Eden, with its four streams (Genesis if. 10; Calvin, Lange, Keil); though by some this is deemed unsatisfactory (Quarry), and the phrase taken as -
(Rosenmüller), and in particular Mesopotamia, which was a land of rare re. cundity (Grotius, Junius).
Like the land of Egypt
- which was irrigated by the Nile and by canals from it as well as by machines (
Deuteronomy 11:10, 11
as thou comest unto Zoar
- at the south-east corner of the Dead Sea (
Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan
. Allured by its beauty and fertility, and heedless of other or higher considerations.
And Lot journeyed east,
= versus orientem
And they separated themselves the one from the other
a man from his brother
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched
tent toward Sodom.
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan
. Strictly so called; in its larger sense Canaan included the circle of the Jordan.
And Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain.
Being desirous of a permanent settlement within the gates, or at least in the immediate neighborhood, of the wealthy cities of the laud; in contrast to his uncle, who remained a wanderer throughout its borders, sojourning as in a strange country (
(with this purpose in contemplation),
pitched his tent toward
in the direction of, and as far as to)
But the men of Sodom
wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners
their wickedness is more specifically detailed in
, q.v.) -
before the Lord
to Jehovah =
before the face of Jehovah;
ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ
10:9; an aggravation of the wickedness of the Sodomites -
. Their vileness was restrained neither in quantity nor quality. As it passed all height in arrogance., so it burst all bounds in prevalence.
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
Verses 14, 15.
And the Lord said
- speaking probably with an articulate voice; the third occasion on which the patriarch was directly addressed by God. The narrative, however, does not affirm that there was any actual theophany -
- who could readily recognize the voice which had twice already spoken to him.
After that Lot was separated from him.
Thus God approved that separation (Peele), and administered consolation to the troubled heart of the patriarch (Calvin), though Divine revelations are rather wont to be made to minds already quiet and sedate (Lyra).
Lift up now thine eyes.
Perhaps a studied reference to the act of Lot, which Moses describes in similar language (ver. 10), and possibly designed to suggest the greater satisfaction which would be imparted to the soul of Abram by the survey about to be made.
And look from the place where thou art
. Between Bethel and Ai, on cue of the mountain peaks (cf.
), from which a commanding view of almost the entire country could be obtained.
- towards "the hills which divide Judaea from the rich plains of Samaria" -
- as far as to the Hebron range -
- in the direction of the dark mountain wall of Moab, down through the rich ravine which leads from the central hills of Palestine to the valley of the Jordan, and across that very "circle" into which Lot has already departed with his flocks -
towards the sea
. Cf. on the view from the stony but fertile plateau between Bethel and Ai, Stanley's ' Sinai and Palestine,'
. p. 218.
For all the land which thou seest
the entire country, a part being put for the whole -
to thee will I give it.
To avoid an apparent conflict between this Divine declaration and the words of Stephen (
), it is proposed by some to read the next clause as epexegetic of the present (Ainsworth, Bush); but the land was really given to Abram as a nomade chief, in the sense that he peacefully lived for many years, grew old, and died within its borders (Clericus, Rosenmüller, 'Speaker's Commentary'), while it was assigned to his descendants only because it had been first donated to him.
And to thy seed.
Not his bodily posterity alone, to whom the terrestrial Canaan was given, but also and chiefly his spiritual family, to whom was made over that better country, even an heavenly, of which the land of promise was a type.
vide on Genesis
9:16) = = in perpetuity;
to the close of that clam or period which was already measured out in the secret counsels of Jehovah for the duration of the seed of Abraham as a people, "quum terra in seculum promittitur, non simpliciter notatur. perpetuitas, sed quae finem accepit in Christo" (Calvin); and
unto eternity, in so far as it was a promise of a spiritual inheritance to Abraham's believing children. Thus as the promise did not preclude the expulsion of unbelieving Israel from the land, so neither does it guarantee to existing Jews a return to the earthly Paradise (Keil).
For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth,
shall thy seed also be numbered.
And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth
. "As the land shall be great for thy people, thy posterity, so thy people shall be great or innumerable for the land" (Lunge). Afterwards the seed of Abram is likened to the stars of heaven for multitude (
So that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
. According to a common mode of Oriental speech, pleonastically affixed to verbs of going, going forward, and of setting about anything with impulse (Gesenius, p. 727; cf.
Walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it.
To be understood not as a literal direction, but as an intimation that he might leisurely survey his inheritance with the calm assurance that it was his.
For I will give it unto thee.
Then Abram removed
tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which
in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.
- literally, and, acting immediately as the heavenly voice directed -
- or rather pitched (cf. ver. 12) - his
tent, and dwelt
- settled down, made the central point of his subsequent abode in Canaan (Wordsworth) -
in the plane
= oaks (Gesenius) or terebinths Celsins);
- an Amorite chieftain who afterwards became the friend and ally of Abram (
Genesis 14:13, 24
), and to whom probably the grove belonged -
which is in Hebron
- twenty-two miles south of Jerusalem on the way to Beersheba, a town of great antiquity, having been built seven years before Zoan, in Egypt (
). As it is elsewhere styled
, or the city of Arba (
), and appears to have been so called until the conquest (
), the occurrence of the name
is regarded as a trace of post-Mosaic authorship (Clericus, et
); but it is more probable that
was the original name of the city, and that it received the appellation
on the arrival in the country of Arba the Anakite, perhaps during the sojourn of Jacob's descendants in Egypt (Rosenmüller, Bantugarten, Hengstenberg, Keil, Kurtz). The place is called by modern Arabs El Khalil, the friend of God.
And built there an altar unto the Lord.
Courtesy of Open Bible
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