Genesis 13:1-13 Return to Bethel
and Separation from Lot
1 “Then Abram went up from Egypt,
he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot
with him, to the South. 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and
in gold. 3 And he went on his
journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the
place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place of the altar which
he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. 6 Now the land was not
able to support them, that they might dwell together,
for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was strife
between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's
livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land. 8 So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are
Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the
left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go
to the left." 10 And
Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered
everywhere (before the LORD
destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah)
like the garden of the LORD,
like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for
himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot
journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan,
and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the
men of Sodom
were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.
Because of the Lord’s blessing, Abram has now
become very rich in livestock, silver and gold.
He returned to Bethel where he had first built an altar. Bethel is located about 11 miles north of
Jerusalem, while Sodom is about 47 miles farther south, near the south end of
the Dead Sea. The Jordan River runs from
the north to the south about 16 miles east of Bethel.
Abram called on the name of Yahowah. However the
name he used was “El Shaddai” according to God Himself in [Exodus 6:2-3].
The land was arid and unable to support great
flocks of livestock.
To avoid strife between the herdsmen of Lots
livestock and his own, Abram suggested that he and Lot
separate. This separation will complete
Abram’s obedience to God’s first command to depart from his family and
his father’s house. [Genesis 12:1-3]
The Canaanites and Perizzites were in the
land. These are two of the peoples Israel is
commanded to destroy when they came to inherit the land. [Exodus 23:23-24]
The land along the Jordan
Valley and beside the Dead Sea was
well watered and lush; whereas today the land along the Dead Sea is nothing but
deep ash from south of Masada
going north to almost half way between Masada
Abram gave Lot
the right to choose his part of the Promised Land and agreed to go the other
way to settle.
Lot chose the well-watered plain of the Jordan and went as far as Sodom.
It is needful to be reminded that the reason they
separated was because of the very great number of livestock they each
possessed, and they each had a large number of herdsmen working for them. When Lot went to Sodom,
he was rich in livestock and people; but he went to dwell in the cities of the
plain to Sodom.
At the very first when Lot went to Sodom, God
viewed the men of Sodom as exceedingly wicked and sinful -- Abram knew
it and so Lot must have known it also.
It is interesting to consider the revelation of
human nature in the interchange: Abram, the man of God, loved his nephew and
gave him the right to choose and from a hilltop vantage point where they could
see the green valley and the dry hills of the high land. Abram knew that God
would bless him anywhere because God had said He would.
Lot, in his self-centered humanistic view, was
willing to compromise his values and tolerate the influence of the wicked men
of Sodom in
order to live in the ease and comfort of a city surrounded with lush green
Too often today we make similar choices for the
exact same reasons, desiring to please self or striving to please God. We too will be called to account for the
choices we make.
Lot was rich when he went to Sodom, but when he came out of it he was