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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Genesis

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FRAMEWORKS: Genesis 13: Division in the Land


v.1-4 Abram restored to the Land

v.5-9 Affluence causes quarrelling

v.10-13 Lot chooses unwisely

v.14-18 The Lord re-confirms the Land



v.1-4 Abram restored to the Land


v.1 So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him.

v.2 Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.

v.3,4 From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord.


[Notes: Abram returns from Egypt, wealthier than when he had gone there. He still has his nephew, Lot, with him and travels back up to near Bethel where the Lord had spoken to him previously.]



v.5-9 Affluence causes quarrelling


v.5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.

v.6 But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together.

v.7 And quarreling arose between Abram's herders and Lot's. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.

v.8 So Abram said to Lot, “Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives.

v.9 Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left.”


[Notes: Lot had also become affluent with flocks and herds, apparently benefitting from being associated with Abram in Egypt. However this now becomes a problem for they have too many animals between them to graze in the same place, and their herdsmen had obviously argued about that. Abram takes the initiative, not wanting division between he and Lot and so suggests they part and graciously allows Lot first choice of what land to go to.]



v.10-13 Lot chooses unwisely


v.10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)

v.11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:

v.12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.

v.13   Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.


[Notes: So Lot looks and sees good grasslands east and south east and so goes and eventually settles in the area of Sodom, thought to be near the southern end of the Dead Sea, not a very righteous area to settle. Abram remains further north.]



v.14-18 The Lord re-confirms the Land


v.14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west.

v.15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.

v.16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.

v.17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

v.18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.


[Notes: Once Lot has gone, the Lord speaks again to Abram and confirms that all the land around him that he can see will be his and for his offspring. Note every time there is mention of his ‘offspring' [v.15,16 it is a reiteration of having children]. So he settles at Hebron in the southern area of Canaan.]



Lessons or Challenges to Ponder from Genesis Chapter 13


1. Lot is the example of a self-concerned nephew who unwisely puts himself in a place – more than once – where he gets into trouble and his very life is threatened. Can we see him as an example NOT to follow?

2. Abram, on the other hand, is an example of an uncle of grace who allows his protégé the option to make his (unwise) choices, even when it means he has to go to go and dig him out of the mess he gets in. Was there a better way?



Continue to Chapter 14