Genesis 13

 

Genesis 13:1–18

Abram and Lot Separate


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


This is a collection of the weekly lessons of Genesis (HTML) (PDF) interspersed with the complete word-by-word exegesis of this chapter from the Hebrew with some information from Genesis (HTML) (PDF) thrown in. Furthermore, the examination of this chapter has been expanded with additional commentary as well. However, much of this material was thrown together without careful editing. Therefore, from time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated, because there was no overall editing done once all of this material was combined. At some point in the future, I need to go back and edit this material and consider other source material as well. Links to the word-by-word, verse-by-verse studies of Genesis (HTML) (PDF).

 

One more thing: it is not necessary that you read the grey Hebrew exegesis tables. They are set apart from the rest of the study so that you can easily skip over them. However, if you ever doubt a translation of a phrase or a verse, these translation tables will tell you exactly where that translation came from.


This should be the most extensive examination of Gen. 13 available, where you will be able to examine in depth every word of the original text.


Outline of Chapter 13:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–4           Abram Returns to the Land from Egypt

         vv.     5–7           Strife between the Herdsmen of Abram and the Herdsmen of Lot

         vv.     8–13         Lot and Abram Separate

         vv.    14–18         God Gives the Land Covenant to Abram

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         The Prequel of Genesis 13

         Introduction         The Principals of Genesis 13

         Introduction         The Abrahamic Timeline for Genesis 13

         Introduction         A Synopsis of Genesis 13

 

         v.       2              Map of Southern Israel

         v.       3              The City of Bethel

         v.       4              How the Altar Proclaims the Essence or Character of Jehovah

         v.       4              Examples of Figures of Speech in the Bible

         v.       5              The Doctrine of Blessing by Association

         v.       9              Robby Dean’s Appended Doctrine of Separation

         v.      10              Explaining “When you enter Zoar”

         v.      11              Problems and Possibilities of Lot’s Movement

         v.      11              A map of the Dead Sea and southern Israel

         v.      11              Relief Map of the Land of Promise

         v.      11              The Doctrine of Logistical Grace (Revised)

         v.      15              The Spiritual Life Parlays Spiritual Growth to Eternal Impact

         v.      15              E-Sword Map of Old Testament Events

         v.      15              Map of the Davidic Kingdom

         v.      16              The Doctrine of Antisemitism

         v.      16              Abraham’s Children

         v.      17              Dispensations, an Overview

         v.      17              Three Dispensations Summarized

         v.      17              The Importance of Bible Doctrine

         v.      17              The Advents of Jesus Christ within the Dispensations

 

.        v.      17              American Heritage Insert

         v.      17              By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America A PROCLAMATION

         v.      17              Quotations from our Founding Documents

         v.      17              Public and Private Quotations from our Founding Fathers

         v.      17              The Preambles of State Constitutions

         v.      17              Early U.S. Education

         v.      17              Some Communist Goals

 

         v.      18              Sands of Time (lyrics)

         v.      18              The Altars Built by Abram

         v.      18              Planting the Flag at Iwo Jima (graphic)

 

         Addendum          What We Learn from Genesis 13

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes Genesis 13

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Genesis 13


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Genesis


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Antisemitism

Blessing by Association

Angelic Conflict

Bethel

Figures of Speech

The Importance of Bible Doctrine

Dispensations

Essence of God

Logistical Grace

Separation

Intercalation

Hypostatic Union

 

 

Laws of Divine Establishment

 


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

 

Gen. 19

 

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. Also, I have developed a few new terms and concepts which require definition as well.

In addition, there are other more traditional yet technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Sometimes the terms in the exegesis of this chapter are simply alluded to, without any in-depth explanation of them. Sometimes, these terms are explained in detail and illustrated. A collection of all these terms is found here: (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Definition of Terms

1st and 2nd Advents of Jesus

When Jesus first came to walk on this earth, that was the 1st Advent. When He returns to destroy the nations who are about to invade Israel, that will be the 2nd Advent.

Age of the Hypostatic Union

The time period during which Jesus Christ walked upon this earth. This dispensation acted as a hinge between the Church Age and the Age of Israel.

Dispensation

A period of time wherein God’s plan for that period of time is very specific and different from other periods of time. That is, the rules for the Church Age are different than rules for the Age of Israel.

Gloss

A word or phrase added in by way of explanation by a later author (or copyist). I include in this those people who might relay this narrative verbally.

Inspiration of the Bible

God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture, that without waving their human intelligence, individuality, literary style, personal feelings or any other human factor, His own complete and coherent message to man was recorded in perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture, the very words bearing the authority of divine authorship. The literary style of the human author would include a variety of literary devices and figures of speech. Furthermore, there is nothing in the definition of inspiration which precludes the human authors or even God the Holy Spirit from making use of literary devices.

Intercalation

The 1st and 2nd advents of Jesus Christ was taught as one whole event. However, intercalated between these two events is the Church Age.

Kenosis

Jesus voluntarily restricted the use of His Deity when it was not a part of God the Father’s plan.

Laws of Divine Establishment

These are the laws, principles and morality which God has designed to perpetuate every society or government in such a way that freedom to evangelize, freedom to teach doctrine and the freedom to send out missionaries are maximized.

Pivot

Believers with doctrine influence a society. A good example of this is the Roman Empire, which began as being very opposed to Christianity, but which became strongly influenced by Christianity. As the Christian Tertullian observed: "We are but of yesterday, yet we fill your cities, islands, forts, towns, councils, even camps, tribes, decuries, the palace, the senate, the forum; we have left you the temples alone." This was accomplished without an armed insurrection against Rome.


The norms and standards of believers in Jesus Christ began to filter into the society. Abraham and his people represented a positive influence on the surrounding areas; Lot and his family had almost no influence whatsoever.

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers). See the Doctrine of Rebound (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


——————————


An Introduction to Genesis 13


I ntroduction: Chapter 13 concentrates upon the relationship between Abram and Lot. There relationship is more like siblings than it is like an uncle and a nephew. Lot is the somewhat spoiled youngest child and Abram is the indulgent, overprotective older brother. However, in this chapter, we come to a point where they can no longer function together, even though they have tremendous wealth between them.


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of Genesis 13

God calls upon Abram to leave Ur of the Chaldees and to come to the land of Canaan (Acts 7:2–6). It appears as though he is called again in Charan (Haran) and asked to do the same thing (Gen. 12:1). Abram is told to leave his family behind (this would not include Sarah), but Abram brings his father and his nephew with him to Charan (Gen. 11:31), and later brings Lot with him into the land of promise (Gen. 12:4).


God has made promises to Abram probably on two occasions (Gen. 12:1–3 Acts 7:2–6) which appear to have the same content. Exactly why this appears to have occurred twice was explained in the previous chapter.


Abram has begun to walk through the land, and God has appeared to him a third time in Gen. 12:7 (this is assuming that God has appeared to Abram at least two times previously).


After being in the land a short period of time, there is a famine, and Abram took his family down to Egypt, where he lied about his relationship to Sarai. He was worried that the men of Egypt would kill him and take Sarai from him, so she was to agree to tell everyone that she was his sister. (Gen. 12:10–14)


Sarai’s beauty is told to the Pharaoh, and he calls for her to be his wife and showers Abram with a great many gifts. However, there is judgement of God that comes against the Pharaoh and his family, because of all this. He determines that Sarai is the problem, and calls in Abram. He reproves Abram and gives Sarai back to him. Gen. 12:15–19a


Finally, Pharaoh has Abram led to the country’s borders where he deports him (Gen. 12:19b–20), and that is where Gen. 13 picks up.

Gen. 13 will begin with Abram returning to the land of promise from Egypt.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines




We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of Genesis 13

Characters

Commentary

Abram

Abram is the protagonist for most of these chapters, although, as he becomes older, he will fade from view. It is to Abram that God speaks.

Lot

Lot is Abram’s nephew, who should have been left behind first in Ur and then later in Charan (Haran). He and Abram will split up their holdings and Lot will go off on his own.

The herdsmen of Abram and Lot

The separation of Abram from Lot appears to be based upon a dispute (possibly several) between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s. It does not appear that Abram and Lot have had words.

Sarai

Sarai is only mentioned incidentally in this chapter.

Canaanites and Perizzites

People living in the land promised to Abram by God.

 


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


The Abrahamic Timeline for Genesis 13


Legend

Birth or death

God speaks with Abraham

Historical incidents (most of which are related to Abraham)

Parenthetical dates (2065 b.c.) simply refer to taking the date assigned by the chronologist and using Scripture to determine the next date.


Brent MacDonald

Age of Abraham

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Event/Description

2234 b.c.

 

2097 b.c.

Gen. 11:24

Terah, Abram’s father, is born. Gen 11:24–26 Nahor lived 29 years and fathered Terah. After he fathered Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and fathered other sons and daughters. Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

2164 b.c.

0

1967 b.c.

Gen. 11:26–27

Abraham (Terah’s son) and Lot (Haran’s son) born in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram would be the 43rd generation from Adam. Gen 11:26 Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Reese occasionally supplies 2 dates in his Chronological Bible; the first is his and the second is Klassen’s.

 

 

1907 b.c.

1927 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 11:28, 31

Abram’s family travel from Ur to Haran, although their original intention had been to go to the land of Canaan. Gen 11:28, 31 Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans, during his father Terah's lifetime. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran's son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.

 

 

1892 b.c.

Gen. 11:32

Death of Terah, Abram’s father. Gen. 11:32 Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran.

2089 b.c.

75

1892 b.c.

Gen. 12:1–4

Abraham leaves for Promised Land from Haran, after being so instructed by God. Gen 12:4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.

Reese actually gives the date of Terah’s death as April 1–4, 1892 b.c. and the date of Abram leaving Haran as April 5, 1892 b.c.

 

 

1891 b.c.

1892 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 12:10–20

Abraham & Sarah in Egypt (Goshen, Memphis), return to the Land of Promise (Genesis 12:10-31:1)

 

 

1891 b.c.

Gen. 13:1–4

Abram returns to Bethel in the land of Canaan, returning as a very wealthy man.

 

 

1891 b.c.

1889 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 13:5–13

Abram and Lot separate from one another.

 

 

 

Gen. 13:14–17

God renews His covenant with Abram.

 

 

 

Gen. 13:18

Abram moves to the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron.

The New Berkeley Bible began the previous chapter in 2091 b.c., putting Abram’s birth in 2166 when Terah, his father, is 130 years old. The New Berkeley Bible lists the date of Gen. 14 as 2091 b.c. (adding a question mark).


Bibliography

MacDonald’s timeline is from: http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna63.htm accessed October 11, 2011.

See http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna63dating.htm for his justification of his timeline.

From: http://www.christianshepherd.org/bible_study_guides/abram_to_the_exodus.pdf (Christian shepherd)

The Reese Chronological Bible; KJV translation; Editor: Edward Reese; ©1977 by Edward Reese and Klassen’s dating system ©1975 by Frank R. Klassen; Ⓟ1980 by Bethany House Publishers, South Minneapolis, MN; pp. 18–19, 54–74.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Here is what to expect from Genesis 13:

A Synopsis of Genesis 13

Abram, his nephew Lot and his wife Sarai return from Egypt (Gen. 13:1). It is implied that Abram is quite rich at this time (Gen. 13:2).

Abram returns to the places where he had camped before, where he had spoken with God before, and where he had built altars before. Gen. 13:3–4

Lot is also apparently quite wealthy, but there are problems with his possessions and the herdsmen of Abram and Lot quarrel over the limited area where they can graze. Gen. 13:5–7

Abram suggests to Lot that they separate their business ties, and that Lot go one way and that Abram goes the other. Gen. 13:8–9

Lot looks over the area carefully, and chooses to move to the area near Sodom, as it is well-watered and possibly has a reputation as a party town (the latter is an assumption I am making). However, we are told that the men of Sodom were quite evil. Gen. 13:10–13

God comes to Abram again, increases what He had already promises to give Abram, and then tells Abram again to walk throughout the land. Gen. 13:14–17

Abram moves to the oaks of Mamre, which is near Hebron, and builds an altar there. Gen. 13:18

Like all chapters of the Word of God, you need more than just the simple plot outline to understand what God wants us to know.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Abram was out of God’s geographical will in the previous chapter (while he was in Egypt) and, also out of fellowship in the previous chapter.


If you have personal honor and integrity, then you can understand how embarrassed Abram was before pharaoh, someone he thought was morally inferior to him (Gen. 12:11–13). Yet, in simple morality, pharaoh shows himself to be superior to Abram. This tells us one more thing: morality is not the Christian way of life. God doesn’t look down, reevaluate the situation, and decide, “You know what, this pharaoh character catches on a lot more quickly than Abram does. I think I am going to move my blessing from morally inferior Abram to the pharaoh.” But God does not do that.


Abram has failed, and he recognizes this. Therefore, he decides to go back to the last place where he had fellowship with God.


God, on several occasions, is going to speak to Abram and make promises to him. Abram has already believed Jehovah Elohim, and has imputed righteousness because of that (Gen. 15:6), but he does not place his faith in God’s Word. Therefore, God will repeat these promises and, on occasion, add to them. That is, God will build doctrine upon doctrine (specifically, in this case, promises upon promises). There will be a point at which Abram will understand God’s promises and believe them, resulting in the birth of his son, Isaac


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Abram Returns to the Land from Egypt


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so goes up Abram from Egypt—he and his woman and all which [is] to him and Lot—the Negev-ward.

Genesis

13:1

Abram went up from Egypt—he and his wife and all that was his [lit., and all that (was) to him]; and Lot—toward the Negev.

Consequently, Abram returned from Egypt back to the Negev, taking with him his wife, his possessions and Lot.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

The Targum of Onkelos is actually the Pentateuchal Targumim, which are The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. Taken from http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/ and first published in 1862.


Ancient texts:

 

Targum (trans. By Cook)        And Abram went up from Mizraim, he and his wife (and) all that he had; and Lot with him, to go to the south.

Latin Vulgate                          And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him into the south.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so goes up Abram from Egypt—he and his woman and all which [is] to him and Lot—the Negev-ward.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    AND Abram went up from Egypt, e and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the wilderness.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Abram and Lot separate

Abram went up from Egypt toward the arid southern plain with his wife, with everything he had, and with Lot.

Contemporary English V.       Abram and Sarai took everything they owned and went to the Southern Desert. Lot went with them.

Easy English                          Abram and Lot separate, 13:1-18

Then Abram went up from Egypt. He took his wife with him. And he took everything that they had. Lot went with them to the area called the Negev.

Easy-to-Read Version            So Abram left Egypt. Abram traveled through the Negev [The desert area in the southern part of Judah.] with his wife and everything he owned. Lot was also with them.

The Message                         So Abram left Egypt and went back to the Negev, he and his wife and everything he owned, and Lot still with him.

New Century Version             Abram and Lot Separate

So Abram, his wife, and Lot left Egypt, taking everything they owned, and traveled to southern Canaan.

New Living Translation           Abram and Lot Separate

So Abram left Egypt and traveled north into the Negev, along with his wife and Lot and all that they owned.

The Voice                               Abram left Egypt with his wife, Lot, and everything he owned, and he went back up into the Negev region.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, Abram left Egypt along with his woman, Lot, and everything that he had, and they traveled into the desert.

New Advent Bible                  So Abram came back from Egypt into the south country, with his wife and all that belonged to him; Lot, too, went in his company.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Abram and Lot Part.

From Egypt Abram went up to the Negeb with his wife and all that belonged to him, and Lot went with him. Gn 12:9.

NIRV                                      Abram and Lot Separate

Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev Desert. He took his wife and everything he had. Lot went with him.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abram ascended from Egypt to South-Canaan: he, his woman, all with him, and Lot.

The Expanded Bible              Abram and Lot Separate

So Abram, his wife, and Lot ·left [Lcame up from] Egypt, taking everything they owned, and traveled ·to southern Canaan [Linto the Negev; Ca somewhat desolate area].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 So Abram went up from Egypt with his wife, and all he possessed; and Lot accompanied him to the southern pastures.

NET Bible®                             Abram's Solution to the Strife

So Abram went up from Egypt into the Negev [Or "the South [country]" (also in v. 3).] [Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.]. He took his wife and all his possessions with him, as well as Lot [Heb "And Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all which was his, and Lot with him, to the Negev."]. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Avram went up from Egypt - he, his wife and everything he had, and Lot with him - into the Negev..

exeGeses companion Bible   ABRAM AND LOT SEPARATE

And Abram ascends from Misrayim,

he and his woman and all he has

and Lot with him, toward the south:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Abram came up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that was his, and Lot with him, to the south.

Kaplan Translation                 Abram headed northward [Literally, 'went up.'] to the Negev along with his wife and all that was his, including Lot.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Avram went up out of Mitzrayim, he, and his isha, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negev.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                So Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South [country of Judah, the Negeb].

Concordant Literal Version    And up is Abram going from Egypt, he and his wife and all that is his, and Lot with him, to the south-rim.

English Standard V. – UK       Abram and Lot Separate

So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.

The Geneva Bible                  And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. His great riches gotten in Egypt, did not hinder him in following his vocation.

LTHB                                     And Abram went up out of Egypt into the Negeb, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot being with him.

NASB                                     Abram and Lot

So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev [I.e. South country], he and his wife and all that belonged to him, and Lot with him.

New King James Version       Abram Inherits Canaan

Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South [Hebrew Negev].

Syndein/Thieme                     {Note: Verses 1-4 actually go with Chapter 12}

And Abram went up out of Egypt {picture of rebound back into fellowship - I John 1:9} . . . he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And Abram returned from Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.

Young’s Literal Translation    And Abram goes up from Egypt (he and his wife, and all that he has, and Lot with him) towards the south.

Young’s Updated LT             And Abram goes up from Egypt (he and his wife, and all that he has, and Lot with him) towards the south.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram leaves Egypt with his family and heads toward southern Canaan again.


Genesis 13:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʿâlâh (עָלָה) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to come up, to rise, to climb

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Mitserayim (מִצְרַיִם) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim]

double straights; transliterated Mizraim; also Egypt, Egyptians

proper noun

Strong’s #4714 BDB #595


Translation: Abram went up from Egypt... Because he lied to the Pharaoh of Egypt, Abram was escorted out of town and told to leave. There was a plague put upon the Pharaoh’s household from God, and Pharaoh was clearly peeved that Abram just let all of this happen.


Abram is out of God's geographical will because he had gone down to Egypt, as he was in the Negev less than a year previous. God has in the past given Jews to Egypt as witnesses innumerable times. All the surrounding countries had some benefit of their close proximity with the Jews; but Egypt seemingly more than the rest. There will be millenniums of contact between the two countries, sometimes antagonistic, but always as a witness as to the true God of the Universe, Yehowah of the Jews, Jesus Christ. God always allowed the witness of the Jews to stand, even when they were not as honorable as the Egyptians to whom they were witnessing to (as in this case). God also blessed Egypt greatly when Egypt honored their relationships with the Jews (as we will see with Abram's great grandson, Joseph, who helped rule over Egypt). However, when Egypt did wrong by the Jews, God witnessed to Egypt with the application of His justice, as He did in the exodus.


Genesis 13:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one); same

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb to be, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #802 BDB #61

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all, the entirety, every

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kôl ʾăsher mean all whom, all that [which]; whomever, whatever, all whose, all where, wherever.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...—he and his wife and all that was his [lit., and all that (was) to him];... Interestingly enough, Abram was not punished for his deception, apart from being escorted to the border. He received a number of gifts from the Pharaoh of Egypt, and it appears as though none were taken back.


Very likely, among these many gifts was a slave-girl called Hagar, who would serve Sarai directly.


Genesis 13:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

negeb (נֶגֶב) [pronounced ne-GHEBV]

south, south-country; southern portion of Judah, southern district of Palestine; often transliterated Negev or Negeb

masculine singular noun with the definite article; with the directional hê

Strong's #5045 BDB #616

The directional hê is the âh (הַ] ending to a noun, usually found after a verb of motion. This is called the directive hê or the he locale, which often indicates direction and puts somewhat of an adverbial spin on the noun. Essentially, it answers the question where? The pronunciation of the word does not change. The directional hê indicates the direction in which something moves. It is often used with the noun heaven and the most literal rendering in the English would be heavenward. We can also indicate the existence of the hê directional by supplying the prepositions to or toward.


Translation: ...and Lot—toward the Negev. Lot was still with family of Abram. They went back to where God wanted them all to be in the first place, in the Negev, which is the southern portion of Canaan.


Gen 13:1 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negev.


Remember that the Negev is southern Canaan (Palestine). Abram and company are coming out of Egypt, where he had been out of God’s geographical will. Abram had been overly concerned about a famine in the land of Canaan, so he traveled outside of God’s will in order to deal with the famine. However, now he is going back where he ought to be.


——————————


And Abram [is] rich, very, in the cattle, in the silver and in the gold.

Genesis

13:2

Abram [was] now very rich in livestock, [and] in silver and in gold.

Abram, at this time, had become quite wealthy in livestock, as well as in silver and gold.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Abram had become very strong in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

Latin Vulgate                          And he was very rich in possession of gold and silver.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And Abram [is] rich, very, in the cattle, in the silver and in the gold.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abram was very rich in cattle, and silver, and gold.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Abram was very rich. He owned many cattle, sheep, and goats, and had a lot of silver and gold.

Easy English                          Abram was very rich. He had a lot of *cattle, silver and gold.

Easy-to-Read Version            At this time, Abram was very rich. He had many animals and much silver and gold.

The Message                         By now Abram was very rich, loaded with cattle and silver and gold.

New Berkeley Version           Abram with his wife and all he possessed with Lot along with him, went up from Egypt to the southland, extremely ricin livestock, in silver and in gold. V. 1 is included for context.

The Voice                               Because of his experience in Egypt, Abram had become quite rich. He had livestock, silver, and gold to carry with him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And by now, Abram was very rich in cattle, silver, and gold.

Christian Community Bible     Now Abram was very rich in flocks, silver and gold.

God’s Word                         Abram was very rich because he had livestock, silver, and gold.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Abram was by now the master of rich possessions, with abundance of gold and silver.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. [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). Psalm 112:1-3 Prov. 10:22.

NIRV                                      Abram had become very rich. He had a lot of livestock and silver and gold.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abram was-heavy a hundredfold with livestock, silver, and gold.

Bible in Basic English             Now Abram had great wealth of cattle and silver and gold.

NET Bible®                             (Now Abram was very wealthy [Heb "heavy."] in livestock, silver, and gold.) This parenthetical clause, introduced by the vav (?) disjunctive (translated "now"), provides information necessary to the point of the story.

NIV, ©2011                             Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Avram became wealthy, with much cattle, silver and gold.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and Abram is mighty heavy in chattel,

in silver and in gold:...

Kaplan Translation                 Abram was very rich, with livestock, silver and gold.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Avram was very rich in cattle, in kesef, and in zahav.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Now Abram was extremely rich in livestock and in silver and in gold.

Concordant Literal Version    And Abram is very heavy in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

Syndein/Thieme                     And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. {Note: One thing about Abram (chiseler) [Kukis note: chisler?] when he was out of fellowship he was able to made a tremendous amount of money.}.

World English Bible                Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

Young's Literal Translation     And Abram is exceedingly wealthy in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram, partially from his trip to Egypt, was quite wealthy, having livestock, silver and gold.


Genesis 13:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

kâbêd (כָבֵד) [pronounced kawb-VAYD]

heavy, overweight, abundant, numerous, dull; hard, difficult, burdensome, grievous; very oppressive, numerous, rich

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #3515 BDB #458

This is the first occurrence of this adjective in Scripture.

meʾôd (מְאֹד) [pronounced me-ODE]

exceedingly, extremely, greatly, very

adverb

Strong’s #3966 BDB #547

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

mîqeneh (מִקְנֶה) [pronounced mik-NEH]

cattle, livestock (specifically sheep, cows and goats); herds, flocks

masculine singular (collective) noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4735 BDB #889


Translation: Abram [was] now very rich in livestock,... Abram’s wealth is summed up here. He is quite wealthy with livestock, of all sorts. We know this from when he came down to Egypt; and it appears that he might have even a greater wealth at his departure from Egypt.


It is clear that Abram is quite successful from Gen. 12:5, where his possessions were spoken of before. However, here, Abram is said to be wealthy, indicating that God has blessed Abram greatly, despite his wandering down to Egypt.


Even though Abram has made some serious mistakes in judgement, God still prospered him and God did not withdraw his promises from Abram. We, as believers today, understand some moral issues and the obedience required, and we recognize the severe mistakes that King David made, but what Abram did was a serious mistake as well. This was covered back in chapter 12; but bear in mind, to know God's will and not to do it; to know God's Word and not to believe it, these are very serious sins. And yet, note how prosperous Abram is. This verse indicates that in the mist of a famine (Gen. 12:10), Abram is a very rich man. In fact, he and Lot are so wealthy that it is too difficult to keep track of their own individual wealth. This is Abram's third test (he was tested once when he was told to leave his father's house; he did, thereby passing the test. He was tested again when he arrived in Egypt and could have either trusted God for protection or he could have lied about his relationship to Sarai; that test he failed). Abram's third test will involve Lot and their individual possessions.


Genesis 13:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

keçeph (כֶּסֶף) [pronounced KEH-sef]

silver, money; silver [as a metal, ornament, color]; shekels, talents

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3701 BDB #494

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

zâhâb (זָהָב) [pronounced zaw-HAWBV]

gold; a measure of weight [related to gold]; [figuratively used for] brilliance, splendor

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2091 BDB #262


Translation:...[and] in silver and in gold. Abram is also quite wealthy in silver and gold. This was not mentioned before. So, where did it come from? (1) In the long list of things that Pharaoh gave him, there was also silver and gold given Abram, but not named in Gen. 12:16. Or (2) Abram sold some of these items as he traveled back to the Land of Promise, and made a lot of money along the way (remember, there was a famine in the land, so people would have paid well for portions of Abram’s ranch.


Gen 13:2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.


In the previous chapter, you will recall that Canaan was in the midst of an economic downturn, so bad that Abram felt he ought to move to Egypt. And yet, here, we find out that Abram is rich in livestock, silver and gold. God is able to bless us, despite surrounding economic conditions. This is important as an application to us today, as I write this during a time when the world is in an economic downturn. God may or may not choose to bless us materially, but that is unrelated to the environment in which we find ourselves. There were many millionaires whose fortunes increased during the Great Depression (just as many millionaires lost their fortunes during this time). Your own personal finances are an outgrowth of your relationship to Jesus Christ and not a result of whatever economic downturn or upturn you find yourself to be in.


It is also important to note that, even though Abram lied to Pharaoh about his wife; God did not severely punish Abram and take away all of his material blessings. Abram continued to be quite wealthy. In fact, he became more wealthy in Egypt because of the Pharaoh’s gifts.


As believers in Jesus Christ, we make a lot of mistakes. We all sin. This does not mean the end of our lives. God has made provision for these things, which can include, of course, divine discipline. However, such things will not necessarily end our spiritual lives. We get up, we dust ourselves off, and go back to the land of promise, where God wants us to be.


You will notice what is missing from this narrative—anything which has to do with the famine in the land. There is no telling how long Abram was in Egypt (probably, less than a year). There is no indication that, Abram returns to the land and the famine is all over. It is simply a non-issue. We learn that the famine motivates Abram to go to Egypt, but the famine itself has no real impact on Abram’s life. This is an extremely important spiritual principle: we may face a dramatic change in circumstances, but we are who we are, and God is Who He is. The circumstances are inconsequential. You may live in a country being invaded, a country under attack. It doesn’t matter. Your country might be falling into socialism. It doesn’t matter. You are who you are and God is Who He is. God will vindicate the doctrine in your soul, no matter what the circumstances are around you. If you have no doctrine in your soul, then there is nothing there with which God can work.


Abram has doctrine in his soul; he was out of God’s geographical will, and he is getting back into God’s geographical will. He went into Egypt rich with possessions and he exits Egypt rich with possessions. He made a mistake, he is correcting that mistake, and God has not impacted his temporal blessing.


Map of Southern Israel. Abram will be going from Egypt to Bethel, which can be seen in the map below.

genesis13.gifAbram will go from Egypt, which is southwest of the lower left-hand corner of this map, up to Bethel, which is at the center top of this map. From

http://www.bible-history.com/map-davids-kingdom/israel_davids_kingdom_shg.jpg



In 2Samuel, we have a much more dramatic set of circumstances, where King David gets way, way out of fellowship; and he eventually falls into national disaster (there is a revolution in his country spearheaded by one of his own sons). Yet, when the smoke clears and the dust settles, David will have everything which God blessed him with, despite David’s sins and personal shortcomings.


I am not saying that, no matter what, God will restore you to all that He has given you. However, there are 2 examples here where both Abram and David got out of God’s will (David for an extended period of time), and God still blessed them. The key appears to be that, both David and Abram recognize their mistake and want to get back on board with God’s plan; and they both have souls filled with divine viewpoint (they were able to think from the Bible doctrine which was in their souls).


——————————


And so he goes to his journeys from a Negev and as far as Bethel, as far as the place where was there his tent in the beginning, between Bethel and between Ai; unto a place of the altar which he had made there in the first. And so calls there Abram in the name of Yehowah.

Genesis

13:3–4

He advances in [lit., concerning, according to] his travels from the Negev to Bethel, to the place where his tent was at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai; to the place of the altar that he made there at the beginning. Consequently, Abram proclaimed [and celebrated] the name of Yehowah there.

Abram continued traveling through the land, moving from Negev back to Bethel, back to where he pitched his tent at the first, between Bethel and Ai; and to the place where he made the altar at the beginning. Consequently, Abram proclaimed and celebrated the name of Jehovah there.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And he proceeded in his journeyings from the south unto Bethel, and returned to the place where he had outspread his tabernacle at the first, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at the beginning; and Abram prayed there in the Name of the Lord.

Latin Vulgate                          And he returned by the way, that he came, from the south to Bethel, to the place where before he had pitched his tent between Bethel and Hai, In the place of the altar which he had made before, and there he called upon the name of the Lord.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he goes to his journeys from a Negev and as far as Bethel, as far as the place where was there his tent in the beginning, between Bethel and between Ai; unto a place of the altar which he had made there in the first. And so calls there Abram in the name of Yehowah.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And he went on his journey from the south as far as Beth-el, to the place where he had pitched his tent at first, between Beth-el and Ai; To the place of the altar which he had built there at the first; and there Abram had called upon the name of the LORD.

Septuagint (Greek)                And he went to the place where he came, into the wilderness as far as Bethel, as far as the place where his tent was before, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar, which he built there at first, and Abram there called on the name of the Lord.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Abram traveled, making and breaking camp, from the arid southen plain to Bethel and to the sacred place there, where he had first pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai, that is, to the place at which he had earlier built the altar. There he worshipped in the Lord's name.

Contemporary English V.       Abram moved from place to place in the Southern Desert. And finally, he went north and set up his tents between Bethel and Ai, where he had earlier camped and built an altar. There he worshiped the LORD.

Easy English                          Abram travelled from the Negev to Bethel. He stopped sometimes on the way. Then he went beyond Bethel towards Ai. That was the place where he had had his tent at the beginning. That was where he had made an *altar before. There Abram *worshipped the *Lord.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abram continued traveling around. He left the Negev and went back to Bethel. He went to the place between the city of Bethel and the city of Ai. This was the same place Abram and his family had camped before. This was the place Abram had built an altar. So Abram worshiped the Lord at this place.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then he left there and moved from place to place, going toward Bethel. He reached the place between Bethel and Ai where he had camped before and had built an altar. There he worshiped the LORD.

New Living Translation           From the Negev, they continued traveling by stages toward Bethel, and they pitched their tents between Bethel and Ai, where they had camped before. This was the same place where Abram had built the altar, and there he worshiped the Lord again.

The Voice                               He journeyed north in stages from the Negev as far as Bethel to the place where he had pitched his tent earlier between Bethel and Ai. He returned to one of the first altar tables he had made in the land, stopped there, and called on the name of the Eternal once again.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So he returned to the place where he had come from (in the desert near BethEl, between BethEl and AgGai, where he had pitched his tent previously), to the place where he had earlier built the altar and 5 where he (Abram) had called on the Name of the Lord.

Beck’s American Translation Moving from place to place, he went from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tents had been the first time, the place where he had first made the altar, and there Abram called on the LORD’s name.

Christian Community Bible     As he journeyed on, he went from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where he first pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai at the spot where he had formerly made an altar and called on the Name of Yahweh.

God’s Word                         He traveled from place to place. He went from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the area between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been originally, where he had first made an altar. There Abram worshiped the LORD.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       He took the same road northwards by which he had come, and reached Bethel, and the place between Bethel and Hai where he had pitched his tent before, with the altar still standing there, as he had built it, commemorating the Lord's name. `Commemorating the Lord's name'; or perhaps, `and there (once more) he invoked the Lord's name'.

New American Bible (R.E.)    From the Negeb he traveled by stages toward Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly stood, the site where he had first built the altar; and there Abram invoked the LORD by name. Gn 12:8.

NIRV                                      From the Negev Desert, he went from place to place until he came to Bethel. He came to a place between Bethel and Ai. That's where his tent had been earlier. He had also built an altar there. He worshiped the Lord there.

New Jerusalem Bible             By stages he went from the Negeb to Bethel, where he had first pitched his tent, between Bethel and Ai, at the place where he had formerly erected the altar. There Abram invoked the name of Yahweh.

New Simplified Bible              He traveled from place to place from the Negev until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier. This was where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of Jehovah.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      His journeying went from South-Canaan unto Bethel, unto the place his tent was in the beginning, there between Bethel and Ai, at the place of the first altar he made. There Abram called Yahweh's name.

Bible in Basic English             And travelling on from the South, he came to Beth-el, to the place where his tent had been before, between Beth-el and Ai; To the place where he had made his first altar, and there Abram gave worship to the name of the Lord.

The Expanded Bible              He ·left [Lwent by stages from] ·southern Canaan [Lthe Negev] and went back to Bethel where ·he had camped before [Lhis tent had been], between Bethel and Ai [12:8], and where he had built an altar [Lat first]. So he ·worshiped [Lcalled on the name of] the Lord there.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Afterwards he marched from the south towards Bethel, to the place where his tent had first been pitched, between Bethel and Haai; for the place where he had formerly built an Altar, and there Abram called upon the name of the Ever-living.

NET Bible®                             And he journeyed from place to place [Heb "on his journeys"; the verb and noun combination means to pick up the tents and move from camp to camp.] from the Negev as far as Bethel. He returned [The words "he returned" are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons] to the place where he had pitched his tent [Heb "where his tent had been."] at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai. This was the place where he had first built the altar [Heb "to the place of the altar which he had made there in the beginning" (cf. Gen 12:7-8).], and there Abram worshiped the Lord [Heb "he called in the name of the Lord." The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 21:33; 26:25). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116, 281.].

NIV, ©2011                             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.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and he goes on his journeys

from the south even to Beth El,

to the place where his tent was at the beginning

between Beth El and Ai

- to the place of the sacrifice altar

which he worked there at the first:

and there Abram calls on the name of Yah Veh.

Hebrew Names Version         He went on his journeys from the South even to Beit-El, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beit-El and `Ai, to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Avram called on the name of the LORD.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               And he proceeded by stages from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been formerly, between Bethel and Ai, the site of the altar that he had build there at first, and there Abram involved the Lord by name.

Kaplan Translation                 He continued on his travels, from the Negev toward Bethel, until [he came to] the place where he originally had his tent, between Bethel and Ai, the site of the altar that he had built there at first. Abram called in God's name.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And he went on his journeys from the Negev even to Beit-El, unto the makom where his ohel had been at the beginning, between Beit-El and Ai; Unto the makom of the Mizbe'ach, which he had built there at the first; and there Avram called on the Shem of Hashem.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And he journeyed on from the South [country of Judah, the Negeb] as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, Where he had built an altar at first; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.

Concordant Literal Version    And going is he, in his journeyings from the south-rim, as far as Beth-El, as far as the place where his tent came to be at the start, between Beth-El and Ai, to the place of the altar, which he made there at the first. And there calling is Abram on the name of Yahweh.

The Geneva Bible                  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;... He calls the place by the name which was later given to it, ( Genesis 23:19 ).

New King James Version       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, to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord.

Syndein/Thieme                     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; unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. And there Abram called on the name of Jehovah/God {rebound}. {Note: Picture of Abram's rebound. He is now back in fellowship. Principal - never let your failures be a discouragement to you. Rebound, forget them and move forward. Remember the promises of the Lord the next time and claim them! Faith Rest. Rebound. Claiming the Promises of God. Relaxed Mental Attitude. Impersonal love for all mankind - based on your own integrity. Personal love for God. Then you can begin to truly be occupied with Christ and share in the happiness which belongs to God.}.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And he went on his journeys from the south even to Beth-el, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hai; To the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

Young’s Updated LT             And he goes on his journeyings from the south, even unto Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the commencement, between Bethel and Hai, unto the place of the altar which he made there at the first, and there Abram did preach in the name of Jehovah.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram continues to travel throughout the Land of Promise, going back the way that he came.


Genesis 13:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

The meanings of the lâmed preposition broken down into groups: ➊ to, towards, unto; it is used both to turn one’s heart toward someone as well as to sin against someone; ➋ to, even to;  in this sense, it can be used with a number to indicate the upper limit which a multitude might approach (nearly). ➌ Lâmed can be equivalent to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς), meaning into, as in transforming into something else, changing into something else (Gen. 2:7). This use of lâmed after the verb hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW] (Strong’s #1961 BDB #224) is one thing becoming another (Gen. 2:7). ➍  Its fourth use is the mark of a dative, after verbs of giving, granting, delivering, pardoning, consulting, sending, etc. This type of dative is broken down into several categories, but one includes the translation by, which would be apropos here. ➎ With regards to, as to. Similar to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς) plus the dative. [Numbering from Gesenius]. ➏ On account of, because, propter, used of cause and reason (propter means because; Gesenius used it). ➐ Concerning, about, used of a person or thing made the object of discourse, after verbs of saying. ➑ On behalf of anyone, for anyone. ➒ As applied to a rule or standard, according to, according as, as though, as if. ➓ When associated with time, it refers to the point of time at which or in which anything is done; or it can refer to the space of time during which something is done (or occurs); at the time of.

maçça‛ (מַסַּע) [pronounced mahs-SAH]

 a pulling up [of stakes]; breaking camp; setting out; travels, journeys, journeying; stages

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4550 BDB #652

You may recognize the similar term Mecca.

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

negeb (נֶגֶב) [pronounced ne-GHEBV]

south, south-country; southern portion of Judah, southern district of Palestine; often transliterated Negev or Negeb

masculine singular noun

Strong's #5045 BDB #616


Translation: He advances in [lit., concerning, according to] his travels from the Negev... Abram enters into the Land of Promise through the south, which is the Negev.


When it is possible, most translations give a word-for-word translation of the Hebrew into English (which would include cognizance of the suffixes and verb forms). This has its good and bad points. On the good side, a reader does not presume there are 3 Hebrew words translated by one English word, or vice versa. On the negative side, sometimes some meaning is lost. The KJV says that Abram went on his journeys from the south and The Emphasized Bible has Abram going on his way, by removals, from the south. The Hebrew word is maçça‛ (מַסַּע) [pronounced mahs-SAH] and it refers to the picking up and removal, or the plucking up of tent pins, or the breaking of camp. Obviously, what this means is that Abram and company travel, camp, remain perhaps for a night, a few days, a few months, and then pick up stakes and move on. By stages I believe, would be the best way to translate this word and its preposition.


The word for travels is maçça‛ (מַסַּע) [pronounced mahs-SAH], which means a pulling up [of stakes]; breaking camp; setting out; travels, journeys, journeying; stages. Strong's #4550 BDB #652. It simply means that Abram, when going from Egypt, through the Negev and on up to Bethel, that this took some time. He and his crew would stop, make camp, and then pull up stakes and set out again.


The Negev is the mostly uninhabited wilderness area between southern Judah and Egypt, so Abram is obviously on his way back to the Land of Promise. This area is now desert, although that was not necessarily the case in Abram’s day.


Genesis 13:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿad (עַד) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

Together, min...wa ʿad (וְעַד ... מִן) mean from...to or both...and; as in from soup to nuts or both young and old. However, here, we simply are indicating the starting point (the Negev) and indicating just how far north and to what places Abram traveled.

All of the BDB definitions are as follows: 1) as far as, even to, until, up to, while, as far as (preposition); 1a) of space; 1a1) as far as, up to, even to; 1b) in combination; 1b1) from...as far as, both...and (with ‘min’ - from); 1c) of time; 1c1) even to, until, unto, till, during, end; 1d) of degree; 1d1) even to, to the degree of, even like; 2) until, while, to the point that, so that even (conjunction). Therefore, I believe that we can get away with the simple translation to.

Bêyth-ʾêl (אֵל בֵּית) [pronounced bayth-AYHL]

house of God; transliterated Bethel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1008 BDB #110


Translation: ...to Bethel,... Abram decides to follow a route that he followed before, retracing his steps back.


We examined the Doctrine of Bethel back in Gen. 28:19, but let me summarize our findings:

The City of Bethel

1.      Bethel is located about 10 miles north of Jerusalem on the border of Ephraim and Benjamin.

2.      Bethel is one of the first cities that we hear about in the Bible. Abraham traveled there from Ur of the Chaldees. Gen. 12:8

3.      Interestingly enough, Jacob apparently named this city; it means House of God, as God revealed Himself to Jacob here. When the history of Genesis was recorded, the name Bethel was used rather than Luz. Gen. 28:19 35:7, 15

4.      Jacob, in fact, is associated on several occasions with this city. Gen. 13:3 31:13 35:1–16

5.      When Joshua enters the Land of Promise to conquer it, then we hear a lot more about the city of Bethel. In fact, Joshua conquers this city, along with Ai, its neighbor. Joshua 8 12:16

6.      However, it apparently needed to be re-conquered in Judges 1:22

7.      Bethel will continue to be a prominent city in Israel for many years to come.

8.      Bethel, prior to this, was essentially, the spiritual center for Israel, where the Ark of God had been kept. Judges 20–21

This, of course, is a bare-bones examination of this city; but it is given just to give you an idea about Bethel. See the complete Doctrine of Bethel (HTML) (PDF).


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


As you see in the Hebrew exegesis, the simple translation of to Bethel is legitimate.


Genesis 13:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿad (עַד) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

mâqôwm (מָקוֹם) [pronounced maw-KOHM]

place, situated; for a soldier, it may mean where he is stationed; for people in general, it would be their place of abode (which could be their house or their town)

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4725 BDB #879

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, so that, in that; for that, since; which; when, at what time; who, whom; where, wherever; the fact that = how; because that, because; as, like as; yea, even, yea even; until that; then, so [in an apodosis]

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

You may notice that, throughout this verse, many very common words are being looked at carefully for all their possible meanings, in order to come up with a smooth translation.

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

ʾohel (אֹהֶל) [proonunced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #168 BDB #13

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

techillâh (תְּחִלָּה) [pronounced te-khil-LAW]

beginning, first, in the beginning; previously, prior to; at the commencement of

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8462 BDB #321


Translation: ...to the place where his tent was at the beginning,... One of the first places that Abram had pitched his tent was in between Bethel and Ai (Gen. 12:8).


Genesis 13:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

Bêyth-ʾêl (אֵל בֵּית) [pronounced bayth-AYHL]

house of God; transliterated Bethel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1008 BDB #110

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

ʿAy (עַי) [pronounced ĢAH-ee]

heap of ruins; and is transliterated Ai, Aija, Aiath, Hai

proper singular noun; location; with the definite article

Strong’s #5857 BDB #743

There are several alternative spellings, which correspond to the different transliterations above.


Translation: ...between Bethel and Ai;... Abram first entered the land through Shechem, where he built an altar. However, the text speaks of him pitching a tent between Bethel and Ai (Gen. 12:6–8). It is possible that they stopped for a few days in Shechem, knowing that they would be moving forward soon thereafter.


Bethel and Ai are roughly in the center of Canaan, not far from Jericho (Bethel can be seen on the map above).


Note that Abram’s thinking here is to go back to where he was at the beginning. The idea here is, Abram got out of God’s geographical will and went down to Egypt. When he realizes that he was out of God’s will, he pulled up stakes and moved back to where God led him in the first place. Here is the concept: Abram knows that he wandered from God, so, in order to rectify that problem, he goes back to the last place where he was clearly in God’s will.


——————————

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram returns to the place of his altar, and worships God there.


Genesis 13:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

mâqôwm (מָקוֹם) [pronounced maw-KOHM]

place, situated; for a soldier, it may mean where he is stationed; for people in general, it would be their place of abode (which could be their house or their town)

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4725 BDB #879

mizebêach (מִזְבֵּחַ) [pronounced miz-BAY-ahkh]

altar; possibly monument

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4196 BDB #258

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

rîʾshônâh (רִאשֹנָה) [pronounced ree-show-NAW]

first [in time, in degree, chief, former [in time], ancestors, former things; foremost; beginning

feminine singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #7223 BDB #911

With the bêyth preposition, rîshôwnâh means first, in front, in the first rank; before, formerly, previously, aforetime.


Translation: to the place of the altar that he made there at the beginning. Abram made two altars that are named in Gen. 12: one in Shechem (Gen. 12:7) and then one near Bethel (Gen. 12:8). Abram goes back to Shechem, and the altar is still there.


Abram was supposed to be traveling throughout the promised land, but God has not contacted Abram since those last instructions, so Abram is wandering about, to some degree.


Therefore, Abram returns to where he had previously built an altar to God and sacrificed to Him. It is possible that this was the last time that Abram was in God's geographical will, but it is possible that God needed for Abram to be a witness of sorts to the Pharaoh in Egypt. Even if he had been out of God's geographical will, God still used this to His Own advantage.


Puzzled by what God's will was for his life, Abram decided to sacrifice to Yahweh and then to proclaim the character of God. Even though Abram’s wealth has increased dramatically, Abram probably feels as though he was wasted a great deal of time going down to Egypt for no purpose. The increase in wealth was a fluke, not the result of a series of business decisions which resulted in prosperity.


Abram realizes that he has made some errors in his life. What is the solution? He goes back to the point at which everything was spiritually sound. When I first read this, I first thought, superstition; however, as I reread it, it is clear that Abram was simply going back to a point where he knew he ought to be.


We have all failed, some of us more spectacularly than others. For many of us, this does not mean that you automatically pick up everything you have and move back home (or, wherever). You get with the Word of God; you study the Word of God under a pastor-teacher, and, in many cases, you will pick back up where you left off. You will go back to the place where you were advancing spiritually, and from there, you continue that advance.


God is going to put Abram to a geographical test again. In the previous test, Abram failed, and he went to Egypt. This time, God is going to put Abram in a similar test, and this time, Abram will apply doctrine (what God has promised him) and he will pass.


What exactly is going on? Abram knew that he was right to move into the Land of Promise. However, in going down to Egypt, it is apparent to him that was a wrong move. So, he tries this again, going back to where he started.


Application: We sometimes have this as believers; and more often as new believers. We slip up, we screw up; so we go back to a point where we knew it was right. That appears to be what Abram is doing here.


Application: When considering various doctrines, I find myself having to go back to the fundamentals, to make certain in my own mind that everything is consistent with the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You learn the fundamentals of the faith—that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that we are saved simply be believing in Him. Then, if a passage or a thought or a comment appears to throw us for a loop, then we go back to this point (or to any point where we are comfortable in the doctrine).


You will note what Abram is thinking about—he is concerned about his relationship to the Revealed God. Therefore, he is not confused or thrown off by having a lot of wealth. He doesn’t stop and say, “Hey, I am doing it right—I have a lot of material blessings, so everything is copacetic.” How many of us would have made that mistake? Abram doesn’t.


Genesis 13:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâʾ (קָרָא) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

When this is followed by the bêyth preposition, and then the name of God (in whatever form), it means to celebrate, to praise God; to implore His aid. Let me suggest that the speaker is doing both the work of an evangelist and of a teacher when this phrasing is found.

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

shêm (שֵם) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character; fame, glory; celebrated; renown; possibly memorial, monument

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: Consequently, Abram proclaimed [and celebrated] the name of Yehowah there. We find this phrase throughout the book of Genesis, and it is often translated to make it sound as if some believer is standing at the altar calling for God. That would be goofy. Abram is an evangelist and he knows the principles of right and wrong. So, it is logical that he will teach about the Revealed God and that he will teach the laws of divine establishment (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


Vv. 3–4 read: Abram continued traveling through the land, moving from Negev back to Bethel, back to where he pitched his tent at the first, between Bethel and Ai; and to the place where he made the altar at the beginning. Consequently, Abram proclaimed and celebrated the name of Jehovah there. This is the third time we have come upon the phrase, to call upon the name of Jehovah. The words found here are all quite common and found many times in the Bible, which actually makes it more difficult to interpret this phrase. Literally, this portion of the verse reads: And so calls out there Abram in a name of Yehowah. This could also be translated: And so there Abram calls out by means of [the] name of Yehowah. In the many times that this phrase occurs, it sounds as if (in most translations) that someone calls out to God one time, expecting that God will answer them. However, this is nearly always in the imperfect tense, which indicates continuous or future action. The verb has a variety of related meanings: to call, cry, utter a loud sound; to call unto, cry (for help), call (with name of God); to proclaim; to read aloud, read (to oneself), read; to summon, invite, call for, call and commission, appoint, call and endow; to call, name, give name to, call by (Brown Driver Briggs definitions).


If a person were to summon God, the verb would reasonably followed by unto God or, more likely, unto Yehowah (the latter being the personal name of God, usually referring to the second Person of the Trinity). We do not have the preposition unto or even the preposition to, but the preposition be (בְּ) [pronounced beh], which usage and meaning consumes over 3 pages in Brown-Driver-Briggs, even though this word was never even assigned a Strong’s number. It is most often translated by the Greek preposition ἐν, and is most often translated in or by [means of]. However, be (בְּ) can also be translated into, through; at, near, on, upon; with, before, against; among; within, in the midst of; at, before, in the presence of, to, unto, up to; in respect to, on account of; because of; by means of, about, concerning. Sometimes it simply acts somewhat like the mark of a direct object. It points to the thing that the action of the verb acts upon. Therefore, fixing a meaning on this phrase is difficult because there are so many ways it can be reasonably translated. A very reasonable translation would be: And there Abram proclaims the name [reputation] of Yehowah. Therefore, the notion that Abram has not talked to God for a long time and now he is calling out God’s name so that God will come down and talk to him is not necessarily what this verse means. The offering of the animal sacrifices upon the altar proclaims the character of God.


When it comes to an altar, we may understand that what occurs on that altar are blood sacrifices. Consistently, throughout the Old Testament, from the skins used to cover Adam and Eve up to the time of our Lord, there are lambs (and other animals), without spot or blemish, being sacrificed to God, their throats being slit open and their blood poured out upon the many altars. These blood sacrifices all looked forward to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins. Jesus offering Himself for our sins proclaims God’s love, righteousness, justice and fairness (which things are the essence or reputation or name of Jehovah).

How the Altar Proclaims the Essence or Character of Jehovah

God’s Essence

Old Testament Approach

The Cross of Jesus Christ

Love

That one could sacrifice an animal and have his sin covered is a demonstration of God’s love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Righteousness

God’s essence could not have anything to do with sin, so that sin has to be covered. You, God, love righteousness and hate wickedness (Psalm 45:7).

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rm. 6:23). No man is justified by the law in the sight of God (Gal. 3:11a).

Justice

The penalty for the sin is symbolically transferred to the animal, as God’s justice must function. The soul who sins shall die (Ezek. 18:20a).

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed (1Peter 2:24).

Fairness

There is no limitation upon who might take part in such a ritual.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

The altars upon which innocent animals were sacrificed both looked forward to the true payment of sins by Jesus Christ and simultaneously proclaimed the character of Jehovah Elohim.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Also, God the Holy Spirit will bracket this chapter with Abram building an altar here to God and in the final verse of this chapter (Gen. 13:18 Then Abram moved his tent and came and lived among the oaks of Mamre, which were in Hebron; and he built an altar to Jehovah there) . This is God the Holy Spirit telling us that Abram is back in fellowship. He is in God’s geographical will. Recall that Abram got out of fellowship and out of God’s geographical will and went down to Egypt and embarrassed himself before the pharaoh of Egypt. All of this stuff occurred, and yet God the Holy Spirit did not specifically tell us, “Now Abram, when he went down to Egypt, was out of God’s geographical will.” We figured this out based upon what the text said and what the text did not say.


The first 4 verses read: Consequently, Abram returned from Egypt back to the Negev, taking with him his wife, his possessions and Lot. Abram, at this time, had become quite wealthy in livestock, as well as in silver and gold. Abram continued traveling through the land, moving from Negev back to Bethel, back to where he pitched his tent at the first, between Bethel and Ai; and to the place where he made the altar at the beginning. Consequently, Abram proclaimed and celebrated the name of Jehovah there. Here, in these first few verses, we are told that Abram returns to where he made an altar originally, so this is God the Holy Spirit telling us that Abram has rebounded (i.e., he named his sins to God), and he is therefore back in fellowship with God. Again, God the Holy Spirit does not tell us specifically, “Then Abram named his sins to God and also got back into fellowship and then back into God’s geographical will.” This information is conveyed to us by literary device or literary symbolism, which becomes quite important when trying to interpret and understand narrative, where very few qualifiers might be offered. That is, in most narratives, the action does not stop, and then there is a proclamation from God, “And that, by the way, was a very bad idea.” Or, “And, in case you could not figure it out, Abram is now out of fellowship and is about to get out of God’s geographical will.” Such things occur, but only on rare occasion. After David’s great sin with Bathsheba, which culminated in his having Bathsheba’s husband killed, Scripture reads: But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD (2Sam. 11:27b). Sometimes, historical incidents are reviewed later in Scripture (e.g., Moses teaching about the exodus in Deuteronomy or various psalmists explaining the exodus centuries later). However, most of the time, narrative is left for us to read and interpret and by us, (by us, I mean a pastor-teacher or a commentator).


So that there is no misunderstanding, I am a literalist and I take the Bible literally. However, this does not mean that I am unable to recognize various literary devices. Gen. 11:1 literally reads: And so all the land [or, earth] is one language and a united vocabulary. Land does not speak; the earth does not have a verbal language or a vocabulary. We understand that all the land is a metonym for all the people on earth. In fact, many figures of speech are so obvious, like this one, that we read it and understand it without stopping to realize that the literal understanding of this sentence makes no sense. Many figures of speech come to us so naturally that our mind does not even process the fact that we are reading (or hearing) a figure of speech.


The Bible is filled with literary devices and figures of speech. It is common to find ellipsis, foreshadowing, aposiopesis, inclusio, repetition, parallelisms, hyperbole, anacoluthon, metonym, idiom, etc. in the Word of God. There is a 1000+ page book by Bullinger called Figures of Speech Used in the Bible; and it lays out hundreds of literary figures of speech, devices and tricks which are found in the Bible (which book can now be found on the internet, which information I will give to you later in this lesson).


Let me remind you of the definition of inspiration of the Bible: God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture, that without waving their human intelligence, individuality, literary style, personal feelings or any other human factor, His own complete and coherent message to man was recorded in perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture, the very words bearing the authority of divine authorship. The literary style of the human author would include a variety of literary devices and figures of speech. Furthermore, there is nothing in the definition of inspiration which precludes the human authors or even God the Holy Spirit from making use of literary devices.


I gave the example of this chapter being bookended by Abram and an altar, which tells us that Abram is where he ought to be. Now, did Abram decide to mention an altar twice in order to convey that he was right with God spiritually, or did God the Holy Spirit do that?


Let me give you a non-answer—just as the Bible is the written word of man and the Word of God, so Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God, fully man and fully God. When He spoke, He did not reveal every bit of this information with everything He said (when you meet someone new and they say, “Hi, how are you?” this does not reveal everything there is to know about their character). So, when Jesus speaks of the Father being greater than He, then He is speaking from His humanity. When He said, “I and the Father are One;” He is speaking from His Deity. And when He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man comes to the Father but through Me;” He is speaking from His hypostatic union (the union of His humanity and Deity).


Therefore, sometimes in the Bible, it is clear that the information being conveyed, on one level, comes from the human author. Abram is conveying true history here, where he returns to where he built this first altar and this chapter will close with Abram building an altar. That really happened. At the same time, these words are also the Word of God which indicate to us that Abram is in fellowship. And I have even suggested that, there are times when a verse means one thing from the human perspective, and yet, something different from God’s perspective. So you can see the analogous relationship between Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, and the Bible, the written Word of God (although this is not an exact analogy).


The point being made here, by literary device, is that Abram is back where he should be (he is in the geographical will of God); and he is also in fellowship with God. We know this, not by an outright statement, but by literary device.


Richard Salt has a webpage called Virtual Salt; and on this particular page http://virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm, he lists about 60 rhetorical devices. He is simply teaching literature on his website, but these terms also describe various rhetorical devices found in Holy Writ. Many psalms are so carefully constructed, that understanding them is dependent upon understanding their literary construction (just as we understand in this chapter that Abram is in God’s will because the altars he has built bookends this chapter).


If you recall, the events of the flood were recounted in a chiasmos (χ) format (Lesson #80). The key to these chapters and the center of those chapters was the clear emphasis of those chapters, which was obvious as long as you could see the chiasmos format. Let me suggest that, possibly from the human perspective, the chiasmos format made it easier to recall all of the events of the flood (a mnemonic device, perhaps); and God the Holy Spirit used this format to tell us what was most important in that narrative. So you have a human purpose and a divine purpose—which purposes are different yet not at odds with one another—by means of the same literary device.


So far we have studied:


Gen 13:1–4 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negev. Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there [where Abram returned to] Abram proclaimed the name of Yehowah.


Because we found an altar at the beginning and end of this chapter, we drew the conclusion that Abram is both in God’s geographical will and in His directive will. Taking the Bible literally does not mean that you give a literal meaning to each and every phrase you read. The example which I gave was Gen. 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. Nobody has ever read that verse and assumed that the ground actually spoke a language. The whole earth is a metonym for the entire population of the earth. A metonym is a figure of speech which means that one thing is used in the place of another.


The Bible is filled with idioms, figures of speech, literary devices and literary structure, an understanding of which helps to flesh out the actual meaning of the text. What follows are a few examples.

Examples of Figures of Speech in the Bible

Term

Definition

Example Text and Commentary

Acrostic

The repetition of successive letters the same letter at the beginning of a series of word, clauses or verses.

Many psalms are acrostic (or a mixture of acrostic and some sort of corresponding organization): Psalm 25 34 37 111 119. Obviously, this is hidden in the original text and may be simply a mnemonic device. David, for instance, may be in a war, and yet, begins formulating a psalm in his mind; so he organizes the psalm in such a way as to be able to remember it. The complex structure of some psalms is quite amazing.

Sometimes an acrostic is used to hide the name of Yehowah (YHWH). God’s name, Yehowah, does not occur in the book of Esther except in acrostic form (Esther 1:20 4:14 5:13 7:7). The sense is, God is working in the background to preserve the Jews, but they do not personally recognize Him; they do not know Who He is. Esther is a book known by almost all religious Jews and by very few Christians. Personally, I think in the end times, many Jews will be brought to Jesus Christ through the book of Esther. He is the God Who has been with them all of this time, and yet, they refused to recognize Him.

To get the effect of an acrostic, John 3:16, by happy coincidence, can be set up as an acrostic:

God so love the world that He gave His

Only begotten

Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not

Perish but have

Everlasting

Life.

Alliteration

Repetition of the same letter or syllable in successive words.

In many ways and in various ways of old, God spoke to the fathers in the prophets; in these last days He spoke to us in the Son (Heb. 1:1–2a). Since we are dealing with a translation, alliterations are often hidden in the text. A portion of this text reads πολυμερς καὶ πολἰτρόπως πάλαι, which is done to grab our attention.

Asyndeton

The conjunction and is left out to move the action along or to reach a dramatic climax.

“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.” (Luke 14:13–14). Both the Hebrew and the Greek tend to use conjunctions between a series of things.

Chiasmos Format; or Introverted Correspondence

Where the first subject of the one series of members corresponds with the last subject of the second

The organization of Gen. 6–8 that we already studied:

http://kukis.org/Basicexegesis/Genesis1_100.htm#Lesson%2080:%20Genesis%206%E2%80%938%20and%208:1a%20The%20Organization%20of%20Genesis%206%E2%80%938

Often the key to understanding most psalms is determining the literary structure of the psalm first. Many of them have a very complex structure (this is an area of Scripture which has not been fully explored, even to this day).

Ellipsis

The omission of a word or short phrase easily understood in context.

Matt. 11:18a “For John came neither eating nor drinking.” John had to eat and drink; he was a normal human being in that regard. What is left out is “declining invitations to eat with others.” In other words, John the Baptizer had set himself apart from normal human function and social life, as the herald of the King, to serve the King only.


Ellipsis can be used to indicate great emotion, e.g., excitement or anger.

There is an interesting type of ellipsis which is found in the story of the rich young ruler:

And behold, a man came up to Him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And He said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You will not murder, you will not commit adultery, you will not steal, you will not bear false witness, [these are commandments 6, 7, 8, and 9 in order; so we would expect Jesus then to go to commandment #10, “You will not covet;’ but He does not; this man is rich so he does not desire anything which someone else has] honor your father and mother [Jesus suddenly goes back to commandment #5, which is the commandment this man continually violates], and, you will love your neighbor as yourself [this is a principle which this man continually violates]." The young man said to Him, "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be complete [according to the Law], go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matt. 19:16–21). Jesus, without actually saying it, identifies where this man is deficient with respect to the Law (as are we all).

Epanalepsis, or Resumption

A thought, argument or list is begun; then author goes off on a tangent; and then comes back to resume the thought.

Eph. 3:1a, 14a: For this cause, I, Paul...for this cause, I bow my knees... Paul goes back, 13 verses later, and picks up his original train of thought.


Heb. 6:1a, 6a: Because of this, having left the discourse of the beginning of Christ, let us be borne on to full growth, not laying down again a foundation of repentance...and having fallen away, it is impossible for them again to renew to repentance... Not only does the author of Hebrews resume at this point, but there is also ellipsis involved, where the list of vv. 1b–2 is not repeated, but implied.

Epanadiplosis, or Encircling

Beginning and ending a sentence or passage with the same word or phrase, to indicate a completion of some sort (a complete thought, for instance).

“And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” (Gen. 9:3b).


The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets (Ex. 32:16).

Erotesis, or, Interrogating

The asking of questions, not for information or to get an answer.

Gen. 13:9a: [Abram is speaking to Lot] “Is not the whole land before you?” Abram is not interested in getting Lot’s input on this. He is not really asking Lot a question here.


Psalm 35:10 All my bones shall say, "O LORD, who is like You, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?" The psalmist is not expecting an answer from above, saying, “No one is like Me.” That answer is implied by the question.

Such questions may be asked as a positive or negative affirmation; as an affirmative negation, to demonstrate something; to express wonder and admiration, rapture, wishes, refusals or denials, doubts; as an admonition, expostulation, prohibition or dissuasion; to indicate pity and commiseration, disparagement, reproach, lamentation, indignation, an absurdity or impossibility. You may recall that the scribes and pharisees asked Jesus questions all of the time, but never with the intent of eliciting information, but, instead, to trip Him up.

Homœotleuton, or Like Endings

The ends of several words are the same. This is done in order to draw attention to what is being said.

This is hidden in the original language. Mark 12:30b reads, “This is the first commandment...” In the Greek, that is αὕτη πρώτη ἐντολή.

Hyperbole, or Exaggeration

When more is said than is literally meant. Many people have gone astray at this point, when they do not understanding when a person is speaking in hyperbole.

Matt. 5:29 “And if your right eye offends you, pluck it out and throw it from you. For it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be thrown into hell.” Jesus is not really suggesting that we pluck out our own eyes in order to get into heaven.


On another occasion, Jesus told a rich man to sell all that he had and to give that to the poor (Luke 18:18–25). If you think that, by selling all of his stuff, this rich man would have been saved and eligible for heaven, then you missed the entire point of that passage. Deut. 1:28 is another example of hyperbole.


For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn (1Cor. 11:6a). In no way was Paul calling for all women to have their hair cut off. .

Inclusio, or Bracketing

A literary framing device in which the same word or phrase stands at the beginning and the end of a section. Sometimes called bracketing.

And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of Jehovah...So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to Jehovah (Gen. 13:3–4, 16). Here, the chapter is framed in such a way as to indicate that Abram is both in God’s geographical will and in His directive will.

Meiosis, or a Belittling

A belittling of one thing to magnify another.

Gen. 18:27 Abraham answered and said, "Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.”

Metaphor

A declaration that one thing is (or represents) another

Matt. 26:26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." To almost anyone who reads this, they do not think that the bread which Jesus broke into pieces was His literal body. It is only a cult-type organization which would suggest that eating unleavened bread and drinking unfermented grape juice in a ceremony is actually consuming Christ’s real body and blood.

Metonym

One things stands for or represents another thing.

Gen. 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. Nobody has ever read that verse and assumed that the ground actually spoke a language. The whole earth is a metonym for the entire population of the earth. A metonym is a figure of speech which means that one thing is used in the place of another.

Polysyndeton, or Many and’s

The conjunction and is repeated, sometimes to move the action along and sometimes to place emphasis upon each portion of a list.

Daniel spoke and said, “I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the sky broke forth on the great sea. Four great animals came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I saw until the wings of it were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand on two feet as a man; and a man's heart was given to it. Behold, another animal, a second, like a bear; and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus to it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I saw, and, behold, another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the animal had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, a fourth animal, awesome and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the animals that were before it; and it had ten horns.” (Daniel 7:2–7). Each portion of what Daniel said was important. At the end, this becomes more intense with the increase of the number of and’s. You will notice that there is also a repetition of I saw and after this I saw.

Sometimes the many and’s are used, along with repetition and other clues to indicate a wonderful structure. The following example comes from Rev. 13:

v. 1The vision (And I saw...)

v. 1The first beast (the Antichrist)

v. 1His origin

v. 1–2 His description

v. 2His power derived from the dragon.

v. 3–8 His deeds

The Spirit calls out: “Let him hear.”

The lesson: “Here is patience and faith.”

v. 11The vision (And I saw...)

v. 11The second beast (the False Prophet)

v. 11His origin

v. 11His description

v. 12His authority derived from the Beast.

v. 12–17 His deeds

The lesson: “Here is wisdom.”

The Spirit calls out: “Let him discern...”

The Bible is filled with chapters and sections and passages set up in a variety of structures, many of which depend, in one way or another, on the various figures of speech found in the Bible.

Quotation

The citation of a well-known saying without quoting the author's name.

1. Where the sense originally intended is preserved, though the words may vary (Matthew 26:31).

2. Where the original sense is modified in the quotation or reference (Matt. 12:40).

3. Where the sense is quite different from that which was first intended (Matt. 2:15).

4. Where the words are from the Hebrew or from the Septuagint (Luke 4:18).

5. Where the words are varied by omission, addition, or transposition (1Cor. 2:9).

6. Where the words are changed by a reading, or an inference, or in number, person, mood, or tense. (Matthew 4:7).

7. Where two or more citations are amalgamated (Matthew 21:13).

8. Where Quotations are from books other than the Bible (Acts 17:28).

When we quote someone or some piece of literature, it can be for a variety of reasons. I may quote a person because of their expertise in a particular matter, so that their words give greater weight to a position I am taking (for instance, I may quote C. I. Scofield or R. B. Thieme, Jr. or Norman Geisler). Or, one may quote the words of another to illustrate what a fool that person is. Or, one might quote a person in order to reveal that person’s true philosophy or values (this was done repeatedly in some mediums about candidate Barack Obama; he would say something which was unscripted, and this quotation would be repeated many times to indicate his true opinion of some particular issue).

Furthermore, the way that we quote that person or piece of literature may or may not be significant. Sometimes when I quote Scripture, I will leave off the beginning preposition or conjunction, as it is irrelevant to the point I am making. Or, I will replace a pronoun with the name of the person to whom the pronoun refers, as the contextual verses are irrelevant to the point I am making.

Writers of Scripture also include many quotations, and such quotations are done for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways.

Repetition

The repetition of a set of words or phrases in order to call attention to these words or to be emphatic.

“And, behold, I, even I, will bring a flood of waters upon the earth.” (Gen. 6:17). God’s directive hand in this matter is emphasized.


And the waters prevailed exceedingly... (Gen. 7:19a). In the Hebrew, exceedingly is a repetition of the word greatly.


David’s repetition of the name of Absalom indicates great sadness in his soul in 2Sam. 18:33.

Names are occasionally repeated: when God is speaking to man: Abraham, Abraham (Gen. 22:11); Jacob, Jacob (Gen. 46:2); Moses, Moses (Ex. 3:4); Samuel, Samuel (1Sam. 3:10); Martha, Martha (Luke 10:41); Simon, Simon (Luke 22:31); Saul, Saul (Acts 9:4); and in other circumstances: Lord, Lord (Matt. 7:21–22 Luke 6:46 12:25); Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37 Luke 13:34); Eloi, Eloi (Mark 15:34 Matt. 27:46 Psalm 22:1).

Syllogismus, or Omission of the Conclusion

A conclusion is implied, but not stated.

“Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt. 10:30). This indicates that God is both omniscient and a God Who knows everything about you in particular.

Zeugma

A general term describing when one part of speech (most often the main verb, but sometimes a noun) governs two or more other parts of a sentence (often in a series).

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and [may the Lord cut off] every boastful tongue (Psalm 12:3). What is in the brackets was added; the subject and verb are both applied to 2 parts of the sentence.

In most of these examples, it is easy to read through the passage and understand the meaning meant by the figure of speech, without stopping to realize that you are not really taking this passage literally. At the same time, this does not give license to “spiritualize” the meaning of everything found in the Bible (assigning it some goofy meaning which is at odds with the Scripture itself). This simply means that, when we study the Bible, we look to understand it in the same way a person of that era would have understood it. After Jesus taught that looking upon a woman with lust is adultery, His disciples did not start plucking out their eyes.

Similarly, every person who spoke to Jesus was not required to sell all that he had and follow Jesus. The example of the Roman soldier stands out here. He came to Jesus and asked to have his servant healed, and when Jesus was about to set off for his house to do this, he told Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed..” (Mark 8:8). Jesus did not tell this man to put down his sword, forsake his family and follow Him; Jesus said, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.” (Mark 8:10b).

I have only given a handful of examples of the hundreds of figures of speech which are found in the Bible.

There are many times when you may be confused by a passage, and the key to that passage is a figure of speech. Below is a list of references, but none of them allow a search by passage (as does Bullinger’s book).

Most of these were taken from:

http://www.tentmaker.org/bullinger.htm

http://www.therain.org/appendixes/app6.html

http://rhetoric.byu.edu/figures/groupings/by%20author/bullinger.htm

http://www.davidcox.com.mx/library/B/Bullinger%20-%20Figures%20of%20Speech%20used%20in%20the%20Bible.pdf

The latter two primarily use illustrations from secular literature.

Other sources:

http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_idioms.html

http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=160


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Gen 13:1–4 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negev. Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there [where Abram returned to] Abram proclaimed the name of Yehowah.


Abram had gotten out of fellowship and out of God’s geographical will and went down to Egypt. As a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Abram sinned in such a way as to embarrass him before the pharaoh of Egypt.


So, now, Abram is back where he ought to be, in the Land of Promise, and now he is going to make a spiritually significant decision. The idea is, you have to be geographically where God wants you to be, in fellowship, and thinking as God wants you to think, in order to make good decisions. Abram will make a good decision in this chapter without God telling him exactly what to do.


Vv. 3–4 read: Abram continued traveling through the land, moving from Negev back to Bethel, back to where he pitched his tent at the first, between Bethel and Ai; and to the place where he made the altar at the beginning. Consequently, Abram proclaimed and celebrated the name of Jehovah there. You will note what concerns Abram, first and foremost—an altar built to God and proclaiming or celebrating the name of God. What concerns Lot will follow in the next couple verses.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Strife between the Herdsmen of Abram and the Herdsmen of Lot


And also to Lot, the one going with Abram, were a flock and a herd and tents.

Genesis

13:5

Lot, the one going with Abram, also had [lit., to Lot were] flocks, herds and tents.

Lot, who traveled with Abram, also had flocks, herds and tents.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And also unto Lot, who was remembered through the righteousness of Abram, there were sheep and oxen and tents.

Latin Vulgate                          But Lot also, who was with Abram, had flocks of sheep, and herds of beasts, and tents.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And also to Lot, the one going with Abram, were a flock and a herd and tents.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Lot also, who went with Abram, had large flocks, herds, and tents.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Lot, who went out with Abram, had sheep, oxen, and tents.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Lot, who was traveling with him, also had sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as his own family and slaves.

Easy-to-Read Version            During this time, Lot was also traveling with Abram. Lot had many animals and tents.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Lot also had sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as his own family and servants.

The Message                         Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also rich in sheep and cattle and tents.

New Life Version                    Now Lot, who went with Abram, had flocks and cattle and tents of his own.

New Living Translation           Lot, who was traveling with Abram, had also become very wealthy with flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and many tents.

The Voice                               Lot, who had gone with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so the land was no longer large enough to support the two of them living together as one household. They each had so many possessions that they just couldn't stay together any longer. V. 6 is included for context.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

New Advent (Knox) Bible       5 Lot, his companion, had flocks and herds and a camp of his own, 6 so that there was no room for them to live together on the same land; they could not share a camping-ground, with such great possessions, 7 and already a quarrel had broken out between Abram's shepherds and Lot's. Vv. 6–7a are included for context.

New Jerusalem Bible             Lot, who was travelling with Abram, had flocks and cattle of his own, and tents too.

New Simplified Bible              Lot moved about with Abram. He also had flocks and herds and tents.

Revised English Bible            Since Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also possessed sheep and cattle and tents, the land could not support them while they were together. A portion of v. 6 is included for context.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

The Expanded Bible              During this time Lot was traveling with Abram, and Lot also had flocks, herds, and tents.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Lot also, who journeyed with Abram, possessed sheep, cattle, and camp-followers;...

NET Bible®                             Now Lot, who was traveling [Heb "was going."] with Abram, also had [The Hebrew idiom is "to Lot there was," the preposition here expressing possession.] flocks, herds, and tents.

NIV, ©2011                             Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support them staying together, for their possessions were so great that they could not remain together. V. 6 is included for context.

Kaplan Translation                 Lot, who accompanied Abram, also had sheep, cattle and tents.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Lot also, which walked with Avram, had tzon, and herds, and ohalim.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And moreover, Lot who is going with Abram, comes to have a flock and a herd and tents.

World English Bible                Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

Young's Updated LT              And also to Lot, who is going with Abram, there have been sheep and oxen and tents.

 

The gist of this verse:          Lot also had negotiable assets, which included flocks, herds and tents.


Genesis 13:5

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gam (גַם) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

Together, the wâw conjunction and the gam particle might mean together with, along with, joined with, and, furthermore, and furthermore.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

the one walking, the one who is going, the one is departing, the one who is advancing [traveling]

Qal active participle with the definite article

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

tsôʾn (צֹאן) [pronounced tzohn]

small cattle, sheep and goats, flock, flocks

feminine singular collective noun

Strong’s #6629 BDB #838

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bâqâr (בָּקָר) [pronounced baw-KAWR]

bull, cow, ox, collectively: herd, cattle, oxen

masculine singular collective noun

Strong’s #1241 BDB #133

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾohel (אֹהֶל) [proonunced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine plural noun

Strong's #168 BDB #13


Translation: Lot, the one going with Abram, also had [lit., to Lot were] flocks, herds and tents. We learn what is on the mind of Abram and on the mind of Lot. Abram realizes that he has made a misstep, and goes back to where he started, to get back into the groove, as it were. Lot is concerned with his possessions. Being the owner of tents means that Lot also owned slaves and had employees (they would be occupying these tents). This also gives you a good idea about Lot and his scale of values. Scripture speaks of his tents, rather than of the men who are under him.


Abram was rich because of his relationship with God. Lot was rich because of his relationship with Abram. In the case of Lot, this is known as blessing by association, and it is found throughout the Bible.


Gen 13:1–5 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negev. Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD. And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents,...


As we will find, Abram is a growing believer who trusts in God and he will come to believe in the promises of God given to him. Lot, despite being quite self-righteous (as we will find out), will still end up doing some very morally repugnant stuff in Gen. 19. However, here both Abram and Lot have all kinds of material blessings. God has blessed Abram directly but He has blessed Lot by association. Lot is associated with a growing believer (Abram) and he is therefore blessed because of this.


It ought to fascinate you that Abram is very rich, and yet, he has just failed spiritually and been humiliated before someone he believed to be morally inferior to him (the pharaoh of Gen. 12). Despite this spiritual failure, Abram is still being materially blessed by God. Furthermore, Abram’s nephew Lot is also rich, the blessing of Abram spilling over onto him.


I’ve mentioned the concept of blessing by association on several occasions, so let me present the doctrine.

Allow me to add a few words to your vocabulary (as all true disciplines require a technical vocabulary): Reversionism is reverting back to the sins and/or self righteousness of one’s pre-salvation life. A reversionist is a person who has reverted by to his sinful and/or self righteous life. A client nation is a nation through which God works.

Many people do not understand self righteousness as being a part of the life of the unbeliever. Let me give you some examples: those people who talk about the rich not paying their own fair share of taxes; who associate taxes with giving to good and wonderful causes—these are often sanctimonious, self-righteous people (some of whom are believers and some of whom are unbelievers). Rabid environmentalists and climate change alarmists also tend to be very smug and self righteous.

The Doctrine of Blessing by Association

1.      Definition of blessing by association:

         1)      Once a believer reaches spiritual maturity, God begins to pour blessings upon him, so that these blessings overflow to those around him. Sometimes God pours out blessings on those who are simply advancing spiritually.

         2)      Often, God blesses those people with whom this mature believer (or growing believer) is associated.

         3)      Sometimes the mature believer himself will be a blessing in a variety of ways to those with whom he associations.

2.      There are 6 categories of blessing by association:

         1)      Spiritual periphery: those associated with mature believers in the local church, in prayer meetings, in prep school (Sunday school), on a deacon board, or on a mission board, or in association with any Christian service organization.

                  (1)     A caveat: when a church does not fulfill its function of teaching the Word of God, God may not bless that church directly. However, there is a normal happiness and blessing which comes from fulfilling the laws of divine establishment. Some churches teach morality, which does not advance its members spiritually, but it does cause them to line up with the laws of divine establishment. So, believers (and unbelievers) within a church may have better lives in general, but it is simply because they are trying to be moral and living according to the laws of divine establishment. This is not a matter of God blessing the members of that church, but simply a matter of natural law.

         2)      Family periphery: husband, wife, parents, children, in-laws, relatives. Even unbelievers or negative believers are blessed by association with the mature believer in their family periphery.

         3)      Social periphery: friends.

         4)      Geographical periphery: those associated with the mature believer in a neighborhood, city, country, state, and nation. Mature believers within a nation preserve that nation. This is known as historical impact. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness [preservative qualities] be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.” (Matt. 5:13). See also Gen. 18:26–33.

         5)      Professional periphery: businesses, stores, schools of all types, hospitals, medical clinics, law firms, engineering firms, branches of military service, law enforcement agencies, banks, various financial institutions, insurance companies, athletic teams, symphony orchestras, etc. You can be the janitor for a huge corporation, and that corporation can prosper because you are the janitor there (assuming you are a maturing believer).

         6)      Blessing by association after death: In certain cases like parents to children. The righteous man who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him (Prov. 20:7). This can extend to the second and third generations, and in rare cases to the fourth generation. One might argue that Abraham’s great spiritual blessings continue down today to the Jews.

                  (1)     The only great nation in the Middle East is Israel, by far, despite the terror attacks and bombings. This is a combination of many things: God blesses them because of their genetic association with Abraham, because believers live in Israel, because believers pray for Israel, and because they adhere to morality and the laws of divine establishment.

3.      One of the unique aspects of you, as a believer, in reaching spiritual maturity, is that God will use you as a channel of His blessings. When you are saved, the potential for temporal blessings is set up via the grace pipeline (the channel by which God’s righteousness blesses the righteousness which He has imputed to you at salvation). Gen. 15:6 Psalm 24:5 Matt. 5:6 Rom. 4:6

4.      We have already studied Abraham and the Jews as a conduit of blessing: “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.” (Gen. 12:2).

         1)      Jews are a special case of blessing by association. God only chose one genetic-specific group of people to bless throughout human history (and God blesses those who bless Israel as well).

         2)      If one had to choose one nation in the Middle East to live in, most knowledgeable people would choose Israel, as they provide the greatest environment and the greatest amount of freedom in the Middle East. Everywhere else, there is religious tyranny and oppressive governmental tyranny. Christians and Jews are routinely taken to court and even executed for their crime of having the wrong faith.

         3)      The Republican party was cursed because they willingly associated with anti-Semites for many years. As a result, this party produced two good Presidents from 1900–1975 (Coolidge and Eisenhower) and a lot of mediocre ones (Harding and Nixon). Furthermore, this party, for the most part, had comparatively little power in the 1900's. One of the greatest presidential candidates ever was defeated, in part, because of anti-Semitism (Barry Goldwater, who was beaten by one of the worse presidents in American history). As antisemitism was being rooted out of the Republican party, Republican presidents went from bad (Nixon), to okay (Ford) to great (Reagan). It was William F. Buckley who began to weed out the antisemitic element of the Republican party.

5.      God blesses people and nations and companies directly and/or indirectly because of their association with a mature believer.

         1)      An example of indirect blessing by association: a vice president who is a mature believer, might bring in a great deal of business for the company that he works for, and, as a result, that is a blessing to that company. That is blessing which spills over from the vice president to the companies and those employed by the company (indirect blessing).

         2)      However, a mature believer may work for another company as a janitor, and God may bless that company directly because of the janitor. That is, God may cause that company to become extremely prosperous. It is not spillover from blessing to the janitor, but blessing directly from God to that company.

         3)      Lot, in association with Abram, received both direct and indirect blessing from God.

6.      People are blessed by association with leaders who are mature believers, in such areas as business, military, athletics, marriage, family and church. Blessings overflow from the leader to those under the authority of the leader. There are examples throughout Scripture, Lot is blessed by his association with Abram; Israel was blessed as a nation under David; David’s army was blessed by being under David. Proverbs 11:11 says that a leader who is a mature believer blesses the city-state, but association with the reversionist destroys the city-state. Proverbs 11:11 A city is built up by the blessing of the upright, but it is torn down by the mouth of the wicked.

7.      The mature believer is not to speak ill of those around him, even if they are negative toward Bible doctrine or the gospel or if they reject divine establishment truth. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them (Rom. 12:14). If we do not have mental attitude sins against those who are unbelievers, then we do not interfere with their response to the gospel.

         1)      A client nation is a nation through which God works.

         2)      Unbelievers will use the life, actions and verbal sins of believers as excuses to reject the gospel of Jesus Christ.       

8.      Although the Roman government at first persecuted Christians, it was transformed into a client nation to God because of all the believers in the Roman empire. The Christian leader Tertullian spoke of believers throughout the Roman empire (circa a.d. 200): “We are but of yesterday, and we have filled every place among you, [your] cities, islands, fortresses, towns, market-places, the very camp, tribes, companies, palace, senate, forum; we have left nothing to you but the temples of your gods.”

9.      There is also guilt by association. The innocent suffer because of their association with the guilty. People are cursed by association with a reversionist. Even a mature believer can be cursed by his association with a reversionistic believer. Jonathan was the son of King Saul and Jonathan was a great man, who was able to defer to David and recognize that David would be king over Israel (Jonathan recognized this even though Jonathan was in line to become king of Israel). However, Jonathan died in battle with his reversionist father Saul. Another example is Sodom and Gomorrah. We have not studied this yet, but these cities have very degenerate people in them, and, for that reason, these cities will be destroyed (Gen. 18).

         1)      Reversionism is reverting back to the sins and/or self righteousness of one’s pre-salvation life. A reversionist is a person who has reverted by to his sinful and/or self righteous life.

         2)      A simple example of guilt-by-association is, a kid who gets drawn into a group who commit criminal acts. He may choose to hang out with this group, and they may choose to drive somewhere to commit a crime. He will suffer the legal consequences even though he may not have known what they were intending to do.

10.    The believer is both blessed and prospered because he is associated with Jesus Christ. The mature believer who is occupied with Christ is certainly blessed by this association. The disciples of Jesus are wonderful examples. It would be very difficult to find men who were less competent than these disciples, who would argue about which one is the greatest; and yet, later deserted Jesus when He was taken into Roman custody (except for John). These men, who lacked both courage and intelligence, became great men, most of whom suffered a martyr’s death. They were afforded a great deal of protection in their association with Jesus Christ, as Jesus once told Peter that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat. Peter’s association with Jesus Christ protected him.

11.    Sometimes the believer wrongly associates present disaster with past sins. This is cursing by imagination or cursing by having a guilt complex. Psalm 40:12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; they are more numerous than the hairs of my head; and my heart has failed me. Rebound (naming your sins to God) is the believer associating his sins with the judgment of these sins on the cross. We deal with all sins by means of rebound.

12.    The believer is influenced by sexual association. In fact, a mature believer can be brought down and cursed by his association with carnal believers or degenerate unbelievers. King Solomon is an example of this. He was negatively influenced by the religion of the many wives that he had and, as a result, a great portion of his life was spiritually unproductive. 1Kings 11:2–9 Ecclesiastes

13.    The believer is influenced by social association. A believer can be influenced for evil or for good by the company he keeps. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals. When a young person gets caught up in a group which does drugs or crime, he will certainly become corrupted as well. A simple rule of thumb for the young believer: if a group of kids commit any sort of crime—including smoking marijuana—then you need to find new friends.

14.    Some blessing comes directly from the mature believer himself. The mature believer might share time or material wealth with those in need. God blesses the mature believer and he, in turn, pours out some of this blessing on others. Rom. 12:13 1Cor. 16:1

15.    Blessing by association explains why there is a call for separation from some believers and unbelievers. This is an entirely new topic, but suffice to say that God often calls for believers to separate from other believers; particularly from those who would bring you down (that is, attempt to focus your attention away from the Word of God). There is also a call to separate from unbelievers who are particularly carnal. If you had a drug problem, then it might not be the best thing for you to hang out with those who are presently using drugs.

16.    Blessing by association can explain why the wicked sometimes prosper. Psalm 73:3 Jer. 12:1

17.    An example of blessing by association is taught in Prov. 31:10–31 where a woman is a blessing to her husband, her children and to her community.

18.    There is also a mutual blessing by association. Much of the book of Philippians exemplifies this. The Philippian church was filled with maturing believers, so that Paul was blessed by being able to teach them, and they were blessed by Paul teaching them. 2Cor. 11:9 Philip. 4:15–16

19.    The preservation and blessing of the United States depends upon many types of blessings.

         1)      Within the United States, there are many mature and growing believers; God blesses the nation because of the geographical association with them.

         2)      In order to have mature and growing believers, there must be churches that teach the Word of God. The United States is blessed because such churches exist within its borders.

         3)      Those who founded our nation based the founding principles upon Bible doctrine, so that we receive a heritage blessing from them. At the top of the original charters of many groups who settled the United States was to spread the good news of Jesus Christ (which is almost never taught in American history courses).

         4)      Our nation supports the nation Israel, and because of this alliance, God blesses us.

         5)      The United States also sends out missionaries throughout the world.

         6)      So, there are dozens of reasons why our nation ought to be taken down; and those are 5 reasons why we have continued to exist with great prosperity. Even in the present-day recession that we are in, the poor of our nation are far better off than the middle class of most other nations.

20.    One of the internal struggles of the United States is between those who are anti-God, anti-Christian and/or anti-laws of divine establishment and those who adhere to the laws of divine establishment. The former faction seeks to turn the United States into a country of European-style socialism (which nations are under tremendous discipline due to cursing by association, among other things). Do you think that it is just an accident of chance that European countries have become flooded with Muslims?

References:

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=709

http://www.jimbrettell.org/lists/bba.htm

http://www.faith-baptist-church.info/sermon01_03_2010.htm


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Abram was quite prosperous, he failed when he went to Egypt and he failed by lying to the Pharaoh, and yet, he is still quite prosperous—in fact, even more so. Lot is with him, and Lot is blessed by association with Abram. We know this because these 2 men will go their separate ways and, in the end, Lot will come away with nothing. He spent time separated from Abram so that he was no longer blessed by association.


If you are a growing believer, then you will receive blessings from God. However, so will your family, the company that you work for, the city that you live in, the state that you live in, etc. As God pours blessings upon you, these blessings spill over to those around you. Sometimes, these peripheral things and people are blessed because that is your blessing. That is, the company that you work for may be greatly blessed so that you, as an employee, get to enjoy some of these blessings.


Let’s look at a modern-day example. R. B. Thieme, Jr. moved down to Houston, Texas to teach at Berachah Church in 1950. He later moved the church building out to what was thought to be prairie land too far out from the city of Houston. However, his church now sits on top of one of the most expensive pieces of dirt in all of Houston in one of the most prosperous areas in Houston, which is, coincidentally enough, one of the most prosperous cities in the United States in the most prosperous state in the United States. At Berachah Church, there was a concentration of believers who were (and are) interested in the Word of God and in spiritual growth. Therefore, God has greatly blessed this great city (and state and country); it is blessing by association.


Being a growing believer or being in close association with a growing believer does not mean that you live a life without problems or difficulties; nor does it mean that God automatically gives you a million dollars (or, whatever). However, those associated with maturing believers receive both direct and indirect blessing from God.


Nevertheless, if you are a growing believer, then you ought to be able to enumerate the blessings which God has given you. You ought to be able to specifically point to things which God has given you as gifts, and recognize them as blessings (and by things, I do not mean only material possessions). You may have material blessings, spiritual blessings, familial blessings, environmental blessings, vocational blessings, health blessings, or a combination of these. If you are unable to enumerate your blessings—if it is not obvious to you or you do not fully appreciate where you are, then your problem is spiritual.


The growing believer not only has great blessings but recognizes and appreciates them as well.

Again, let me reiterate, this does not mean that you are rich, living in a new house, with all new furniture, with a new car in the driveway, a performing stock portfolio, and the perfect marriage partner in the kitchen making you bacon and eggs right now (just the way you like them). However, that God has blessed you, should be undeniable. That God has given you far more than you deserve, should also be undeniable. A growing believer not only has these great blessings but recognizes and appreciates them as well. Now, you may be the poorest person that you know and still be able to recognize and enumerate all that God has blessed you with.


We got to this discussion because Lot was blessed by being in association with Abram. In the next half-dozen chapters, it will become clear that Lot is being blessed because of Abram and not vice versa.


——————————


And could not bear them the land to dwell together for was their substance great. And they were could not to dwell together.

Genesis

13:6

The land could not support them remaining together, for their possession were great. Therefore, they were unable to live together.

It became apparent that the land could not support Abram and Lot remaining together, because they had too many possessions. Therefore, they concluded that they could no longer remain as two companies functioning in the same area.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the land could not sustain them to dwell together, because their possessions were great, and they were not able to dwell together.

Latin Vulgate                          Neither was the land able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, and they could not dwell together.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And could not bear them the land to dwell together for was their substance great. And they were could not to dwell together.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together; for their herds were so large that they could not dwell together.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the land was not large enough for them to live together, because their possessions were great; and the land was not large enough for them to live together.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           They had so many possessions between them that the land couldn't support both of them. They could no longer live together.

Contemporary English V.       At this time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the same area, and so there wasn't enough pastureland left for Abram and Lot with all of their animals. Besides this, the men who took care of Abram's animals and the ones who took care of Lot's animals started quarreling. This is a mixture of vv. 6–7.

Easy English                          When Abram and Lot were together, there were a lot of people and animals. The land could not produce enough to keep them all alive. Abram and Lot owned so much that they could not live near each other.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abram and Lot had so many animals that the land could not support both of them together.

Good News Bible (TEV)         And so there was not enough pasture land for the two of them to stay together, because they had too many animals.

New Life Version                    There was not enough land to feed all the animals while they lived together. They owned so many things that they were not able to stay together.

New Living Translation           But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Lot (who had left [Egypt] along with Abram) also had sheep, oxen, and tents; and the land just wasn't large enough for both of them to live together, because of their many possessions. V. 7 is included for context.

Beck’s American Translation And the land couldn’t support them if they lived together, because they had too much livestock to be able to live together.

God’s Word                         There wasn't enough pastureland for both of them. They had so many possessions that they were unable to remain together.

NIRV                                      But the land didn't have enough food for both of them. They had large herds and many servants. So they weren't able to stay together.

New Jerusalem Bible             The land was not sufficient to accommodate them both at once, for they had too many possessions to be able to live together.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      They could not dwell together in the land. They had many goods to lift, and they could not dwell together.

Bible in Basic English             So that the land was not wide enough for the two of them: their property was so great that there was not room for them together.

NET Bible®                             But the land could [The potential nuance for the perfect tense is necessary here, and supported by the parallel clause that actually uses "to be able."] not support them while they were living side by side [The infinitive construct לָשֶבֶת (lashevet, from יָשַב, yashav) explains what it was that the land could not support: “the land could not support them to live side by side.” See further J. C. de Moor, “Lexical Remarks Concerning Yahad and Yahdaw,” VT 7 (1957): 350-55.]. Because their possessions were so great, they were not able to live [The same infinitive occurs here, serving as the object of the verb.] alongside one another.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           But the land could not support their living together, because their possessions were too great for them to remain together.

exeGeses companion Bible   And because their acquisition is so great,

the land is not able to bear them to settle together

- so that they cannot settle together.

Kaplan Translation                 The land could not support them living together; their wealth was so great that they could not stay together.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And ha'aretz was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together; for their rechush was rav, so that they could not dwell together.

The Scriptures 1998              And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were great, so that they could not dwell together.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And not bearing is the land their dwelling together, for coming are their goods to be many and they cannot dwell together.

Darby Translation                  And the land could not support them, that they might dwell together, for their property was great; and they could not dwell together.

English Standard Version      And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. Vv. 5 and 7a are included for context.

The Geneva Bible                  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. This inconvenience came by their riches, which break friendships and the bounds of nature.

NASB                                     And the land could not sustain [Lit bear] them while dwelling together [Lit to dwell], for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together.

New RSV                               5Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6so that the land could not support both of them living together; for their possessions were so great that they could not live together, 7and there was strife between the herders of Abram's livestock and the herders of Lot's livestock. Vv. 5 and 7a are included for context.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Picture of Strife Among Believers}

And the land was not able to bear them, that they might 'dwell in prosperity' {yashab} together. For their wealth was exceedingly great, so that they could not 'dwell in prosperity' {yashab} together.

World English Bible                The land was not able to bear them, that they might live together: for their substance was great, so that they could not live together.

Young’s Updated LT             And the land has not suffered them to dwell together, for their substance has been much, and they have not been able to dwell together.

 

The gist of this verse:          God had prospered Abram and Lot with so much, that they found it impossible to run two ranching businesses out of the same shop.


Genesis 13:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

nâsâʾ (נָשָׂא) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

Nâsâʾ actually has a variety of Qal meanings: It means ➊ to take up, to lift up, to bear up; ➋ to lift up someone’s head (this is used in a favorable way; i.e., it is mused to mean to make one cheerful or merry; ➌ to lift up one’s own countenance, i.e., to be cheerful, full of confidence, ➍ to bear, to carry, ➎ to lift up in a balance, i.e., to weigh carefully; ➏ to bear one’s sin or punishment, to lift up the voice (this can be used in the sense of bewailing, crying, crying out, rejoicing, to lift up any with the voice (a song, an instrument); ➑ to lift up the soul (i.e., to wish for, to desire); ➒ to have the heart lifted up (i.e., they are ready and willing to do something; ➓ to bear one’s sin (in such a way to expiate the sin, to make atonement for the sin, to pardon the sin). This list does not exhaust the various connotations for nâsâʾ. BDB adds the following: to support, to sustain, to endure; to take, to take away, to carry off, to forgive.

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

them; untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to, toward

sign of the direct object affixed to a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

This appears to be the subject of the verb, but they should agree morphologically.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay; to dwell, to live, to inhabit; to sit

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

The lâmed with an infinitive construct generally expresses purpose or result, although it can have three other common uses with the infinitive: (1) It can have a gerundial or adverbial sense to explain the circumstances of a previous action; (2) it can act as a periphrastic future in nominal clauses; and, (3)  Comment it can behave as a gerund, in the sense of is to be, must be, ought to be. (4) Lâmed with the infinitive can connote shall or must.

yachad (יַחַד) [pronounced YAHKH-ahd]

union, joined together, unitedness, together, in unity

masculine singular noun/adverb

Strong’s #3162 BDB #403


Translation: The land could not support them remaining together,... This is very odd indeed, where we do not have agreement with the subject and the verb. The land is a feminine singular noun; but the verb is a masculine singular, Qal perfect. Not sure why this is done, but it does grab my attention.


This is fascinating; both men are so rich and have so much by way of cattle and various forms of livestock, that they cannot easily move about together, as the land will not support such a large number of cattle.


Their wealth had grown to such a substantial size that in the unpopulated wilderness land, there was not enough grass and grazing land for them to both use in the same area; and their livestock, apparently, kept getting mixed together.


Genesis 13:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

rekûwsh (רְכוּש) [pronounced rehk-OOSH]

that which is acquired; substance, wealth; [moveable, transportable] property, goods; possessions; livestock

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #7399 BDB #940

rab (רַב) [pronounced rahbv]

many, much, great (in the sense of large or significant, not acclaimed)

masculine singular adjective

Strong's #7227 BDB #912


Translation: ...for their possession were great. Both Lot and Abram had a lot by way of riches. They had a massive amount of livestock, as well has human capital (slaves and employees); and we know that Abram had silver and gold (probably Lot did as well).


Genesis 13:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and; even; in particular, namely; when, since, seeing, though; so, then, therefore; or, but yet; who, which; or; that, in that; with; also, in addition to, at the same time

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâkôl (יָכֹל) [also yâkôwl (יָכוֹל)] [pronounced yaw-COAL]

to be able, can, to have the ability, to have the power to; to be able to bear; to be able to bring oneself [to do anything]; to be lawful, to be permitted; to be powerful, to prevail

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3201 BDB #407

With the negative, this means cannot, to be unable to, to lack the ability to, to be powerless to, to lack permission to, to lack the power to.

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay; to dwell, to live, to inhabit; to sit

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

The lâmed with an infinitive construct generally expresses purpose or result, although it can have three other common uses with the infinitive: (1) It can have a gerundial or adverbial sense to explain the circumstances of a previous action; (2) it can act as a periphrastic future in nominal clauses; and, (3)  Comment it can behave as a gerund, in the sense of is to be, must be, ought to be. (4) Lâmed with the infinitive can connote shall or must.

yachad (יַחַד) [pronounced YAHKH-ahd]

union, joined together, unitedness, together, in unity

masculine singular noun/adverb

Strong’s #3162 BDB #403


Translation: Therefore, they were unable to live together. Because they had too much stuff, they were unable to live together. Most of us do not have so many things because we are not so wealthy. However, it is very difficult for two packrats to live together, because they both accumulate so much crap.


Gen 13:5–6 And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together,...


What we have here are very large herds belonging to Abram and Lot—so large, that it has become difficult to keep them separate. It was difficult for them to find a pastureland large enough for their flocks. God had poured out so much blessing upon them, that there was not enough pastureland to maintain these huge flocks. Now, do you recall what happened in the previous chapter? There was a famine in the land, which was the whole premise for Abram going down to Egypt in the first place. So, despite this famine—despite the downturn in the economy—God has blessed Abram directly and Lot indirectly because he is associated with Abram (Lesson #112). Since we are in a difficult economy at the time that I write this, it is always good to keep in mind that God is quite able to bless anyone materially during the worst crises in history.


Throughout this narrative, we find interesting parallels. The first was mentioned, that Abram and Lot are in a land where there is an economic downturn, and yet, their problem is, they have too many possessions. Secondly, here they are in the midst of the Land of Promise, the land of Canaan, which will be given by God to Abram and all of his heirs, and yet, this land is not large enough for Abram and Lot together—not in one place, anyway. What is represented by this real set of circumstances is, Abram represents grace and Lot represents legalism and self-righteousness, and there is never enough room for these things to coexist.


Abram represents grace because God gives and Abram receives, as we will see at the end of this chapter (Gen. 13:13–16). On the other hand, Lot was extremely offended by the behavior of the Sodomites (with whom he will choose to live), yet he does not think to separate himself from them (2Peter 2:7). God will eventually separate Lot from that area in Gen. 19. So Lot is filled with self-righteousness and lacks the knowledge of doctrine to properly direct his own life.


It is important for Christians to understand that, when the geographical area in which you live is undergoing dramatic change (hurricane, earthquakes, recession, revolution, street gangs), God knows you are there in the midst of it and God has made provision for you.


Let me offer a caveat to the being in an area where there is dramatic upheaval of some sort. There is nothing in Christianity that requires you to plant your feet in one spot, lift your hands up to God and say, “Protect me and take care of me.” I recently heard a story of a person on top of a roof during a tremendous flood praying to God, and someone throws her a rope, which she ignores and goes on praying. This woman is never seen again. This is because she was stupid and completely devoid of Bible doctrine. God had obviously answered her prayer and she is without enough doctrine in her soul to recognize answered prayer. Furthermore, she is an embarrassment to Jesus Christ; no wonder He took her home!


Sometimes, a disaster is God’s way of moving you from point A to point B. Inflexibility is not a measure of true faith. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you need to be flexible. With Abram, the point was, God brought him to the Land of Promise, blessed him greatly in the Land of Promise, and God never told him to move to Egypt when things got rough. So, for some people in the midst of a difficult environment, God wants them to stay; for others, He wants them to move. How do you decide? By divine guidance (Lessons #103–104); by the Bible doctrine which is imbedded in your soul. Without God’s Word in your soul, renovating your thinking (Rom. 12:1–2), you will never know what to do under such circumstances.


There are places where God is very clear as to His will (adultery, covetousness, lying) and places where we have to know the Word of God in order to determine what we ought to do (e.g., moving from point A to point B). Throughout most of our life, our decisions are quite simple—we have to go to work, we need Bible doctrine, and we need food and sleep. If you are married and/or have a family, then you have responsibilities to them. On most days, that is pretty much your entire day and then some. As a believer, you need to stay in fellowship, meet your obligations, and avoid sin, and you are doing exactly what God wants you to do. In other words, for most of your life, you do not need a crystal ball or God tapping your left or right shoulder, telling you which way to go. With God’s Word in your soul, you go when you ought to go and you dig in when you ought to dig in. Without God’s Word in your soul, you are some poor, lost soul, praying on your roof during a flood, without the common sense to grab the rope God throws your way.


Gen 12:10 And there was a famine in the land. And Abram went down into Egypt to stay there, for the famine was grievous in the land.


Gen 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold.


There was a famine in the land (equivalent to an economic depression or a recession) and Abram and Lot’s problem is, they have too many possessions. God is blessing Abram directly and Lot by association (which statement will be borne out in the chapters which follow).


Gen 13:5–6 And Lot, who went [from Egypt back into the Land of Promise] with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together,...


Some people think that the solution to the problems in their life is money. If they only had a better car, a decent house, a housekeeper, a few hundred grand socked away in a bank, their lives would be better, and that would solve—in their own minds—all of their immediate problems. Wealth does not reduce the number of problems in your life—for every problem that wealth solves, 2 more pop up in its place. People look at movie stars and think that this is where they want to be—working several months out of the year, living in a huge mansion, being very attractive, and having gobs of money. For some people, I have just described what they see as the perfect existence, yet they got the short end of the stick: they are unattractive, broke, and working far too many hours with nothing to show for it. Having these things do not make your life better nor do they provide any sort of stability in your life. Charlie Sheen and Robert Downy, Jr. are great examples to us of movie stars who have filled their own lives with all sorts of trouble, despite their great talent and wealth.


Money can certainly solve some problems, but not all. Oprah Winfrey has gobs of money that she was going to pour into a school or a group of schools in America, when she recognized that the real problem was the attitude of the kids in the schools. She eventually took a lot of her money and started some academies for girls in South Africa. There she found some young girls with the values and desires which could appreciate a well-equipped school. The problem that Oprah ran into in America was the attitude of the underprivileged American kid. Wealth exacerbates a bad attitude; it does not cure it.


So Abram and Lot are both quite wealthy, and yet, they still have problems.


——————————


And so is strife between herdsmen of livestock of Abram and between herdsmen of livestock of Lot. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite then was living in the land.

Genesis

13:7

[There] was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Also, the Canaanite and Perizzite was living in the land at that time.

This is because there was great strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Also, at this time, Canaanites and Perizzites were living in the land of promise.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And contentions arose between the shepherds of Abram's flock, and the shepherds of the flocks of Lot; for the shepherds of Abram had been instructed by him not to go among the Kenaanaee and the Pherizaee, who, as yet, had power in the land, and to restrain the cattle that they should make no depredation in going to the place of their pasture: but the shepherds of Lot would go and feed in the grounds of the Kenaanaee and Pherizaee who yet dwelt in the land.

Jerusalem targum                  And there was strife between the shepherds of Abram's cattle and the shepherds of the cattle of Lot. The shepherds of Abram restrained their beasts until the time of their coming to the place of their pasture; but the shepherds of Lot did not restrain their beasts, but turned them free, and went. But Abram's shepherds had been instructed by Abram their righteous master, Go not to the Kenaanaee and Pherizaee; for as yet they have possession in the land.

Latin Vulgate                          Whereupon also there arose a strife between the herdsmen of Abram and of Lot. And at that time the Chanaanite and the Pherezite dwelled in that country.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so is strife between herdsmen of livestock of Abram and between herdsmen of livestock of Lot. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite then was living in the land.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And there was a strife between the herdsmen of Abrams cattle and the herdsmen of Lots cattle; and the Canaanites and the Perizzites dwelt then in the land.

Septuagint (Greek)                And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle, and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle, and the Canaanites and the Perizzites then inhabited the land.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Conflicts broke out between those herding Abram's livestock and those herding Lot's livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites lived in the land.

Easy English                          Some *herdsmen looked after Abram's *cattle and some *herdsmen looked after Lot's *cattle. And there were quarrels between those two groups of *herdsmen. The people called *Canaanites and Perizzites were living in that part of Canaan then.

Easy-to-Read Version            And the Canaanite people and the Perizzite people were also living in this land at the same time. The shepherds of Abram and Lot began to argue.

Good News Bible (TEV)         So quarrels broke out between the men who took care of Abram's animals and those who took care of Lot's animals. (At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were still living in the land.) .

New Berkeley Version           But Lot, who traveled with Abram, had flocks, too, and herds and tents of his own, and their possessions so increased that the country could not support the two of them while they stayed together, so that conflict developed between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and those of Lot’s. The Canaanite and the Perizzite were then living in the land. Vv. 5–6 are included for context.

New Century Version             Abram and Lot had so many animals that the land could not support both of them together, so Abram's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen began to argue. The Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at this time. V. 6 is included for context.

New Life Version                    There was fighting between those who cared for Abram's animals and those who cared for Lot's animals. The Canaanite and the Perizzite were living in the land at that time.

New Living Translation           So disputes broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. (At that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land.)

The Voice                               Arguments erupted between Abram's and Lot's livestock herders as they tried to graze their flocks side-by-side. (During this time, the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living on this land too.).


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

God’s Word                         Quarrels broke out between Abram's herders and Lot's herders. (Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in that area.) .

New Advent (Knox) Bible       ...and already a quarrel had broken out between Abram's shepherds and Lot's. In those days, there were Chanaanites and Pherezites living all around, and Abram said to Lot, Pray let us have no strife between us two, between my shepherds and thine; are we not brethren? V. 8 is included for context.

New American Bible (R.E.)    There 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.

NIRV                                      The people who took care of Abram's herds and those who took care of Lot's herds began to argue.

The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.

New Jerusalem Bible             Dispute broke out between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and those of Lot. (The Canaanites and Perizzites were living in the country at the time.)

New Simplified Bible              Quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.

Revised English Bible            They had so much livestock that they could not settle in the same district, and quarrels arose between Abram’s herdsmen and Lots. (The Canaanites and the Perizzites were then living in the land.) A portion of v. 6 is included for context.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The shepherds of Abram's livestock and the shepherds of Lot's livestock had arguments between them. The Canaanites and ironsmiths dwelled then in the land.

Bible in Basic English             And there was an argument between the keepers of Abram's cattle and the keepers of Lot's cattle: at that time the Canaanites and Perizzites were still living in the land.

The Expanded Bible              Abram and Lot had so many ·animals [Lpossessions] that the land could not support both of them together, so Abram's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen began to argue. The Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at this time. V. 6 is included for context.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 A dispute accordingly took place between Abram’s shepherds and Lot’s shepherds, and the Canaanite and the Perizzite, who inhabited the land.

NET Bible®                             So there were quarrels [The Hebrew term רִיב (riv) means “strife, conflict, quarreling.” In later texts it has the meaning of “legal controversy, dispute.” See B. Gemser, “The rîb – or Controversy – Pattern in Hebrew Mentality,” Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East [VTSup], 120-37.] between Abram's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen [Since the quarreling was between the herdsmen, the dispute was no doubt over water and vegetation for the animals.]. (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at that time [This parenthetical clause, introduced with the vav (ו?) disjunctive (translated “now”), again provides critical information. It tells in part why the land cannot sustain these two bedouins, and it also hints of the danger of weakening the family by inner strife.].)


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Moreover, quarreling arose between Avram's and Lot's herdsmen. The Kena'ani and the P'rizi were then living in the land.

exeGeses companion Bible   And there is a strife

between the tenders of the chattel of Abram

and the tenders of the chattel of Lot:

and the Kenaaniy and the Perizziy settle in the land.

Kaplan Translation                 Friction developed between the herdsmen of Abram's flocks and those of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites [This is the first mention of this nation, which is later mentioned together with the other Canaanite nations (see Genesis 15:20; Exodus 3:8, 3:17, 23:23, etc.). They most probably lived between Bethel and Shechem (cf. Genesis 34:30), especially around Bezek (Khirbet Ibzik) (Judges 1:4). They lived near the Amorite, Hittite and Yebusite (Joshua 11:3), as well as in the forests near the Rephaim (Joshua 17:15). Some say that they were called Perizim because they lived in unwalled cities (Perazoth) (Kesseth HaSofer).] were then living in the land.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And there was a riv between the ro'im of the herd of Avram and the ro'im of the herd of Lot; and the Kena'ani and the Perizzi dwelt then in ha'aretz.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land [making fodder more difficult to obtain].

Concordant Literal Version    And coming is a contention between the graziers of Abram's cattle and the graziers of Lot's cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite are then dwelling in the land.

The Geneva Bible                  And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abrams cattle and the herdmen of Lots cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite [Who seeing their contention, might blaspheme God and destroy them. ] dwelled then in the land.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Cattle War}

And there was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle. Also the Canaanite and the Perizzite 'dwelled in prosperity' {yashab} then in the land. {Note: This last sentence indicates that when believers cannot get along, they should separate or give the wrong impression to unbelievers. Unbelievers always get the wrong impression when believers fight each other.}.

World English Bible                There was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite lived then in the land.

Young's Updated LT              And there is a strife between those feeding Abram's cattle and those feeding Lot's cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite are then dwelling in the land.

 

The gist of this verse:          Disputes broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and of Lot over all that they owned. Also, the Canaanite and the Perizzite lived in the land at this time.


Genesis 13:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

rîyb (רִיב) [pronounced reebv]

strife, dispute, controversy, legal contention, forensic cause; an argument used in a public discussion or debate

masculine singular noun

Strong's #7379 BDB #936

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

râʿâh (רָעָה) [pronounced raw-ĢAWH]

shepherding, tending [a flock]; a shepherd, herdsman, one who tends sheep

masculine plural, Qal active participle; construct form

Strong’s #7462 BDB #944

The masculine plural, Qal active participle is used to designate those who are habitually involved in the action of the verb; i.e., shepherds, herdsmen.

mîqeneh (מִקְנֶה) [pronounced mik-NEH]

cattle, livestock (specifically sheep, cows and goats); herds, flocks

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4735 BDB #889

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

râʿâh (רָעָה) [pronounced raw-ĢAWH]

shepherding, tending [a flock]; a shepherd, herdsman, one who tends sheep

masculine plural, Qal active participle; construct form

Strong’s #7462 BDB #944

The masculine plural, Qal active participle is used to designate those who are habitually involved in the action of the verb; i.e., shepherds, herdsmen.

mîqeneh (מִקְנֶה) [pronounced mik-NEH]

cattle, livestock (specifically sheep, cows and goats); herds, flocks

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4735 BDB #889

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532


Translation: [There] was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. We have an unusual circumstance here. Remember how God told Abram to separate from his family and move to the Land of Promise? Lot went with him. God does not want Lot muddying up the water. So, what does God do? He pours prosperity upon Abram and upon Lot to the point where, they just have too much. They are so rich with livestock, that they cannot even work side-by-side. Some of us have been forced to do this or that because we are poor; but it is fascinating that Abram and Lot will have to come to an agreement because they are both so rich.


Because Lot and Abram grew so prosperous, there was not enough land for their respective flocks to graze upon. Certainly, in traveling together, their flocks became mixed. All this would cause some difficulties between them and their slaves and/or hired help were involved in altercations over these problems.


Many of the translations suggest that there were a number of problems and confrontations; and this word is also found in Deut. 1:12 Judges 12:2, where the word strife is found in the singular, but could refer to several incidents. Based upon this, we do not know if this was a singular incident or whether this had been building up over a period of time.


We do not have just Abram, Lot, their families, and a handful of sheep roaming through the land. In the realm of cattle, they are extremely wealthy, and they have hired hundreds of men to keep their herds under control (Gen. 14:14). Even if only 200 of Abram’s men are devoted to taking care of these herds, that could translate into as many as 20,000 sheep and cattle.


Preview of coming attractions: Lot and Abram will separate, and eventually, Lot will lose all of his great prosperity, but Abram’s wealth will continue to grow.


Genesis 13:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Kenaʿănîy (כְּנַעֲנִי) [pronounced ke-nah-ģuh-NEE]

merchant, trader; and is transliterated Canaanite, Canaanites

adjective/nominative gentilic; with the definite article

Strong’s #3669 BDB #489

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Perizzîy (פְּרִזִּי) [pronounced per-ihz-ZEE]

which possibly means belonging to a village; rural population, rustics; and is transliterated Perizzite

gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #6522 BDB #827

I realize that these appear to be almost contradictory definitions: BDB tells us that Perizzite means belonging to a village and Strong says it means inhabitants of the open country.

ʾâz (אָז) [pronounced awz]

then, after that, at that time, in that case (when following an if or though), now, as things are; that being so, therefore, because of that

adverb

Strong’s #227 BDB #23

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

are inhabiting, were staying, remaining, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: Also, the Canaanite and Perizzite was living in the land at that time. These are interesting pronouncements, and I do not know exactly what is being conveyed here, beyond the obvious.


The second half of v. 7 seems to be parenthetical: At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land. Canaan was the son of Ham who was the son of Noah. You may recall that Noah cursed Canaan because of Ham’s behavior (Gen. 9:21–25). Canaan figured in prominently in the table of nations in Gen. 10 and they moved out west, settling the land of Canaan (which bears their name and was also called Palestine). That is the land that God has given to Abram (Gen. 12:1–3 13:14–17).


The Perizzites here seem to come out of nowhere. The name Perizzite means belonging to a village. Because of the meaning of this name, this term could have been used in a generalized way, to refer to those who live in unwalled villages; or in a specific way, to refer to a specific tribe of people, whose exact origin is unknown. They are found 23 times in Scripture, and associated with the Canaanites 22 of those times. In only 3 instances, are they listed with fewer than 4 other groups of people in the land (20 times, they are in groupings of 5 or more). Therefore, we know very little about the Perizzites, apart from them being among the 10 or so doomed tribes of the land of Canaan. It is suggested by some commentators that these people lived in unwalled villages, as there were too many people and livestock to be contained in a walled city.


This verse also tells us where one of the groups from Gen. 12 moved to; the Canaanite moved into the promised land and were close to where Moses and Lot were sojourning. The Perizzite is not mentioned in the table of nations, however. This is their first mention in the Bible. They are mentioned several times throughout the early Old Testament as those peoples who populated Palestine prior to the conquests of Joshua. They are among the list of ten nations who occupied the promised land given to Abram in Gen. 15:18—21. There are two possible mentions of the Perizzites in secular literature, but that is only a guess. They might be the Pirati from an Egyptian vocabulary list and they might be named in a fragment from Amarna.


All of this is a quiet premonition of what is to come. The Canaanites and the Perizzites are a full-blown people. They are two peoples who populate the land of Palestine. Abram is a Jew—the first Jew, a rich man, but a man with a nephew with whom he did not get along, and a barren wife. Here they were guests of the Canaanite and the Perizzite in a land of Palestine. Over a half a millennium later, the children of Abraham will defeat and destroy these tribes of Canaanites and Perizzites, as ordered by God because of their consummate degeneracy.


This parenthetical sentence could simply indicate that the people in the land were mostly of a Canaanite origin and that many of them lived as ranchers and farmers in unwalled villages (which would understand Perizzite here in a general way rather than as a reference to a specific people).


I believe the sense is, although Abram and Lot are in the Land of Promise, they do not have carte blanc as to where they can go and how much land they can take up. There is land which is owned and/or controlled by Canaanites and Perizzites, and when Abram and Lot stay together, they might spill over into territory which belongs to others. Another suggestion is, if the people of the land observe that there is contention among Abram’s group, that they may attempt to take their wealth by force, using their dissension against them.


The problem with wealth is, there are people who will attempt to take it away from you.

By the way, that is another problem with wealth—there are people who will attempt to take it away from you. One of the reasons most celebrities live in a bubble is, when they associate with the outside world, they continually run into people who will do anything in order to steal away some of their wealth from them. God will protect Abram from this, but God will allow Lot to be stripped of his wealth (although we will not know the details of that).


Abram will interact well with Philistines and with Hittites (who may or may not represent the patriarchs of Philistines and Hittites to be found in the land in the time of the judges, Saul or David.


Perhaps the idea is, Abram and Lot are related to the God of the Universe, and these people are not. Will they be able to look at Abram and Lot and say to themselves, “I want to follow their God”?


There are many other ways that these two halves of v. 7 are tied together. Some suggest that, Abram’s livestock and Lot’s livestock combined somehow with the grazing needs of the Canaanites and Perizzites were at odds. The targums suggest that Lot took his livestock into Perizzite and Canaanite territory, and Abram did not want that. However, the targums include, insofar as we know, a lot of traditional additions, but not necessarily accurate ones. Furthermore, this final sentence seems to be parenthetical, but not necessarily tied to the strife between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. Also, the next verse does not indicate any connection directly to the Canaanites and Perizzites.


My suggestion that this made Abram and Lot look bad, making their God look bad, is not far-fetched. We have Jacob complaining many chapters hence when his sons get out of hand taking revenge, causing Jacob to be malodorous to the Canaanites and Perizzites (Gen. 34:30).


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Lot and Abram Separate

And so says Abram unto Lot, “[Should] not, please, be strife between me and between you; and between my herdsmen and between your herdsmen, for men, brothers we [are].

Genesis

13:8

Abram then said to Lot, “I urge you [that there] not be strife between you and I nor between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we [are] companions [possibly, business associates] [and we are] brothers.

Abram then said to Lot, “I urge that there the not be any strife between you and I nor between your herdsmen and mine; for we are both business associates and brothers.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Abram said to Lot, Between me and you let there not now be controversy, nor between my shepherds and your shepherds; for we are brother-men.

Latin Vulgate                          Abram therefore said to Lot: Let there be no quarrel, I beseech thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen: for we are brethren.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Abram unto Lot, “[Should] not, please, be strife between me and between you; and between my herdsmen and between your herdsmen, for men, brothers we [are].

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abram said to Lot, Let there be no strife between me and you, and between my shepherds and your shepherds; for we are brethren.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abram said to Lot, Let there not be strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Abram said to Lot, "We are close relatives. We shouldn't argue, and our men shouldn't be fighting one another.

Easy English                          So Abram said to Lot, `We are men and we belong to the same family. So we must not argue, nor must our *herdsmen quarrel.

Easy-to-Read Version            So Abram said to Lot, “There should be no arguing between you and me. Your people and my people should not argue. We are all brothers.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then Abram said to Lot, "We are relatives, and your men and my men shouldn't be quarreling.

The Message                         Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have fighting between us, between your shepherds and my shepherds. After all, we're family.

New Life Version                    So Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no fighting between you and me or between the men who take care of our animals, for we are brothers.

New Living Translation           Finally Abram said to Lot, "Let's not allow this conflict to come between us or our herdsmen. After all, we are close relatives!

The Voice                               Abram (to Lot): Let's not fight. I don't want there to be any animosity between you and me, or between our herders. After all, we're family.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And since there wasn't enough land to share, there were problems between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle, the herdsmen of Lot's cattle, and with the CanaAnites and Pherezites who lived in that land. So Abram said to Lot: 'There shouldn't be problems between you and me, or between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, because we are brothers. For whatever reason, the AEB lists this as v. 8, although it obviously includes v. 7.

Beck’s American Translation “Please let’s have no quarrel,” Abram told lot, “between me and you or between my herdsmen and yours, because we’re related.

Christian Community Bible     Abram said to Lot, “Don’t let there be a dispute between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and yours, since we are brothers!

God’s Word                         Abram said to Lot, "Please, let's not have any more quarrels between us or between our herders. After all, we're relatives.

NIRV                                      So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not argue with each other. The people who take care of your herds and those who take care of mine shouldn't argue with one another. After all, we're part of the same family.

New Jerusalem Bible             Accordingly Abram said to Lot, 'We do not want discord between us or between my herdsmen and yours, for we are kinsmen.

Revised English Bible            Abram said to Lot, ‘There must be no quarreling between us, or between my herdsmen and yours; for we are close kinsmen.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abram said to Lot, "Please never have arguments between me and you, and between my shepherds and your shepherds, for we are brothers!

The Expanded Bible              Abram said to Lot, "There should be no arguing between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, because we are ·brothers [relatives].

NET Bible®                             Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no quarreling between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives [Heb "men, brothers [are] we." Here "brothers" describes the closeness of the relationship, but could be misunderstood if taken literally, since Abram was Lot's uncle.].

NIV, ©2011                             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.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   And Abram says to Lot, I beseech you,

that there be no strife between me and between you

and between my tenders and between your tenders

- for we are men - brothers.

Kaplan Translation                 Abram said to Lot, 'Let's not have friction between me and you, and between my herdsmen and yours. After all, we're brothers.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Avram said unto Lot, Let there be no merivah now between me and thee, and between my ro'im and thy ro'im; for we are achim.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And saying is Abram to Lot, "There must not, pray, come to be contention between me and you, and between my graziers and your graziers, for mortals, brethren are we.

Darby Translation                  And Abram said to Lot, I pray thee let there be no contention between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen, for we are brethren.

English Standard Version      Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen.

The updated Geneva Bible    And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife [He cuts off the opportunity for contention: therefore the evil ceases. ], I pray you, between me and you, and between my herdmen and your herdmen; for we [be] brothers.

New RSV                               Then Abram said to Lot, `Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herders and my herders; for we are kindred.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Abram Applies Doctrine of Separation with Believers in Strife}

And Abram said {'amar} unto Lot, "Let there be no strife, I beg you, between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are kinsmen {'ach - indicates relationship - so here is both by blood and by faith - brothers in Christ}.

World English Bible                Abram said to Lot, "Please, let there be no strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are relatives.

Young’s Updated LT             And Abram says unto Lot, “Let there not, I pray you, be strife between me and you, and between my shepherds and your shepherds, for we are men—brothers.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram urges Lot that there not be conflicts between them.


Genesis 13:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532


Translation: Abram then said to Lot,... The preposition used here indicates respect and deference. Although Abram is calling the shots, as the eldest, he speaks to Lot as a partner, and not as an inferior.


Genesis 13:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾal (אַל) [pronounced al]

no, not; nothing; none; neither, nor; do not, let not [with a verb]; let there not be [with an understood verb];

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

merîybâh (מְרִיבָה) [pronounced mereeb-VAW]

strife, contention, provocation

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4808 BDB #937

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture. It is the same as the proper noun.

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #996 BDB #107

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #996 BDB #107


Translation:...“I urge you [that there] not be strife between you and I... Strife and difficulties have arisen between Lot and Abram because they were both too rich at this point, and their possessions kept getting mixed together; and there would not be enough room on a pastureland for both sets of animals.


Genesis 13:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

râʿâh (רָעָה) [pronounced raw-ĢAWH]

shepherding, tending [a flock]; a shepherd, herdsman, one who tends sheep

masculine plural, Qal active participle; with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #7462 BDB #944

The masculine plural, Qal active participle is used to designate those who are habitually involved in the action of the verb; i.e., shepherds, herdsmen.

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (בֵּין) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

râʿâh (רָעָה) [pronounced raw-ĢAWH]

shepherding, tending [a flock]; a shepherd, herdsman, one who tends sheep

masculine plural, Qal active participle; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7462 BDB #944

The masculine plural, Qal active participle is used to designate those who are habitually involved in the action of the verb; i.e., shepherds, herdsmen.


Translation: ...nor between your herdsmen and my herdsmen,... Both Abram and Lot were successful, and they had slaves and employees. Now, we have discussed slavery before, and it is not the great evil that it is made out to be. The way that we practiced slavery in the United States at our inception was wrong, and our nation paid a very high price for that.


Both Abram and Lot had two more or less separate enterprises, and they were having a very tough time keeping them apart.


Genesis 13:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ʾănâshîym (אֲנָשִים) [pronounced uh-NAW-sheem]; also spelled ʾîyshîym (אִישִים) [pronounced ee-SHEEM]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions; soldiers, followers

masculine plural noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brothers, kinsmen, close relatives; tribesmen; fellow-countrymen

masculine plural noun

Strong's #251 BDB #26

ʾănachenûw (אֲנַחְנוּ) [pronounced uh-NAHKH-noo]

we; (sometimes a verb is implied)

1st person plural pronoun

Strong’s #587 BDB #59


Translation: ...for we [are] companions [possibly, business associates] [and we are] brothers. Abram explains why they should not be having these disputes. Abram says that they are men; however, in the plural, this can also mean inhabitants, citizens; companions; soldiers, followers. Let me suggest that this could mean business partners as well, in this context.


The second descriptor literal means brothers, but it can refer to close relatives as well.


There is a time for separation in the believer’s life, but not in some legalistic way. That is, you do not go through your Rolodex (I should say, cellphone, today) and pick out those people whose sins shock you, and remove them from your list of friends and associates. However, the time will come where you have to break fellowship, and, in this situation, it is simply because God has blessed Abram and Lot with too much substance. Abram is blessed because he is a growing believer; Lot is blessed because he is in association with Abram.


Abram is looking at this situation in a very pragmatic way. He and Lot are both very wealthy—God has greatly blessed them—but all of this wealth has created a new set of problems. There is discord between Abram’s people and Lot’s people. I would assume that Abram tried several approaches in order to solve these problems, and yet they just got worse. Therefore, Abram will suggest that they go their own separate ways.


——————————


Is not all the land to your faces? Separate yourself please from upon me. If the left hand, and let me choose the right; and if the right hand, and let me choose the left.”

Genesis

13:9

Is not the entire land before you? Please separate yourself from attachment to me. If [you take] the left hand, then let me choose the right; if [you take] the right hand, then let me choose the left.”

Is not the entire land before you? Then separate yourself from being in association with me. You may go in whatever direction you choose. If you go to the left, then I will go to the right; and if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                Is not all the land before you? Separate then from me. If you to the north, I to the south: if you to the south, I to the north.

Latin Vulgate                          Behold the whole land is before you: depare from me, I pray you: if you wilt go to the left hand, I will take the right: if you choose the right hand, I will pass to the left.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Is not all the land to your faces? Separate yourself please from upon me. If the left hand, and let me choose the right; and if the right hand, and let me choose the left.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Behold the whole land is before you, separate yourself from me; if you choose the left hand, then I will choose the right hand; or if you depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Septuagint (Greek)                Behold, is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me; if you go to the left, I will go to the right, and if you go to the right, I will go to the left.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Isn't the whole land in front of you? Let's separate. If you go north, I will go south; and if you go south, I will go north."

Contemporary English V.       There is plenty of land for you to choose from. Let's separate. If you go north, I'll go south; if you go south, I'll go north."

Easy-to-Read Version            We should separate. You can choose any place you want. If you go to the left, I will go to the right. If you go to the right, I will go to the left.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         So let's separate. Choose any part of the land you want. You go one way, and I'll go the other."

The Message                         Look around. Isn't there plenty of land out there? Let's separate. If you go left, I'll go right; if you go right, I'll go left."

New Life Version                    Is not the whole land in front of you? Let each of us go a different way. If you go to the left, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right, then I will go to the left."

New Living Translation           The whole countryside is open to you. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate. If you want the land to the left, then I'll take the land on the right. If you prefer the land on the right, then I'll go to the left."

The Voice                               A vast land is out there and available to you. It is time for us to go our separate ways. You choose your land. If you choose east, I'll go west. If you choose west, I'll go east-it's your call.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Look; the whole land lies before you, so leave me and choose your own way. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; or if you go to the right, I'll go to the left.'

Beck’s American Translation Doesn’t the whole country lie before you? Please move away from me. If you go left, I’ll go right, and if you go right, I’ll go left.”

New Advent (Knox) Bible       See, here is the whole land before thee; come, our ways must part. Turn leftwards, and I will keep to the right, or choose the right, and I will go leftwards.

New American Bible              Is not the whole land at your disposal? 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."

New American Bible (R.E.)    Is 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."

New Jerusalem Bible             Is not the whole land open before you? Go in the opposite direction to me: if you take the left, I shall go right; if you take the right, I shall go left.'


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Is not the all land in front of you? Please segregate from me. If left, then I will go-right, and if right, then me left."

The Expanded Bible              We should separate. ·The whole land is [LIs not the whole land.?] there in front of you. If you go to the left, I will go to the right. If you go to the right, I will go to the left."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Is not all the country before you? I ask you to separate yourself from me; if you take to the left, then I will take to the right; if to the right, I will go to the left.”

NET Bible®                             Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself now from me. If you go [The words "you go" have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons both times in this verse.] to the left, then I'll go to the right, but if you go to the right, then I'll go to the left."

NIV, ©2011                             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."


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   Is not the whole land at your face?

Separate, I beseech you, from me:

if left, I go to the right; or if right, I go to the left.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Is not the whole land before you? Let us separate [Lit. “Please separate from me.”]: if you go north, I will go south; and if you go south, I will no north.”

Kaplan Translation                 All the land is before you. Why not separate from me [The Hebrew word na makes an imperative into a request rather than a demand. It is often translated as 'Please,' or 'if you would,' but here we translate it as 'why not.' In many places, we leave it untranslated.]? If you [go to] the left, I will go to the right; if to the right, I will take the left.'.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Is not the kol ha'aretz before thee? Separate thyself, now, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    Is not the entire land before you? Be parted, pray, from me. If to the left, to the right will I go. And if to the right, to the left will I go.

Context Group Version          Isn't the entire land { or earth } before you? I beg of you, separate yourself from me. If [ you will take ] the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if [ you take ] the right hand, then I will go to the left.

The updated Geneva Bible    [Is] not the whole land before you? Separate yourself, I pray you, from me: if [you wilt take [Abram resigns his own right to buy peace. ]] the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if [you depart] to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Green’s Literal Translation    Is not all the land before you? Please separate from me. If you go to the left, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Abram Really Allowing God to Choose for Him}

"{Is} not the whole land {'erets} before you? Separate yourself, I pray you, from me. If you will take the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if you depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

{Note: As the elder Abram has the right of choice. But Abram has faith rested and put his life in God's hand. Therefore he allows Lot to make the choice. Lot makes a 'human viewpoint' decision. Abram shows no fear in 'losing out'. He is trusting in the Lord and knows that what ever happens by the will of God is better then anything else. Finally, if he were to choose first, he would be trying to build his happiness on the misery of others - and that never works.}.

Webster’s Bible Translation  [Is] 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 [thou wilt depart] to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

World English Bible                Isn't the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you go to the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right hand, then I will go to the left."

Young’s Updated LT             Is not all the land before you? Be parted, I pray you, from me; if to the left, then I to the right; and if to the right, then I to the left.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Abram suggests that they go their separate ways; whichever direction Lot chooses to go in, Abram will go the other way.


Genesis 13:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

Hă lôʾ together expect an affirmative answer and can be translated is not? Let me suggest, this might be understood to mean, is it not true that? Or, isn’t this the case that? Or, is it not obvious that? These two words together present a question with an obvious, self-evident answer. This combination is found in Gen. 4:7 20:5 Job 1:10 Num. 23:26 1Kings 1:11.

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces countenance; presence

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean before you, before your face, in your presence, in your sight, in front of you. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in Your judgment.


Translation: Is not the entire land before you? It is difficult to determine if Abram is speaking out of frustration or from pure pragmatism. They may have spent the last 10 or 15 minutes arguing about this or that servant poaching this or that animal; or ending up with the other’s animal without meaning to.


Therefore, Abram probably says these words with a sweep of his hand. “Is not this entire land before you?” Or, rather, “There is no earthly reason why we must continue running two different companies out of the same shop; look out there; the entire land is before you. Just go in whatever direction you choose.”


This should have taken place in Haran. It is clear that God wants Abram and Lot to be separated, and he is effecting this with giving them both too much prosperity.


Genesis 13:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

pârad (פָּרַד) [pronounced paw-RAHD]

to divide, to separate; to be divided, to be separated; to separate oneself

2nd person singular, Niphal imperative

Strong’s #6504 BDB #825

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

The Kaplan translation makes this note: The Hebrew word na makes an imperative into a request rather than a demand. It is often translated as 'Please,' or 'if you would,' but here we translate it as 'why not.' In many places, we leave it untranslated.

min (מִן) [pronounced mihn]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

Together, they mean from upon, from over, from by, from beside, from attachment to, from companionship with, from accompanying [in a protective manner], from adhesion to, from. Some translators rendered this away from.


Translation: Please separate yourself from attachment to me. Although this is a command, it is softened with the particle of entreaty. The niphal stem can be passive or reflexive. Here, the context calls for this to be reflexive. There are two prepositions thrown together here. The min preposition all by itself means, Please separate yourself from me. However, the addition of the other preposition indicates that they have a mutual thing—they run two businesses together on the same moving ranch. So, the use of these two prepositions means that Abram is severing this split partnership. They have an attachment of sorts (the business); and this is a request to severe all business ties.


There are many clues here which indicate that this is not one business with two partners, but it is two businesses run by two men, Abram and Lot. If it is one business, then there would be no separation of herdsmen as previously noted nor would there be a disagreement about the livestock, as to who owns what. So, one or both of these men insisted that this be two separate businesses.


Abram recognizes something that we believers often do not recognize—there is a time to separate from other believers. Furthermore, there are some believers with whom you ought to separate. We, as believers, are commanded to love one another. This does not mean that we have to spend time together. Love, in this sense, does not refer to having special feelings for one another. When Jesus commanded His disciples, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another.” (John 13:34), this was not a command to have special feelings toward one another. If you think that you are supposed to reach into your emotions and manufacture nice feelings about each and every Christian you meet, you are on the road to psychosis. There are times when we ought to separate from other believers—the very same ones that Jesus has commanded us to love.


Genesis 13:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

semôʾl (שְׂמֹאל) [pronounced seMOHL]

the left, the left hand, the left side; north [when facing east]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8040 BDB #969

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâman (יָמַן) [pronounced yaw-MAHN]

to go [turn] to the right, to choose the right; to be right-handed, to use the right hand

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect with the cohortative hê

Strong’s #3231 & #541 BDB #412

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.


Translation: If [you take] the left hand, then let me choose the right;... Abram although requesting a dissolution of the partnership, is being quite gracious about it. “You go which ever direction that you choose, Lot; and I will go the other way.”


It is sad that Lot and Abram have traveled all this distance together and have been prospered beyond the point where they can even keep track of their wealth without altercation because they have been prospered by God. Abram has been prospered because he is a mature believer (or moving in that direction) and Lot has been prospered due to his association with Abram. God has His reasons for them to separate; likely it is so Abram can grow more spiritually; plus God has a plan for Lot.


Genesis 13:9d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

yâmîyn (יָמִין) [pronounced yaw-MEEN]

the right hand, the right side, on the right, at the right; the south

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3225 BDB #411

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

sameʾal (שַמְאַל) [pronounced sahme-AHL]

to go [turn] to the left; to take the left; to be left-handed, to use the left hand

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect with the cohortative hê

Strong’s #8041 BDB #970

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

All these left-hand and right-hand words are found in this verse for the first time in the Bible.


Translation: ...if [you take] the right hand, then let me choose the left.” Here is why: Abram is prospered by God. He is not prospered by this or that portion of the land; he is not prospered by taking this or that business advantage. Abram has not been thinking about this for several days and determining how he can best severe their partnership and come out ahead. He does not need to do this. He tells Lot to make the choice, and he will move in the other direction.


Abram tells Lot to choose to go in either direction, and he will go in the other. It is up to Lot to choose. Notice Abram’s graciousness here. Abram is not making decisions based upon arrogance and self-interest. Abram does not begin with self-interest which leads to self-absorption, which leads to self-obsession, which then leads to self-justification and to self-deception (and sometimes even to self-deification). Abram’s decisions are based upon grace. Abram is not thinking, “If I don’t look out for my own interests, no one else will.” That is human viewpoint thinking. Abram knows that God is looking after his interests, and he can therefore be gracious. When you understand and believe that God is looking after your interests, then it is much easier to be gracious and generous.


Now Abram is behaving as though he has some doctrine in his soul. He knows that God has given him the land so no matter what Lot does and no matter what direction Lot goes, God has given Abram the land. Therefore, it is not important for Abram to choose. It has been customary in most families to allow more leniency when it comes to the youngest in the family and I have known several people who have been jealous of this (my self and my other brothers excluded); they feel that the youngest has been given too much or is allowed too much slack. Here, Lot, who is more like Abram's younger brother than a nephew, is certainly indulged by Abram and given the first choice.


Application: Abram also recognizes something that most Christians do not: even though we are commanded to love one another, it is not necessary for us to spend any time together. There are some people who are Christians and they rub you the wrong way and you rub other Christians the wrong way. You will be spending eternity in heaven together and will have more than enough time to enjoy each other's company there; so you do not need any additional time here on earth. At that point in time, the fault for your dislike of one another will not be important because that will not exist. What is important is that we bear no mental attitude sins against another believer and that we do not engage in any sort of personal conflict with another Christian. We have been washed by the same blood, forgiven and loved by the same God, and are positionally equal. We have the same exact opportunity to glorify God, which we do by not harboring mental attitude sins toward one another. If it is necessary for us to spend time apart, then that should be on the agenda for our lives. Abram passes this test entirely.


Gen 13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left."


We conclude this lesson with an erotesis (asking a question for which an answer is not desired— “Is not the whole land before you?”). Abram is simply telling Lot that all options are on the table; he can go in any direction that he wants. Abram is acting in grace; Lot will act in his own self-interest.


So far, we have studied:


Gen. 13:5–9 And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land. Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left."


Circumstances are dictating that Abram and Lot separate. Only a few lessons back, we looked at the doctrine of blessing by association; so now, ask yourself, what will happen when Abram and Lot separate and Lot is no longer in close association with Abram? The answer should be obvious: God will continue to bless Abram, but this blessing no longer spills over onto Lot.


There are 2 reasons why Abram needs to be separated from Lot: (1) he needs to separate from Lot’s self-righteousness, which will become apparent when Lot is in Sodom (grace and self-righteousness cannot be mixed); and (2) Abram needs to separate from Lot so that he is not tempted to make Lot his heir. It is logical for Lot to be the heir apparent to Abram, simply because he is the young man following Abram, but that is not God’s plan. Abram will sire a son and that son will be Abram’s heir.


Christians are easily confused about the concept of separation, who want to apply this doctrine to unbelievers whose sins shock them. Cult leaders use separation in order to isolate their members from family and former friends. Too often, separation is used in order to separate the Christian from everything that is non-Christian.

Robby Dean’s Appended Doctrine of Separation

1.      What separation is not:

         1)      First of all, we are not examining the doctrine of separation for Israel, which is expressed several times with the phrase “You be holy [= set apart, separate] for I am holy” (where God is speaking—Lev. 11:44–45 19:2 20:7, 25). This is a related but different topic.

         2)      Nor are we speaking of a function of self-righteousness, where you are, quite frankly, just too good to be hanging out with Charlie Brown.

         3)      Separation is not the means of taking a new believer and pulling him away from his family or friends. Although this is often a sign of a cult, some regular churches do this as well.

2.      The concept of separation is based upon the fact that we are in this world, but not of this world. In John 17:15–17, Jesus prayed: “I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray for You to take them out of the world, but for You to keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Your truth. Your Word is truth.” We are positionally separate from this world because we are in Christ, and He is separate from this world. Being taken out of the world is death or complete isolationism—Jesus prayed for this not to happen. Jesus prayed for us to be separated from evil (which is different than sin; evil is the thinking and philosophy of Satan, which can include human good).

3.      Separation begins with a mental attitude that results in removing from our lives things and people that are either distractions, or may become distractions, in our own spiritual advance.

         1)      When Peter brings “You be holy because I am holy” into the New Testament (1Peter 1:16, taking this from Lev. 11:44), he is speaking of a mental attitude based upon Bible doctrine (Therefore, getting your minds ready for action and being self-disciplined, place your confidence completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ—1Peter 1:13).

         2)      So, although the passages in Leviticus speak of an actual separation between Israel and her heathen neighbors, the context of the passage in 1Peter says nothing about physical separation from believers or unbelievers. All that we are to think, according to Peter, is based upon understanding that we were not ransomed from [our former] empty manner of life inherited from our forefathers with perishable things such as silver or gold, but we were purchased with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot (1Peter 1:18–19).

         3)      Separation, in the context of this passage where this phrase is brought into the New Testament, is based upon spiritual growth which is a result of thinking divine viewpoint which has its foundation in the revelation of Jesus Christ (i.e., learning Bible doctrine).

         4)      In other words, the separation that Peter speaks about is in your thinking, which is based upon Bible doctrine. You separate yourself by thinking divine viewpoint.

         5)      The believer becoming entangled in human viewpoint is involvement with evil, which Jesus prayed that we not fall into.

         6)      Let me remind you of Satan’s 2 fundamental strategies: (1) keep the unbeliever from the gospel and (2) keep the believer thinking human viewpoint.

4.      Separation, then, begins in the believer's personal life as he learns and applies doctrine. The Bible says that separation starts in relation to the sin nature. Romans 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Remember that death is Scripture doesn't always mean cessation of existence, in Romans, it means separation from. Romans 8:13 If you live according to flesh [according to the sin nature], you are going to die [temporal spiritual death]. But if you put to death, by means of the Spirit, the practices of the body, then you will live.

         1)      This is all about spiritually versus carnality.

         2)      Prior to salvation, we are all under spiritual death. We have no innate ability to make contact with God.

         3)      At the moment of salvation, we are both baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit.

         4)      However, after salvation, we fall into carnality, which means, we sin and lose the filling of the Holy Spirit.

         5)      This verse is talking about the fact that, if you are a believer and operating in carnality, then all of the blessings of the abundant Christian life are not yours. Even though you have eternal life you might as well be dead since you are no longer living the Christian life because you are living in carnality (carnal death).

         6)      After salvation, it is an either-or situation: we are either filled with the Holy Spirit and separated from sin or we are carnal and associated with sin. This is a status, not some emotional high of some sort.

         7)      But if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, then you will live. We are to put to death the deeds of the body, which represent sin. That is a calling for separation in the believer's life from sin.

         8)      This separation is caused by naming one’s sins to God (1John 1:9). That restores our fellowship with God and temporally separates us from sin.

5.      Separation involves separation from human viewpoint thinking.

         1)      It is not just the sin nature that is influencing the life but also all that human viewpoint garbage that is floating around in the soul. All of the ideas we have grown up with need to be excised by the scalpel of the Word of God. We need to have that stuff flushed out of our system.

         2)      When you are saved by believing in Jesus Christ, this does not mean that your thinking has changed. The potential for a real change in thinking is there, but the actuality is not.

         3)      This is what Paul is talking about in Romans 12:1–2 Therefore, I call upon you, [my] brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [as] a living sacrifice, holy [set apart, separated], pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world [cosmic thinking], but be transformed by the renovation of your thinking, in order to prove [demonstrate] by (means of) you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God. This is what happens as we advance spiritually: we renovate our own thinking, learning Bible doctrine, and the Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out.

         4)      In this way, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit, the character of Christ in our lives. Furthermore, this change of thinking demonstrates that the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect. We become a living, walking testimony of the grace of God in the angelic conflict.

         5)      Therefore, this calls for separation from human viewpoint thinking. So the first two categories of separation has to do with what is going on in the believer's soul and the believer’s thinking. They don't have to do with what is going on necessarily in the world around him. In other words, the thinking of the believer is to be renovated so that the believer no longer thinks in human viewpoint. They separate their thinking from human viewpoint.

6.      If the world around the believer is producing temptations where he easily succumbs to sin, then that means he has to make some choices about where he goes, whom he associates with, or the things he does. Therefore, the believer needs to recognize that if he is in an environment that easily leads him to sin then he needs to change this environment. That is, there are times for us to physically separate from certain people and situations.

7.      We are commanded to separate from certain kinds of carnal believers, such as backslidden, reversionistic believers. This is because there are certain types of carnality that are contagious to certain believers.

         1)      However, as a corollary to this, we do not invade the privacy of various believers, to determine what evil things it is that they do, so that we separate from them.

         2)      If we separated from all believers who sin, that would mean that we would be separating from all believers on this planet.

         3)      Bear in mind that self-righteousness can be very contagious.

8.      We are to separate from believers who reject sound doctrine.

         1)      If there is anything that can destroy our own spiritual life, it is when we closely associate with people who do not hold to sound doctrine. They say, "Well you know, there are a lot of different views in evangelicalism. There are folks who believe this and there are folks who believe that, but we can all just get along and we don't have to draw these doctrinal distinctions." There is an embedded blasphemy there, and that is the idea that God does not communicate clearly enough for us to take strong positions on doctrine. Wishy-washy people don't really think God communicated things clearly, so you can think it means this and I can think it means that, and somebody else thinks it means something else, so we can all just put our arms together and emote on our common experience that Jesus loves us. Then we'll all go home and be happy that we went to church this morning!

         2)      This is not the biblical view. 2Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks disorderly, and not after the teaching which he received from us. This isn't tradition for tradition's sake, this is the apostolic doctrine contained in the Scripture. This is a mandate. Vv. 14–15 And if anyone does not obey our word by this letter, mark that one and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Notice that we are speaking of a believer who has clearly rejected legitimate authority (Paul’s authority in the teaching of Bible doctrine).

         3)      The goal is restoration, not exclusion; but if there is no response then there is no option other than to go separate ways.

         4)      Let me give you an example: homosexuality, which is clearly identified as a sin in the Bible (Rom. 1:24–27 1Cor. 6:9 1Tim. 1:10). Certain believers may struggle with homosexuality as a sin and, at times, give in to this lust. It is not our business to follow such believers around to determine whether or not we ought to separate from them. However, when a believer touts his homosexuality as normal and acceptable, that calls for separation from such a one.

         5)      From time to time, a church has to remove a troublemaker (or a small group of troublemakers) who have rejected the authority of the pastor-teacher. Quite obviously, if you are in a church where you cannot accept the authority of your pastor, then you should quietly remove yourself—you do not owe anyone an explanation, nor should you stand out in the parking lot and tell everyone else why they should leave the church. You simply leave and find a pastor whose authority you can accept. More often than not, your inability to accept a pastor’s authority is a problem in your soul, not in his.

         6)      By accepting the authority of a pastor, this does not mean this pastor follows you around and tells you what to do.

         7)      As an aside, this is not a call to self-righteousness, nor is this a call to separate from family members simply because they do not think like you think.

         8)      Cults often twist the doctrine of separation into removing you from your friends and family to your real family. If you find yourself in a church, and they encourage you to cut off your friends and family, it is time to separate from that church.

         9)      Jesus said, “"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household.” (Matt. 10:34–36). There will be some natural separation which occurs, but not because the believer has initiated it. Throughout the ages, there have been some Jewish Christians who have been virtually disowned from their families because they believe in Jesus. We know just how much hate can exist between Arabs and Jews; there have been times in history that this has existed between Christians and Jews as well (even though, we ought to be natural political allies).

         10)    However, without going too far afield, the point here is, there are times when a believer will separate from his family—but that is a rare exception and not the rule. Jesus is not calling upon us to raise a sword against family members; nor is He requiring us to separate from family members because of different beliefs. Again, that is characteristic of a cult, but not of the Christian faith.

         11)    Although Wikipedia represents a bastion of human viewpoint, there is an article here on the cult checklist. Although every list is not completely accurate, there are enough trends which these various lists point to in order to keep you out of a cult.

9.      We are to separate from believers who make their own internal lust patterns the motivation for their lives. Romans 16:17–18 And I summon you, brothers, to take note of those making divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For they who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but they serve their own belly [lust patterns]; and by good words and fair speeches, they deceive the hearts of the gullible.

10.    Separation from the immoral social scene where one's norms and standards are gradually eroded through peer pressure. 1Peter 4:4 In these things they are surprised, that you are not running with them into the same excess of riot, blaspheming. Proverbs 1:10-19 My son, if sinners lure you, do not be willing. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, we will watch secretly for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them up alive as the grave, and whole, as those who go down into the pit; we shall find all precious goods; we shall fill our houses with plunder; cast in your lot among us, and let us have one purse.” My son, do not walk in the way with them! Keep back your foot from their path, for their feet run to evil and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird, and they lie in wait for their own blood; they watch secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains unjust gain; it takes away its owners' life. As an aside, communism and socialism are a national codification of this attitude.

11.    1Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived; evil companionships corrupt good habits. The idea here is, believers can be corrupted by certain other believers and unbelievers with regards to certain activities. This is an individual decision to be made relative to the strengths and weaknesses of the individual believer. As believers, we need to develop good positive habits in our spiritual lives If we find certain associations compromising these habits, then that is an association which must be broken off or dialed back.

12.    However, we simply do not separate from gross sin and gross immorality because we are offended. We should be able to witness to people of all different stripes of sinfulness. 1Cor. 5:9–11 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people--not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one. Paul is talking about separation from a believer, at the end, who knows the truth, and yet is clearly and observably out of line with his actions.

13.    We need to exercise a form of separation from unbelievers to avoid having our doctrine compromised. 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what partnership does light have with darkness? This involves some types of business partnerships, not necessarily all. It involves marriage, dating, intimate social life. We are to separate from unbelievers where their influence can affect our own doctrine decisions. This is not a call for the believer to avoid unbelievers altogether or whenever possible.

14.    We need to separate from believers who are enmeshed in religious modes of operation and apostasy. See 2Corinthians 6:14–17 2Timothy 3:2–6.

I should add that there is much more to the doctrine of separation than this. Although we began this New Testament doctrine above, there is a great deal of separation described in the New Testament which has absolutely nothing to do with the relative geography of you and anyone that you are to separate from (for example: John 5:24 8:12 2Cor. 6:17–18 1Thess. 4:7 1Peter 2:24). We will cover this at another time.

The basic points are taken from http://phrasearch.com/Trans/DBM/setup/Genesis/Gen068.htm , which is Lesson #68 of Robby Dean’s study of Genesis. This study was extensively edited and appended. Dr. Dean teaches at West Houston Bible Church.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Let’s look at the text, which is related to separation, taken in context:


Gen. 13:5–12 And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land. Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left." And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.


God has not ordered Abram to separate from Lot. This was a matter of circumstance, something which they apparently were unable to work out. There are circumstances which lead us to naturally separate from some friends and relatives, and that is what is occurring here. This was certainly a part of God’s plan. And earlier, before Abram moved to Canaan, God had told him then to separate from his family, which would have included Lot.


As we will find out in subsequent lessons, Abram has not written off Lot in any way. In fact, when Lot finds himself in trouble, Abram will be right there to deliver him.


Gen. 13:5–9 And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land. Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left."


Abram is expressing no animus. He does not look to Lot and say, “You, nephew, are a total screw up, and you cannot keep your own men together and under control. You are a loser when it comes to running your own herds.” Abram is willing to simply recognize that things are not working out between them; that they have far too many material blessings and that it has gotten to a point where they cannot keep their material blessings separate. Abram places no blame; he does not judge Lot; he simply recognizes that it is time to allow his portion of Abram Livestock Inc. to go independent. Lot will automatically become the CEO of this new independent enterprise, and he will make all of the executive decisions for his new company.


In subsequent lessons, it will become clear that (1) God is blessing Abram specifically and Lot by association; (2) there is no animus involved here; (3) Lot is not Abram’s spiritual heir.


There is also an excellent mindset that Abram, the CEO of Abram Livestock Inc., illustrates: bigger is not always better. Abram had too much on his plate at this time. He had control of too much wealth (represented by livestock, in ancient times) and he chose to split up his company into 2 independent companies, and put his Executive Vice President, Lot, in charge of this second company. This is something which mega-conglomerates do not do enough of today (however, the Bible does not make this the decision of some governmental body).


Now, to be precise, Abram and Lot essentially had two companies to begin with; this is why the herdsmen of Abram had problems with the herdsmen of Lot. So here, they are just taking these two companies which are closely allied, and letting them go their separate ways.


Gen 13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left."


Therefore, Abram told Lot to look over the land and make a decision as to which direction he would go in, and Abram would go in the other direction. Lot will make his first executive decision as CEO of Lot Cattle Enterprises.


——————————


And so lifts up Lot his [two] eyes and so he sees all of a circle of the Jordan; that all of her irrigated (to faces of destroying of Yehowah Sodom and Gomorrah). Like a garden of Yehowah, like a land of Egypt in your going in [to] Zoar.

Genesis

13:10

So Lot lifted up his eyes and he examines [lit., sees, looks] all [which is] around the Jordan [valley], that all of it is [well-] irrigated ([this is] before Yehowah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). [He observed that it was] like a garden of Yehowah [and] like the land of Egypt, when you enter Zoar.

So Lot lifted up his eyes and he examined a great circle around the Jordan valley, and observed that it was well-watered (this is before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). He could see that it was like the garden of Jehovah and like the cultivated land of Egypt—that area where you go into Zoar.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Lot uplifted his eyes towards (the place of) fornication; and beheld all the plain of Jardena that it was altogether well watered, before the Lord in his wrath had destroyed Sedom and Amorah; a land admirable for trees, as the garden of the Lord, and for fruitage, as the land of Mizraim as you go up to Zoar.

 

atin Vulgate                            And Lot lifting up his eyes, saw all the country about the Jordan, which was watered throughout, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha, as the paradise of the Lord, and like Egypt as one comes to Segor.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so lifts up Lot his [two] eyes and so he sees all of a circle of the Jordan; that all of her irrigated (to faces of destroying of Yehowah Sodom and Gomorrah). Like a garden of Yehowah, like a land of Egypt in your going in [to] Zoar.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the land of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of God, like the land of Egypt at the entrance of Zoan.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Lot, having lifted up his eyes, observed all the country round about the Jordan, that it was all watered, before God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, as the garden of the Lord, and as the land of Egypt, until you come to Zoar.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Lot looked up and saw the entire Jordan Valley. All of it was well irrigated, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as far as Zoar (this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah).

Contemporary English V.       This happened before the LORD had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And when Lot looked around, he saw there was plenty of water in the Jordan Valley. All the way to Zoar the valley was as green as the garden of the LORD or the land of Egypt.

Easy English                          So Lot looked round. He saw the plain in valley of the Jordan River. It spread as far as Zoar. It was a very good place to grow crops. And Lot saw that. It was like the *Lord's garden and it was like the country called Egypt. That was before the *Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

Easy-to-Read Version            Lot looked and saw the Jordan Valley. Lot saw that there was much water there. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. At that time the Jordan Valley all the way to Zoar was like the Lord’s Garden. This was good land, like the land of Egypt.)

Good News Bible (TEV)         Lot looked around and saw that the whole Jordan Valley, all the way to Zoar, had plenty of water, like the Garden of the LORD or like the land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.)

The Message                         Lot looked. He saw the whole plain of the Jordan spread out, well watered (this was before GOD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah), like GOD's garden, like Egypt, and stretching all the way to Zoar.

New Berkeley Version           Lot took a good look and saw how well watered the whole Jordan district was—before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—as far as Zoar, like the Lord’s garden [Almost certainly referring to the Garden of Eden.], like the land of Egypt.

New Century Version             Lot looked all around and saw the whole Jordan Valley and that there was much water there. It was like the Lord's garden, like the land of Egypt in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)

New Living Translation           Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)

The Voice                               Lot looked around, and he noticed the grassy plains in the Jordan Valley looked well watered and fertile, just as he imagined the Eternal One's gardens might be or as he knew the land of Egypt in the direction of Zoar to be. (This all happened before the Eternal destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.).


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, Lot surveyed all the country around the Jordan and noticed that it had plenty of water (this was before God overthrew Sodom and GomorRah). It looked like the Paradise of Jehovah and like the land of Egypt up to Zogora.

Christian Community Bible     Lot looked up and saw the whole valley of the Jordan: how well it was watered! Before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, this was like one of Yahweh’s gardens, like the country of Egypt, on coming to Zoar.

God’s Word                         Then Lot looked in the direction of Zoar as far as he could see. He saw that the whole Jordan Plain was well-watered like the LORD'S garden or like Egypt. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Whereupon Lot looked about him, and the great hollow of Jordan met his eye, well watered, in those days before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha, like the garden of the Lord itself, or the land of Egypt approached by way of Segor.

New American Bible              Lot looked about and saw how well 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.) .

New American Bible (R.E.)    Lot 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.

NIRV                                      Lot looked up. He saw that the whole Jordan River valley had plenty of water. It was like the garden of the Lord. It was like the land of Egypt near Zoar. That was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

New Jerusalem Bible             Looking round, Lot saw all the Jordan plain, irrigated everywhere -- this was before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah-like the garden of Yahweh or the land of Egypt, as far as Zoar.

New Simplified Bible              Lot looked up and saw that the district of the Jordan River was well watered, like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. This was before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the flats by the Jordan coming from the land of Egypt to Zoar (before Yahweh destroyed the face of Sodom and Gomorrah), all watered as the garden of Yahweh.

Bible in Basic English             And Lot, lifting up his eyes and looking an the valley of Jordan, saw that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord had sent destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah; it was like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, on the way to Zoar.

The Expanded Bible              Lot looked all around and saw the whole Jordan ·Valley [or plain; region] and that there was much water there. It was like the Lord's garden [Cthe garden of Eden], like the land of Egypt in the direction of Zoar [Cname meaning "small," in the vicinity of Sodom and Gomorrah; 14:2, 17; 19:23-24]. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah [19:1-29].)

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Lot therefore looked up, and observed all the district of the Jordan, that it was everywhere well watered; before the Lord swept away Sodom and Gomorrah, it was like a Garden of the Lord, from the land of Egypt to the valley of Zoar.

HCSB                                     Lot looked out and saw that the entire Jordan Valley as far as Zoar was well-watered everywhere like the LORD's garden and the land of Egypt. This was before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

NET Bible®                             Lot looked up and saw [Heb "lifted up his eyes and saw." The expression draws attention to the act of looking, indicating that Lot took a good look. It also calls attention to the importance of what was seen.] the whole region [Or "plain"; Heb "circle."] of the Jordan. He noticed [The words "he noticed" are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.] that all of it was well-watered (before the Lord obliterated [Obliterated. The use of the term “destroy” (שַחֵת, shakhet) is reminiscent of the Noahic flood (Gen 6:13). Both at the flood and in Sodom the place was obliterated by catastrophe and only one family survived (see C. Westermann, Genesis, 2:178).] Sodom and Gomorrah) [This short temporal clause (preposition + Piel infinitive construct + subjective genitive + direct object) is strategically placed in the middle of the lavish descriptions to sound an ominous note. The entire clause is parenthetical in nature. Most English translations place the clause at the end of v. 10 for stylistic reasons.] like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt [The narrative places emphasis on what Lot saw so that the reader can appreciate how it aroused his desire for the best land. It makes allusion to the garden of the Lord and to the land of Egypt for comparison. Just as the tree in the garden of Eden had awakened Eve's desire, so the fertile valley attracted Lot. And just as certain memories of Egypt would cause the Israelites to want to turn back and abandon the trek to the promised land, so Lot headed for the good life.], all the way to Zoar.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Yarden was well watered everywhere, before ADONAI destroyed S'dom and 'Amora, like the garden of ADONAI, like the land of Egypt in the direction of Tzo'ar.

exeGeses companion Bible   And Lot lifts his eyes

and sees all the environs of Yarden

- moistened everywhere,

at the face of Yah Veh ruining Sedom and Amorah,

as the garden of Yah Veh, as the land of Misrayim,

as you come to Soar:...

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Lot looked about him and saw how well watered was the whole plain of the Jordan, all of it—this was before the Lord had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—all the way to Zoar, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Lot raised his eyes, and he saw the entire plain of the Jordan, that it was entirely watered; before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as you come to Zoar.

Kaplan Translation                 Lot looked up and saw that the entire Jordan Plain, all the way to Tzar [A city originally known as Bela, associated with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14:2). Also see Genesis 19:22, Deuteronomy 34:3. According to tradition, Tzoar was settled later than the other four cities (Shabbath 10b; Rashi on 19:20). From the context, it would seem that Tzoar was the southernmost of these cities, possibly on the southern bank of what is now the Dead Sea. (see Josephus, Wars 4:8:4).] [According to context, this phrase fits here. However, the verse literally ends, 'Like the land of Egypt, as one comes to Tzoar.' Accordingly, this 'Tzoar' may not be the one associated with Sodom, but an ancient Egyptian frontier fortress.] had plenty of water. (This was before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah [See Genesis 19:24. Also see Genesis 10:19.].) It was like God's own garden, like the land of Egypt.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Yarden, that it was well watered everywhere, before Hashem destroyed Sodom and Amora, even as the Gan Hashem, like Eretz Mitzrayim, as you go to Tzoar.

The Scriptures 1998              And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of the Yardĕn, that it was well watered everywhere – before יהוה destroyed Sed?om and Amorah – like the garden of יהוה, like the land of Mitsrayim as you go toward Tsoʽar.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:


 

Concordant Literal Version    And lifting is Lot his eyes and is seeing all the basin of the Jordan, for all of it was irrigated before Yahweh wrecked Sodom and Gomorrah, as the garden of Yahweh Elohim, as the land of Egypt as you come to Zoar.

English Standard Version      And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)

The updated Geneva Bible    And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it [was] well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, [even] as the garden of the LORD [Which was in Eden, ( Genesis 2:10 ). ], like the land of Egypt, as you come unto Zoar.

Syndein/Thieme                     And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, (before Jehovah/God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah), even as the garden of Jehovah/God {so beautiful looked like 'paradise'}, like the land of Egypt as you come unto Zoar {Tso`ar - means insignificance} {Note: This is a picture of breath-taking beauty. Lot's eyes are on 'things' not on the Lord! This indicates human viewpoint.}.

World English Bible                Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Yahweh, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar.

Young’s Updated LT             And Lot lifts up his eyes, and sees the whole circuit of the Jordan that it is all a watered country (before Jehovah”s destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, as Jehovah”s garden, as the land of Egypt,) in your coming toward Zoar.

 

The gist of this verse:          Lot looked down to the valley about which was a circle of cities, and the area looked beautiful to Lot.


Genesis 13:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâsâʾ (נָשָׂא) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744


Translation: So Lot lifted up his eyes... Lot had never thought about this before. Abram, as his uncle, and the one who established this business of a moving ranch, had made most of the decisions. Lot was just there for the ride, even though he owned his portion of the business (and God blessed him because he was in union with Abram). He had not really made very many executed decisions. So now, he is about to make a very executive decision, one which would affect his entire family for the rest of their lives.


So Lot lifts up his eyes as he savors his independence, his coming out of the shadow of Abram, and being his own man.


Genesis 13:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to observe; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

kikâr (כִּכָּר) [pronounced kik-KAWR]

a circle, a globe; a circular tract of land, a round district; a round loaf, a cake; a round weight, a round talent; a talent [of gold, silver, bronze]

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #3603 BDB #503

Yâredên (יָרְדֵן) [pronounced yare-DAYN]

transliterated Jordan

proper noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3383 BDB #434


Translation: ...and he examines [lit., sees, looks] all [which is] around the Jordan [valley],... Lot takes this decision very seriously, and these two verbs indicate that he is thinking and examining all that is before him, because this is the first day for the rest of his life, so when he takes a step forward, it will be the right step that promises great wealth and success for his family.


Lot’s entire thinking was infused with human viewpoint. This is why he would argue with Abram about their individual possessions, even though they had so much. This is why his herdsmen got into fights with Abram’s herdsmen. What he own and what was his was very important to Lot. In his own mind, he was just being meticulous and looking out for himself, but, what he did not understand is, Lot was showered with blessing because of his relationship with Abram. If you doubt this, don’t worry—we will follow Lot as we follow Abram—and at some point, you will come to realize that, away from Abram, Lot gets bupkis from God. With Abram, he is blessed; without Abram, Lot is cursed.


Genesis 13:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

masheqeh (מַשְקֶה) [pronounced mahsh-KEH]

irrigation, well-watered; drink; drinking vessels; butlership (office of butler); butler, cup-bearer

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4945 BDB #1052

This is an odd word in the Hebrew with many meanings; most related to water and other liquids. This is the first time it is found in the Bible.


Translation: ...that all of it is [well-] irrigated... At this point, the text becomes very elliptical and poetic. The land as Lot saw it in his day was quite beautiful. He uses and odd word here to describe it: masheqeh (מַשְקֶה) [pronounced mahsh-KEH], which means irrigation, well-watered; drink; drinking vessels; butlership (office of butler); butler, cup-bearer. Strong’s #4945 BDB #1052. However, this is associated with water and with liquids, and where he looks, he sees that this Jordan valley is lush with green hills, filled with trees and bushes (that is a result of being well-watered).


I mentioned that Lot’s thinking—as it is expressed here—is elliptical. We have the 3rd person feminine singular suffix here, but to what does it refer? It refers to the land that he is observing, but he is so taken in by the beauty of it all that he does not use that word yet.


Since the land that Lot chose was so beautiful, it is likely that others would have seen this land and claimed it for themselves. This would be the land occupied by the great degenerates of that time. They were degenerate to a point that they were a cancer which had to be totally eradicated. God has allowed a lot of degeneracy to last, as we have seen in the United States, intervening only occasionally to wipe out segments of our population (not all of whom are degenerate, of course).


Genesis 13:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of. This can also mean forwards; the front part [or, the edge of a sword]. Lepânîym (לְפָּנִים) can take on a temporal sense as well: before, of old, formerly, in the past, in past times.

shâchath (שָחַת) [pronounced shaw-KHAHTH]

to destroy, to ruin, to lay waste [to]; to spoil, to corrupt; to deal corruptly [with]; to act wickedly

Piel infinitive construct

Strong's #7843 BDB #1007

A Qal infinitive absolute is a verb which can act like noun, a verb or an adverb. Generally it takes the place of a noun and serves to intensify meanings. When it is found before the finite verb of the same root, it emphasizes the certainty or the decisiveness of the verbal idea of the root. When used as a complement of affirmation, it may be rendered surely, indeed, definitely; and when it is a complement of improbability and condition, we render it at all, freely, indeed. The Qal infinitive absolute can also serve as an adverbial complement; or, as a verb, it can replace finite verbs, imperatives, participles, and the infinitive constructs.

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

Çedôm (סְדֹם) [pronounced sehd-OHM]

burning; which is transliterated Sodom

masculine singular locative noun

Strong’s #5467 BDB #690

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿĂămôrâh (עֲמֹרָה) [pronounced ģuhm-oh-RAW]

submersion; and is transliterated Gomorrah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6017 BDB #771


Translation:...([this is] before Yehowah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). At this point, we have a gloss, or an addition that indicates that the rest of this was written after Lot and Abram separated and after God destroyed Sodom. We are in Gen. 13; Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed in Gen. 19. So, either this passage was written in retrospect (probably by Abram who could see the same thing that Lot saw), or this was all written soon thereafter, and this short phrase was added as a gloss (a word or phrase added in by way of explanation by a later author).


What God did to this area was nothing short of miraculous. We are viewing this beautiful valley, and yet, God would step in and destroy this whole area, and its destruction would stand for many years. Even Josephus, this historian around the first century was able to see this area and described the destruction that was still apparent to him 2000 years later. What happens to Sodom and Gomorrah stood as a warning for many generations to come, just as there is a warning sign on the road, do not enter; so Sodom and Gomorrah stood as a testimony to gross perversion.


Application: I write this in 2013, a day after the Supreme Court handed down its decision about gay marriage. The writer of the majority opinion, which narrowly favored gay marriage, actually classified those who favor the standing view of marriage between one man and one woman as somehow persecuting gays and haters of gays; and this decision will be used in state after state to overturn traditional marriage. This is not because there is a surfeit of men who can hardly wait to put rings on one another’s fingers. This is because there is a very politically astute group of gays who want to assault the Word of God and the thinking of God, and gay marriage is their foothold to go after churches. Because of the decision of the Supreme Court, they will use this language to attack and condemn the teaching of the Bible, as well as attempt to transform our society into being much more gay-friendly; and more sexual and more sexualized at an early age. One of the things I see for our future are specialized gay counselors in schools who will encourage young men, as they enter into puberty to experiment and to try different things, thus further destroying the next few generations. And all of this is done because there is no Sodom and Gomorrah, a place that stood as a testament to the judgment of God for 2000 years of the evils of homosexual behavior, which topic will be explored in much more detail in Gen. 19 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


Application: We had two generations of Americans who were exposed to WWI and WWII; to communism and to institutionalized antisemitism, and they understood enough to avoid this great mistakes. They understood that a focus on God, a relationship with God, and the divine institutions (work, marriage, and family) should be their pursuits in life, in this time after the wars. But since then, there have been several generations which have been raised up, beginning with mine, who have not really known war (but a small percentage), who have not known any hardship, so now they are pushing the envelope, trying to see just how far they can take things before God intervenes with judgment.


Application: It is not as if God has not already warned us. We have seen several great judgments upon our country. There is the scourge of AIDS and the attack of 9/11. There are two great evils which our country faces: the degeneracy of homosexuality and the fanatacism of Islam. These judgments from God are clearly upon those two things, and our society, over the past few decades, has been considering these things, playing with fire, as it were, making many bad decisions. There are many patriots today who look at our country and fear for its future, because they have never seen our country on such a downward spiral as it is right now. In my own lifetime, I have never been this concerned myself for our country, because if those two judgments do not help us correct the path that we are on, then God will bring more judgments upon us.


Application: Just so that you do not think that there is a political solution, let me remind you that, whatever way the pivot goes in our nation, that will be the way the nation goes. One of the things which I have noticed as a believer in the several churches that I have been in, is, there are not many young people there. I have seen a number of churches where there is a ratio of 5 to 1 of those over 30 to those under 30. This is not the way that the next generation can take the flag and move forward. Every generation will die out and a new one will take its place; and that new generation determines what life will be like—sometimes for decades. Our new tolerant generation, which is government-dependent, who reject God and reject the gospel of Jesus Christ—they will find out that their tolerance and their love of government will lead them on a pathway to destruction, on a pathway of pain and suffering such as our nation has not known for many years.


Application: Right now, we are still enjoying what we might call the Billy Graham and the Thieme years. Billy Graham would hold evangelist meetings, and they would be on television, and thousands would attend and millions would watch, so that, the number of believers in the United States probably has been as high as 70–80%. That brings with it great blessing. And parallel to this in time was the marvelous teaching of R. B. Thieme, Jr. at Berachah Church, which was enthusiastically attended by thousands of people—so many attended, that there were times one could not find a seat there. And it was filled with young people, with children, with teens, and with young marrieds, ready to take the torch and move it forward. But this great era is drawing rapidly to a close, and the believer with discernment, the believer with Bible doctrine in his soul can look at the condition of the United States today and know that something is terribly wrong.


So far, we have: So Lot lifted up his eyes and he examines [lit., sees, looks] all [which is] around the Jordan [valley], that all of it is [well-] irrigated ([this is] before Yehowah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). This is the context, because Lot, by making this decision, will be identified forever with Sodom and Gomorrah. He was identified with Abram, and he has so much blessing, he cannot keep all of his possessions separate from Abram’s. God is just pouring too much blessing up them both. But, when Lot changes his associations so that he become associated with the people of Sodom, then his life will change dramatically. This blessing pipeline through which God has been pouring blessings, will shut off for Lot.


Lot thinks human viewpoint. He thinks only about what is best for him and his family. He does not consider Abram and his family; he does not think, “What is the right thing for me to do;” he thinks, “What is the best choice for me and mine?” And the choice he makes will be a human viewpoint choice.


Genesis 13:10e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

gan (גַּן) [pronounced gahn]

a garden, enclosure, an enclosed garden

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1588 BDB #171

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: [He observed that it was] like a garden of Yehowah... Again, note how many words I need to throw into this portion of v. 10 to have a complete thought. Lot is examining all that is before him, how much this is just like the garden of Yehowah. There was such beauty and such a lushness, and perfect for the pastures of his livestock.


Lot does not have the benefit of the promises of God. He can only operate on human viewpoint. He cannot determine which way it is that he should go, not does he even seem to realize that God has a plan for his life also. He is used to taking the best and that is what he will do.


It is obvious that this area is much nicer than it was several centuries later. During Joshua's time (after which some scholars allege that Genesis was written), this portion of the Jordan valley was absolutely desolate, the antithesis of the description given in this verse. It would make no sense for an author to make up a story like this, when everyone during and after Joshua's day could see that this land was barren. Since that time, however, in the 19th and 20th centuries, archeologists have shown that there were several populous cities in this area previous to Joshua's time for centuries. Since it is highly unlikely that cities would be founded in a barren desert, this would fit with Abram's description which he gives here (in his writing). As Scofield put it, the Spade of the archaeologist has served again and again to confirm the Scriptures, not to deny them. This also tells us that when God told Abram that He would give the land to him, that He was not speaking of some forlorn desert or some barren waste. The land was beautiful and fruitful.


In a way, the writer of this passage is describing what is in Lot’s mind, while also mentioning that he was aware of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Although it has been 2000 years between innocence and Abram’s time in history, there is actually the possibility that Abram himself may have known a detailed description of the Garden of Eden relayed to him 3rd or 4th hand. Since this is probably what is going on in Lot’s mind, this suggests that he has heard a more detailed description of the Garden of Eden than we are aware. Lot looks down into the valley of the Jordan, and thinks to himself how much water it has and how it is very much like the Garden of God. Obviously, Lot has not been in the Garden of God, but no doubt, Adam and/or Eve described it to their children and to their children’s children, and this came down to Abram and to Lot by word of mouth.


Recall that man was in better physical shape at that time, with a greater mental capacity, so that a 3-page description of the garden, delivered orally, could be completely retained. Lot knew enough about this garden to compare the Jordan valley to it.


This further implies that Lot knew a lot more than we seem to give him credit for. We know God wants him to be separated from Abram and we know that he is a loser Christian, but this does not mean he is completely devoid of knowledge; it just means that he has not properly sorted it out and applied it.


Genesis 13:10f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

masculine singular construct

Strong's #776 BDB #75

Mitserayim (מִצְרַיִם) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim]

double straights; transliterated Mizraim; also Egypt, Egyptians

proper noun

Strong’s #4714 BDB #595


Translation:...[and] like the land of Egypt,... Here, we find out a little about Egypt. Lot was just in Egypt, and Egypt was a beautiful country. It was not the mounds of sand and desert that it is today; it was lush and green and landscaped. The people of Egypt had great wonderful parks and landscape projects and public works, and one could tell as they entered into the land of Egypt, back in these times, that they were in Egypt, as they would look about and there are all of these manicured gardens and lush hills.


The landscape of the middle east back in the days of Abram and Lot was so different from what it is today. That land is under judgment today. God’s people, the Jews, do not revere Him so, although they do receive sustenance and blessing, it is in a land of great harsh realities. All around them are nations which live in deserts, which live in great sand deserts that run over billions of gallons of oil. So, some people profit greatly from the oil, but most everyone just lives in an awful desert, a desert which is judged by God because of their hatred for Jews.


Application: Egypt today, is maybe in its 3rd year of revolution (I have lost track). Tourism is way off. No one wants to take a chance of coming to Egypt with the unrest and with the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of their government; and so, their lives suck even more than they did under Mubarak. Under Mubarak, there was peace with Israel, and that alone brought them some measure of blessing from God. But now, because those governing cannot deliver a better life for the people than Mubarak can, will have no choice but to begin to blame the Jews for their own woes, and send the lives of their people into a greater downward spiral.


Genesis 13:10g

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

Qal infinitive construct with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

Tsôʿar (צֹּעַר) [pronounced TSOH-ģahr]

to be small, to be insignificant; transliterated Zoar

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #6820 BDB #858


Translation: ...when you enter Zoar. This is what Lot is looking at. The text is hard to follow, because it is so elliptical, but Lot was thinking in poetry as he viewed this land. It was all so very beautiful. There was apparently a valley which led into the city of Zoar, and that, to Lot, appeared to be the way that he should go. The land was incredibly beautiful.


This final phrase can appear to be confusing, as Zoar is not anywhere near Egypt, and we would not apprehend the two together.

Explaining “When you enter Zoar”

Translator

Text/Commentary

Holman Christian Standard Bible

Lot looked out and saw that the entire Jordan Valley as far as Zoar was well-watered everywhere like the LORD's garden and the land of Egypt. This was before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. This phrase simply continues the area that Lot was looking at. The Good News Bible does the same thing.

New Living Translation

Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) The NLT takes the same approach as the HCSB above.

Kaplan Translation

Lot looked up and saw that the entire Jordan Plain, all the way to Tzar [A city originally known as Bela, associated with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14:2). Also see Genesis 19:22, Deuteronomy 34:3. According to tradition, Tzoar was settled later than the other four cities (Shabbath 10b; Rashi on 19:20). From the context, it would seem that Tzoar was the southernmost of these cities, possibly on the southern bank of what is now the Dead Sea. (see Josephus, Wars 4:8:4).] [According to context, this phrase fits here. However, the verse literally ends, 'Like the land of Egypt, as one comes to Tzoar.' Accordingly, this 'Tzoar' may not be the one associated with Sodom, but an ancient Egyptian frontier fortress.] had plenty of water. (This was before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah [See Genesis 19:24. Also see Genesis 10:19.].) It was like God's own garden, like the land of Egypt.

Most translations

Most translators simply translate this as it stands, without moving it about or changing anything, leaving it up to commentators to explain.

Commentator

Text/Commentary

Clarke

As paradise was watered by the four neighboring streams, and as Egypt was watered by the annual overflowing of the Nile; so were the plains of the Jordan, and all the land on the way to Zoar, well watered and fertilized by the overflowing of the Jordan.

Gill

Zoar...is not to be connected with the land of Egypt, for Zoar was at a great distance from Egypt, but with the plain of Jordan, well watered everywhere till you come to Zoar, at the skirts of it, and which is by an anticipation called Zoar; for at this time, when Abram and Lot parted, it was called Bela, and afterwards, on another account, had the name of Zoar.

Poole

Unto Zoar...these words are not to be joined with the words immediately going before, as if Egypt was commended for its fertility in that part of it from which men go to Zoar, but with the more remote words, and the sense is, as the words of the text are transplaced and rendered by some, that the plain of Jordan was (before the Lord destroyed it and its cities Sodom and Gomorrah) watered every where, even to Zoar; or, even until thou comest, i.e. till a man come, to Zoar, i.e. all the way which leads from the place where Abram then was to Zoar. And such transpositions are not unusual, as we shall see hereafter.

The overwhelming majority simply place as you come to Zoar with Lot’s view of to the Jordan Valley.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


It is obvious that this area is much nicer at this time than several centuries later. During Joshua's time (after which some scholars allege that Genesis was written), this portion of the Jordan valley was absolutely desolate, the antithesis of the description given in this verse. It would make no sense for an author to make up a story like this, when everyone during and after Joshua's day could see that this land was barren. Since that time, however, in the 19th and 20th centuries b.c., archeologists have shown that there were several populous cities in this area previous to Joshua's time for centuries. Since it is highly unlikely that cities would be founded in a barren desert, this would fit with Abram's description which he gives here (in his writing). As Scofield put it, the Spade of the archaeologist has served again and again to confirm the Scriptures, not to deny them. This also tells us that when God told Abram that He would give the land to him, that He was not speaking of some forlorn desert or some barren wasteland. The land was beautiful and fruitful. Even after Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed, most of the Land of Promise will remain beautiful and fertile.


Gen 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well-watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)


Lot, here, represents the carnal man, who walks by sight and not by faith (2Cor. 5:7). He and Abram are probably both on a high mountain, just west of Ai, and Lot carefully, from that mountain, looks in all directions. The Jordan Valley looks ideal. It is well-watered, which means there is a lot of foliage for himself, his crew and his animals. Lot will choose to go east, toward Ai, and then south.


It is reasonable to assume that, if Lot looked out and saw a beautiful land, then others had seen that land as well, and had already taken it for themselves.


Now, reread this verse and focus on the final sentence:


Gen 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well-watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)


This final sentence is what as known as a gloss. That is, this sentence is disconnected from the narrative as presented and probably added to the text at a different time. There are 2 possibilities: (1) When Abram first recorded this incident, he did not write the sentence, This was before Yehowah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. (I believe that Abram wrote about his own life, just as Jacob, his grandson, will write about his own life). Therefore, years later, either Abram himself or a later writer (Jacob, Joseph or Moses) added this sentence in order to clarify things. This particular area had become so devastated that it would be hard to believe that once, it was a beautiful place, like the garden of God, so someone adds this explanatory phrase. (2) Abram himself wrote this narrative sometime after it actually occurred (which is very possible), and he adds this sentence, which falls outside of the direct narrative, but helps to explain that the area of Sodom and Gomorrah were once very beautiful. Strictly speaking, the second possibility is not a gloss.


My hypothesis is, Abram will receive the Scriptures (Gen. 1:1–11:9 and possibly the book of Job) from Melchizedek, the priest. Abram will later add his genealogical line along with the pertinent events of his life. By the time that he records these words, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah are 10+ years in the past. Bear in mind, all of this is conjecture (however, it makes infinitely more sense than the idea that Moses wrote all of Genesis). Although Moses is said, in the Bible, to be the author of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, he is nowhere called the author of Genesis.


The more common view of the Pentateuch is, Moses wrote all of this down, which he knew from the oral tradition. The idea of this oral tradition is based upon 2 things: (1) The Jews actually did have an oral tradition when it came to understanding the Scriptures, and that was later written down as the Talmud and the Mishna. (2) The second reason that people believed in the oral tradition is, for many centuries, people did not believe that language was written down at this time. However, we have since found out that this is not the case. Abram lived around 2000 b.c., give or take. We have Sumerian writings which date between 3500–2900 b.c.; Egyptian inscriptions which go back ot 3300 b.c., and Akkadian writing which dates back to 2800 b.c. Therefore, there is no longer this need to assume that there was a great oral tradition which preserved the words which we are studying.


——————————


And so chooses for himself Lot all a circle of the Jordan and so he pulls up stakes from east. And so they separate a man from upon his brother.

Genesis

13:11

Lot chose for himself all the circular tract of the Jordan and so he journeyed from the east. Thus, they separated each one from association with his brother.

Lot chose for himself the circular district of the Jordan, and he journey to there from the east. Thus, these men separated from one another, severing their business ties.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Lot chose to him all the plain of Jardena; and Lot journeyed from the east, and they separated the one man from his brother.

Latin Vulgate                          And Lot chose to himself the country about the Jordan, and he departed from the east: and they were separated one brother from the other.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so chooses for himself Lot all a circle of the Jordan and so he pulls up stakes from east. And so they separate a man from upon his brother.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then Lot chose for himself all the land of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east; thus they separated one brother from the other.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Lot chose for himself all the country round the Jordan, and Lot went from the east, and they were separated each from his brother. And Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           So Lot chose for himself the entire Jordan Valley. Lot set out toward the east, and they separated from each other.

Contemporary English V.       So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself, and as he started toward the east, he and Abram separated.

Easy English                          Lot chose all the plain in the valley of the Jordan River. He chose that for himself. Therefore Lot went east, so that he and Abram were not together.

Easy-to-Read Version            So Lot chose to live in the Jordan Valley. The two men separated, and Lot began traveling east..

The Message                         Lot took the whole plain of the Jordan. Lot set out to the east. That's how they came to part company, uncle and nephew.

New Century Version             So Lot chose to move east and live in the Jordan Valley. In this way Abram and Lot separated.

New Life Version                    So Lot chose all the Jordan valley for himself. And as Lot traveled east, they went apart from each other.

New Living Translation           Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley to the east of them. He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram.

The Voice                               So Lot chose to settle his family on the plains of the Jordan Valley, and he journeyed eastward. This is how Abram and Lot separated from each other and established two different households.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, Lot chose all the country around the Jordan for himself and he traveled to the east, as the brothers parted ways.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       So Lot chose the hollow of Jordan, and went away to the east, and the two kinsmen parted company.

New American Bible              Lot, therefore, chose for himself the whole Jordan Plain and set out eastward. Thus they separated from each other;...

NIRV                                      So Lot chose the whole Jordan River valley for himself. Then he started out toward the east.

The two men separated.

Revised English Bible            So Lot chose all the Jordan plain and took the road to the east. They parted company:...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Lot chose for himself all the Jordan flats. Lot journeyed east, segregating the man from his brothe.

The Expanded Bible              So Lot chose to move east and live in the Jordan Valley [13:10]. In this way Abram and Lot separated.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 So the whole Plain of the Jordan pleased him, and Lot marched to the east; and they separated from each other.

NET Bible®                             Lot chose for himself the whole region of the Jordan and traveled [Heb "Lot traveled." The proper name has not been repeated in the translation at this point for stylistic reasons.] toward the east.

So the relatives separated from each other [Heb "a man from upon his brother."] [Separated from each other. For a discussion of the significance of this event, see L. R. Helyer, "The Separation of Abram and Lot: Its Significance in the Patriarchal Narratives," JSOT 26 (1983): 77-88.].

NIV, ©2011                             So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:...


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and Lot chooses all the environs of Yarden;

and Lot pulls stakes east:

and they separate - man from brother.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they parted from each other;...

Kaplan Translation                 Lot chose for himself the entire Jordan Plain. He headed eastward [(The verse literally says, 'from the east,' but from the context, this must be interpreted as 'eastward,' since the Jordan is to the east of Bethel (Radak. See Rashi; Ibn Ezra).], and the two separated.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Then Lot chose for him all the plain of Yarden; and Lot journeyed mikedem (east); and they separated themselves the one from his brother.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Then Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley and [he] traveled east. So they separated.

Concordant Literal Version    And choosing is Lot for his all the basin of the Jordan. And journeying is Lot east. And being parted are they, each man from his brother.

English Standard Version      So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other.

The Geneva Bible                  Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. This was done by Gods providence, that only Abram and his seed might dwell in the land of Canaan.

Green’s Literal Translation    Then Lot chose all the circuit of Jordan for himself. And Lot pulled up stakes toward the east. And they were separated, each one from his brother.

Syndein/Thieme                     Then Lot chose for himself {relying on himself, not the Lord} all the plain of Jordan and Lot journeyed east and they separated themselves the one from their kinsman {uncle/nephew and fellow believers}.

World English Bible                So Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan for himself. Lot traveled east, and they separated themselves the one from the other.

Young's Literal Translation     Then Lot chose all the circuit of Jordan for himself. And Lot pulled up stakes toward the east. And they were separated, each one from his brother.

 

The gist of this verse:          Lot looks into the valley of the Jordan and chooses this area for himself. He and Abram separate from one another.


Genesis 13:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bâchar (בָּחַר) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose; Gesenius also lists to prove, to try, to examine, to approve, to choose, to select; to love, to delight in [something], to desire

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #977 BDB #103

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

kikâr (כִּכָּר) [pronounced kik-KAWR]

a circle, a globe; a circular tract of land, a round district; a round loaf, a cake; a round weight, a round talent; a talent [of gold, silver, bronze]

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #3603 BDB #503

Yâredên (יָרְדֵן) [pronounced yare-DAYN]

transliterated Jordan

proper noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3383 BDB #434


Translation: Lot chose for himself all the circular tract of the Jordan... This tends to be a difficult verse to understand, even though the words are quite simple. Where exactly are Abram and Lot right this moment? Where are they in relation to the Jordan River?


We have several possibilities, but it will be best to go to the next part of the verse first.


Genesis 13:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]