13:1 So Abram [would later be renamed Abraham (Gen. 17:5)] went up from Egypt [Abram went to Egypt because of famine in Canaan (cf. Gen. 12:10-20)] to the Negev [the southern desert area of Canaan], with his wife and everything he had, and Lot [the son of Abram’s brother Haran] went with him.
13:2 Abram had become very wealthy [first Bible reference to anyone being rich] in livestock and in silver and gold.
13:3 From the Negev he went from place to place [possibly seeking pasture for his animals] until he came to Bethel [means “the house of God”], to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier
13:4 and where he had first built an altar [cf. Gen. 12:8]. There Abram called on the name of the LORD.
13:5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.
13:6 But the land could not support them [their large flocks and herds and tents] while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together.
13:7 And quarreling [strife often threatens families; wealth and prosperity created tensions between Abram and Lot] arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites [a general designation for the inhabitants of Canaan] and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.
13:8 So Abram [took the initiative to settle the quarrel; Abram did not demand his rights as the older man; cf. Eph. 4:26,32] said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling [at this point the strife was verbal and had not yet led to physical strife] between you and me [Abram acknowledged joint responsibility for the problem], or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers [close relatives; Abram understood the importance of family].
Note: What are some ways to resolve family conflicts?
13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. [Abram gave Lot the power to make the decision; shows Abram’s humility, generosity, and unselfish attitude] If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”
13:10 Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered [essential for the survival of his flocks], like the garden of the LORD [reference to the garden of Eden (cf. Isa. 51:3)], like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar [a small village (Gen. 19:22-23); a fertile area]. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah [indicates that God’s judgment changed the geography of the area].)
13:11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan [in spite of the moral degeneracy of those who already lived there (cf. Gen. 13:13)] and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:
Note: What does Lot’s choice tell you about his character and the kind of man he was?
13:12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom [Lot lived there until the city was destroyed (Gen. 19); cf. 2 Pet. 2:7-8].
13:13 [Lot’s decision to settle in this area would result in his family’s ruin] Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning [cf. Gen. 19:4-5] greatly against the LORD.
13:14 The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north [toward Shechem] and south [toward Jerusalem], east [toward the Jordan Valley] and west [toward the Plain of Sharon].
13:15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring [this must have been perplexing to Abram since he and his wife Sarai were advanced in age] forever.
13:16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth [hyperbole meaning too numerous to count], so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.
13:17 Go, walk [a symbolic claiming of all the land] through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
13:18 So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees [lush oaks which grow to a height of up to twenty-five feet] of Mamre at Hebron [located about 20 miles south of what would later be known as Jerusalem], where he built an altar to the LORD [third mention that Abram worshiped at an altar to the Lord (cf. Gen. 12:8; 13:3-4)].