Ge 13:1-18. Return from
1. went up … south—Palestine being
a highland country, the entrance from Egypt by its southern boundary is
a continual ascent.
2. very rich—compared with the pastoral
tribes to which Abraham belonged. An Arab sheik is considered rich who
has a hundred or two hundred tents, from sixty to a hundred camels, a
thousand sheep and goats respectively. And Abram being very rich, must
have far exceeded that amount of pastoral property. "Gold and silver"
being rare among these peoples, his probably arose from the sale of his
produce in Egypt.
3. went on his journeys—His progress
would be by slow marches and frequent encampments as Abram had to
regulate his movements by the prospect of water and pasturage.
unto the place … between Beth-el and
Hai—"a conspicuous hill—its topmost summit resting on
the rocky slopes below, and distinguished by its olive
groves—offering a natural base for the altar and a fitting shade
for the tent of the patriarch" [Stanley].
4. there Abram called on the name of the
Lord—He felt a strong desire to reanimate his faith and piety
on the scene of his former worship: it might be to express humility and
penitence for his misconduct in Egypt or thankfulness for deliverance
from perils—to embrace the first opportunity on returning to
Canaan of leading his family to renew allegiance to God and offer the
typical sacrifices which pointed to the blessings of the promise.
7. And there was a strife—Abraham's
character appears here in a most amiable light. Having a strong sense
of religion, he was afraid of doing anything that might tend to injure
its character or bring discredit on its name, and he rightly judged
that such unhappy effects would be produced if two persons whom nature
and grace had so closely connected should come to a rupture [Ge 13:8]. Waiving his right to dictate, he
gave the freedom of choice to Lot. The conduct of Abraham was not only
disinterested and peaceable, but generous and condescending in an
extraordinary degree, exemplifying the Scripture precepts (Mt
6:32; Ro 12:10, 11; Php 2:4).
10. Lot lifted up his eyes—Travellers
say that from the top of this hill, a little "to the east of Beth-el"
12:8], they can see the
Jordan, the broad meadows on either bank, and the waving line of
verdure which marks the course of the stream.
11. Then Lot chose him all the plain—a
choice excellent from a worldly point of view, but most inexpedient for
his best interests. He seems, though a good man, to have been too much
under the influence of a selfish and covetous spirit: and how many,
alas! imperil the good of their souls for the prospect of worldly
14, 15. Lift up now thine eyes … all the
land which thou seest—So extensive a survey of the country,
in all directions, can be obtained from no other point in the
neighborhood; and those plains and hills, then lying desolate before
the eyes of the solitary patriarch, were to be peopled with a mighty
nation "like the dust of the earth in number," as they were in
Solomon's time (1Ki 4:20).
18. the plain of Mamre … built … an
altar—the renewal of the promise was acknowledged by Abram by
a fresh tribute of devout gratitude.