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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.

2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3He journeyed on by stages from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4to the place where he had made an altar at the first; and there Abram called on the name of the L ord. 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. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites lived in the land.

8 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. 9Is 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.” 10Lot looked about him, and saw that the plain of the Jordan was well watered everywhere like the garden of the L ord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar; this was before the L ord had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 11So Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward; thus they separated from each other. 12Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13Now the people of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the L ord.

14 The L ord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Raise your eyes now, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. 16I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17Rise up, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18So Abram moved his tent, and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the L ord.

8. And Abram said unto Lot. Moses first states, that Abram no sooner perceived the strifes which had arisen, than he fulfilled the duty of a good householder, by attempting to restore peace among his domestics; and that afterwards, by his moderation, he endeavored to remedy the evil by removing it. And although the servants alone were contending, he yet does not say in vain, Let there be no strife between me and thee: because it was scarcely possible but that the contagion of the strife should reach from the domestics to their lords, although they were in other respects perfectly agreed. He also foresaw that their friendship could not long remain entire, unless he attempted, in time, to heal the insidious evil. Moreover, he calls to mind the bond of consanguinity between them; not because this alone ought to avail to promote mutual peace, but that he might more easily bend and mollify the mind of his nephew. For when the fear of God is less effectual with us than it ought to be; it is useful to call in other helps also, which may retain us in our duty. Now however since we all are adopted as sons of God, with the condition annexed, that we should be mutually brethren to each other: this sacred bond is less valued by us than it ought to be, if it does not prove sufficient to allay our contentions.

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