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13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. 2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 3 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; 4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

When Abram returned to Canaan, he went directly to Bethel where he had built an altar when he first entered the land. Verse 4 says "there Abram called on the name of the Lord." Evidently he had learned his lesson while in Egypt and now wanted to restore his fellowship with God.

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5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 6 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.

Abram and Lot were both very wealthy. Wealth in that day was largely measured by the number of animals and servants one owned. They had so many of both that they found it difficult to live together. Pasture was insufficient and the servants began to quarrel over what there was. Abram suggested that they separate and gave Lot his choice of land. Lot chose the well-watered plain of the Jordan. He would have no problem finding pasture for his animals there. Although the area of Jordan near the Dead Sea is dry and fruitless now, archaeologists have found the remains of many cities there and evidence that it was once a good, fertile land. Could be the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and all the plain is what changed the land.

Notice here that Abram gave Lot his choice of land but, according to the culture of the day, Lot should have deferred this preference to Abram since he was the oldest. Lot, some say selfishly, chose the best land for himself. We will later see where this becomes his downfall. Selfishness is not a Godly trait!

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14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

Now God appears to Abram to repeat the promise He had already made. He promised to give him all the land that he saw and to make his seed as numerous as the dust of the earth. Abram moved then to the plain of Mamre in Hebron and built another altar to the Lord in evidence of his great faith!




FOOD FOR THOUGHT

1) Why do you think Abram gave Lot first choice of land?

2) Do you think Lot should have declined first choice? Why or why not?

3) Why do you think the area around the Salt Sea was once so fertile but lies barren now?

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