|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-4 Abram was very rich: he was very heavy, so the Hebrew word is; for riches are a burden; and they that will be rich, do but load themselves with thick clay, Hab 2:6. There is a burden of care in getting riches, fear in keeping them, temptation in using them, guilt in abusing them, sorrow in losing them, and a burden of account at last to be given up about them. Yet God in his providence sometimes makes good men rich men, and thus God's blessing made Abram rich without sorrow, Pr 10:22. Though it is hard for a rich man to get to heaven, yet in some cases it may be, Mr 10:23,24. Nay, outward prosperity, if well managed, is an ornament to piety, and an opportunity for doing more good. Abram removed to Beth-el. His altar was gone, so that he could not offer sacrifice; but he called on the name of the Lord. You may as soon find a living man without breath as one of God's people without prayer.
Verse 2. - And Abram was very rich. Literally, weighty; used in the sense of abundance (Exodus 12:38; 1 Kings 10:2; 2 Kings 6:14). In cattle. Mikneh, from kana, to acquire by purchase, may apply to slaves as well as cattle (cf. Genesis 17:12, 13, 23). In silver and gold. Mentioned for the first time in Scripture; implying an acquaintance among the Egyptians with the operations of mining and the processes of refining the precious metals. Cf. the instructions of Amenemhat I., which speak of that monarch, belonging to the twelfth dynasty, as having built for himself a palace adorned with gold (vide 'Records of the Past,' vol. 2. p. 14).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Abram was very rich,.... He was rich in spiritual things, in faith, and in all other graces, and was an heir of the kingdom of heaven; and in temporal things, as it sometimes is the lot of good men to be, though but rarely, at least to be exceeding rich, as Abram was; or "very heavy" (r), as the word signifies, he was loaded with wealth and riches, and sometimes an abundance of riches are a burden to a man, and, instead of making him more easy, create him more trouble; and, as we may observe presently, were the occasion of much trouble to Abram and Lot. Abram's riches lay
in cattle, in silver, and in gold; cattle are mentioned first, as being the principal part of the riches of men in those days, such as sheep and oxen, he and she asses and camels, see Genesis 12:16 and besides these he had great quantities of silver and gold: the Jews say (s) he coined money in his own name, and that his coin had on one side an old man and an old woman, and on the other side a young man and a young woman. His riches no doubt were greatly increased by the gifts and presents he received from the king of Egypt during his stay there.
(r) "gravis valde", Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Schmidt. (s) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 2. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
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