Genesis 13:12
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12, 13) Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain.—Heb., of the Ciccar. Not as yet within their walls, but in their neighbourhood, and evidently with a longing “toward Sodom,” where, in Genesis 19, we find him sitting in the gate as a citizen, and with his tent changed to a house. While, then, Abram continued to lead a hardy life as a stranger upon the bracing hills, Lot sighed for the less self-denying habits of the city; and probably, when he had descended into the Ghor, the enervating climate, which so developed the sensual vices of the people as to make them “sinners before Jehovah” (see on Genesis 10:9), disposed Lot also to quit his tent, and yield himself to a luxurious and easy manner of living.

13:10-13 Abram having offered Lot the choice, he at once accepted it. Passion and selfishness make men rude. Lot looked to the goodness of the land; therefore he doubted not that in such a fruitful soil he should certainly thrive. But what came of it? Those who, in choosing relations, callings, dwellings, or settlements, are guided and governed by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life, cannot expect God's presence or blessing. They are commonly disappointed even in that which they principally aim at. In all our choices this principle should rule, That is best for us, which is best for our souls. Lot little considered the badness of the inhabitants. The men of Sodom were impudent, daring sinners. This was the iniquity of Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness, Eze 16:49. God often gives great plenty to great sinners. It has often been the vexatious lot of good men to live among wicked neighbours; and it must be the more grievous, if, as Lot here, they have brought it upon themselves by a wrong choice.The men of Sodom were wicked. - The higher blessing of good society, then, was missing in the choice of Lot. It is probable he was a single man when he parted from Abram, and therefore that he married a woman of Sodom. He has in that case fallen into the snare of matching, or, at all events, mingling with the ungodly. This was the damning sin of the antediluvians Genesis 6:1-7. "Sinners before the Lord exceedingly." Their country was as the garden of the Lord. But the beauty of the landscape and the superabundance of the luxuries it afforded, did not abate the sinful disposition of the inhabitants. Their moral corruption only broke forth into greater vileness of lust, and more daring defiance of heaven. They sinned "exceedingly and before the Lord." Lot had fallen into the very vortex of vice and blasphemy.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 advantage. No text from Poole on this verse.

Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan,.... In that part of the land strictly so called, where the family of the Canaanites had their abode; for otherwise taking Canaan in a more general sense, the plain of Jordan, and cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, were in the land of Canaan.

And Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain; in the neighbourhood of them, or near those cities, which were built on the plain of Jordan, for he could not dwell in more than one, if in one; for it looks as if at his first settlement he did not dwell in any, but near them all, especially Sodom: since it follows:

and pitched his tent toward Sodom, or "even unto Sodom" (a); and it may be rendered, as it is by some, "he pitched his tents" (b), for himself, his family, and his servants, his shepherds and his herdsmen, which reached unto Sodom, and where he afterwards dwelt, at least at the gate of it.

(a) "usque Sodom", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt. (b) "movens tentoria", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator & Tigurine version; so Jarchi.

Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 12. - Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan. Strictly so called; in its larger sense Canaan included the circle of the Jordan. And Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain. Being desirous of a permanent settlement within the gates, or at least in the immediate neighborhood, of the wealthy cities of the laud; in contrast to his uncle, who remained a wanderer throughout its borders, sojourning as in a strange country (Hebrews 11:9). And (with this purpose in contemplation), he pitched his tent toward (i.e. in the direction of, and as far as to) Sodom. Genesis 13:12Lot chose what was apparently the best portion of the land, the whole district of the Jordan, or the valley on both sides of the Jordan from the Lake of Gennesareth to what was then the vale of Siddim. For previous to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, this whole country was well watered, "as the garden of Jehovah," the garden planted by Jehovah in paradise, and "as Egypt," the land rendered so fertile by the overflowing of the Nile, "in the direction of Zoar." Abram therefore remained in the land of Canaan, whilst Lot settled in the cities of the plain of the Jordan, and tented (pitched his tents) as far as Sodom. In anticipation of the succeeding history (Genesis 19), it is mentioned here (Genesis 13:13), that the inhabitants of Sodom were very wicked, and sinful before Jehovah.
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