Genesis 13:18
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.
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(18) The plain of Mamre.—(Heb., oaks of Mamre. See on Genesis 12:6). Mamre was an Amorite, then living, and as he was confederate with Abram, it was apparently with the consent of the Amorites, and by virtue of the treaty entered into with them, that Abram made this oak-grove one of his permanent stations.

Hebron.—That is, alliance. Hebron was perhaps so called from the confederacy formed between Abram and the Amorites, and was apparently the name not only of a city, but of a district, as the oaks of Mamre are described as being “in Hebron.” For its other name, Kirjath-arba, see note on Genesis 23:2.

13:14-18 Those are best prepared for the visits of Divine grace, whose spirits are calm, and not ruffled with passion. God will abundantly make up in spiritual peace, what we lose for preserving neighbourly peace. When our relations are separated from us, yet God is not. Observe also the promises with which God now comforted and enriched Abram. Of two things he assures him; a good land, and a numerous issue to enjoy it. The prospects seen by faith are more rich and beautiful than those we see around us. God bade him walk through the land, not to think of fixing in it, but expect to be always unsettled, and walking through it to a better Canaan. He built an altar, in token of his thankfulness to God. When God meets us with gracious promises, he expects that we should attend him with humble praises. In outward difficulties, it is very profitable for the true believer to mediate on the glorious inheritance which the Lord has for him at the last.Abram obeys the voice of heaven. He moves his tent from the northern station, where he had parted with Lot, and encamps by the oaks of Mamre, an Amorite sheik. He loves the open country, as he is a stranger, and deals in flocks and herds. The oaks, otherwise rendered by Onkelos and the Vulgate "plains of Mamre," are said to be in Hebron, a place and town about twenty miles south of Jerusalem, on the way to Beersheba. It is a town of great antiquity, having been built seven years before Zoan (Tanis) in Egypt Numbers 13:22. It was sometimes called Mamre in Abram's time, from his confederate of that name. It was also named Kiriath Arba, the city of Arba, a great man among the Anakim Joshua 15:13-14. But upon being taken by Kaleb it recovered the name of Hebron. It is now el-Khulil (the friend, that is, of God; a designation of Abram). The variety of name indicates variety of masters; first, a Shemite it may be, then the Amorites, then the Hittites Genesis 23, then the Anakim, then Judah, and lastly the Muslims.

A third altar is here built by Abram. His wandering course requires a varying place of worship. It is the Omnipresent One whom he adores. The previous visits of the Lord had completed the restoration of his inward peace, security, and liberty of access to God, which had been disturbed by his descent to Egypt, and the temptation that had overcome him there. He feels himself again at peace with God, and his fortitude is renewed. He grows in spiritual knowledge and practice under the great Teacher.

- Abram Rescues Lot

1. אמרפל 'amrāpel, Amraphel; related: unknown. אלריוך 'aryôk, Ariok, "leonine?" related: ארי 'arı̂y, "a lion:" a name re-appearing in the time of Daniel Dan 2:14. אלסר 'elāsār Ellasar (related: unknown) is identified with Larsa or Larancha, the Λάρισσα Larissa or Λαράχων Larachōn of the Greeks, now Senkereh, a town of lower Babylonia, between Mugheir (Ur) and Warka (Erek) on the left bank of the Frat. כדרלעמר kedārlā‛omer, Kedorla'omer, was compared by Col. Rawlinson with Kudur-mapula or mabuk, whose name is found on the bricks of Chaldaea, and whose title is Apda martu, ravager of the west. He translates it "servant of Lagamer," one of the national divinities of Susiana. It is also compared with Kedar el-Ahmar, "Kedar the Red," a hero in Arabian story. תדעל tı̂d‛āl, Tid'al, "terror." גוים gôyı̂m, Goim, "nations."

2. ברע bera‛, Bera', "gift?" ברשׁע bı̂rsha, Birsha', "long and thick?" Arabic שׁנאב shı̂n'āb, Shinab, "coolness?" אדמה 'admâh, Admah, "red soil" שׁמאבר shem'ēber, Shemeber, "high-soaring?" צביים; tsebôyı̂ym, Tseboim, "gazelles." בלע bela‛, Bela', "devouring."

3. שׂדים śı̂dı̂ym, Siddim, "plains, fields."

5. רפאים repā'ı̂ym, Rephaim, "the still, the shades, the giants." קרנים עשׁתרת (ashterot-qarnayı̂m, 'Ashteroth-Qurnaim, "ewes of the two horns"; according to Gesenius, "stars of the two horns." The first word may be singular, "ewe," or "star." The latter meaning is gained by connecting the word with the Persian sitareh and the Greek ἀστήρ astēr, "star." Ashteroth is the moon or the planet Venus, whence Astarte. זוּזים zûzı̂ym, Zuzim; related: "glance, gush." הם hām, Ham, "rush, sound, crowd." אימים 'eymı̂ym, Emim, "terrible." שׁיח־קריתים shāvēh-qı̂ryātāyı̂m, Shaveh, "plain"; Qiriathaim, "two cities;" related: "meet."

6. חרי chorı̂y, Chori, troglodyte; verb: "bore;" noun: "cave." שׁעיר sē‛ı̂yr, Se'ir, "rough, shaggy." פארן איל 'eyl-pā'rān, El, "tree, oak, terebinth, palm"; Paran, "bushy, or cavernous."

7. משׁפט עין ‛eyn-mı̂shpāṭ, 'En-mishpat, "well of judgment." קדשׁ qādēsh, Qadesh, "consecrated." עמלקי ‛ǎmālēkı̂y, 'Amaleki, "a people that licks up." תמר חצצן chatstson-tāmār, Chatsatson-tamar, "cuttiny of the palm."

13. עברי ‛ı̂brı̂y 'Ibri, a descendant of Eber. אשׁכל 'eshkol, Eshkol, "cluster of grapes." ענר ‛ǎner, 'Aner; related: unknown.

14. דן dan, Dan, "ruler, judge."

15. חיבה chôbâh, Chobah, "hidden." דמושׂק dameśeq, Dammeseq. a quadraliteral; related: "hasty, active, alert."

18. מלכיצדק malkı̂y-tsedeq, Malkitsedeq, "king of righteousness." שׁלם shālēm, Shalem. "peace." אל 'êl, El, "lasting, strong; strength."

20. מגן mı̂gēn, "give, deliver;" related: "mag, may."


18. the plain of Mamre … built … an altar—the renewal of the promise was acknowledged by Abram by a fresh tribute of devout gratitude. Mamre was an Amorite of great note, from whom the city Hebron was called Mamre, Genesis 23:19, a friend and confederate of Abram, Genesis 14:13, by whom it is thought he was brought to the knowledge and worship of the true God.

In Hebron; or, near Hebron; for so the Hebrew Beth is sometimes taken.

Then Abram removed his tent,.... From the mountain between Bethel and Hai, Genesis 13:3,

and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, or "in the oaks of Mamre" (e); in a grove of oaks there, as being shady and pleasant to dwell among or under, and not through any superstitious regard to such trees and places where they grew; which has obtained since among the Heathens, and particularly among the Druids, who have their name from thence. Indeed such superstitions might take their rise from hence, being improved and abused to such purposes; and both Jerom (f) and Sozomen (g) speak of the oak of Abram being there in the times of Constantine, and greatly resorted to, and had in great veneration; and they and others make mention of a turpentine tree, which it is pretended sprung from a walking stick of one of the angels that appeared to Abram at this place, greatly regarded in a superstitious way by all sorts of persons: this plain or grove of oaks, here spoken of, was called after a man whose name was Mamre, an Amorite, a friend and confederate of Abram:

which is in Hebron; or near it, an ancient city built seven years before Zoan or Tanis in Egypt, Numbers 13:22; it was first called Kirjath Arbab, but, in the times of Moses, Hebron, Genesis 23:2. The place they call the Turpentine, from the tree that grows there, according to Sozomen (h), was fifteen furlongs distant from Hebron to the south; but Josephus (i) says it was but six furlongs, or three quarters of a mile; who speaking of Hebron says,"the inhabitants of it say, that it is not only more ancient than the cities of that country, but than Memphis in Egypt, and is reckoned to be of 2300 years standing: they report, that it was the habitation of Abram, the ancestor of the Jews, after he came out of Mesopotamia, and that from hence his children descended into Egypt, whose monuments are now shown in this little city, made of beautiful marble, and elegantly wrought; and there is shown, six furlongs from it, a large turpentine tree, which they say remained from the creation to that time.''A certain traveller (j) tells us, that the valley of Mamre was about half a mile from old Hebron; from Bethel, whence Abram removed to Mamre, according to Sir Walter Raleigh (k), was about twenty four miles; but Bunting (l) makes it thirty two:

and built there an altar unto the Lord; and gave thanks for the prevention of strife between Lot and him, and for the renewal of the grant of the land of Canaan to him and his seed; and performed all acts of religious worship, which the building of an altar is expressive of.

(e) "juxta quercetum Mamre", Tigurine version, Pagninus, Montanus; so Ainsworth. (f) De loc. Heb. fol. 87. E. tom. 3.((g) Eccles. Hist. l. 2. c. 4. p. 447. (h) lbid. (i) De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 7. (j) Baumgarten. Peregrinatio, l. 2. c. 4. p. 79. (k) History of the World, par. 1. B. 2. sect. 3. p. 132. (l) Travels, p. 57.

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.
18. the oaks of Mamre] Better, as R.V. marg., terebinths. Cf. Genesis 14:13, Genesis 18:1. Probably the sacred trees of the Canaanite sanctuary at Hebron. Josephus (Ant. i. x. § 4 and B.J. iv. ix. § 7) mentions the oak tree (δρύς) of Hebron. The so-called oak of Abraham, 3 miles N.W. of Hebron, was shattered by a storm in the winter of 1888–9. The tree was said to be six or seven hundred years old. In Genesis 14:24 Mamre is the name of a local chieftain allied with Abram. Here, and in Genesis 23:17; Genesis 23:19, Genesis 25:9, Genesis 49:30, Genesis 50:13, it is the name of a place near Hebron.

in Hebron] The famous city of Judah; cf. Genesis 23:2. From its connexion with Abram it derives its modern name El Ḥalil, “the friend,” an abbreviation of Ḥalil er-raḥman, “the friend of the Merciful One, i.e. God,” the designation of Abram. Cf. Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23. It stands 3000 ft. above the sea, at the junction of the main roads, from Gaza in the W., from Egypt in the S.W., from the Red Sea on the S.E., and from Jerusalem, 19 miles away, on the N.

Verse 18. - Then - literally, and, acting immediately as the heavenly voice directed - Abram removed - or rather pitched (cf. ver. 12) - his tent, and dwelt - settled down, made the central point of his subsequent abode in Canaan (Wordsworth) - in the plane - בְּאֵלֹנֵי = oaks (Gesenius) or terebinths Celsins); vide Genesis 12:6 - of Mamre - an Amorite chieftain who afterwards became the friend and ally of Abram (Genesis 14:13, 24), and to whom probably the grove belonged - which is in Hebron - twenty-two miles south of Jerusalem on the way to Beersheba, a town of great antiquity, having been built seven years before Zoan, in Egypt (Numbers 13:22). As it is elsewhere styled Kirjath-arba, or the city of Arba (Genesis 23:2; Genesis 35:27), and appears to have been so called until the conquest (Joshua 14:15), the occurrence of the name Hebron is regarded as a trace of post-Mosaic authorship (Clericus, et alii); but it is more probable that Hebron was the original name of the city, and that it received the appellation Kirjath-arba on the arrival in the country of Arba the Anakite, perhaps during the sojourn of Jacob's descendants in Egypt (Rosenmüller, Bantugarten, Hengstenberg, Keil, Kurtz). The place is called by modern Arabs El Khalil, the friend of God. And built there an altar unto the Lord.

Genesis 13:18After Lot's departure, Jehovah repeated to Abram (by a mental, inward assurance, as we may infer from the fact that אמר "said" is not accompanied by ויּרא "he appeared") His promise that He would give the land to him and to his seed in its whole extent, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward, and would make his seed innumerable like the dust of the earth. From this we may see that the separation of Lot was in accordance with the will of God, as Lot had no share in the promise of God; though God afterwards saved him from destruction for Abram's sake. The possession of the land is promised עולם עד "for ever." The promise of God is unchangeable. As the seed of Abraham was to exist before God for ever, so Canaan was to be its everlasting possession. But this applied not to the lineal posterity of Abram, to his seed according to the flesh, but to the true spiritual seed, which embraced the promise in faith, and held it in a pure believing heart. The promise, therefore, neither precluded the expulsion of the unbelieving seed from the land of Canaan, nor guarantees to existing Jews a return to the earthly Palestine after their conversion to Christ. For as Calvin justly says, "quam terra in saeculum promittitur, non simpliciter notatur perpetuitas; sed quae finem accepit in Christo." Through Christ the promise has been exalted from its temporal form to its true essence; through Him the whole earth becomes Canaan (vid., Genesis 17:8). That Abram might appropriate this renewed and now more fully expanded promise, Jehovah directed him to walk through the land in the length of it and the breadth of it. In doing this he came in his "tenting," i.e., his wandering through the land, to Hebron, where he settled by the terebinth of the Amorite Mamre (Genesis 14:13), and built an altar to Jehovah. The term ישׁב (set himself, settled down, sat, dwelt) denotes that Abram made this place the central point of his subsequent stay in Canaan (cf. Genesis 14:13; Genesis 18:1, and Genesis 23). On Hebron, see Genesis 23:2.
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