Genesis 13:8
And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
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(8, 9) Let there be no strife.—It is evident that Lot was beginning to take part with his herdmen, and regard himself as an injured man. But Abram meets him with the utmost generosity, acknowledges that their growth in wealth rendered a separation necessary, and gives him his choice. And Lot accepts it. Instead of feeling that it was due to his uncle’s age and rank to yield to him the preference, he greedily accepts the offer, selects the region that seemed to offer the greatest earthly advantages, but finds in the long run that it has perils which far outweigh its promises of wealth and pleasure.

Genesis 13:8-9. Although Abram was the elder, wiser, and every way worthier person than Lot, yet he voluntarily, and without reluctance or hesitation, relinquishes his own right to his inferior for the sake of peace, that no scandal might be brought on the true religion, hereby leaving a noble example for our imitation. Let there be no strife between me and thee

So nearly related as kinsmen, and as worshippers and children of the one living and true God. Betwixt us a contention will be very indecent, and of scandalous tendency.

13:5-9 Riches not only afford matter for strife, and are the things most commonly striven about; but they also stir up a spirit of contention, by making people proud and covetous. Mine and thine are the great make-bates of the world. Poverty and labour, wants and wanderings, could not separate Abram and Lot; but riches did so. Bad servants often make a great deal of mischief in families and among neighbours, by their pride and passion, lying, slandering, and talebearing. What made the quarrel worse was, that the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the land. The quarrels of professors are the reproach of religion, and give occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. It is best to keep the peace, that it be not broken; but the next best is, if differences do happen, with all speed to quench the fire that is broken out. The attempt to stay this strife was made by Abram, although he was the elder and the greater man. Abram shows himself to be a man of cool spirit, that had the command of his passion, and knew how to turn away wrath by a soft answer. Those that would keep the peace, must never render railing for railing. And of a condescending spirit; he was willing to beseech even his inferior to be at peace. Whatever others are for, the people of God must be for peace. Abram's plea for peace was very powerful. Let the people of the land contend about trifles; but let not us fall out, who know better things, and look for a better country. Professors of religion should be most careful to avoid contention. Many profess to be for peace who will do nothing towards it: not so Abram. When God condescends to beseech us to be reconciled, we may well beseech one another. Though God had promised Abram to give this land to his seed, yet he offered an equal or better share to Lot, who had not an equal right; and he will not, under the protection of God's promise, act hardly to his kinsman. It is noble to be willing to yield for peace' sake.The strife among the underlings does not alienate their masters. Abram appeals to the obligations of brotherhood. He proposes to obviate any further difference by yielding to Lot the choice of all the land. The heavenly principle of forbearance evidently holds the supremacy in Abram's breast. He walks in the moral atmosphere of the sermon on the mount Matthew 5:28-42.7. And there was a strife—Abraham's character appears here in a most amiable light. Having a strong sense of religion, he was afraid of doing anything that might tend to injure its character or bring discredit on its name, and he rightly judged that such unhappy effects would be produced if two persons whom nature and grace had so closely connected should come to a rupture [Ge 13:8]. Waiving his right to dictate, he gave the freedom of choice to Lot. The conduct of Abraham was not only disinterested and peaceable, but generous and condescending in an extraordinary degree, exemplifying the Scripture precepts (Mt 6:32; Ro 12:10, 11; Php 2:4). Abram said unto Lot. The elder, and wiser, and worthier person relinquisheth his own right to his inferior for peace sake, leaving us a noble example for our imitation.

Between me and thee, and between; or, or between, & c., and for or, as Exodus 21:17 Psalm 8:4, compared with Matthew 15:14 Hebrews 2:6, for there was no strife between Abram and Lot, though he feared it might pass from the feet to the head.

For we be brethren, i.e. both by nature near kinsmen, as the word brother is oft used, and in the faith and religion too, amongst whom contentions are very indecent and scandalous.

And Abram said unto Lot,.... Being either an ear witness himself of the contentions of their servants, or having it reported to him by credible persons, he applied himself to Lot, in order to make peace, being a wise and good man; and though he was senior in years, and superior in substance, and higher in the class of relation, and upon all accounts the greatest man, yet he makes the proposal first, and lays a scheme before Lot for their future friendship, and to prevent quarrels, and the mischievous consequences of them:

let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee; there had been none yet, but it was very likely there would, if the dissension should go on between their servants; they could not well avoid interesting themselves in it, when it related to their respective properties; and there must be a right and wrong in such cases to be looked into and adjusted, which might occasion a difference between them; and this Abram was desirous of preventing, and therefore bespeaks his kinsman in this loving, affectionate, and condescending language:

and or between my herdmen and thy herdmen; as he understood there was, and which, if not timely put an end to, might be of bad consequence to them both, especially as to their peace and comfort, giving this excellent reason to enforce his request:

for we be brethren; or "men brethren we be" (u); we are men, let us act like such, the rational and humane part; they were brethren being men, so by nature all are brethren; by natural relation, Lot being the son of his brother Haran; brethren in religion, of the same faith in the one true and living God, and worshippers of him; and therefore on all accounts, by the ties of nature, relation, and religion, they were obliged to seek and cultivate peace and love.

(u) "viri fratres vos", Pagninus Montanus, Drusius, Schmidt.

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no {e} strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

(e) He cuts off the opportunity for contention: therefore the evil ceases.

8. for we are brethren] i.e. kinsmen; Abram being Lot’s uncle. Cf. Genesis 14:14, “and when Abram heard that his brother (i.e. Lot) was taken captive.”

Abram, as the elder, takes the lead in the conference: his proposal is made with generosity and dignity. Lot, though the younger, is to have his choice.

Verse 8. - And Abram said unto Lot. Perceiving probably that Lot's face was not towards him as usual, and being desirous to avert the danger of collision between his nephew and himself. Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and (i.e. either identifying himself and his nephew with their subordinates, or fearing that the strife of their subordinates might spread to themselves, hence, as) between my herd-men and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Literally, men brethren (cf. Genesis 11:27, 31; Exodus 2:13; Psalm 133:1). Abram and Lot were kinsmen by nature, by relationship, and by faith (vide Genesis 11:31; 2 Peter 2:7). Genesis 13:8To put an end to the strife between their herdsmen, Abram proposed to Lot that they should separate, as strife was unseemly between אחים אנשׁים, men who stood in the relation of brethren, and left him to choose his ground. "If thou to the left, I will turn to the right; and if thou to the right, I will turn to the left." Although Abram was the older, and the leader of the company, he was magnanimous enough to leave the choice to his nephew, who was the younger, in the confident assurance that the Lord would so direct the decision, that His promise would be fulfilled.
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