Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.SECOND SECTION
Abram as a witness for God in Canaan, and his self-denying separation from Lot. The New Promise of God. His altar in Hain (oaks) Mamre
1And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south [of Canaan]. 2And Abram was very rich, in cattle [possessions], in silver, and in gold. 3And he went on his journeys [nomadic departures, stations] from the south, even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; 4Unto the place of the altar which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. 5And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks [small cattle], and herds [large cattle], and tents. 6And the land was not able to bear [support] them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 7And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle, and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then [as owners, settlers, ישֵׁכ] in the land. 8And 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 [men, brethren]. 9Is not the whole land before thee [open to thy choice]? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me. If thou wilt take the left hand [land], then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
10And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain [literally, circle] of Jordan [the down-flowing, descending = Rhein], that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom [burning] and Gomorrah [submersion], even as the garden of the Lord [paradise, in Eden with its stream], like the land of Egypt, as [until] thou comest to Zoar [smallness, the little one]. 11Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east [מִקֶּדֶם, from the east, Septuagint and Vulgate incorrect]: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12Abram dwelled in the land [province] of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain [the circle], and pitched his tent toward Sodom [until it stood at Sodom]. 13But the men [people] of Sodom were wicked, and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
14And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes and look [out] from the place where thou art northward [to Lebanon], and southward [the desert], and eastward [to Perea], and westwards [the sea]. 15For all the land which thou [thus] seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever [to eternity]. 16And I will make [have determined] 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. 17Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre [fatness, strength: name of the owner], which is in Hebron [connection, confederacy], and built there an altar unto the Lord.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
1. The Return of Abram from Egypt, and the introduction of the Separation from Lot (Gen 13:1–9). Into the south.—Abram returned with Lot, whose migration with him to Egypt is thus presupposed, to Canaan, not as in Luther’s version, to the south, but northwards to the southern part of Palestine, to the region of Hebron and Bethlehem, from which he had gone to Egypt. The נֶגֶכ is a term which had obviously attained geographically a fixed usage among the Israelites, and points out the southern region of Palestine. But the pasture-ground in this region seems to have been insufficient for Lot and himself at the same time. Besides his treasures in gold and silver he had grown rich in the possession of herds, especially through the large presents of Pharaoh.1 Hence he removes further, by slow and easy stages, to the earlier pasture-grounds between Bethel and Hai. Here, where he had earlier built an altar, he again sets up the worship of Jehovah with his family. This worship is itself also a preaching of Jehovah for the heathen. But even here the pasture-land was not broad enough, since Lot also was rich in herds, and the Canaanite and Perizzite then held the greater part of that region in their possession. These Perizzites are referred to, because they were those with whom Abram and Lot came most frequently into contact, and were their rivals. “The Perizzites, who do not appear in the genealogical lists of the Canaanitish tribes, but only in the geographical enumeration of the inhabitants of the land (Gen 15:20; Ex. 3:8; Deut. 7:1; Josh. 11:3), and whom we find in different parts of Canaan, are inhabitants of the lowlands, who devote themselves to agriculture and grazing (Ezek. 38:11; ZeGen 2:4; Deut. 3:5; 1 Sam. 6:18). The Perizzites, as the author intimates, were in possession of the best pastures; those only remained to Lot and Abram, which they had despised.” Hengstenberg. Schröder conjectures that the Canaanites here designate the inhabitants of the cities in contrast with the Perizzites who dwelt in the open country. But the name designates, beyond question, not only a mode of life, but a peculiar people, and they are brought into notice here, because they were thickly crowded in the region of Bethel, with Abram. GERLACH: “Perizzites, probably dwellers in perazoth, open courts, or villages, inhabitants of the country, in distinction from those who dwelt in cities.” But then the greater portion of the Canaanites would have been Perizzites, from whom still Gerlach distinguishes the Canaanites. They appear to have been nomads. In Gen. 34:30, they appear in Sichem; in Josh. 11:3, between the Jebusites and Hittites, upon the mountains. Against the interpretation, inhabitants of the open country, see KEIL, p. 137, who distinguishes the form הַפְּרִזִי and הַפְּרָזִי (Deut. 3:5), inhabitants of the low or flatlands.2—Let there be no strife between me and thee.—The strife between the herdsmen, would soon issue in a strife between their masters, if these should quietly or willingly permit the disorder. It is possible that Lot’s restless, uneasy temper, had already betrayed itself in the open strife of his servants. The position of the words of Abram, between me and thee, standing before the allusion to the herdsmen, would seem to intimate something of this kind.—We are brethren (brother men). The law controversies, which, although sometimes allowable between strangers, are yet in all ways to be avoided, ought not to have place between brethren. Here kindred, piety, and affection, should make the utmost concessions easy. In his humility Abram places himself on an equality with Lot, calls him brother, although he was his nephew, and owed to him the duty of a son. Indeed, he so far takes the subordinate place, that he yields to him the choice of the best portions of the land.—If thou wilt take the left hand.—The word of Abram has passed into a proverbial watchword of the peace-loving and yielding temper, in all such cases when a distinction and separation in the circumstances becomes necessary.
2. Lot’s Choice, and the Separation(Gen 13:10–13). The bold, unblushing, self-seeking features in Lot’s character come clearly into view here. He raises his eyes, and with unrestrained greediness chooses what seems to him the best. The circuit of the Jordan, i. e. the region of the Jordan (named simply הַכִּכָּר), includes the deep valley of the Jordan (the Ghor), from the Sea of Tiberias to the Dead Sea. The whole valley, until we reach the Red Sea, is the Arabah, which takes its name from the region here mentioned. It is the vale of Siddim (Gen 14:3), the present region of the Dead Sea, which is here intended. That the lower valley of the Jordan was peculiarly well-watered, and a rich pasture-region, is expressed by a twofold comparison; it was as Paradise, and as the land of Egypt. The lower plain of the Jordan was glorious as the vanished glory of Paradise, or as the rich plains of the Nile in Egypt, which were still fresh in the memory of Lot. For the Jordan and its valley, compare the Bible Dictionories, geographical works, and books of travels.3—As thou comest to Zoar.—At the southeast of the Dead Sea (Ghor el Szaphia).—And they separated themselves, the one (a brother) from the other.—The separation was brotherly in a good and evil sense; good in the mind and thought of Abram, and as to its peaceful form, but evil in so far as the nephew acts as a privileged brother, and chooses the best of the land.—And Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan.—The opposition here is not, as Knobel thinks, between Canaan and the lower valley of the Jordan, but between the land of Canaan in which Abram remained, and the plain rich in cities—(אֶרֶץ must be emphasized in opposition to עָרֵי). This also forms a distinct feature in Lot’s character. Abram remained in the retirement of his oaks, from which Lot removed further and further toward the cities of the valley, and indeed to those most renowned; he soon has his pastures in the neighborhood of Sodom, and his dwelling in Sodom itself. In Sodom, even, we find him in the most frequented place—at the gate. While there is no doubt that he left Mesopotamia in the characteristic faith of Abram, yet the prominence of the worldly thought and inclination is revealed in him, through these facts, although he on the whole preserves in the very heart of his disposition and thought, the essential features of faith and reverence for God. “Sodom must have lain at the southwesterly end of the Dead Sea. The allusion to the pillar of salt points to this location (Gen 19:26), and its name is still preserved there in the present Usdum. The near vicinity of Zoar (Gen 19:20), which must be sought in the Ghor el Szaphia (see Gen 19:22) and the general nature of the southern part of the Dead Sea, are in favor of this location.” Knobel. It is true, that the kindred of the Israelitish tribes left Palestine (Gen 21:14; 25:6, 18; 36:6), but it by no means follows, as Knobel holds, that the writer brings this into prominence from special and interested motives, for the same writer records also the journeyings of the Israelites into Egypt.—But the men of Sodom.—We shall learn more fully the wickedness of the Sodomites in the 19th ch. It is referred to here, in order to show that Lot had chosen foolishly when he thought that he was choosing the best portion, and in order to make way for the history of the punishment which came upon Sodom, in which Lot also must suffer for his folly.4
3. The Renewal and Enlargement of the Promise of the Land of Canaan, with which Abram’s new act of self-denial was rewarded, and his settlement in the groves (oaks) of Mamre, in Hebron(Gen 13:14–18).—Lift up now thine eyes and look.—After the departure of Lot, Jehovah commanded Abram now also to lift up his eyes, in pious faith, as Lot had raised his eyes in impious and shameless self-seeking. Since Bethel was about central in the land, and lay high upon a mountain (Gen 12:8; 35:1, etc.), this direction is evidently historical;5 probably Abram could look far and wide over the land in all directions from this place.—Northwards (towards the midnight), etc.—The designation of the four-quarters of the heavens (com. Gen 28:14).—And I will make thy seed.6 As the land should be great for the people, thy posterity, so thy people shall be numerous, or innumerable for the land. The seed of Abram are compared with the dust of the earth, with reference to its being innumerable. At a later point, the one hyperbole falls into two: “as the stars of heaven, and as the sand upon the sea-shore” (Gen 15:5; 22:17).—Arise, etc. “The free passage through the land, should serve to animate his faith, and be a sign for his descendants of the symbolic seizure and possession of the land. The command is not to be understood as a literal direction; Abram could view the land promised to him, at his pleasure.”—Then Abram removed his tent.7 “The oak-grove of Mamre lay in Hebron, and is often mentioned as the residence of the patriarchs (Gen 14:13, 18; 35:27). It had its name from the Amorite Mamre, a confederate with Abram (Gen 14:13, 24), as the valley northerly from Hebron holds its name, Eschol, from a brother of Mamre” (Num. 13:23). Knobel. According to Knobel, the later custom of sacrificing to Jehovah at Hebron (2 Sam. 15:7), is dated back to the times in Genesis. Still, he can neither deny the migrations, nor the piety of Abram. As to the circumstance that, according to Josh. 15:13, Hebron at an earlier date was called Kirjath-arba,8 see the Introduction. For the founding of Hebron, see Numb. 13:23. BUNSEN: “This remarkable narrative bears upon its face every evidence of historical truth, and is most fitly assigned to a time soon after 2900 years before Christ.”
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. In the history of Abram we must distinguish throughout the providence of God, and the conduct of the patriarch. In the previous chapter the providence of God preserves in safety the promise to Abram, since it preserves Sarah inviolate. In this a new confirmation of the promise appears in the separation from Lot. The conduct of Abram is in both cases marked by a renunciation of self, grounded in faith. As the previous chapter portrays the self-renunciation of Abram in reference to his country, and his father’s house, in regard to a fixed settlement in Canaan, and to his connubial blessedness, so here we meet a like renunciation as to the relative position of Lot, and as to the best parts of Palestine itself. For this new act of self-denial is twofold. With the separation of Lot, leaving out of view now the society and assistance which Abram might have had in him, and which was renounced, his former patriarchal dependence upon Abram ceases, and with the residence of Lot and his family in the best of the land, there might arise a serious prejudice to the claims of the descendants of Abram to the land. But in regard to this also he trusts God, and in this case, without any exaggerated or over-hasty confidence, such as appeared in the exposure of Sarah.9
2. Abram returns to the place of his altar in Bethel. In like manner Christian settlements, towns, and villages, cluster around their churches.
3. The wealth of Abram is referred to by the early writers as an example that even rich people may be pious, and also that the pious may be rich. And indeed, without any contradiction to the word of Christ (Matt. 19:24), for Christ himself explains that word more fully in the 26th verse, by the thought, that through the grace of God, one could be freed from the influence of his wealth, and enabled in humility to use it as a moral good for the glory of God. The writing of Clemens Alex., Τίς ὁ σωζόμενος πλούσιος, is in place here. Moreover, the danger of riches appears prominently here, in the very first case in which riches, as such, are mentioned. His riches were, in some measure, a tax to Abram, since he could not find room for his herds, and his possessions threatened to involve him in hostility with his nephew. It is here also, as always, tainted with a want; the want in this case of sufficient pasturage, and the necessity for the separation of Abram and Lot. But for Lot, indeed, his wealth becomes a temptation, which he does not resist in any creditable way.
4. The germinal divisions of masters ofttimes reveal themselves clearly in the strifes of their servants and dependents. Even the wives are often in open hostility while their husbands are still at peace. Abram teaches us how to observe these symptoms in the right way. His proposal to separate arises from his love of peace, not from any selfish regard to his own interests.10
5. A law-suit is always doubtful or hazardous, although often necessary. Law-suits between brethren are to be avoided with double care and earnestness. How beautiful it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Ps. 133:1); but a peaceful separation is also beautiful, if it prevents a dwelling together in strife and hatred. This holds true also in spiritual things. Abram must avoid with special watchfulness giving an offence to the Canaanites.11
6. “Wilt thou to the left hand,” etc. An eternal shining example, and a watchword of the peace-loving, magnanimous, self-denying character which is the fruit of faith.12
7. The character of Lot. Its light side must not be overlooked. He had left Mesopotamia and his father’s house, cleaving to Abram and his faith, and up to this time had remained true to him in all his march through the land, to Egypt and back. Still, the return from the rich land of Egypt may have awakened in him thoughts similar to those which wrought with many of the Israelites, who murmured against Moses. At all events, the lower valley of the Jordan appears to him specially desirable, because it bears such a resemblance to Egypt. And in the way and manner, violating both modesty and piety, in which he chose this province, and regardless of religious prudence, yielded himself to the attractions of Sodom; the shaded and darker features of his character, the want of sincerity, delicacy, and that freedom from the world which became a pilgrim, are clearly seen. He is still, however, a man who can perceive the angels, and protect them as his guests. In comparison with the Sodomites he is righteous.
8. Lot makes the worst choice, while he thinks that he has chosen well. For his worldly-mindedness, the sin in his choice,13 he was first punished through the plundering of his house, and his captivity in the war of the kings, which followed soon after his choice, and then through his fearful flight from Sodom, and the losses, misfortunes and crimes which were connected with it. Thus, the want of regard to true piety, the selfishness, the carelessness as to the snares of the world, must ever be punished. And indeed, it is just when one thinks, that in his own wilful and sinful ways, he has attained his highest wishes, he finds himself ensnared in the retributions of divine righteousness, which rules over him and works with solemn irony.
9. We must distinguish clearly the times of the revelation and manifestation of Jehovah in the life of Abram, from the times in which he conceals himself from view, which may be regarded as the times of the elevation and sinking of the faith of Abram. He enjoys the first manifestation of God after the first proof of his faith, his migration to Canaan. On the contrary, there is no intimation of any revelation of God on his return from Egypt. But after Abram’s noble act of faith towards Lot, he again receives a new promise in a new word of the Lord. Then again, after his march for the rescue of Lot (Gen 15:1). From his connection with Hagar, thirteen years elapse without any mention of a divine revelation, and the revelation which then follows (Gen 17:1 ff.) wears the form of a renewal of the covenant (Gen 15). But now, after Abram had obeyed the command as to circumcision, he enjoys the fullest manifestation of God, with the most express and definite promise (Gen 18:1 ff.). Thus after his intercessory prayer for Sodom, he is rewarded by the appearance of the angels for Lot, and Lot’s salvation (Gen 19:29). After the events at Gerar, and his deportment there (Gen 20), the quiet and ordinary course of life is only broken by the birth of Isaac, and then follows the great trial of his faith, which he heroically endured, and receives the seal of his faith. From this introductory completion of his life, it unfolds itself in the calm coming and going of the evening of his days. But the promises of God always correspond to the acts and conduct of faith which Abram had shown.
10. Lift up thine eyes and look (v. 14). A glorious antithesis to the word: And Lot lifted up his eyes. The selfish choice brings disgrace and destruction, the choice according to the counsel and wisdom of God secures blessing and salvation.14
11. “This is the third theocratic promise, including both the first (Gen 12:1–3) and the second (Gen 12:7).” Knobel. But it has also, like the preceding, its own specific character. The first promise relates to the person of Abram; in him and in his name are embraced all promised blessings. In the second a seed was more definitely promised to Abram, and also the land of Canaan for the seed. But here, in opposition to the narrow limits in which he is with his herds, and to the pre-occupation of the best parts of the land by Lot, there is promised to him the whole land in its extension towards the four quarters of heaven, and to the boundless territory, an innumerable seed. It should be observed that the whole fulness of the divine promise, is first unreservedly declared to Abram, after the separation from Lot.15 Lot has taken beforehand his part of the good things. His choice appears as a mild or partial example of the choice of Esau (the choice of the lentile-pottage).
12. The Holy land: an allegory of Paradise, a symbol of heaven, a type (germ) of the sanctified and glorified earth.
13. For the primitive, consecrated Hebron, and the oak-grove Mamre, see the dictionaries, geographical hand-books, and books of travels, and also the Bible-work, Book of Joshua.
14. STARKE (the Freiberg Bible): “This is the first time that silver and gold are mentioned since the flood, and we may infer, therefore, that mining for these metals must have been practised.” (Reflections upon Tubal-Cain).
15. The declaration that the Canaanites and Perizzites were then in the land, like the allusion to the Canaanites, Gen 12:6, furnishes no ground for the inference, according to Spinoza, that the passages were first written when there were no longer any Canaanites and Perizzites in the land. For the first passage says plainly, that it was on account of the Canaanites that Abram felt it necessary to go through the land to Sichem; and here again, that owing to their presence, he and Lot found themselves straitened for pasture-ground, and were compelled to separate.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
See Doctrinal and Ethical paragraphs. The happy exodus of Abram from Egypt, a prophecy or type of the glorious Exodus of the children of Israel.—Abram’s return to the altar in Bethel.—The house of God the consecration of the home.—Abram and Lot.—The love of peace characteristic of the believer.—The scandal of kindred and family strifes.—The eager watchfulness of servants.—The true separation for the sake of peace.—The watchword of Abram in its typical significance.—The blessing of a spirit of concession.—The character of Lot in its lighter and darker aspects.—Lot’s choice: 1. In its fair promise; 2. in its evil results.—The third promise of God to Abram.—The peril of the worldly life, and the blessing of retirement: Lot in the gate of Sodom, Abram in the oak-grove of Mamre.—How quickly the paradise of Lot’s choice lay in the terrible depths of the Dead Sea.—How firm the promise of the eternal possession of the Holy land to Abram’s seed: 1. The conditional character of the promise with reference to his natural descendants (the Arabians in Palestine are still his natural sons); 2. its unconditional character for his believing children (Matt. 5:5).
STARKE: Abram and Lot feared God; they were related, and fellow-travellers. Poverty, hunger, and toilsome journeys to and fro, could not bring about any strifes, but the abundance of temporal possessions had nearly accomplished it, when Abram saw and marked the cunning of the devil. If this could happen to holy men like these, we may easily, see how far Satan may carry those whose hearts cling to this world’s goods.—LANGE, Gen 13:2: It is one thing to be rich, and quite another to desire riches, and bend all one’s energies and efforts to that end. It is not the former, but the latter, which is in opposition to true faith, and the divine blessing (Sir. 31:1).
Gen 13:7. The devil is wont to sow tares, misunderstandings, and divisions, even between pious men and believers (Ps. 133:1).
Gen 13:8, 9. What a beautiful example of humility and the love of peace! The elder yields to the younger.—Whoever will be a son of Abram, must strive to win his neighbor by love, but never seek to prevail by violence.
Gen 13:13. It is commonly (often) true, that the people are more depraved in those parts of the land which are more rich and fruitful (Ps. 106:24–29).—A good land seldom bears pious people, and we cannot endure prosperous days with safety (Ezek. 16:49).—OSIANDER, upon Gen 13:18: Religious worship at the first and last.—LISCO: In this history, the principal thing is the grace of God towards the chosen race, the divine providence, through which circumstances are so arranged as to separate from this race one who was not a constituent portion of it. Under this providence Lot freely concedes all his claims to the land of promise, to which the plain of Jordan no longer belonged (certainly not the plain of Sodom, after its submersion). This interpretation is manifestly correct from the account Gen 13:14 and 15, that the new promise of the land of Canaan was given to Abram after the departure of Lot.
Gen 13:16. Includes not barely the natural but also the spiritual descendants—the children of Abram by faith (Jer. 33:22).16
Gen 13:17. This journey should be a type of the possession which took place much later under Joshua.—GERLACH upon Gen 13:2. The outward earthly blessing was, to this man of faith, a pledge of the spiritual and invisible.—PASSAVANT: 1 John 2:15; Matt. 5:5, 9; 6:33.—Indeed, if we only assert our just right and possessions, harshly and firmly, there is no praise nor reward from God, no promise—no pleasant bow of peace; we have our reward, blessing and peace therein.—SCHRÖDER: From all these notices in reference to Canaan, it is clear that everything in this chapter bears upon the land of promise.—Calvin: If no Canaanites surround us, we still live in the midst of enemies, while we live in this world.—Luther: To the service of God, and the preaching of religion, and faith towards God (Gen 13:4), there is added now a most beautiful and glorious example of love to our neighbor, and of patience.—Abram’s generous and magnanimous spirit comes out all the more clearly, through the directly opposite conduct of Lot (Gen 13:10).—Because Lot had in eye only the beauty of the land, he had no eye for the far higher, inward beauty of Abram’s character.—SCHWENKE: In his faith, Abram had placed a low estimate upon the world and its good things, and found a much richer blessing.—HEUSER: Abram in his disturbed relation with Lot: 1. The disturbance; 2. the way in which Abram removed it; 3. the thought which gave him strength for his work.17
1[Gen 13:5. To Lot also there were flocks. The blessing upon Abram overran and flowed over upon Lot. JACOBUS, p. 237.—A. G.]
2[Keil adds, as of still greater force, the use of the name, now with the Canaanites, and now with the other tribes of Canaan, who obviously derive their names from their ancestors, or the head of their tribe.—A. G.]
3[STANLEY: “Sinai and Palestine;” JACOBUS: “Notes.”—A. G.]
4[This is one of the numerous passages which prove the unity of Genesis.—A. G.]
5[Stanley describes the hill as the highest of a succession of eminences, from which Abram and Lot could take the wide survey of the land on the right hand and on the left, such as can be enjoyed from no other point in the neighborhood.—A. G.]
6[“The promise of the land for a possession is עַד עוֹלָם. The divine promise is unchangeable. As the seed of Abram should have an eternal existence before God, so also Canaan is the eternal possession of this seed. But this does not avail for the natural descendants of Abram as such, or his seed according to the flesh, but for the true spiritual seed, who receive the promise by faith, and hold it in believing hearts. This promise, therefore, neither prevents the exclusion of the unbelieving seed from the land of Canaan, nor secures to the Jews a return to the earthly Palestine, after their conversion. Through Christ the promise is raised from its temporal form to its real nature; through him the whole earth becomes a Canaan.” Keil.—“Quum terrain sæculum, promittitur, non simpliciter notatur perpetuitas; sed quæ finem accepit Christi adventu.” Calvin.—A G.]
7[“Dwelt, settled down, made it the central point of his subsequent abode in Canaan.” Wordsworth.—A. G.]
8[“Its earliest name was Hebron, but it was later called Kirjath-arba by the sons of Anak. When the Israelites came into the possession of the land, they restored the original patriarchal name.” BAUMGARTEN, p. 178. Also, HENGSTENBERG’S Beiträge, ii. p. 187 ff.; and KURTZ: “History of the Old Covenant,” p. 169.—A. G.]
9[“Abram went up out of Egypt. In the history of Abram, the father of Isaac, the type and pattern of the true Israelites, we see prophetic glimpses of the history of his posterity. Abram went out of Egypt very rich in cattle, silver, and gold. Abram had his Exodus from Egypt into Canaan, and it was a prefiguration of theirs, Ex. 12:35, 38, which in time prefigures the pilgrimage of the church through the world to the heavenly Canaan. Is not the life of Abram, as presented in the Pentateuch, so wonderfully preadjusted to the circumstances and necessities of all the Israel of God, a silent proof of its genuineness and inspiration?” Wordsworth.—A. G.]
10 [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 (Matt. 6:28–42). Murphy.—A. G.]
[“The practical nature of Abram’s religion was most strikingly developed here. His conduct was marked by humility, condescension, and generosity.” Bush: the natural fruits of his faith.—A. G.]
11[The presence of those powerful tribes is mentioned to show why Abram and Lot were so straitened as to pasturage, to signalize the impropriety and danger of their quarrelling among themselves, and to show that Abram felt that the eyes of these idolaters were upon him, and that any misstep on his part, as the representative of Jehovah, would be an occasion of stumbling to them.—A. G.]
12[“Abram could have claimed the exclusive possession on the higher ground of the Divine promise and plan. But this exclusiveness is not the spirit of our holy religion.” JACOBUS, p. 239.—A. G.]
13[Murphy suggests that he was a single man when he parted from Abram, and therefore that he married a woman of Sodom, and thus involved himself in the sin of the Antediluvians, Gen. 6:1–7.—A. G.]
14[“Thus he who sought this world lost it; and he who was willing to give up anything for the honor of God and religion, found it.” Fuller; see BUSH, p. 219.—A. G.]
15[“Abram has now obtained a permanent resting-place in the land, but not a foot-breadth belongs to him. His household is smaller in number than at first. He is old and childless, and yet his seed shall be as the dust of the earth. All around him is his, and he is only one among the thousands—but ἐπ’ ἐλπίδι παρ’ ἐλπίδα.” Delitzsch.—A. G.]
16[See also in confirmation the Epistle to the Hebrews, Gen 11:10, 16, where the apostle points to the true and highest sense of the land promised. The spiritual seed require a heavenly inheritance, and the heavenly inheritance implies a spiritual seed.—A. G.]
17[The whole chapter remarkable, as it presents to us the workings of faith in the domestic and ordinary life, in the common transactions between man and man, and affords us an opportunity of observing how far his daily life was in unison with that higher character with which the inspired writers have invested him. BUSH, 210.—A G.]