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(Isaiah 2:3)

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The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 13 ~

Parashah 3: Lech Lecha (continued)
(“Get Yourself Out,” Gen. 12:1-17:27)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

C. Avram and Lot (13:1-18)

1. Avram and Lot Leave Egypt (3:1-2)

1So Avram went up out of Egypt[1a] into the Negeb,[1b] he and his wife and all his possessions, and Lot went with him. 2Avram had become extremely wealthy in livestock, silver, and gold.[2]

2. Return to Beit-El (13:3-4) [MAP] [ca 1892/91 BCE]

 3From the Negeb he traveled from place to place[3a] toward Beit-El[3b] until he came to the place between Beit-El and Ai[3c] where he had camped earlier,[3d] 4to the site where he had first built the altar.[4] There Avram called on he name of יְהוָה֒ [GN].

3. Trouble Between Herdsmen (13:5-7) [ca 1891 BCE (R), 1889 (K)]

(iii) 5Now Lot, who was traveling with Avram, also had flocks, herds, and tents. 6But the land was not able to support both of them staying together, because they had so many possessions[6] that they couldn’t live together. 7And there was strife between Avram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen. At that time the Kena'aniCanaanites and the PerizziPerizzites were also living in the land.

4. Avram Proposes Separation (13:8-9)

 8So Avram said to Lot, “Please, let there be no strife between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen. After all, we’re family. 9Isn’t the whole land before you? Now separate yourself from me. If you go to the left, I will go to the right; or if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”[9]

5. Lot Chooses Land Near Sodom (13:10-13)

10Lot looked out and saw that the whold plain of the YardenJordan,[10a] all the way to Zoar,[10b] was well-watered[10c] like the garden of יְהוָה֒, like the land of MitrzraimEgypt. (This was before יְהוָה֒ destroyed S'domSodom and 'AmoraGomorrah.) 11So Lot chose the whole plain of the Yarden for himself and set out toward the east. And they parted company. 12Avram lived in the land of Kena'anCanaan [MAP], but Lot settled in the cities of the plain, and moved his camp to S'dom. [MAP] 13Now the men of S'dom were wicked, sinning greatly[13] against יְהוָה֒.

6. HaShem’s Promise to Avram Repeated (13:14-17)

14After Lot had lft him, יְהוָה֒ said to Avram, “Now, lift up your eyes from the place where you are, and look to the north and south, east and west.[14] 15For all the land that you see, I will give to you and to your descendants forever.[15] 16I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your descendants could be counted.[16] 17Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width; for I will give it to you.”

7. Avram Settles in Hebron (13:18)

18So Avram moved his camp and went to live near Mamre’s oak grove[18] in Hebron, [MAP] where he built an altar to יְהוָה֒.

Chapter 14


1a. When going towards Jerusalem from anywhere in Israel, one is always said to be “going up” because of the special place Jerusalem holds in HaShem’s plans. Likewise, when going toward Israel from anywhere in the world, one is said to be “going up” for the same reason. However, when going from Egypt to Israel via its southern border is actually a continual ascent. [RETURN]

1b. Negeb, Hebrew נגב, the Negev region of southern Judah. [MAP] [RETURN]

 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.” (JF&B)

My first year in seminary, my professor of Old Testament, Dr. Ed Duerkson (of blessed memory), had a very intriguing theory. He felt that Avraham was a caravaneer by trade (Hebron Drayage Company?), and all his “wanderings” detailed in Genesis were caravan trips. He was a contemporary of Job, and Dr. Duerkson felt that Avraham probably purchased all his pack animals from Job. (He also felt that Avraham was very probably the author of the book of Job.) This would partially explain the great wealth of both men. It would also explain the “318 trained men” in the employ of his “Security Department” who rescued Lot during the War of the Kings (Gen 14:11-16). [RETURN]

3a. “‘…went on his journeys” — His progress would be by slow marches and frequent encampments as Abram had to regulate his movements by the prospect of water and pasturage. ‘…unto the place … between Beth-el and Hai’ — ‘a conspicuous hill’ — its topmost summit resting on the rocky slopes below, and distinguished by its olive groves — offering a natural base for the altar and a fitting shade for the tent of the patriarch" [STANLEY].” (JF&B) His “progress by slow marches” could also be accounted for by frequent caravan stops. [RETURN]

3b. Beit-El or Beth-El [MAP], Hebrew ביתאל, “House of God”; a place in south country of Judah, not far from Beersheba [MAP] and Ziklag. [MAP] [RETURN]

3c. Ai, Hebvew עי, 'Ay, Ai or Aija or Aiath or Hai = “heap of ruins” (pronounced ah'ee, not aye-eye); a city lying east of Beit-El and beside Bethaven near Jericho and the 2nd city taken on the invasion of Canaan [MAP] [RETURN]

3d. Where he had camped earlier; lit. “where his tent had been formerly pitched.” [RETURN]

 4. See Gen 12:6-8 for the altars at Beit-El and 'Ai. [RETURN]

 6. Could Lot’s great wealth be explained by his being a partner in his uncle’s caravan business? [RETURN]

 9. Not to belabor the point, but could this indicate that Lot took his share of the caravan business and started his own company, or a subsidiary of Negev Moving and Storage? Dr. Duerkson’s theory certainly answers a lot of questions that the Scriptures leave unanswered. [RETURN]

10a. Yarden, ירדן, Jordan, “descender”; the river of Israel [MAP] that runs from the roots of Anti-Lebanon [MAP] to the Dead Sea, [MAP] a distance of approx 200 miles (320 km). [RETURN]

10b. Zoar = "insignificance"; a city at the southeast end of the Dead Sea [MAP] grouped with Sodom [MAP] and Gomorrah [MAP] as being one of the five cities slated for destruction by God; spared at Lot's plea as his place of refuge. [RETURN]

10c. “Travellers say that from the top of this hill, a little "to the east of Beth-el" [Gen 12:8], they can see the Yarden, the broad meadows on either bank, and the waving line of verdure which marks the course of the stream.” (JF&B) [RETURN]

13. The sin of the men of Sodom is the source of the word “sodomy,” which includes all the sexual activity that HaShem specifically forbids (Lev 18:22-23; 1Cor 6:9-11). If HaShem does not judge this present world for this activity (the whole month of June, sanctioned by the government, to flaunt this specific perversion), He owes Sodom and Gomorrah a huge apology. (Gal 6:7) [RETURN]

14. “So extensive a survey of the country, in all directions, can be obtained from no other point in the neighborhood; and those plains and hills, then lying desolate before the eyes of the solitary patriarch, were to be peopled with a mighty nation ‘like the dust of the earth in number,’ as they were in Solomon’s time (1Kings 4:20).” (JF&B[RETURN]

15. The land promised to the descendants of Avraham include not only the entire area that was promised to the Jewish people under the terms of the original Balfour Declaration of 1917 and confirmed by the League of Nations in 1920 (left), but also all the land from the Nile River to the Euphrates River (right). [RETURN]

Tw-State Solution  Israel's Land Given by HaShem 
16. The descendants of Avram now count in the billions, and include not only all of his physical descendants (all those who have ever lived who are or were ethnically Jewish) but also all those who have ever entered into a saving relationship with his greatest descendant, Yeshua of Nazareth. [RETURN]

18. A grove of oak trees in or near Hebron belonging to Avram’s Amorite friend and ally named Mamre (םםרא, “strength” or “fatness”). [RETURN]

Page originally posted on Wednesday, 19 August 2020
Added links to maps, revised a few notes on Monday, 12 July 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 05 June 2022 10:30 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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