Genesis 13

Genesis 13


So AbramA went upB from Egypt,C he and his wife,D and all that he had, and LotE with him, into the Negeb.F

Notes on verse 1

A “Abram” = Abram. From the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abram, exalted father.
B “went up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
C “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.
D “wife” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
E “Lot” = Lot. From the same as lot (envelope, veil); from lut (to wrap, envelop). This is Lot, “covering.”
F “Negeb” = Negeb. Root may mean to be parched. The Negeb is the south country – sometimes used to refer to Egypt. This is a land that suffers from a lot of drought.

Now Abram was very richG in livestock,H in silver,I and in gold.J 

Notes on verse 2

G “rich” = kabad. To be heavy, weighty, or severe. It can also be positive abounding in, rich, or honorable. The Hebrew word for “glory,” kabod, is taken from this root.
H “livestock” = miqneh. From qahah (to get, acquire, purchase, move to jealousy, buyer, keep cattle). This is something that is bought, which implies property or possession. However, it is generally used of livestock – cattle, flock, herds.
I “silver” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.
J “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.

He journeyedK on by stagesL from the Negeb as far as Bethel,M

Notes on verse 3a

K “journeyed” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
L “stages” = massa.12x in OT – all in the first five books of the Bible. From nasa (properly pulling up as when one pulls up tent pegs or stakes; striking tents in order to start a journey; to bring, pull out, set out, journey, or cause to go away). This is a departure, striking camp, travelling by stages a station or march.
M “Bethel” = Bethel. From bayit (house, household, palace, dungeon) + el (God, a god). This is Bethel, literally meaning “house of God.”

to the placeN where his tentO had beenP at the beginning,Q between Bethel and Ai,R 

Notes on verse 3b

N “place” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
O “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
P “been” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
Q “beginning” = techillah. From chalal (to pierce, which implies to wound; used figuratively for making someone or something profane or breaking your word; to begin as though one opened a wedge; to eat something as a common thing). This is beginning, first, previously.
R “Ai” = Ay. Perhaps from iy (a ruin or a heap as a place that was overturned); from avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is Ai, a city in Canaan. It means “ruin.”

to the place where he had madeS an altarT at the first;U

Notes on verse 4a

S “made” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
T “altar” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
U “at the first” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.

and there Abram calledV on the nameW of the Lord.X 

Notes on verse 4b

V “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
W “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
X “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “been” in v3. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note P above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.

Now Lot, who wentY with Abram, also had flocksZ and herdsAA and tents,  so that the landBB could not supportCC both of them livingDD together;EE

Notes on verses 5-6a

Y “went” = halak. Same as “journeyed” in v3. See note K above.
Z “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
AA “herds” = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
BB “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
CC “support” = nasa. This to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
DD “living” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
EE “together” = yachad. From yachad (to join, be united). This is a unit, both, altogether, unitedness, alike.

for their possessionsFF were so greatGG that they couldHH not live together, 

Notes on verse 6b

FF “possessions” = rekush. From rakash (to get, acquire property, collect). This is property, riches, possessions.
GG “so great” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
HH “could” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.

and there was strifeII between the herdersJJ of Abram’s livestock and the herders of Lot’s livestock. At that time the CanaanitesKK and the PerizzitesLL lived in the land.

Notes on verse 7

II “strife” = rib. From rib (properly to toss or grapple; used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes; used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case). This is strife or dispute – whether a personal one or one in a court of law.
JJ “herders” = roi. 11x in OT. From raah (to graze, tend a flock, keep company with; to pasture in a literal or figurative sense). This is pastoral or a shepherd.
KK “Canaanites” = Knaaniy. From Kanaan (Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled; perhaps meaning lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt); from kana (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaanite, which in some instances would imply a peddler or sometimes used in place of Ishmaelite. See
LL “Perizzites” = Perizzi. Perhaps from perazi (rural area, unwalled land); from the same as perazah (rural, village without walls, open country); from the same as paraz (root may mean to separate; perhaps warriors, chieftan, or throng). This is Perizzite, perhaps meaning rural or wild one.

Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be noMM strifeNN between you and me, and between your herders and my herders; for we are kindred.OO 

Notes on verse 8

MM {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
NN “strife” = meribah. Related to “strife” in v7. 7x in OT. From rib (see note II above). This is strife or provocation.
OO “kindred” = ish + ach. Ish is related to “wife” in v1. See note D above. Ach is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.

Is not the whole land beforePP you? SeparateQQ, RR yourself from me.

Notes on verse 9a

PP “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
QQ “separate” = parad. This is to divide, break through, scatter, sever, stretch, to spread oneself, or to be out of joint.
RR {untranslated} = na. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note MM above.

If you take the leftSS hand, then I will go to the right;TT or if you take the rightUU hand, then I will go to the left.”VV 

Notes on verse 9b

SS “left” = semol. Perhaps from the same as simlah (mantle, clothes, wrapper); perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is left, left side, or north as the part that is dark.
TT “go to the right” = yaman. 4x in OT. From yamin (right hand or side; that which is stronger or more agile; the south). This is to go or choose the right, use the right hand. It can also mean to be physically fit or firm.
UU “right” = yamin. Related to “go to the right” in v9. See note TT above.
VV “go to the left” = simel. Related to “left” in v9. 5x in OT. From semol (see note SS above). This is to go left or left.

10 Lot looked aboutWW him, and sawXX that the plainYY of the JordanZZ was well wateredAAA everywhere like the gardenBBB of the Lord,

Notes on verse 10a

WW “looked about” = nasaet + ayin. Literally “lifted up Lot his eyes.” Nasa is the same as “support” in v6. See note CC above. Ayin is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
XX “saw” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
YY “plain” = kikkar. From karar (to dance or whirl). This is round so it can refer to a circle, a circular region, a weight used for measurement, money, a loaf of bread that is round, a cover, a plain, or a valley in the Jordan.
ZZ “Jordan” = Yarden. From yarad (to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense; going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy). This is the Jordan River, meaning “descending.”
AAA “well watered” = mashqeh. 19x in OT. From shaqah (to give water to, to cause to drink – to irrigate, drown; watering plants or giving water to flocks). This is drinking, a drink, cupbearer, or a place that is well irrigated.
BBB “garden” = gan. From ganan (to put a hedge around – generally, protect or defend; to cover or surround). This is a garden in that it is fenced in. It can also be an enclosure.

like the land of Egypt, in the direction ofCCC Zoar;DDD this was before the Lord had destroyedEEE SodomFFF and Gomorrah.GGG 

Notes on verse 10b

CCC “in the direction of” = bo. Literally “as you go.” This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
DDD “Zoar” = Tsoar. 10x in OT. From tsaar (to be brought low, small, little one; figuratively, be insignificant or ignoble). This is Zoar or Tsoar, a city whose name means “insignificance” or “little.”
EEE “destroyed” = shachat. This is to go to ruin, perish, decay, batter, cast off, lose, one who destroys. This can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
FFF “Sodom” = Sedom. Perhaps from sadam (to burn) OR from sadad (to plow a field) or shadad (to be violent) or from sadad (to join) or yasad (to assemble) + –m (their). This is Sodom or Sedom. It is a city near the Dead Sea. It may mean “scorch” or “burnt” as a reference to the volcanic area. It could also mean “wet fields, “demons,”  “divisions,” “breasts, “or “their assembly.” See
GGG “Gomorrah” = Amorah. 19x in OT. From amar (to bind sheaves, heap; discipline as piling on blows) OR from am (people) + yarah (describes many small iterations combining to a bigger effect like many raindrops, lots of arrows, etc.). This is the city Gomorrah in the Jordan Valley. It may mean “people of fear,” “submersion,” “tyrannical dealings,” “people who shoot arrows,” “throes,” or “sheave.” See

11 So Lot choseHHH for himself all the plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyedIII eastward;JJJ thus they separated from eachKKK other.LLL 

Notes on verse 11

HHH “chose” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.
III “journeyed” = nasa. Related to “stages” in v3. See note L above.
JJJ “eastward” = qedem. Perhaps from qadam (to come in front or be in front; to meet, anticipate, confront, receive, or rise; sometimes to meet for help). This is front, formerly, before, east, eternal, everlasting, antiquity.
KKK “each” = ish. Same as “kindred” in v8. See note OO above.
LLL “other” = ach. Same as “kindred” in v8. See note OO above.

12 Abram settledMMM in the land of Canaan,NNN while Lot settled among the citiesOOO of the Plain and moved his tentPPP as far as Sodom. 

Notes on verse 12

MMM “settled” = yashab. Same as “living” in v6. See note DD above.
NNN “Canaan” = Kna’an. Related to “Canaanites” in v7. See note KK above.
OOO “cities” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.
PPP “moved…tent” = ahal. Related to “tent” in v3. 3x in OT. From the same as ohel (see note O above). This is to pitch a tent or move it from one location to another.

13 Now the peopleQQQ of Sodom were wicked,RRR great sinnersSSS against the Lord.

Notes on verse 13

QQQ “people” = ish. Same as “kindred” in v8. See note OO above.
RRR “wicked” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
SSS “sinners” = chatta. 19x in OT. From chata (to miss, sin, carry blame, lack). This is sinful or sinner. It is a criminal or someone who is seen as guilty.

14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “RaiseTTT your eyesUUU now,VVV

Notes on verse 14a

TTT “raise” = nasa. Same as “support” in v6. See note CC above.
UUU “eyes” = ayin. Same as “looked about” in v6. See note WWW above.
VVV “now” = na. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note MM above.

and look from the place where you are, northwardWWW and southwardXXX and eastward and westward;YYY 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspringZZZ forever.AAAA 

Notes on verses 14b-15

WWW “northward” = tsaphon. From tsaphan (to hide, hoard, reserve; to cover over or figuratively to deny; also to lurk). This is properly hidden, dark, or gloomy. It can also be used to refer to the north.
XXX “southward” = negeb. Same as “Negeb” in v1. See note F above.
YYY “westward” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
ZZZ “offspring” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
AAAA “forever” = ad + olam. Literally “until eternity.” Olam is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).

16 I will makeBBBB your offspring like the dustCCCC of the earth;DDDD so that if oneEEEE can countFFFF the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 

Notes on verse 16

BBBB “make” = sum. Related to “name” in v5. See note W above.
CCCC “dust” = aphar. May be related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.
DDDD “earth” = erets. Same as “land” in v6. See note BB above.
EEEE “one” = enosh. Related to “wife” in v1 & “kindred” in v8. See note D above.
FFFF “count” = manah. To weigh out, reckon, count, number, set, tell. By implication, it is allotting or providing something officially.

17 Rise up,GGGG walkHHHH through the lengthIIII and the breadthJJJJ of the land, for I will give it to you.” 

Notes on verse 17

GGGG “rise up” = qum. Related to “place” in v3. See note N above.
HHHH “walk” = halak. Same as “journeyed” in v3. See note K above.
IIII “length” = orek. From arak (to be long in a literal or figurative sense, to continue, defer, draw out). This is length, long, or forever.
JJJJ “breadth” = rochab. From rachab (to grow wide or enlarge in a literal or figurative sense; extend, relieve, rejoice, or speak boldly). This is breadth, depth, thickness, expanse. It is width in a literal or figurative sense.

18 So Abram moved his tent, and cameKKKK and settled by the oaksLLLL of Mamre,MMMM which are at Hebron;NNNN and there he builtOOOO an altar to the Lord.

Notes on verse 18

KKKK “came” = bo. Same as “in the direction of” in v10. See note CCC above.
LLLL “oaks” = elon. 10x in OT. From ayil (strength; things that are strong or powerful: political chiefs, rams, posts, trees, oaks); from the same as ul (mighty, strength, body, belly; root may mean to twist and that implies strength and power). This is terebinth, oak, or another kind of tree that is strong.
MMMM “Mamre” = Mamre. 10x in OT. Perhaps from mara (to rebel, flap wings, whip, be filthy). This is Mamre a personal name and a place name. It may mean vigor or lusty.
NNNN “Hebron” = Chebron. From cheber (company, society, enchantment, wide); from chabar (to unite, ally, attach, touch; to join in a literal or figurative sense; also, specially, using magic knots or spells to fascinate or connect). This is Hebron, meaning “seat of association” or “league.”
OOOO “built” = banah. This is to build, make, set up, restore, repair, or obtain children. It is to build literally or figuratively

Image credit: “Mountain Landscape with Abraham and Lot Separating” by Tobias Verhaecht, 1609.

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