on Genesis 13 :18
Abram removed his tent - Continued to travel and pitch in different places, till at last he fixed his tent in the plain, or by the oak, of Mamre, see Genesis 12:6, which is in Hebron; i.e., the district in which Mamre was situated was called Hebron. Mamre was an Amorite then living, with whom Abram made a league, Genesis 14:13; and the oak probably went by his name, because he was the possessor of the ground. Hebron is called Kirjath-arba, Genesis 23:2; but it is very likely that Hebron was its primitive name, and that it had the above appellation from being the residence of four gigantic or powerful Anakim, for Kirjath-arba literally signifies the city of the four; See note on Genesis 23:2.
Built there an altar unto the Lord - On which he offered sacrifice, as the word מזבח mizbach, from זבח zabach, to slay, imports.
The increase of riches in the family of Abram must, in the opinion of many, be a source of felicity to them. If earthly possessions could produce happiness, it must be granted that they had now a considerable share of it in their power. But happiness must have its seat in the mind, and, like that, be of a spiritual nature; consequently earthly goods cannot give it; so far are they from either producing or procuring it, that they always engender care and anxiety, and often strifes and contentions. The peace of this amiable family had nearly been destroyed by the largeness of their possessions. To prevent the most serious misunderstandings, Abram and his nephew were obliged to separate. He who has much in general wishes to have more, for the eye is not satisfied with seeing. Lot, for the better accommodation of his flocks and family, chooses the most fertile district in that country, and even sacrifices reverence and filial affection at the shrine of worldly advantage; but the issue proved that a pleasant worldly prospect may not be the most advantageous, even to our secular affairs. Abram prospered greatly in the comparatively barren part of the land, while Lot lost all his possessions, and nearly the lives of himself and family, in that land which appeared to him like the garden of the Lord, like a second paradise. Rich and fertile countries have generally luxurious, effeminate, and profligate inhabitants; so it was in this case. The inhabitants of Sodom were sinners, and exceedingly wicked, and their profligacy was of that kind which luxury produces; they fed themselves without fear, and they acted without shame. Lot however was, through the mercy of God, preserved from this contagion: he retained his religion; and this supported his soul and saved his life, when his goods and his wife perished. Let us learn from this to be jealous over our own wills and wishes; to distrust flattering prospects, and seek and secure a heavenly inheritance. "Man wants but little; nor that little long." A man's life - the comfort and happiness of it - does not consist in the multitude of the things he possesses. "One house, one day's food, and one suit of raiment," says the Arabic proverb, "are sufficient for thee; and if thou die before noon, thou hast one half too much." The example of Abram, in constantly erecting an altar wherever he settled, is worthy of serious regard; he knew the path of duty was the way of safety, and that, if he acknowledged God in all his ways, he might expect him to direct all his steps: he felt his dependence on God, he invoked him through a Mediator, and offered sacrifices in faith of the coming Savior; he found blessedness in this work - it was not an empty service; he rejoiced to see the day of Christ - he saw it and was glad. See note on Genesis 12:8. Reader, has God an altar in thy house? Dost thou sacrifice to him? Dost thou offer up daily by faith, in behalf of thy soul and the souls of thy family, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world? No man cometh unto the Father but by me, said Christ: this was true, not only from the incarnation, but from the foundation of the world. And to this another truth, not less comfortable, may be added: Whosoever cometh unto me I will in no-wise cast out.
on Genesis 13 :18
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."
on Genesis 13 :18