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- "...and all that he had, and Lot with him": Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
- Why did Lot and Abram separate?: Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
- "And Lot journeyed east": Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
- Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
Chapter 14: Melchizedek in the JST
This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
Points to ponder
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- "...and Lot and all their substance": See Studies in Bereshit (Genesis) by Nehama Leibowitz (1981) pp. 122-123
- Why did Lot and Abram separate?: See Studies in Bereshit (Genesis) by Nehama Leibowitz (1981) pp. 123-126.
- "And Lot journeyed east": See Studies in Bereshit (Genesis) by Nehama Leibowitz (1981) pp. 126-127.
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