Lesson 26Abram and Lot Separate

In this lesson, we begin our study of the separation of Abram and Lot as recorded in Genesis Chapter 13. It is a story that many of us are probably aware of, and have perhaps studied before. During my Ph.D. research on the life of Abraham and the patriarchs, I have spent many hours not only studying this passage, but also studying the geography—much of which I have been blessed to travel. I hope to integrate some of my first-hand travel experiences into the lessons that will follow. Accordingly, I pray that God will use them to expand your vision and understanding of Abram/Abraham, Sarai/Sarah, and Lot as we begin to look at events that will span well over twenty-five years, resulting in the creation of the Holy Land and the three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


For our study of Chapter 13, I have included verses from the original King James Version (KJV) below (vs. from the NIV). Many students of may find this surprising, but there is a lesson in this version that often gets overlooked if we use the NIV (my standard) or other contemporary versions.

Abram and Lot’s Location

"1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. 2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai; 4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had make there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord." Genesis 13:1-4 [KJV]

Respond to the following:

  1. List below what Abram was "very rich in" in Genesis 13:2 and compare it to what is cited in Genesis 12:5-6. What can we learn from this comparison?
  2. When Abram leaves Egypt with his family, Lot, and all of his wealth, where does he travel to first, and what does he do there? (See Genesis 13:3-4.)
  3. Where were the two men located? Specifically, where were they standing and what would they have been able to see from this location? (See Genesis 13:3 and 13:10.)

Abram and Lot’s Possessions

"5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 7 And 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 in the land. 8 And 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. 9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left." Genesis 13:5-9 [KJV]

Respond to the following:

  1. How do we know that Lot was also wealthy, and why was that causing strife among the herders of Abram and the herders of Lot? (See Genesis 13:5-6.)
  2. What was Abram’s solution to the problem, and were they men of "vision?" (See Genesis 13:8-9.)

Abram and Lot’s Vision

Lot Lifts Up His Eyes

"10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly." Genesis 13:10-13 [KJV]

Respond to the following:

  1. How do we know that, at the time Abram and his family entered Egypt, it was lush along the Nile and provided plenty of food and water in contrast to the famine in the Negev? (See Genesis 13:10.)
  2. Much has been written about Lot’s motives, but what do we see revealed about his motives in the decision to choose the Jordan Plain?
  3. Completing his vision of this location was Lot’s choice regarding where to pitch his tent. Where did he pitch his tent? (See Genesis 13:12.)

Abram Lifts Up His Eyes

"14 And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. 16 And I will make 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. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord." Genesis 13:14-18 [KJV]

Abram used the wisdom God had given him and allowed Lot to choose the land he wanted first, Lot made his choice based on man’s wisdom and his desires.

Respond to the following:

  1. Abram now lifts up his eyes. What did he see? (See Genesis 13:14-16.)
  2. Where does Abram pitch his tent? (See Genesis 13:18.)

As we consider the parting of Abram and Lot, in order to keep things in perspective, we should ask ourselves when this decisive meeting—at a location between Bethel and Ai—would have taken place. Today, based on recent archaeological discoveries at Tall el-Hammam (the site of the ruins of Sodom), we now know that the destruction of Sodom and its sister cities, including Gomorrah, occurred between 1700 BC and 1650 BC. Given that the Bible indicates to us that Abram was ninety-nine years old when this occurred and that Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Egypt, we can surmise that their meeting took place approximately twenty-five years prior to the destruction, i.e., in 1725-1675 BC. We can then also assume that Isaac was born in 1699-1649 BC, as he was born when Abraham was 100 years old, and the destruction occurred one year earlier when Abraham was ninety-nine years old. We will examine these events further as we progress through the book of Genesis, but this helps us establish a timeline in history. Also of note is that approximately seven hundred years later David will become the first king of a united Israel in 1002 BC.

We close this lesson with a clear understanding that our vision—what we "lift up our eyes" to—is a very important and determining factor affecting our ability to have a fruitful walk with Jesus. The contrasts between Abram/Abraham and Lot are many and offer valuable insights into our decisions and how those decisions impact our lives. Let’s choose to serve the Lord and follow the narrow path that leads to life, just as Joshua did, as recounted in Joshua 24:15.

In the next lesson, Abram rescues Lot.

In Christ,



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