*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Genesis 13:1-4 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 13:1
  • Genesis 13:2
  • Genesis 13:3
  • Genesis 13:4

Abram returns from Egypt to Canaan with even more wealth. He worships God for his blessings.

Abram went up from Egypt and up to Canaan. To the Negev. Negev means “south” or “south country. Here it is the southern country, a geographic destination, not simply the compass direction. And Lot with him. This time Abram’s nephew Lot is listed in the record, he was last referred to in Genesis 12:5.

Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold, he already had many resources including servants (Genesis 12:5); his visit to Egypt added to his wealth and power (Genesis 12:16). Israel would later journey to Egypt to escape a famine, as Abram did (Genesis 12:10) then leave Egypt with wealth from the Egyptians, also as Abram did (Exodus 3:22, 12:36).

Abram retraced his steps from the Negev as far as Bethel. Bethel was located about ten miles north of Jerusalem. His return trip mirrored his earlier travels To the place where his tent had been at the beginning (Genesis 12:8). Bethel is the second place where he built an altar, Shechem being the first (Genesis 12:7).

Abram called on the name of the Lord at the place of the altar which he had made there formerly as he had called on the Lord before at this same place (Genesis 12:8). It is interesting that we have no record of Abram building an altar while dwelling in Egypt. Perhaps Abram renewed his fellowship with God after he returned to the promised land. This could be taken as a metaphor for how God deals with His children who wander. Abraham was always chosen by God. God cared for Abraham all the time he was in Egypt. He even blessed Abraham. But the full blessing available to Abraham is not available until Abraham follows God’s direction to dwell in the promised land.

Biblical Text

1 So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, he and his wife and all that belonged to him, and Lot with him. 2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold. 3 He went on his journeys from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.

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