Genesis 13 Chapter Commentary: God Reaffirms His Promise to Abram

After leaving Egypt, Abram and Lot set off on a journey through the south with their families. They journeyed all the way to Bethel, where Abram had erected an altar before they first left for Egypt. Abram halted and prayed to the Lord at this location.

The land was inadequate to maintain both Abram and Lot because of their large herds of sheep. Conflict erupted between the households as a result of arguments that their herdsmen had. To avoid further discord Abram and Lot reluctantly split their businesses apart.

Abram gave Lot the the freedom to choose where he would live and Lot chose to reside in the Jordanian plain, close to the city of Sodom.  God gave Abram the territory of Canaan to live in because Lot had Jordan to himself.

After Abram and Lot had parted ways, the Lord appeared to him and declared that all of Canaan was now his, and that his people would number as many as the grains of sand on the Earth. As instructed by God, Abram disassembled his tent and traversed the entire country. He made his home in the Hebron region and erected a fresh altar to the Lord.

What’s the Main Point?

According to Genesis 13, God will start his people off in more than one fresh way. We understand that God’s promises are based upon God alone; they are not dependent on our abilities to bring them to pass. After leaving Egypt, Abram came to see it in a different light, and that fresh perspective brought him back to faith and repentance.

What Can We Learn from This Chapter?

Faith and repentance.  Faith is what keeps our Christian life’s journey on track. From now until the day we stand before the Lord in glory, each of us can anticipate the cycle of repentance and faith.

God has several new beginnings planned for his people. We realize that God’s promises depend entirely on God and do not depend on our abilities. Abram had a new perspective on that after his time in Egypt, and that perspective brought him back to repentance and faith.

In this chapter, obedient Abram returns to the land that God gave him, humbles himself by letting go of what may have been his, and discovers that the big promise of God is the only constant in his life.


Please grant us the wisdom to seek peaceful resolutions in our personal disputes, and to prioritize the well-being of the group above our own needs.

Help us to trust in your provision, even when it requires us to make sacrifices or face morally challenging decisions.

May we, like Abraham who moved his family to a new land, follow your leading and seek your guidance. May we never forget that you are with us always, even in the midst of uncertainty and change.

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Image attribution for featured image:

Abram [Abraham] Gives Lot the Choice of the Surrounding Country (Genesis 13:1-18) by Claes Corneliszoon Moeyaert (circa 1592 –1655). This image is in the public domain. Cropped from original.

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