Ver 1. South. With respect to Judea, which the sacred writers have always in view.
Ver. 2. Rich in possession. Heb. may be "heavy laden with cattle, gold," &c. M.
BethelBethel, 1 see s.v. — 2 (Josh 12:16; Simeon) another name for Bethul. --- Bethel, as it was called in the days of Moses, being the ancient Luza. C. --- Bethel signifies the house of God, being honoured with two altars. H.
Ver. 6. To bear or feed their flocks, as well as those of the Chanaanites. C.
Ver. 8. Abram therefore, for fear of raising a quarrel with the Pherezites also, who might complain that these strangers were eating up what they had before taken possession of, suggests to his nephew the propriety of their taking different courses. Being the older, he divides, and the younger chooses, according to an ancient and laudable custom. S. Aug. de C. D. xvi. 20.
Ver. 11. From the east of Pentapolis to Sodom, (M.) or to the east of the place where Abram was, as Onkelos has it. The Hebrew may signify either. Grotius.
Ver. 13. Sinners before, &c. That is, truly, without restraint or disguise. Lot might not have been acquainted with their dissolute morals, when he made this choice; in which however he consulted only his senses, and looked for temporal advantages, which ended in sorrow. This God permitted for a warning to us; and to restrain the Sodomites, by the example of Lot's justice, contrasted with the abominable lives. H.
--- Ezechiel xvi. 49, explains the causes of their wickedness.
Ver. 15. And to: This is by way of explanation to the former words: (Ha.) for Abram never possessed a foot of this land by inheritance. Acts viii. 5. Even his posterity never enjoyed it, at least, for any long time. S. Augustine gives the reason; because the promise was conditional, and the Jews did not fulfil their part by obedience and fidelity. q. 3. in Gen. It is better, however, to understand these promises of another land, which the people, who imitate the faith of Abram, shall enjoy in the world to come. C. Rom. iv. 16.
Ver. 16. As the dust, an hyperbole, to express a very numerous offspring, which is more exact, if we take in the spiritual children of Abram. M.
Ver. 17. Through. Lot has chosen a part, I give the whole to thee. Thou mayest take possession of it, and go wherever thou hast a mind. C.
Ver. 18. Vale, or grove of oaks, where there was a famous one which was called the oak of Mambre, either from the neighbouring city, or from a man of that name. C. xiv. 13. M.
--- Hebron was on the hill above. C.