A Daily Genesis

Genesis 13:11b-13

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 13:11b . .Thus they parted from each other;[/B]

That must have been a weird feeling for both men. They had been together since Ur.

To me, it would have made better horse sense in a foreign land to consolidate their holdings-- sort of an Abraham & Lot Inc. --instead of maintaining two separate independent enterprises. But I guess Lot had ambitions and wanted to be his own man.

Either Lot had more mettle than uncle Abram; or was just downright reckless because he had the moxie to go off on his own into a totally strange region with absolutely no assurance that God would travel with him.

Explorers like Columbus, Cortez, Balboa, and Magellan have that kind of nerve: they're strong and confident. But I don't think Abram ever was like that. I seriously doubt he would have left Haran at all had not God called him to it. I believe it was only the assurance of divine patronage that gave Abram the courage to travel far from home in that day.
[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 13:12a . . Abram remained in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the Plain,[/B]

Cities in that day didn't in any way resemble the huge sprawling metropolises of the present. We would no doubt regard them as little more than fortified hamlets. Some of the cities of the plain were Sodom, Admah, Zeboiim, Gomorrah, and Bela; which is Zoar. Jericho was in existence then too and no doubt a major population center in that region.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 13:12b . . pitching his tents near Sodom.[/B]

Logistically that was a pretty sensible arrangement. By living amongst those cities, Lot had a ready market for his livestock; and a source of goods and services he could use out on the ranch. There was something special about Sodom that magnetized him though because he eventually moved his family into town.

I think Mrs. Lot may have had a little something to do with that. Not too many women enjoy rough-country living out in the middle of nowhere. Most prefer being near the conveniences of neighbors, shopping, and services.
[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 13:13 . . Now the inhabitants of Sodom were very wicked sinners against the Lord.[/B]

The precise location of ancient Sodom is uncertain. Some feel it was sited at the south end of the Dead Sea; but it's difficult to know for sure. According to Gen 14:1-3, the communities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar were situated in an area of the Jordan Valley the Bible labels "the vale of Siddim; which is the salt sea". Meaning of course that it was the salt sea when somebody wrote that section but wasn't always inundated in the ancient past.

The Hebrew word for Siddim means flats; viz: a flood plain; for example river valleys; which are of course subject to seasonal flooding. Personally, if it were me; I would have emplaced my community at the north end of the vale rather than south since the north end was the better location for a ready supply of fresh water from the Jordan River for homes and farming.

The author's choice of words is curious. The flatlanders weren't just sinners; they were "very wicked" sinners; and not just very wicked sinners, but very wicked sinners "against" the Lord; which suggests outright insolence, impudence, and defiance; viz: standing up to God and asserting one's independence.

[B][SIZE=1]NOTE[/SIZE]:[/B] Everything in Genesis occurred quite a few years prior to the institution of the Ten Commandments so God couldn't prosecute the vale's people for breaking any one specific law as per the covenant that Yhvh' people agreed upon with God in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. He actually came down on them for pretty much the same reason He came down on the antediluvians-- for ignoring Him.

"And Yhvh said: My Spirit shall not strive with man forever (Gen 6:3a)

"And this is the condemnation: light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19)

John 3:19 is pretty much a blanket indictment that God can use any time He wishes to justify coming down on people.

How could the people of the vale be adjudged defiant if they had no clue God disapproved their lifestyle? Well; it's interesting that we today tend to count only published men like Isaiah and Jeremiah as prophets. But God has had numbers of prophets out and about in the ancient world whose names we've never heard of.

For example: at 1Kgs 19:14, Elijah complained that he was one man alone standing for God in Israel; but unknown to him, Obadiah had hidden a hundred prophets in a cave. (1Kgs 18:4 and 18:13)

Abram is listed as a prophet (Gen 20:7). And in point to fact, God has had prophets out and about ever since Abel (Luke 11:50-51). But the most notable prophet in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah was a priest named Melchizedek. (Gen 14:18-20.

According to Mal 2:7, priests aren't just for rituals; but also for teaching. Malachi labels priests Yhvh's "messengers" which is from the very same Hebrew word for angels; which tells me we should never assume that the word "angel" eo ipso indicates a celestial emissary. It could just as easily be a human agent on a divine mission.

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