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Genesis 13:7-8

Context
13:7 So there were quarrels 1  between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen. 2  (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at that time.) 3 

13:8 Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no quarreling between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives. 4 

1 tn The Hebrew term רִיב (riv) means “strife, conflict, quarreling.” In later texts it has the meaning of “legal controversy, dispute.” See B. Gemser, “The rîb – or Controversy – Pattern in Hebrew Mentality,” Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East [VTSup], 120-37.

2 sn Since the quarreling was between the herdsmen, the dispute was no doubt over water and vegetation for the animals.

3 tn This parenthetical clause, introduced with the vav (ו) disjunctive (translated “now”), again provides critical information. It tells in part why the land cannot sustain these two bedouins, and it also hints of the danger of weakening the family by inner strife.

4 tn Heb “men, brothers [are] we.” Here “brothers” describes the closeness of the relationship, but could be misunderstood if taken literally, since Abram was Lot’s uncle.



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