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Genesis 13:12-17

Context
13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled among the cities of the Jordan plain 1  and pitched his tents next to Sodom. 13:13 (Now 2  the people 3  of Sodom were extremely wicked rebels against the Lord.) 4 

13:14 After Lot had departed, the Lord said to Abram, 5  “Look 6  from the place where you stand to the north, south, east, and west. 13:15 I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants 7  forever. 13:16 And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted. 8  13:17 Get up and 9  walk throughout 10  the land, 11  for I will give it to you.”

1 tn Or “the cities of the plain”; Heb “[the cities of] the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.

2 tn Here is another significant parenthetical clause in the story, signaled by the vav (וו) disjunctive (translated “now”) on the noun at the beginning of the clause.

3 tn Heb “men.” However, this is generic in sense; it is unlikely that only the male residents of Sodom were sinners.

4 tn Heb “wicked and sinners against the Lord exceedingly.” The description of the sinfulness of the Sodomites is very emphatic. First, two nouns are used to form a hendiadys: “wicked and sinners” means “wicked sinners,” the first word becoming adjectival. The text is saying these were no ordinary sinners; they were wicked sinners, the type that cause pain for others. Then to this phrase is added “against the Lord,” stressing their violation of the laws of heaven and their culpability. Finally, to this is added מְאֹד (mÿod, “exceedingly,” translated here as “extremely”).

5 tn Heb “and the Lord said to Abram after Lot separated himself from with him.” The disjunctive clause at the beginning of the verse signals a new scene.

6 tn Heb “lift up your eyes and see.”

sn Look. Earlier Lot “looked up” (v. 10), but here Abram is told by God to do so. The repetition of the expression (Heb “lift up the eyes”) here underscores how the Lord will have the last word and actually do for Abram what Abram did for Lot – give him the land. It seems to be one of the ways that God rewards faith.

7 tn Heb “for all the land which you see to you I will give it and to your descendants.”

8 tn The translation “can be counted” (potential imperfect) is suggested by the use of יוּכַל (yukhal, “is able”) in the preceding clause.

9 tn The connective “and” is not present in the Hebrew text; it has been supplied for purposes of English style.

10 tn The Hitpael form הִתְהַלֵּךְ (hithallekh) means “to walk about”; it also can carry the ideas of moving about, traversing, going back and forth, or living in an area. It here has the connotation of traversing the land to survey it, to look it over.

11 tn Heb “the land to its length and to its breadth.” This phrase has not been included in the translation because it is somewhat redundant (see the note on the word “throughout” in this verse).



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