What does Genesis 13:14 mean?
ESV: The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward,
NIV: The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west.
NASB: The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, 'Now raise your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward, and eastward and westward;
CSB: After Lot had separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, "Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west,
NLT: After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, 'Look as far as you can see in every direction — north and south, east and west.
KJV: And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
NKJV: And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are— northward, southward, eastward, and westward;
Verse Commentary:
In the prior passage, Abram and Lot have separated in order to avoid conflict between their growing families (Genesis 13:1–9). Lot chose to live in the rich, but spiritually depraved region near Sodom, while Abram settled further out into the land of Canaan (Genesis 13:10–13). Lot's decision will not only involve him in a war (Genesis 14:1–16), it will eventually lead to his complete ruin (Genesis 19).

The wording of this passage is interesting for its parallel to Lot's decision. There, Lot is said to have lifted his eyes, by his own will (Genesis 13:10), here, however, Abram only "lifts his eyes" to view land at the command of God.

After Lot moved himself and all his possessions away from Abram, the LORDYahweh—visits Abram once more. This echoes verse 10, where Lot lifted his eyes to survey and then claim the land along the Jordan river. Lot did so at Abram's invitation. Now God instructs Abram to lift his own eyes and look in every direction, north, south, east, and west. In the following verse, God will again promise to give to Abram and his descendants all the land Abram can see.
Verse Context:
Genesis 13:14–18 shows Abram settling in Hebron, after offering his nephew Lot the first choice of which area to establish his family. Lot chose to live in the lush—but depraved—region of Sodom. Abram chooses to live on the general region of Canaan. Abram once again hears a promise from God: that he and his uncountable descendants will one day possess all the land he can see.
Chapter Summary:
Both Abram and his nephew Lot have grown so wealthy in animals that they cannot occupy the same area together. They split up. At Abram's gracious offer to choose which land to take for himself, Lot elects to live on the well-watered plains of Jordan near Sodom. After the Lord speaks to Abram, reaffirming and expanding on His promises, Abram settles near Hebron, near the great trees of an Amorite man called Mamre. Abram builds an altar to the Lord there and continues to worship Yahweh.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 12 ended with Abram and his large company being kicked out of Egypt by an angry Pharaoh. Back in Canaan, Abram and his nephew Lot are forced to split up due to the large size of their herds. Lot's choice to live near the wicked city of Sodom will have grave implications in coming chapters. God reaffirms and expands on His promises to Abram, who settles near Hebron, building another altar to the Lord and worshiping God there.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 7/22/2024 1:57:44 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.