So Abram moved his tent and went to live near the Oaks of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.
1. Faith gives immediate obedience unto God's advice.
I. How IT MAY HAVE LOOKED TO LOT.
1. As a matter of business it was good.
2. In its moral aspects the step was dangerous. But -
3. Doubtless at first Lot did not intend entering the city. And perhaps -
4. Lot may have justified his doubtful conduct by hoping that he would have opportunities of doing good to the Sodomites.
II. How IT MUST HAVE LOOKED TO THE SODOMITES. It must have -
1. Surprised them to see a good man like Lot coming to a neighborhood so bad.
2. Led them to think adversely of a religion that preferred worldly advantage to spiritual interest.
3. Rendered them impervious to any influence for good from Lot's example. Lessons: -
1. It is perilous to go towards Sodom if one wants to keep out of Sodom.
2. It is useless preaching to Sodomites while gathering wealth in Sodom. - W.
Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mature, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.
Mamre is the first village that comes before us distinctly in any authentic history. If Ararat was the cradle of the races of our world, Mamre was the cradle of the Church.
I. MAMRE WAS A CHURCH AMONG THE TREES.
II. IT WAS A REFUGE FOR FAITH. Abraham and the patriarchs were emigrants; they left for the honour of God. The East is full of traditions concerning Abraham and his hatred to idolatry, and how he forsook the worship of the fire and the sun. He had come from the neighbourhood where the Babel society was founded — faith, not in God, but in bricks — it had all ended in confusion, but the sacred memories of Mamre, where Abraham reared an altar to the Lord, these linger and send out their influence still. A high faithfulness ruled the life of Mature, the life of domestic piety — the first story given us of the life of faith, where Abraham raised an altar and called upon the name of the Lord.
III. The village of Mamre was THE VILLAGE OF SACRED PROMISE. What night was that, when among its moorlands the Lord appeared unto Abraham in a vision and consecrated those heights by the glowing promises which we still recognize as true? In that little mountain hamlet was given the promise of the Messiah's reign.
IV. Mamre: WHAT GUESTS CAME THITHER? Here was that great entertainment made, "where," says quaint Thomas Fuller, "the covert of the tree was the dining room, probably the ground the board, Abraham the caterer, and Sarah the cook; a welcome their cheer; angels, and Christ in the notion of an angel, their guests."
V. At Mamre are THE OLDEST AUTHENTIC GRAVES OF THIS EARTH — among them the grave of Abraham, the friend of God.
Abram's altar was intended —
1. As a public profession of religion in the midst of enemies.
2. As a constant memorial of God's presence.
3. As a tribute of gratitude for His mercies.
4. As expressing a sense of obligation to His love, and a desire to enjoy His presence.
5. As a sign of his determination to be fully dedicated to God.
2. Grace will untent souls anywhere, to go where God will have them.
3. God sometimes scatters brethren in the Church to carry saving knowledge to strangers; so here with Abram's motions.
4. God sometimes makes the places of His Church's habitation memorable.
5. The faithful cannot sit down quietly in any place without God.
6. God's promise draweth out the saints' worship of, and sacrifice to, Him.
7. Saints' worship is such as is instituted by God only, a single altar.
8. God's faithful ones desire to instruct others in the worship of God, so Abram to Mamre.
9. Jehovah terminates all his saints' worship and obedience. It is all to Jehovah (ver. 18).
()From Bethel, Abraham travelled southward till he pitched his tents in the oak grove of Mamre, at Hebron, situated in a cool and elevated region, and commanding a fertile region; about twenty-two Roman miles south of Jerusalem, and belonging to the later territory of Judah. Hebron was one of the oldest towns of Palestine; it was built seven years before Tanis in Egypt; and was early the residence of a heathen king. However, it was, by Joshua, appointed as one of the cities of refuge, and assigned to the Levites; it thus assumed the character of a holy town where vows were taken and performed; and David chose it as his abode when he was king of Judah, during seven years and a half. These circumstances suffice to explain the interest evinced for Hebron in the history of the patriarchs; Abraham resided here when the angels made him the happy announcement of the birth of a son; here he acquired the first territorial property in Canaan; and here was the burial place of himself, of Isaac, and of Jacob, of Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah. The town was, therefore, appropriately distinguished by the erection of an altar (ver. 18). Later, it was fortified by Rehoboam among many other cities; it is still mentioned after the exile; it then belonged to the Idumeans, who were, however, expelled from it by Judas Maccabaeus; in the Roman war, it was captured and burnt by the enemies, without, however, being destroyed. In the period of the Crusades, after having, for a time, suffered from heavy attacks, it was made the seat of the bishopric of St. Abraham (in 1167), but returned already in 1187 into the possession of the Moslems, who have ever since retained it, though it was several times assailed and plundered by rebellious pachas or lawless chiefs. In the fifteenth century, it was distinguished by a magnificent hospital and general charity for the distribution of bread and other necessaries to strangers. The present Hebron is a large village rather than a town; it counts among its inhabitants about a hundred Jewish families, living together in a separate quarter; as, in fact, Jews, though often ill-treated, oppressed, and insulted, seem always to have lived in the town, with few interruptions; but it is not unimportant in its commerce, though it is chiefly celebrated for its glass works, which form the principal articles of export. It is surrounded by elevations, containing the highest peaks in the range of the mountains of Judah. Its blooming vicinity, with its vineyards and orchards, its wells, its rich pastures and numerous flocks and herds, is one of the proofs that the care of the agriculturist may still convert Palestine's desolation into smiling prosperity. The tombs of the patriarchs and of their wives, situated at the eastern end of Hebron on the slope of a ravine, attracted continually the visits of travellers; over the cave of Machpelah, called Al Magr by the Arabians, and surrounded by a high and strong wall, a mosque was erected which the Moslems regard as one of the four holiest sanctuaries of the world, from which Christians are excluded, and which stratagem only has enabled a few Europeans to enter. The town itself was, from that structure, called the Castle of Abraham, and received, therefore, from the Mohammedans the name of Bet El-Khalil, that is, the house of the "Friend of God," which is the honorary title given to Abram by the Arabians.
PeopleAbram, Canaanites, Lot, Mamre, Perizzites, Zoar
PlacesAi, Bethel, Betonim, Canaan, Egypt, Gomorrah, Hebron, Jordan River, Negeb, Sodom, Zoar
TopicsAbram, Altar, Buildeth, Built, Dwelleth, Dwelt, Hebron, Holy, Living-place, Mamre, Moved, Moving, Oaks, Plain, Removed, Tent, Tenteth, Tents, Terebinths, Tree, Trees
Outline1. Abram and Lot return with great riches out of Egypt.
6. Strife arises between Abram's herdsmen and those of Lot.
8. Abram allows Lot to choose his part of the country,
10. and Lot goes toward Sodom.
14. God renews his promise to Abram.
18. He moves to Hebron, and there builds an altar.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 13:18
5077 Abraham, character
LibraryJuly 21. "Look from the Place Where Thou Art" (Gen. xiii. 14).
"Look from the place where thou art" (Gen. xiii. 14). Let us now see the blessedness of faith. Our own littleness and nothingness sometimes becomes bondage. We are so small in our own eyes we dare not claim God's mighty promises. We say: "If I could be sure I was in God's way I could trust." This is all wrong. Self-consciousness is a great barrier to faith. Get your eyes on Him and Him alone; not on your faith, but on the Author of your faith; not a half look, but a steadfast, prolonged look, with …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
August 11. "All the Land which Thou Seest" (Gen. xiii. 15).
"All the land which thou seest" (Gen. xiii. 15). The actual provisions of His grace come from the inner vision. He who puts the instinct in the bosom of yonder bird to cross the continent in search of summer sunshine in yonder Southern clime is too good to deceive it, and just as surely as He has put the instinct in its breast, so has He also put the balmy breezes and the vernal sunshine yonder to meet it when it arrives. He who gave to Abraham the vision of the Land of Promise, also said in infinite …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Importance of a Choice
'And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the south even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hal; Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord. And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Land of Promise
"All the Land which thou seest, to thee will I give it."--Gen. xiii. 15. Gertrude of Hellfde, 1330. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 It was as if upon His breast He laid His piercèd hand, And said "To thee, beloved and blest, I give this goodly land." O Land of fountains and of deeps, Of God's exhaustless store-- O blessed Land, where he who reaps Shall never hunger more-- O summer Land, for ever fair With God's unfading flowers; O Land, where spices fill the air, And songs the golden towers-- …
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The University of Arabia: Jesus' naturalness--the Spirit's presence--intensity, Luke 2:45-51.--a true perspective--- the temptation's path--sin's path--John's grouping, 1 John 2:16.--the Spirit's plan--why--the devil's weakness--the Spirit's leading--a wilderness for every God-used man, Moses, Elijah, Paul. Earth's Ugliest, Deepest Scar: Jesus the only one led up to be tempted--the wilderness--its history, Genesis 13:10-13. 18:16-19:38.--Jesus really tempted--no wrong here in inner response--every …
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus
Notes on the Third Century
Page 161. Line 1. He must be born again, &c. This is a compound citation from John iii. 3, and Mark x. 15, in the order named. Page 182. Line 17. For all things should work together, &c. See Romans viii. 28. Page 184. Lines 10-11. Being Satan is able, &c. 2 Corinthians xi. 14. Page 184. Last line. Like a sparrow, &c. Psalm cii. Page 187. Line 1. Mechanisms. This word is, in the original MS., mechanicismes.' Page 187. Line 7. Like the King's daughter, &c. Psalm xlv. 14. Page 188. Med. 39. The best …
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations
Discourse on the Good Shepherd.
(Jerusalem, December, a.d. 29.) ^D John X. 1-21. ^d 1 Verily, verily, I say to you [unto the parties whom he was addressing in the last section], He that entereth not by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. [In this section Jesus proceeds to contrast his own care for humanity with that manifested by the Pharisees, who had just cast out the beggar. Old Testament prophecies were full of declarations that false shepherds would arise to …
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The Old Testament Canon from Its Beginning to Its Close.
The first important part of the Old Testament put together as a whole was the Pentateuch, or rather, the five books of Moses and Joshua. This was preceded by smaller documents, which one or more redactors embodied in it. The earliest things committed to writing were probably the ten words proceeding from Moses himself, afterwards enlarged into the ten commandments which exist at present in two recensions (Exod. xx., Deut. v.) It is true that we have the oldest form of the decalogue from the Jehovist …
Samuel Davidson—The Canon of the Bible
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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