1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

Lesson 30, Geography Study Concerning the Scriptures, Patriarchal Migrations and Wanderings, Abraham in the Promised Land, Continued

ABRAHAM IN THE PROMISED LAND 

Genesis 12:6,7,  And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem (Shecham), unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. 

He then moved south to encamp at Bethel (House of God) and Ai. (1)

Bethlehem Ė house of  bread

Genesis 12:8,  And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai (Ai) on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. 

And Abraham also found himself and his cattle and his sheep and all those that were with him to be caught in the grip of famine. 

Genesis 12:10, And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 

He felt forced to migrate into Egypt, most likely by way of Hebron and Beersheba.  (2) 

When the famine passed, Abraham and his entourage returned to his former campsite near Bethel/Ai and began to live there. (3) 

Genesis 13:3-4,  And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;  Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. 

 

(Call on the name of the Lord means to live according to the word of God.)

 

Before long, however, conflict arose between the clansmen of Abraham and Lot which resulted in Lotís departure to live in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. (4)

 

Genesis 13:12,  Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

 

Abraham moved on southward and came to dwell by the oaks of Mamre, at Hebron. (5)

 

Genesis 13:18,  Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD. 

The location of the cities of the plain, including Sodom and Gomorrah, remains very much of a mystery.   

Those cities are sometimes sought at the north end of the Dead Sea, where the Jordan River runs into it.   

Depending heavily on the wording of Gen 13:10,11,  

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 

This view infers that Sodom and Gomorrah were visible from the vicinity of Bethel.   

But eyes can be lifted up to places that can only be seen in the mind because of the lust of the eye. 

So others argue that the cities of the plain must have been located toward the southern end of the Dead Sea, based on the fact that one of the cities (Zoar) is positioned in that region on the Medeba map and on a presumed name survival (Sedom).   

Near the southeastern shore of the Dead Sea have been found many hundreds of graves containing thousands of skeletal remains, related by some writers to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as recorded in Genesis 19. 

Some time after Abraham moved to Hebron, the five cities situated in the Valley of Siddom (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, Zoar) rebelled against their Mesopotamian overlords.   

Genesis 14:1-4, And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber (sounds like a month, October, November, Shemeber, December) king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 

Responding to this challenge, the Mesopotamian monarchs led their armies toward Canaan and assaulted the Transjordanian lands of the Rephaim, Zuzin, Emim, and Horites along the way. (6) 

Genesis 14:5,6,  And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness. 

Passing El-paran, they turned toward Kadeshbarnea, where they subdued some Amalekites, before vanquishing the Amorites at Tamar.  (7)

Genesis 14:7,  And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar. 

That cleared the way for the Mesopotamian kings to turn their attention to the real enemies; the cities of the Siddom Valley. (8)