Genesis 13 begins with a geographical reversal as Abram retraces his steps from Egypt back into the Promised Land. Verses 5-7 set the stage: Abram and Lot are dwelling in the land, and they have been blessed. But there is not room for both of them to dwell together. Verse 7 reminds the reader that the continued presence of the Canaanites and Perizzites contributed to this problem.
In verses 8-9 Abram demonstrates faith in God’s promise by offering Lot the choice of settling anywhere in the land. The land is still possessed by the Canaanites, but Abram speaks as if God’s promise is true and the land is his to give. Abram also shows faith that his generosity toward Lot won’t result in his loosing part of the land to him.
Verses 10-14 present Lot as a foil to Abram. Lot makes his choice based on sight, rather than based on faith. His choice places him on the very edge of the Promised Land, if not beyond it.
In verses 14-17 God expands on the land promise. The promise is now no longer simply to Abram’s seed―it is a promise to him personally. He is promised all the land that he can see. He is promised that this land will be his and his seed’s possession forever.
In verse 18 Abram is said to have settled by the oaks of Mamre. This location is near the only plot of the promised land that Abram will own in his lifetime (Gen. 23:17-18).