So they left Egypt and traveled north into the Negev -- Abram with his wife and Lot and all that they owned,
for Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.
Then they continued traveling by stages toward Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where they had camped before.
This was the place where Abram had built the altar, and there he again worshiped the LORD.
Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also very wealthy with sheep, cattle, and many tents.
But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. There were too many animals for the available pastureland.
So an argument broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. At that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land.
Then Abram talked it over with Lot. "This arguing between our herdsmen has got to stop," he said. "After all, we are close relatives!
I'll tell you what we'll do. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate. If you want that area over there, then I'll stay here. If you want to stay in this area, then I'll move on to another place."
Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the LORD or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
Lot chose that land for himself -- the Jordan Valley to the east of them. He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram.
So while Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom, among the cities of the plain.
The people of this area were unusually wicked and sinned greatly against the LORD.
After Lot was gone, the LORD said to Abram, "Look as far as you can see in every direction.
I am going to give all this land to you and your offspring a as a permanent possession.
And I am going to give you so many descendants that, like dust, they cannot be counted!
Take a walk in every direction and explore the new possessions I am giving you."
Then Abram moved his camp to the oak grove owned by Mamre, which is at Hebron. There he built an altar to the LORD.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)