[Is] not the whole land before thee?
&c.] Signifying, that though there were not room and convenience for them both in that part of the country in which they were, yet there were in other parts; and though the land was given to Abram, he did not desire Lot to depart out of it; nay, he sets it all before him to choose what part he would dwell in, which was great condescension in him: separate thyself, I pray thee, from me;
not that he was weary of his company and fellowship with him, but, as things were circumstanced, a separation was necessary for the subsistence of their herds and flocks, and for the peace and comfort of their respective families; nor did he desire him to go out of the land, or be so far from him, that he could be of no advantage to him; but though separate, yet so near him as to give him help and assistance, as there might be occasion for it, and as there was some time after, which appears from the history of the following chapter. If [thou wilt take] the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if
[thou depart] to the right hand, then I will go to the left;
or as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan are,
``if thou wilt go to the north, I will go to the south, or if thou wilt go to the south, I will go to the north:''for when a man stands with his face to the east, the principal part, the north is on his left hand, and the south on his right; and this was an usual way of speaking in the eastern countries; but they were not, as Grotius observes, Aristotelians, who make the east the right hand, and the west the left. This was an instance of the peaceable disposition of Abram, and of his humility and condescension to give his nephew leave, who was in all respects inferior to him, to make his choice, to go which way he would, and take what part of the country he pleased.