Project Genesis

Jewish History

Biblical History

Abraham Taking Lot with Him

Question: When Abraham left his father’s house, was he allowed to take his nephew Lot with him?

Answer: Abraham was told in Gen.12:1 to leave his land, his MOLEDES, and his father’s house. It’s possible to translate MOLEDES (from the root YLD, meaning “born”) as “family” or “kindred”; but the commentators translate it as “birthplace”, which is what it clearly means in many other verses (e.g.,11:28). Thus Abraham was told to leave his father’s house, but not to leave all his relatives behind; nothing was said about whom he could or couldn’t take with him. In fact, he didn’t take his father, his brother Nachor, or his sister-in-law Milcah; they all stayed behind in Charan, where his father died 60 years later. Abraham’s nephew Lot went with him voluntarily (12:4).

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