Abraham Moves into Canaan
There lived in Ur a man named Abraham, who was a devout man with all his household, and feared the Lord. The people of Ur were wicked people and worshiped idols. Therefore, God said unto Abraham: "Get you out of your country and leave your kindred and your father's house, and go into a land that I will show you."
Abraham rose and took his wife Sarah, and his brother's son, Lot, and his wife, and his children, and all their goods, and started on the long journey into an unknown country. Abraham was seventy-five years old but he was strong and vigorous and he knew that he was being led by the hand of the Lord.
At last the party came to the land of Canaan, and the Lord told Abraham that he would give this land to his children, and his children's children, and they should drive out all their enemies and the whole land should be theirs. And Abraham built an altar and offered sacrifices unto the Lord.
Abraham kept on moving from place to place, but the people of Canaan did no harm to the wanderers for God was taking care of them. At last a dreadful famine arose and the grass withered in the fields and the corn refused to grow, and there was no food for the people and none for their cattle. Seeing this, Abraham and all his family moved down into Egypt and stayed there as long as the famine lasted. And when the famine was over they moved back into Canaan, and again Abraham built an altar and offered sacrifices unto the Lord.
By this time Abraham had grown very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold. His herds wandered over the rich fields of Canaan, attended by his servants and fattened under their care. He then sold them to the people of that land and saved the money he made. Lot also had grown very rich and his cattle also wandered over the fields attended by his herdsmen. Abraham and his family and Lot and his family and all the servants and herdsmen lived in tents, because they had to move from place to place in order to find food for their herds.
The cattle of Abraham and the cattle of Lot sometimes mingled together and often there was a dispute over the feeding ground, and even a question of who owned the cattle. As a result of this there arose strife between the herdsmen of Abraham's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle, which might even have come to blows. Neither Abraham nor Lot desired to bring about a family quarrel, so Abraham said to Lot: "Let there be no strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen for we are brethren. The whole land is before you, therefore, separate yourself from me. If you will take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you will go to the right hand then I will go to the left."
Then Lot lifted up his eyes and looked upon the plain of Jordan that was well watered everywhere. It looked like the garden of the Lord or like the land of Egypt and Lot chose all the plain of Jordan for his cattle and herdsmen. Abraham remained in the land of Canaan and let Lot go his way into the plain of Jordan.
There were two cities in the plain of Jordan, one named Sodom and one named Gomorrah and a small town named Zoar, but the people of these towns were very wicked and did not serve the Lord. After Lot had gone, the Lord took Abraham out from his tent and told him to look over the place where he was, to the north and the east and the south and the west, and said unto Abraham:
"All the land which you see, I will give to you and to your children forever and you shall be as many as the stars in the heavens and the sands on the ground." And Abraham was content to dwell where the Lord had put him and continued to raise his cattle and to build altars and to offer sacrifices unto the Lord.
One day Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent in the heat of the day, and lifting up his eyes he saw three men standing by him. He did not know who they were, but, according to the custom of those days, when strangers appeared in need of entertainment, he arose to greet them, and running from his tent door to meet them he bowed himself to the ground. He then spoke to the three men and said:
"Go not away from your servant; let a little water be fetched and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree." And the men rested under the tree as Abraham had asked them to do.
Then Abraham hastened into his tent and called his wife Sarah and said to her: "Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, and make cakes upon the hearth." And Sarah at once set about preparing a meal for the strangers. Then Abraham ran to the herd and brought a young calf, which he told one of his servants to kill and get ready to serve. Then he took butter and milk and the cakes which Sarah had cooked and the meat which the man had prepared and he delivered it all to the three strangers as they sat under the tree. And the men ate of the food that Abraham had given them.