Fighting for Family
He Ain’t Heavy…He’s my brother.
He is Heavy Sometimes!
Fleshly See Gen 13:12
Abram remains in the Promised Land of Canaan while the now affluent herdsman Lot moved his tents near to the city of Sodom. He is now in some sense or other a city dweller, albeit one who still lives in tents since he lives “in” or “among” (בְּ, be) the cities of the plain, near Sodom. When next we meet him, he has moved into the city of Sodom (Gen 14:12). Lot’s story would remind the original readers (and dare I say us too!) of the real dangers of becoming too comfortable in the midst of pagan culture. The influence is gradual enough as to be unnoticeable.
Foolish See Gen 19:30-38
CENTRAL IDEA: He may be heavy at times, but he is still my brother.
We Are Relatives Gen 14:14
62a אָח (ʾāḥ) II, brother.
62b אַחֲוָה (ʾaḥăwâ) brotherhood.
62c אָחוֹת (ʾāḥôt) sister.
אָח (ʾāḥ). Brother, relative, fellow countryman, friend. From a root common to all Semitic languages, ʾāḥ occurs 630 times in the OT. Owing to its wide range of meanings and the practice of polygamy, it is sometimes necessary to describe a full brother as the son of one’s mother (Deut 13:6 [H 7]; Ps 50:20; Jud 8:19). The relationship between full brothers was extremely close, so the admonition to kill a brother who has become an idolater is severe indeed (Deut 13:6 [H 7]). Every man is expected to be his brother’s keeper (Gen 4:9). The OT is replete with stories about half-brothers, those with different mothers. Abraham was Sarah’s half-brother (Gen 20:5, 12), and his sons Ishmael and Isaac were born to Hagar and Sarah. The rivalry between Joseph and his half-brothers turned into hatred (Gen 37:2–5), and Absalom’s hatred for Amnon resulted in murder (II Sam 13:29). Even full brothers like Cain and Abel, or Jacob and Esau had similar experiences. The Levites, however, properly put loyalty to God above family solidarity when they killed their own sons and brothers guilty of idolatry (32:29).
More remote descendants from a common father are called brothers. Thus “brother” occurs together with “children of Israel” (Deut 24:7). “Brother” is used more widely of Abraham’s nephew Lot (Gen 13:8) and Laban’s nephew Jacob (Gen 29:15). Members of the same tribe are also called “brothers.” fellow-Levites (Num 16:10) or Simeonites (Num 25:6). The “relatives” of Samson among whom he should have selected a wife probably refer to his own tribe of Dan (Jud 14:3).