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Lech Lecha

13:10 Lot looked up and saw that the entire Jordan Plain, all the way to Tzoar had plenty of water. (This was before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) It was like God's own garden, like the land of Egypt.
Vayisa-Lot et-eynav vayar et-kol-kikar haYarden ki chulah mashkeh lifney shachet Adonay et-Sedom ve'et-Amorah kegan-Adonay ke'erets Mitsrayim boachah Tso'ar.
13:11 Lot chose for himself the entire Jordan Plain. He headed eastward, and the two separated.
Vayivchar-lo Lot et kol-kikar haYarden vayisa Lot mikedem vayiparedu ish me'al achiv.


  A city originally known as Bela, associated with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14:2). Also see Genesis 19:22, Deuteronomy 34:3. According to tradition, Tzoar was settled later than the other four cities (Shabbath 10b; Rashi on 19:20). From the context, it would seem that Tzoar was the southernmost of these cities, possibly on the southern bank of what is now the Dead Sea. (see Josephus, Wars 4:8:4).

According to context, this phrase fits here. However, the verse literally ends, 'Like the land of Egypt, as one comes to Tzoar.' Accordingly, this 'Tzoar' may not be the one associated with Sodom, but an ancient Egyptian frontier fortress.

  Kikarin Hebrew, literally a flat cake or circle of Jordan. This was a flat oval area in what is now the southern part of the Dead Sea. See Genesis 19:25. It seems that the Jordan then had underground channels through which it could flow, so the water did not collect in the area. See Targum Yonathan on Genesis 14:3.

Sodom and Gomorrah
  See Genesis 19:24. Also see Genesis 10:19.

  (The verse literally says, 'from the east,' but from the context, this must be interpreted as 'eastward,' since the Jordan is to the east of Bethel (Radak. See Rashi; Ibn Ezra).

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