“Get up and walk through the length and breadth of the land, because I will give it to you.”-Genesis 13:17
Next in verse 17, we have God commanding Abram to walk the length and breadth of the land.
What is this all about?
Well, in ancient times, walking around the perimeter of a piece of property was a common legal ritual in the ancient middle east.
In Hebrew, this custom was called Chazakah and it was literally the equivalent of signing a real estate contract in our day which indicates an official and legal transfer of ownership.
Historical records show that this custom was well known by the Egyptians and the Hittites.
Some nations even required their rulers to perform this act to reestablish sovereignty over a given region.
Now some of you may be thinking why did God agree to having Abram perform a manmade tradition to establish sovereignty over the land?
Isn’t God God?
He doesn’t need to conform to man’s petty ways of doing things.
The answer to that question is that it was for both Abraham’s sake and those residing in the territory he was marking out for himself.
In the areas where he performed this symbolic walk-through, there were already many established cities and kingdoms.
Abram probably angered much of the population in that area via this symbolic declaration of his ownership of their land.
Another point we can take from this and we will see this often in Scripture is that the Lord often works through established man made customs and traditions.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN GENESIS CHAPTER 14