Then someone who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew. Now he was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and the brother of Aner; and these were allies of Abram. Bible see other translations

“the Hebrew.” This is the first use of “Hebrew” in the Bible.

“was living.” Abraham lived in a tent and had many servants who watched his flocks and herds, and they would have also lived in tents with him, so this was a typical Bedouin tent encampment, with dozens of tents. Genesis 12:16 says that Abram had flocks, herds, donkeys, camels, and both male and female servants (more likely a mixture of slaves and servants. The Hebrew word can be used of either a servant or a slave, so readers have to tell from the context whether “servant” or “slave” is meant). We learn from Genesis 14:14 that Abram had 318 men who were fighting age who had been “born in his house,” that is, as part of his household of slaves and servants, so he had a huge camp. Thus Abram was a powerful Bedouin chief. As the weather changed and grazing needs changed, the camp would move. This way of life is almost gone today, although a few Bedouin tribes that camp are left.

“of Mamre the Amorite.” “Mamre” was the name of a person and a place (Gen. 13:18). It is possible and even likely that the place was named after its early owner, Mamre.

Commentary for: Genesis 14:13