Possible Duplicate:
Why did Avraham take gifts from Pharaoh, but not the King of Sodom?

After Avram saved Lot and the people of Sodom from the 4 kings, the king of Sodom offered him the possessions or spoils for himself in exchange for freeing the people....to which Avram replied:

כג. אִם מִחוּט וְעַד שְׂרוֹךְ נַעַל וְאִם אֶקַּח מִכָּל אֲשֶׁר לָךְ וְלֹא תֹאמַר אֲנִי הֶעֱשַׁרְתִּי אֶת אַבְרָם

Neither from a thread to a shoe strap, nor will I take from whatever is yours, that you should not say, 'I have made Abram wealthy.'

on the other hand, Avram did accept presents from Pharaoh (Bereshis 12:16)

And he benefited Abram for her sake, and he had flocks and cattle and he donkeys and men servants and maid servants, and she donkeys and camels.

so why wasn't Avram worried that Pharaoh would say 'I have made Abram wealthy'?

  • @msh210 Merger?
    – Double AA
    Oct 26, 2012 at 3:38
  • @DoubleAA, sure. Delete Danield's answer (duplicate of mine) or mine?
    – msh210
    Oct 26, 2012 at 4:48
  • @msh210 No need IMO particularly since it was given in good faith (ie not a duplicate when the other is clearly right there).
    – Double AA
    Oct 26, 2012 at 5:43
  • 1
    I didn't see the other (duplicate) question. Before I submit a question I always look if similar ones are out there.. and nothing similar showed up
    – Danield
    Oct 26, 2012 at 6:53

2 Answers 2


OK, I found an answer to this in the Gur Aryeh commentary (Maharal of Prague) on the possuk.

To summarize:

The Marahal says that Avram wasn't worried about his own honor but rather the honor of Hashem - i.e - Hashem promised to make Avram wealthy - not the king of Sodom.

So you'd ask: maybe this is how Hashem wanted to make Avram wealthy - through the king of Sodom?

Here lies the difference between the king of Sodom and Pharaoh.

By Pharaoh - Avram took presents from him - because this was given to him in a way of honor - this would be conceived as a blessing from Hashem (and not be attributed to Pharaoh).

However by the king of Sodom - he didn't propose to give Avram the spoils in order to honor him but rather because of the desperate situation he was in he felt like he had no choice but to offer this to Avram. This kind of a present could not constitute the blessing from Hashem - 'ואברכך' (Breshis 12:2).

In the words of the Maharal:

ד׳ברכה׳ אינו רק דבר שבא מכח ברכה ולא מכח צרה

  • See comments on the question.
    – msh210
    Oct 26, 2012 at 5:19

The Netziv explains that all the people from whom Avraham did take, Avraham knew about them that they were okay and wouldn't claim that they had given him a significant gift, but the king of Sdom would.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .