Tosfos on 7b says that Avraham was 73 years old by the war of the 4 kings vs 5 kings. Now we know that he was 75 when he left Charan (the second time) and soon after(that year. Seder Olam 1) went to Mitzrayim. But it says that Lot went with him to mitzrayim and came out wealthy with sheep and cattle. This in turn led to the fight between the shepherds which led to Lot moving to Sedom. Therefore we see that Lot went to Sedom when Avraham was (at least) 75. And the war of the kings only happened after that as Lot was captured from Sedom. So how do we reconcile Tosfot who says that Avraham was 73 at the war?
Thank you for all your hard work.
Elisha Yagudayev, flushing, united states
I have the same Kashya written in the margin of my Gemara, which I asked many years ago. You will also find that the Hagahos of Rebbi Elazar Moshe ha'Levi Horvitz (in the back of most Gemaras) asks it as well, and he does not give an answer.
Although I do not think what I am about to write is a good answer, it is an interesting thought, which will lighten the Kashya somewhat. To reconcile Tosfos' proof with the facts that you mention, it is perhaps possible to deduct or to add half a year here and half a year there from/on to the years that Tosfos refers to, in which case Avraham would turn out to be 75. And what Tosfos means is that even if we do not do that, the very youngest that Avraham could possibly have been was 73.
B'Virchas Kol Tuv,
Hello and thank you for your response.
The last Tosfos on Sabbos 10b makes it sound like those are two separate opinions. Tosfos and Rashi hold it is 73 years, and he concedes that according to Seder Olam, he was 75, so I am not sure I fully understand what the Rav is trying to answer.
All the best.
I was making a suggestion which I don't actually believe answers your question. If the Re'em Horvitz asks your question and leaves it unanswered, we may just need to be satisfied that your Kashya has been substantiated, and continue seeking an answer.
I would like to propose a solution based on what the Rosh writes in Yevamos 6:12.
1) The Mishnah (Yevamos 64a) states that if one was married to a woman for 10 years without bearing children, one must marry another woman in order not to neglect the Mitzvah of having children. The Gemara tells us that the number of 10 years is derived from Avraham Avinu, who was married to Sarah for 10 years without having children, and then he married Hagar. Rashi writes that in fact Avraham was married to Sarah for many years in Padan Aram, but this does not count because it may be that they were denied children because of the sin of living outside Eretz Yisrael. It is only if they were married for 10 years in Eretz Yisrael without children that he has to marry another wife.
2) The Rosh explains further. Hashem said to Avraham, "Go from your land to the Land which I will show you." However, Avraham did not immediately go. Even when afterwards he did go, he returned later to Chutz la'Aretz. The Rosh proves this by showing that at the time of the Bris Bein ha'Besarim, Avraham was 70 years old. We also know that the Bris Bein ha'Besarim took place in Eretz Yisrael, since the verse (Bereshis 15:18) tells us that Hashem said, "I have given this land to your offspring." So Avraham was in Eretz Yisrael at the age of 70, but Bereshis 12:4 tells us that he was 75 years old when he left Charan! The Rosh writes that we must conclude that Avraham returned to Chutz la'Aretz after the Bris Bein ha'Besarim, and was punished for this by not having children.
3) What we see from the above is that the events in Parshas Lech Lecha are not related in chronolgical order, since Avraham was 75 in chapter 12, but only 70 in chapter 15. This need not disturb us, since the rule is "Ein Mukdam u'Me'uchar ba'Torah" -- the Torah is not necessarily written in chronolgical order (see Pesachim 6b and Gilyon ha'Shas there in the name of Rashi to Bereshis 6:3). Therefore, we may suggest that Lot went to Mitzrayim before Avraham was 75, and the war with the kings happened when he was 73.