Genesis 14:23

That I will not take from a thread even to a shoe thong, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, I have made Abram rich:
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
It is characteristic of the perfect mind not to take for itself any earthly thing, anything prone to bodily seduction. This is why Abraham says, “I will take nothing of what is yours.” He avoids intemperance like the plague. He flees from sensual bodily temptations as from filth. He rejects worldly pleasures to seek those that are above the world. This is what it means to raise one’s hands to the Lord. The hand that does good is the virtue of the soul. He puts forth his hand not to the fruit of the earthly tree but to the Lord, “who,” Scripture says, “made heaven and earth,” that is to say, both intelligible and visible substance. In fact, the invisible ousia, or substance, is heaven, while the earth is the visible and sensible substance. The passage then means that Abraham raises the virtue of his mind to heavenly things. From that intelligible substance he might reach the heights of the contemplative life, looking not to the things that are seen but to those that are not seen; not to...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Woof-thread. The first word is added by way of explanation. Abram declares he will not receive the smallest present for himself.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
He would not take even a chance item, even something worthless or anything thought beneath contempt, even the shoelace at the tip of the shoe, where it comes to a point. Then he states the reason for his refusal. It is “in case you were to say, ‘I gave Abram his wealth.’ I have on my side the supplier of countless goods; I enjoy much favor from on high. I have no need of wealth from you. I don’t want human resources. I am content with the regard God pays me. I know the generosity of his gifts toward me. Having yielded to Lot worthless scraps, I have been granted great promises beyond telling. Now by not accepting wealth from you I earn for myself greater wealth and enjoy further grace from him.” This in my opinion … was the reason why he took the oath in the words “I will raise my hand to swear before God the most high”; namely, that the king should not think that he was simply putting up a pretense about what was likely to happen but should rather be quite clear about his not taking t...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The patriarch’s contempt for material wealth was intense. Why is it with an oath that he rejects the offer in the words “I will raise my hand to swear before God the most high, who created heaven and earth”? He wants to give the king of Sodom two lessons. First, he is above the gifts offered by him; and this gives evidence of great wisdom. He is ready to prove an instructor for him in reverence, as if to teach him in so many words: I am calling to witness the Creator of all that I will take nothing of yours, so that you may come to know the God over all and not regard as gods the things shaped by human hands. This One in fact is the maker of heaven and earth, who indeed determined the course of this war and was the cause of victory. So don’t expect me to be ready to take anything you’ve offered me. It was not, you see, for a reward that I wreaked vengeance. Instead, in the first instance it was out of love for my nephew, and then from the very nature of a good man that I should wrest f...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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