Abraham…pitched his tent with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east, and he built there an altar to the LORD, and he invoked the name of the LORD. This is the first time that Abraham invokes the name of God. Where is he? Between two cities: Bethel is to the west and Ai is to the East, and Abraham builds an altar somewhere in the middle. Only in an environment that was away from the distractions of city life, explains the Malbim, could Abraham begin the hard work of calling out to God.