(Gen 14:1 NASB) And it came about in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,
(Gen 14:2 NASB) that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
(Gen 14:3 NASB) All these came as allies to the valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea).
Gen 14:3: The kingdoms of Shinar, Ellasar, Elam, and another nation made war with Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela.
(Gen 14:4 NASB) Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled.
(Gen 14:5 NASB) And in the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham and the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim,
(Gen 14:6 NASB) and the Horites in their Mount Seir, as far as El-paran, which is by the wilderness.
(Gen 14:7 NASB) Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and conquered all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, who lived in Hazazon-tamar.
Gen 14:7: These first eleven verses have nothing to do with Abram or Lot, but it sets up the war and the kidnapping of Lot.
(Gen 14:8 NASB) And the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) came out; and they arrayed for battle against them in the valley of Siddim,
(Gen 14:9 NASB) against Chedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim and Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar– four kings against five.
Gen 14:9: We are not told the size of each army. But there are four kingdoms against five kingdoms. They came from the north and attacked the five kings.
(Gen 14:10 NASB) Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell into them. But those who survived fled to the hill country.
(Gen 14:11 NASB) Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food supply, and departed.
Gen 14:11: The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled for their lives. This is a display of the lack of character for which they were probably famous.
(Gen 14:12 NASB) And they also took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions and departed, for he was living in Sodom.
Gen 14:12: Now we come to the reason for bringing up this war. Lot was vacuumed up along with the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.
This is the first recorded war in Scripture.
(Gen 14:13 NASB) Then a fugitive came and told Abram the Hebrew. Now he was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner, and these were allies with Abram.
(Gen 14:14 NASB) And when Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
Gen 14:14: Abram had 318 servants well trained for battle that were born in his household. He went in pursuit as far as Dan which was known as Laish according to Egyptian texts from 1850-1825 BCE. The name Dan was probably used by Moses for better geographical understanding.
(Gen 14:15 NASB) And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus.
(Gen 14:16 NASB) And he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people.
Gen 14:16: Abram divided the forces against them. Since his forces were well trained for battle, they could defeat the divided forces in small groups.
(Gen 14:17 NASB) Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
(Gen 14:18 NASB) And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.
Gen 14:18: It would be proper for a victorious army to be greeted by the nobles of the country, but this is strange.
Melchizedek means “king of righteousness.” He is described as the “king of Salem” which means the “king of peace.” We know nothing of his origin or of where he went from here.
We are told by the writer of Hebrews that he is a type of the Messiah (Heb. 7:1-18). That passage in Hebrews quotes Psalm 110:1-6.
Why did he bring out bread and wine? While we do not know the time of the year this is, it is very possible that Melchizedek was demonstrating the Passover to Abram. Abram had been told of the covenant from Elohim and was possibly honoring Him in this way to celebrate the deliverance of Lot and his family from the clutches of Chedarloamer.
(Gen 14:19 NASB) And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
(Gen 14:20 NASB) And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all.
Gen 14:20: We have more solid evidence of Torah pre-existing Sinai. Abram gave his tithe to the priest of Elohim. Why would he have done this without knowing to do so?
(Gen 14:21 NASB) And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.”
Gen 14:21: The king of Sodom was not only trying to reward Abram for bringing back some of his people, but he probably wanted to get on the good side of a man whose servants were such well-trained fighters.
(Gen 14:22 NASB) And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth,
(Gen 14:23 NASB) that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’
(Gen 14:24 NASB) “I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.”
Gen 14:24: Abram was well aware of the sin of the king of Sodom. He did not want this immoral man to get any credit for the blessings of Yahweh.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas