The battle of four kings against five. Lot is taken prisoner. Abram rescueth Lot, is met by the king of Sodom, and blessed by Melchizedek, to whom he giveth tithe. He restoreth the rest of the spoil to the king of Sodom, except the portion of his confederates.
1AND it came to pass in the days of Amraphel 1king of 2Shinar, Arioch king of 3Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of 4Elam, and Tidal king of 5nations;
1 Understand here none of such great and mighty kings and monarchs, as some have become afterwards, but such chieftains and governors only who had the command and governments but of some districts or places, with some quantity of men resorting under their jurisdiction, which appears by this, that the five cities, Sodom, Gomorrah, etc. had each of them their king, verse 2.
2 See Gen. 10 on verse 10.
3Upper-Susiana in Assyria. Compare on the name of Havilla the 30th annotation at Gen. 2 on verse 11.
4 A region in Persia, called Elymais, of Elam, the son of Shem. See Gen. 10:22.
5 It seems that this king’s subjects and military force consisted of several nations. Though some take it as if the word gojim here was but the name of a certain place or region.
26That these made war with Bera king of 7Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, 8which is Zoar.
6 This is the first war plainly set down and recorded in Holy Writ. One does not find in any other histories of the world that gives account of any war as old as this.
7 These five cities (except Zoar), which here are visited with war, are not long after consumed with fire and brimstone from heaven, because of their intolerable wickedness.
8 See Gen. 13:10.
3All these were joined together 9in the vale of Siddim, which is the 10salt sea.
9 Other, toward, or, unto. This was the plain, or low-country wherein the aforesaid cities were situated.
10 Thus called after the destruction of these cities, because this region (in which were many salt or brackish slime pits, verse 10) became afterwards into a large stinking pool, otherwise called Lacus Asphaltites, that is, pitch, or slime-sea, as also the Dead Sea, because no living animal could remain alive in it.
4Twelve years they 11served Chedorlaomer, and 12in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
11 Having been, so it seems, subdued, in some former war, so extensive by him that they were become tributary to him.
12 Hebr. thirteen years, that is, the thirteenth year, and so in the next verse, fourteen, for fourteenth.
5And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote 13the Rephaimsa in 14Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and 15the Emimsb in 16Shaveh Kiriathaim,
13 A people descended from Canaan. See Gen. 15:20. Other, giants, who are perceived to be called from their healthy vigor and strength.
a Gen. 15:20.
14 A city beyond Jordan, called likewise Asteroth by itself. Deut. 1:4; Joshua 9:10; 13:31; her surname is Karnaïm, which, it seems, was given her from her position.
15 A certain people which likewise were reputed to be giants. Deut. 2:10, 11.
b Deut. 2:10, 11.
16 A city of the Reubenites, re-built afterwards in Gilead, previously, as it seems, called Schave. See verse 17; Num. 32:37; Joshua 13:19. Other, in the plain.
6And 17the Horites in their mount Seir, unto 18El-paran, which is by the wilderness.
17 Hebr. the Chorite, a people that dwelt in Seir, as likewise Esau afterwards. See Gen. 32:3, until the Edomites or Esau’s posterity drove them out thence. See Gen. 36:20; Deut. 2:12, 22.
18 This is the name of a city, the mountain and adjacent country. See Num. 13:3; Deut. 33:2; 1 Sam. 25:1; Hab. 3:3; hence the desert or wilderness of Paran has its name. See Gen. 21:21; Num. 10:12.
7And they returned, and came to 19En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the 20country of the 21Amalekites, and also the 22Amorites, that dwelt in 23Hazezon-tamar.
19 In Moses’ time it was called Kadesh, situated in the desert of Sin. See Num. 20:1, 14, 16, 22 a distinct place, as some do hold, from Kadesh-barnea, whereof may be seen Num. 32:8; Deut. 1:19.
20 That is, the inhabitants of the land.
21 A people descending from Esau, which inhabited the same afterwards. See Gen. 36:12.
22 One of the nations originating from Canaan. See Gen. 10:16.
23 Hebr. Chatsatson, afterward called Engedi; see Joshua 15:62; 1 Sam. 24:1; 2 Chron. 20:2.
8And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
9With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
10And the vale of Siddim was 24full of slimepits;c and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and 25fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
24 Hebr. pits pits. Thus one and the same word is doubled by the Hebrews to express the quantity or multitude of things. 2 Kings 3:16; Jer. 2:13.
c mud, bitumen
25 A phrase of those who perish in the battle, or otherwise. See Joshua 8:24, 25; Judges 8:10; 12:6; 1 Chron. 21:14. The ones who fell are here put in opposition to them that escaped. Other, fell therein, or fell down.
11And they took all the 26goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
26 See Gen. 12:5, and below verses 16, 21.
12And they took Lot, Abram's brother’s son, 27who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
27 Namely, Lot. See Gen. 13:12.
13¶And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the 28plain of Mamred the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were 29confederate with Abram.
28 See Gen. 13 on verse 18.
d Gen. 13:18.
29 Hebr. lords of the covenant. The word BAAL does in general signify him that is in possession of something, or uses it, or is inclined to it, etc. as Gen. 37:19 lord of dreams, one who has many dreams; Gen. 49:23 lords of arrows, who use many arrows; 2 Kings 1:8 lord of the hair, one that has much hair; Prov. 29:22 lord of the wrath, one who is inclined to anger. Here in this place, lords of the covenant are those who were in covenant together.
14And when Abram heard that his 30brother was taken captive, he armed his 31trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto 32Dan.
30 That is, his nephew, his brother Haran’s son. See Gen. 11:27.
31 Or, apprentices. The Hebrew word signifies one that is instructed in something from his youth, whether it be in matters of religion, or military affairs, or otherwise. Other, the appropriated ones of his house.
32 A city at the foot of mount Lebanon and the north border of Palestine, formerly called Leshem, Joshua 19:47, or Laish, Judges 18:27.
15And he divided himself against them, 33he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of 34Damascus.
33 Together with the men of Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, who were marched forth with him as confederates. See verse 24.
34 This is that famous metropolis in Syria. See Isa. 7:8; 17:1; Jer. 49:25; Acts 9:2.
16And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
17¶And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of 35Shaveh, which is the king’s 36dale.
35 See verse 5.
36 Thus called by reason of this encounter. See further of this dale, 2 Sam. 18:18.
18Ande37Melchizedek king of 38Salem 39brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
e Heb. 7:1, 2, 3.
37 Hebr. Melchitsedek, who was a type of Christ. See Psalm 110:4; Heb. 7:1.
38 Hebr. Schalem, afterwards called Jerusalem.
39 To honor Abram and to refresh his wearied army, and not to make an offering thereof to God. The Hebrew verb, here used, is not being taken anywhere in Scripture for offering.
19And he 40blessed him, and said, 41Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
40 As a priest of the most High. See Heb. 7:7.
41 That is, the Lord was gracious unto him, and endues him with all manner of blessings in soul and body.
20And 42blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he 43gave him tithes of all.
42 That is, extolled with praise and thanks, as Gen. 9:26; 24:27.
43 Abram gave tenth to Melchizedek. See Heb. 7:4, etc. and compare the same with the following verse 23.
21And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the 44persons, and take the goods to thyself.
44 Hebr. the soul, that is, the men, or persons, or people. See Gen. 12:5.
22And Abram said to the king of Sodom, 45I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
45 That is, I have sworn with uplifted hands. See of this manner of making an oath by swearing also Exod. 6:8; Num. 14:30; Deut. 32:40; Ezek. 20:5, 6; Rev. 10:5, 6.
2346That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
46 This is an incomplete speech, very usual among the Hebrews, whereby they use to conceal the punishment, which they make themselves liable to if they swear falsely; showing thereby that they exclude no kind of punishment, but refer the same to the righteous judgment of God. Understand therefore in such passages, woe be unto me, or, God do this or that with me, if I, etc. See Gen. 26:29.
2447Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; 48let them take their portion.
47 Or, without me, because I will take nothing of what is yours. Others read it, besides only what, etc. See the like phrase Gen. 41:16.
48 That is, do allow to follow not only for the young men what they have eaten of the enemies’ prey, but also for the three men what they, of the same, would still be permitted be supplied for their share.