Genesis 14

Abram Rescues Lot

1 In those days Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam,[a] and Tidal[b] king of Goiim[c]
2 waged war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim,[d] as well as the king of Bela (that is, Zoar[e]).
3 All of these came as allies to the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea).
4 They were subject to Chedorlaomer for 12 years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim,
6 and the Horites in the mountains of Seir, as far as El-paran by the wilderness.
7 Then they came back to invade En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they defeated all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar.
8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and lined up for battle in the Valley of Siddim
9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar-four kings against five.
10 Now the Valley of Siddim contained many asphalt pits, and [as] the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, [some] fell into them,[f] but the rest fled to the mountains.
11 The [four kings] took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food and went on.
12 They also took Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, for he was living in Sodom, and they went on.
13 One of the survivors came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was at the oaks belonging to Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and the brother of Aner. They were bound by a treaty with[g] Abram.
14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken prisoner, he assembled[h] his 318 trained men, born in his household, and they went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15 And he and his servants deployed against them by night, attacked them, and pursued them as far as Hobah to the north of Damascus.
16 He brought back all the goods and also his relative Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the [other] people.

Melchizedek's Blessing

17 After Abram returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek, king of Salem,[i] brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High.
19 He blessed him and said: Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator[j] of heaven and earth,
20 and give praise to[k] God Most High who has handed over your enemies to you. And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.[l]
21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the people, but take the possessions for yourself."
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand in an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,
23 that I will not take a thread or sandal strap or anything that belongs to you, so you can never say, 'I made Abram rich.'
24 I will take nothing[m] except what the servants have eaten. But as for the share of the men who came with me-Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre-they can take their share."

Genesis 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

The battle of the kings, Lot is taken prisoner. (1-12) Abram rescues Lot. (13-16) Melchizedek blesses Abram. (17-20) Abram restores the spoil. (21-24)

Verses 1-12 The wars of nations make great figure in history, but we should not have had the record of this war if Abram and Lot had not been concerned. Out of covetousness, Lot had settled in fruitful, but wicked Sodom. Its inhabitants were the most ripe for vengeance of all the descendants of Canaan. The invaders were from Chaldea and Persia, then only small kingdoms. They took Lot among the rest, and his goods. Though he was righteous, and Abram's brother's son, yet he was with the rest in this trouble. Neither our own piety, nor our relation to the favourites of Heaven, will be our security when God's judgments are abroad. Many an honest man fares the worse for his wicked neighbours: it is our wisdom to separate, or at least to ( 2 Corinthians. 6:17 ) of Abram should have been a companion and a disciple of Abram. If he chose to dwell in Sodom, he must thank himself if he share in Sodom's losses. When we go out of the way of our duty, we put ourselves from under God's protection, and cannot expect that the choice made by our lusts, should end to our comfort. They took Lot's goods; it is just with God to deprive us of enjoyments, by which we suffer ourselves to be deprived of the enjoyment of him.

Verses 13-16 Abram takes this opportunity to give a real proof of his being truly friendly to Lot. We ought to be ready to succour those in distress, especially relations and friends. And though others may have been wanting in their duty to us, yet we must not neglect our duty to them. Abram rescued the captives. As we have opportunity, we must do good to all.

Verses 17-20 Melchizedek is spoken of as a king of Salem, supposed to be the place afterwards called Jerusalem, and it is generally thought that he was only a man. The words of the apostle, Heb. 7:3 , state only, that the sacred history has said nothing of his ancestors. The silence of the Scriptures on this, is to raise our thoughts to Him, whose generation cannot be declared. Bread and wine were suitable refreshment for the weary followers of Abram; and it is remarkable that Christ appointed the same as the memorials of his body and blood, which are meat and drink indeed to the soul. Melchizedek blessed Abram from God. He blessed God from Abram. We ought to give thanks for other's mercies as for our own. Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, is the Mediator both of our prayers and praises, and not only offers up ours, but his own for us. Abram gave him the tenth of the spoils, ( Hebrews 7:4 ) . When we have received some great mercy from God, it is very fit we should express our thankfulness by some special act of pious charity. Jesus Christ, our great Melchisedek, is to have homage done him, and to be humbly acknowledged as our King and Priest; not only the tithe of all, but all we have, must be given up to him.

Verses 21-24 Observe the king of Sodom's grateful offer to Abram, Give me the souls, and take thou the substance. Gratitude teaches us to recompense to the utmost of our power, those that have undergone fatigues, run hazards, and been at expense for our service and benefit. Abram generously refused this offer. He accompanies his refusal with a good reason, Lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: which would reflect upon the promise promise and covenant of God, as if He would not have enriched Abraham without the spoils of Sodom. The people of God must, for their credit's sake, take heed of doing any thing that looks mean or mercenary, or that savors of covetousness and self-seeking. Abraham can trust the Possessor of Heaven and earth to provide for him.

Footnotes 13

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 14

This chapter gives an account of a war that was waged, and a battle fought between four kings on one side, and five on the other, and of the occasion and issue of it, who were the first kings, and this the first battle the Scriptures speak of, Ge 14:1-11; Lot and his goods being taken and carried off, with those of Sodom, by the conquerors, Abram hearing of it armed his men, and pursued after them, and overtook and overcame them, and rescued Lot and his goods, with others, and returned, Ge 14:12-16; when he was met by the kings of Sodom and Salem, who congratulated him on his victory, Ge 14:17-19; and what passed between him, and those great personages, is related, Ge 14:20-24.

Genesis 14 Commentaries