Genesis 14:14

14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, 1born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as 2Dan.

Genesis 14:14 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 14:14

And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive
That is, his brother's son Lot, as in ( Genesis 14:12 ) ; which was contrary to the law of nations; since Lot was only a sojourner, and not an inhabitant n Sodom, and therefore had no concern in the quarrel between the kings, and this justified Abram's taking up arms on his behalf: he armed his trained [servants];
such as were trained up by him in religious exercises, see ( Genesis 18:19 ) ; in the affairs and business of civil life, in the care of flocks and herds, and particularly in the art of war; which was both lawful and necessary, for the preservation of his family and substance from oppressors: born in his own house;
of his servants, and so were his property, and at his disposal and command; their number was three hundred and eighteen,
a large number for servants, and which showed how great a man Abram was, what possessions he must have to employ so many, and yet but a small number for an army, to go forth with against four kings who had conquered five; though how many his confederates brought with them is not certain: and pursued [them] unto Dan;
the Jerusalem Targum is, to Dan of Caesarea, meaning Caesarea of Philippi, as in the times of Christ and his apostles it was called; which at first had the name of Leshem, or Lais, and was not called Dan until the times of the judges, ( Judges 18:29 ) ; wherefore, if the same place is intended here, it is so called not only by anticipation, but by a spirit of prophecy; since it had not the name of Dan even in the times of Moses, the writer of this history, unless it may be thought to be inserted by Samuel or some other inspired writer, after Moses; though there is no need to suppose either of these, seeing there might be a town or city of this name in those parts at this time, or however one of the springs of Jordan might be so called, from whence the river had its name as early, ( Genesis 13:11 ) ; and so Josephus F6 expressly says, speaking of this expedition, that Abram fell upon them at Dan, for so, adds he, the other fountain of Jordan is called.


F6 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 10. sect. 1.

Genesis 14:14 In-Context

12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram.
14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus.
16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Genesis 15:3; Genesis 17:12, 13, 23, 27; Ecclesiastes 2:7
  • 2. Judges 18:29
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.