Genesis 14

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Abram Rescues Lot

1 In the days of Amraphel king of 1Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of 2Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,
2 these kings made war with 3Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of 4Admah, Shemeber king of 5Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
3 And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (6that is, the Salt Sea).
4 Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the 7Rephaim in 8Ashteroth-karnaim, the 9Zuzim in Ham, the 10Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim,
6 and the 11Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as 12El-paran on the border of the wilderness.
7 Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, 13Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling 14in 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 they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim
9 with 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 was full of 15bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled 16to the hill country.
11 So the enemy took 17all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.
12 They also took Lot, 18the son of Abram's brother, 19who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, 20who was living by the 21oaks[a] 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, 22born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as 23Dan.
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 24with his possessions, and the women and the people.

Abram Blessed by Melchizedek

17 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 25King's Valley).
18 And 26Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was 27priest of 28God Most High.)
19 And he blessed him and said, 29"Blessed be Abram by God Most High, 30Possessor[b] of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!"And Abram gave him 31a tenth of everything.
21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself."
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, 32"I have lifted my hand[c] to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth,
23 that 33I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich.'
24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let 34Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre 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.

Cross References 34

  • 1. Genesis 10:10; Genesis 11:2
  • 2. Genesis 10:22; Isaiah 11:11; Acts 2:9
  • 3. ver. 8; Genesis 13:10; Genesis 19:22
  • 4. Deuteronomy 29:23
  • 5. Deuteronomy 29:23
  • 6. Numbers 34:12; Deuteronomy 3:17; Joshua 3:16
  • 7. Genesis 15:20; Deuteronomy 2:11; Deuteronomy 3:11
  • 8. Deuteronomy 1:4
  • 9. [Deuteronomy 2:20]
  • 10. Deuteronomy 2:10, 11
  • 11. Deuteronomy 2:12, 22
  • 12. [Genesis 21:21; Numbers 12:16; Numbers 13:3]
  • 13. Genesis 16:14; Genesis 20:1; Numbers 13:26
  • 14. 2 Chronicles 20:2
  • 15. Genesis 11:3; Exodus 2:3
  • 16. Genesis 19:17, 30
  • 17. ver. 16, 21
  • 18. Genesis 12:5
  • 19. Genesis 13:12
  • 20. Genesis 13:18
  • 21. Genesis 12:6
  • 22. Genesis 15:3; Genesis 17:12, 13, 23, 27; Ecclesiastes 2:7
  • 23. Judges 18:29
  • 24. ver. 11, 12
  • 25. 2 Samuel 18:18
  • 26. Hebrews 7:1
  • 27. Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 5:6, 10; Hebrews 7:1, 11, 17
  • 28. Psalms 57:2; Acts 16:17
  • 29. Hebrews 7:6, 7
  • 30. Matthew 11:25
  • 31. Hebrews 7:4; [Genesis 28:22]
  • 32. Exodus 6:8; Numbers 14:30; Deuteronomy 32:40; Ezek. 20:5, 6, 15, 23, 28; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 10:5, 6
  • 33. [Esther 9:15, 16]
  • 34. ver. 13

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary


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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.