Genesis 14

Abram Rescues Lot

1 At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar,[a] Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim,
2 these kings went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
3 All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley).
4 For twelve years they had been subject to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim
6 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert.
7 Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazezon Tamar.
8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim
9 against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five.
10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills.
11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away.
12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.
13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother[b] of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram.
14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.
16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,
19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,
23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’
24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have 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 62

  • 1. S Genesis 10:10
  • 2. ver 4,9,17
  • 3. S Genesis 10:22
  • 4. S Genesis 10:19
  • 5. S Genesis 13:10
  • 6. ver 8,10
  • 7. Numbers 34:3,12; Deuteronomy 3:17; Joshua 3:16; Joshua 12:3; Joshua 15:2,5; Joshua 18:19
  • 8. S ver 1
  • 9. S ver 1
  • 10. Genesis 15:20; Deuteronomy 2:11,20; Deuteronomy 3:11,13; Joshua 12:4; Joshua 13:12; Joshua 17:15; 1 Chronicles 20:4
  • 11. Deuteronomy 2:10
  • 12. Genesis 36:20; Deuteronomy 2:12,22
  • 13. Genesis 32:3; Genesis 33:14,16; Genesis 36:8; Deuteronomy 1:2; Deuteronomy 2:1,5,22; Joshua 11:17; Joshua 24:4; 1 Chronicles 4:42; Isaiah 34:5; Ezekiel 25:8; Ezekiel 35:2; Amos 1:6
  • 14. Genesis 21:21; Numbers 10:12; Numbers 12:16; Numbers 13:3,26; Habakkuk 3:3
  • 15. Genesis 16:14; Numbers 20:1">Numbers 20:1; Numbers 13:26; Numbers 20:1">Numbers 20:1; Numbers 32:8; Deuteronomy 1:2; Joshua 10:41; Judges 11:16; Psalms 29:8
  • 16. Exodus 17:8; Numbers 13:29; Numbers 14:25; Numbers 24:20; Deuteronomy 25:17; Judges 3:13; Judges 6:3; Judges 10:12; Judges 12:15; 1 Samuel 14:48; 1 Samuel 15:2; 1 Samuel 28:18; 2 Samuel 1:1; 1 Chronicles 4:43; Psalms 83:7
  • 17. Numbers 13:29; Deuteronomy 1:4; Joshua 2:10; Joshua 13:4
  • 18. 2 Chronicles 20:2; Ezekiel 48:28
  • 19. S Genesis 13:10; Genesis 19:17-29
  • 20. Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8
  • 21. S Genesis 13:10
  • 22. S ver 3
  • 23. S ver 1
  • 24. S Genesis 10:22
  • 25. S ver 3
  • 26. Genesis 11:3
  • 27. ver 17,21
  • 28. Genesis 19:17,30; Joshua 2:16; Psalms 11:1
  • 29. ver 16,21
  • 30. S Genesis 11:27
  • 31. Genesis 37:28; Genesis 39:14,17; Genesis 40:15; Genesis 41:12; Genesis 43:32; Exodus 3:18; 1 Samuel 4:6; 1 Samuel 14:11
  • 32. ver 24; S Genesis 13:18
  • 33. Numbers 13:23; Numbers 32:9; Deuteronomy 1:24
  • 34. ver 12
  • 35. Deuteronomy 4:9; Proverbs 22:6
  • 36. S Genesis 12:5; Genesis 15:3
  • 37. Deuteronomy 34:1; Judges 18:29; 1 Kings 15:20
  • 38. Judges 7:16
  • 39. Genesis 15:2; 2 Samuel 8:5; 1 Kings 20:34; 2 Kings 16:9; Isaiah 7:8; Isaiah 8:4; Isaiah 10:9; Isaiah 17:1; Jeremiah 49:23,27; Ezekiel 27:18; Amos 1:3-5
  • 40. 1 Samuel 30:8,18
  • 41. S ver 11
  • 42. S ver 1
  • 43. S ver 10
  • 44. 2 Samuel 18:18
  • 45. Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 7:17,21
  • 46. Psalms 76:2; Hebrews 7:2
  • 47. S Genesis 3:19
  • 48. Judges 9:13; Judges 19:19; Esther 1:10; Psalms 104:15; Proverbs 31:6; Ecclesiastes 10:19; Song of Songs 1:2
  • 49. ver 22; Psalms 7:8,17; Daniel 7:27
  • 50. Hebrews 7:6
  • 51. ver 18
  • 52. ver 22; S Genesis 1:1; Genesis 24:3; Joshua 2:11; Psalms 148:5; Matthew 11:25
  • 53. S Genesis 9:26; S Genesis 24:27
  • 54. Genesis 28:22; Deuteronomy 14:22; Deuteronomy 26:12; Luke 18:12; Hebrews 7:4
  • 55. S ver 10
  • 56. S ver 11
  • 57. S ver 10
  • 58. Exodus 6:8; Numbers 14:30; Deuteronomy 32:40; Nehemiah 9:15; Ezekiel 20:5; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 10:5-6
  • 59. S ver 18
  • 60. S ver 19
  • 61. 1 Samuel 15:3,19; 2 Kings 5:16; Esther 8:11; Esther 9:10,15
  • 62. S Genesis 13:18

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. That is, Babylonia; also in verse 9
  • [b]. Or "a relative" ; or "an ally"

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

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.