Genesis 14

1 In the days of King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim,
2 these kings made war with King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
3 All these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead 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 subdued the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim,
6 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the edge of the wilderness;
7 then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and subdued all the country of the Amalekites, and also 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 they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim
9 with King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five.
10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country.
11 So the enemy took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way;
12 they also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
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 nephew had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred eighteen of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15 He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and routed them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus.
16 Then he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his nephew Lot with his goods, and the women and the people.
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 King's Valley).
18 And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.
19 He blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!" And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything.
21 Then 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, "I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth,
23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not 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 meā€”Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them 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 6

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