Genesis Chapter 14


Verse 1, And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

One side of the Battle.

1.       Amraphel - King of Shinar - Location of Tower of Babel - 10:2.

2.       Arioch - King of Ellasar (Arioch) located in lower Babylon - midway between Ur and Erech.  Now called Senkereh.

3.       Chedorlaomer - King of Elam - located east of the area of Babylon.

4.       Tidal - King of Nations - A group of Nomads located principally in Mesopotamia (west of Babylon).


Verse 2, That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

The other side of the Battle.

1.       Bera - King of Sodom - now located in the southern part of the Dead Sea. (Then it was called the Salt Sea).

2.       Birsha - King of Gomorrah - located near Sodom.  Now in southern part of the Dead Sea.

3.       Shinab - King of Admah - location unknown, probably near the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah.

4.       Shemeber  King of Zeboiim - location unknown, probably Sodom and Gomorrah.

5.       King of Bela (also called Zoar) location unknown, probably near Sodom and Gomorrah.


Verse 3, All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.

The battle took place at the Valley of Siddim which is the southern most point of the Dead Sea (Salt Sea).


Verse 4, Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

1.       This battle in the southern part of the Salt Sea (Valley of Siddim) resulted in the kings in verse two being defeated.  They were placed under tribute and remained so for 12 years.

2.       In the 13th year, they rebelled, refusing to pay the tribute.


Verse 5-8, And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, {6} And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness. {7} And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.

The next year (the 14th year), the four kings in verse 1 come to bring the five cities back into tribute.

1.       The size of the invading countries with the size of the invaded cities.

2.       Probably the invading armies were much larger than the scattered cities could overcome.

3.       Probably the invaders were more prepared for war than the invaded.


Note the path of the invading army:

1.       They completely surrounded the Vale of Siddim before they moved in for the kill

2.       Note th feelings of impending doom felt by the five kings and their people.

3.       It is not recorded that Lot (or any of the people) called upon God for help.  This he ought to have done, even though he was in the wrong place at the right time, even though he had sinned against God in coming to this awful place.  It would have been very good if he had confessed his sins and come back to God and been where he ought to have been.  But he didn't.  And evidently even after he got back to Sodom, he didn't see how God had delivered him from death and/or a lifetime of slavery.  May God help us to see that He has been good to us and may we ever serve the Lord.


Verse 8-12, And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; {9} With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. {10} And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. {11} And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. {12} And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

It is supposed that the slime pits are now under the Dead Sea.  They were all captured.


Verse 13, And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.

I.    This is an act of God that a man escaped.

A.     This man knew Lot for in verse 14, Abram heard that Lot had been taken away.

B.     This man also knew Abram, and where he lived.

C.     That Abram would try to give him refuge from the enemy.


II.    Abram lived at Hebron (fellowship or company - particularly fellowship with God.)

A.     Hebron is located not more than 20 miles from Hazezontamar, the last place the invaders hit before the final assault in the Vale of Siddim.

B.     They thought Abram wasn't worthy of capturing, or:

1.       They knew he could defeat them.  This is highly unlikely because he only had 318 trained men.

2.       God put a hedge about him because he had a greater work for him to do in rescuing Lot.


III.    Abram was living in confederation with two others, but it looks like only Abram went on this rescue mission.


Verse 14, And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

1.       Abram took trained servants (318) and left to rescue Lot.

2.       Overtook them at Dan.

3.       Abram must have had enough servants left at home to take care of things (1,000 servants at least).

4.       Trained - There ought to be preparation for war though we are not looking for a war.  One of the best ways to avoid war is to be prepared to win the war.  The enemy will see this and will think twice before he attacks.  This is what our president is doing now, (1989), but meeting resistance at every point.  Let us pray for him that God will help him and our nation to become strong that we might retain the freedom God has let us have.


Verse 15, And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

1.       Divided into two companies (to make an impression of a large force).

2.       Pursued about 60 miles to Hobah.

3.       "left of Damascus" - the Hebrew gets his bearings by facing east, therefor, Hobah would be on his left. (North of Damascus.)


Verse 16, And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

1.       Victory for Abram.

2.       Note: this is an act of God that 318 men could conquer an invading army who had already captured at least 13 cities.


Verse 17, And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.  - This is the record of the victorious return of Abram and the crowd that met him there.

1.       King of Sodom - the king of that wicked city surely would see something in this celebration to point him to Christ.  We know that Abram and Melchizedek displayed their worship of God.  You would think that a favorable impression of Abram and his religion was presented to him when Abram freely gave the tenth to Melchizedek and returned the goods to the rightful owner, withholding only the expense of those that went with him.

2.       The other kings.  The same thing could be said about these kings as was said about the king of Sodom.

a.       Note that none of these turned tot he living God in believing faith.

b.       they were all grateful enough for God's help in delivering from their enemies, but they certainly didn't want to stop their evil ways and begin to serve the living God.

c.       People are the same today.  They desire God to deliver them from their troubles only to forget Him as soon as they are no longer in trouble.

d.       Note the end result of these kings, and the end result of people today.

3.       The location of the Valley of Shaveh (the King's Dale) is unknown to us today, but evidently this was enough of a description for the people in that day.


Verse 18, And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

I.    Melchizedek.

A.     Thoughts about who Melchizedek was:

1.       Some Rabbinical writers claim he was Shem, the Son of Noah.

2.       Many Christian writers claim him to be Jesus Christ Himself.

3.       Mr. Gregory of Oxford repeats what the Arabic Catena says:  Melchizedek is a son of Heraclim, son of Peleg, son of Eber.  His mothers name was Salathiel, daughter of Gomer, the son of Japheth, the son of Noah.

B.     Objections:

1.       It is true that Shem was still alive, but to say that Shem and Melchizedek is the same cannot be based on scripture, because there is none.  It is pure conjecture.

2.       To believe that Melchizedek and Christ are the same person has no scriptural basis.  To say that Melchizedek is a "type" of Christ and a type of the eternal priesthood which Christ is the head of, is the true interpretation of the verses here and in Heb. 7.

3.       It may be that "educated" people will believe this genealogy concerning Melchizedek, but it ought to be remembered that Melchizedek doesn't have any genealogy given. (Heb. 7:3).

C.     Why don't we simply believe what the Bible says about Melchizedek?

1.       Gen. 14:18 - Melchizedek was a man who lived during the time Abram lived.

2.       Gen. 14:18 - Melchizedek was the King of Salem (Jerusalem).

3.       Gen. 14:18 - Melchizedek was the priest of the Most High God.

4.       The genealogy of Melchizedek is not given because:

a.      He is a type of Christ, who is eternal.

b.      The priesthood he represents is an eternal priesthood, as Christ is an eternal priest.  This can be compared to the priesthood which was established under the Levitical law.  (The Levitical priesthood is a type of the eternal priesthood of Christ.)  The genealogy of that priesthood is known (actually established and continued through Jacob's son, Levi.)

c.      He is the King of Salem (Jerusalem).

5.       Melchizedek represents Jesus Christ who shall rule this world from Jerusalem during the 1,000 year reign (Zech. 14:16).

6.       Christ will rule in eternity from the New Jerusalem, Rev. 22:3.  (The throne of Christ {He will rule from this throne} is in New Jerusalem.)


II.    Brought forth bread and wine.

A.     In type of that gift that Christ would bring (especially in the Lord's Supper).

1.       This is not the Lord's Supper or "Communion".

2.       This is a feast of Thanksgiving.  (The Lord's Supper is also a feast of Thanksgiving - remembering what Christ has done for us.)

B.     A supplying of physical nourishment.  Christ always recognizes the need for food and provides for it.  This is a perfect example of worship which meets the needs of the entire man. (spirit, soul, and body)


Verse 19 and 20, And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: {20} And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

I.    Recognizing God as the creator and owner of heaven and earth.

II.    Recognizing that God had given the victory to Abram.

III.    Abram recognizing, by giving the tithe (tenth), that God had given him the victory and that Melchizedek is the priest of God.  The teaching of tithing in Heb. 7 is that Abram, who is the father of those who received the law, recognizes one who is greater than he or the law.  Abram is recognizing the eternal priesthood of Melchizedek.


Verse 21-24 - Meeting the King of Sodom and distributing the spoils.

Verse 21, And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

I.    The King of Sodom had a completely different attitude than Melchizedek.

A.     Although he is at the worship services held by Melchizedek and attended by a large number of people, he remained unaffected by the worship.

B.     All of the goods and people were now rightly Abram's.  This is the "spoil" of war and the King of Sodom had lost his right to them.

C.     Note that the King of Sodom apparently had not taken part in the worship.


II.    The King of Sodom asked for the people.

A.     This is the same as asking for the right to rule over them.  So he is asking for his kingship (throne) back.

1.       When Abram rescued the inhabitants of Sodom, he actually became their king.

2.       Abram now has a choice.  He can remain as their leader, or return them to their respective places.

3.       Abram is very wise.  He doesn't want to be a king over such a wicked city.  He only desired to rescue Lot.

4.       Therefore, Abram returns the people to the King of Sodom.

B.     I don't think I would be far wrong in assuming that Lot and the people have a choice about who will be their king.  The King of Sodom is unable to force the people to return to him, for he has effectively lost his control over the land.

1.       I don't have much trouble understanding why the people of Sodom decided to return their allegiance to their King because if they decided to stay with Abram, they would have to change their way of living.

2.       I do have some trouble understand why Lot decided to return to Sodom.  He has now seen the power of God working through Abram, and the weakness of the King of Sodom.  He has seen how quickly material possessions can be lost.  But just as he "lifted up his eyes" in Genesis 13:10, he once again "lifts up his eyes" and chooses the way of wickedness instead of the holiness of eternal righteousness.

C.     Take the goods to thyself.  Perhaps he is thinking that fewer people will have more goods to distribute among themselves.  In his eyes, this would be a great thing, but Abram didn't consider it at all.


Verse 22-24, And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, {23} That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: {24} Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

I.    Abram's vow.

A.     This is the first vow recorded in the Bible.

B.     The King of Sodom did not take part in the worship services, but Abram knew he would respect his vow he had made to the most high God.  Lost people will respect our worship to God even though they do not intend to worship Him themselves.

C.     The wording of Abram's vow and the worship offered by Melchizedek tells us that Melchizedek and Abram worshipped the same God.  The King of Sodom also knew this.


II.    I will not take anything that belongs to you.

A.     The King of Sodom wanted just the people back, but he had no right to them.

B.     Abram knew by this that the man wanted it all back, and if he had the gall to ask for something he shouldn't have, then Abram knew he would later blame Abram for his being poor.  This wouldn't be a good reflection of Abram's character, for there would be someone to listen and belive that Abram had cheated the man out of his possessions and his kingdom.

C.     There would be no problem now, but as time goes by, memory tends to believe what it wants to and Abram knew that as time went by, the facts would be obscured and many hidden, and things would be added tot he story which wasn't true, but would become true in the minds of the tellers of the lie.  There would be a great hatred grow and as God blessed Abram more and more and finally gave him the promised seed, there would be added reason for the "have nots" to complain about the "crooked ways" of the "haves".

D.     Abram had already made the vow.  His purpose may have been that everybody would know who had made rich.  Chapter 13:2 states that Abram was very rich, and this is the blessings of God.  Abram is desiring for everybody to know that God has given him this great wealth, and he hasn't cheated anybody to get it.  The purpose of Abram living is not to amass a great wealth, but to glorify God.

E.      Abram could have made the vow stating that if God would allow him to defeat the invading armies, that he wouldn't take any of the spoils to himself.


III.    The only thing Abram will keep is the expenses of the trip - that which the young men have eaten.


IV.    The other men that went with Abram.

A.     Abram does not include the others in his vow.  The principle taught is that God may desire us to do something, which we ought to do and not compel others to follow us.  All saved Baptists ought to follow God by personal conviction, not because somebody else thinks we ought to.

B.     If the others take their portion of the spoil, this will not bother Abram.

C.     This is a very good thing for us all to do, because every person will stand before and be judged for his works.