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Genesis 14

14
Soldiers grabbed Lot and his family and took them away
1-9This story is about the people in the flat country, and it started before Lot went to live near the town called Sodom. There were 5 tribes in that flat country at that time, and each tribe had a leader. These were the 5 tribes and their leaders,
– A tribe called Sodom, and their leader was called Bera.
– A tribe called Gomorrah, and their leader was called Birsha.
– A tribe called Admah, and their leader was Shinab.
– A tribe called the Zebo mob, and their leader was Shemeber.
– A tribe called Zoar. They are also called Bela.
There were another 4 tribes in the country to the east. These were those 4 tribes and their leaders,
– A tribe called Elam, and their leader was Kedorlayomer.
– A tribe called Babylonia, and their leader was called Amrafel.
– A tribe called Ellasar, and their leader was called Ariok.
– A tribe called the Goy mob, and their leader was Tidal.
And Kedorlayomer was the boss over those 4 tribes in the east. Those 4 tribes sent their soldiers to fight the other 5 tribes, and the 4 tribes from the east won. So Kedorlayomer became the boss over the other 5 tribes too.
Those 5 tribes let him be their boss for 12 years. Then the next year, their leaders told Kedorlayomer that they didn’t want him to be their boss any more. Kedorlayomer got really angry, and the next year, he got soldiers from the 4 tribes in the east, and they went to fight those 5 tribes.
On the way to that fight, Kedorlayomer’s soldiers had other fights with some other tribes, and they won all those fights. They beat the Refa tribe at a place called Ashteroth-Karnayim, and they beat the Zuz tribe at a place called Ham, and they beat the Em tribe at a place called Shaveh-Kiriathayim, and they beat the Hor tribe in the hill country called Edom. They chased the Hor soldiers all the way to a place called El-Paran, near the desert. Then Kedorlayomer and the soldiers from the east, they all went back to a place called En-Mishpat. Another name for that place is Kadesh. Then Kedorlayomer and his mob fought the Amalek tribe and beat them, and took control of their country. Then they fought the Amor tribe in Hazazon-Tamar country, and beat them too.
While Kedorlayomer and his mob were fighting those other people, the 5 tribes that didn’t want Kedorlayomer to be their boss, they went to the valley called Sidim. (Today there is salt water in that valley, and we call it the Dead Sea.) The soldiers of those 5 tribes got ready there to fight against Kedorlayomer and his 4 tribes from the east.
So when Kedorlayomer and his mob got to that Sidim valley there was a big fight. 10Kedorlayomer and his mob won that fight. They beat those 5 tribes, and their soldiers all ran away. In that flat country there were lots of holes in the ground that were full of sticky black stuff, called tar. So when the soldiers from the 5 tribes ran away, some of them fell into those holes. But the rest of them ran up into the hills.
11So Kedorlayomer and his soldiers went to Sodom and Gomorrah, and they grabbed all the people that lived there. And they took everything the people owned, even their food, and then they started to go back to their own country. 12At that time, Abram’s nephew, Lot, lived in Sodom, so the soldiers grabbed Lot, too, and his family, and all their things. Those soldiers took all of Lot’s mob away with them.
Abram saved Lot and his family
13-14A man got away from Kedorlayomer and his mob, and he went and told Abram that they got Lot. At that time, Abram was living near the big trees that belonged to a man called Mamreh. Abram was a good friend of Mamreh, and also of Mamreh’s 2 brothers. Their names were Eskol and Aner. Mamreh and his brothers belonged to the Amor tribe, and Abram belonged to the Hebrew tribe, but they all looked after each other.
Abram had 318 men that knew how to fight. They worked for Abram all their lives, and Abram really trusted them. So Abram got those men, and Mamreh, Eskol and Aner got their fighting men, and they all went to fight Kedorlayomer and his soldiers. They followed them, and they found them at a place to the north, called Dan. 15Then, in the night time, Abram split up all the fighting men into groups, and they attacked Kedorlayomer and his soldiers. Abram and his men won that fight, and they chased those other soldiers all the way to a place called Hobah, north of Damascus town. 16That’s how Abram’s mob saved Lot, and all the women, and the other people from the towns called Sodom and Gomorrah, and they got all their things, too. Then they all started to go back south.
Abram met Melkizedek
17After Abram’s mob beat Kedorlayomer and his mob, and while they were going back south on their way home, the leader of Sodom went out to meet Abram in the valley called Shaveh. Another name for that place is the valley that belongs to the leader.
18There was a town in that country called Salem, and the boss over that town was called Melkizedek. He was also a leader of God’s ceremonies. He worked for God, the one that is more powerful than any other god. Well, Melkizedek also went out to meet Abram and his men, and he gave them some bread and some wine. 19Then Melkizedek prayed for Abram. He said,
“God, you are more powerful than any other god.
You are the one that made heaven and earth.
I’m asking you to be really good to Abram.
20I want everyone to say that you are great, and more powerful than any other god.
You are the one that helped Abram fight with his enemies and win.”
Then Abram got all the things he got after the fight, the things that used to belong to the Sodom and Gomorrah mob, and he split those things up into 10 groups. And he gave one of those groups of things to Melkizedek.#Hebrews 7:1-10
21Then the leader of Sodom said to Abram, “I only want my people back. You can keep those other things.”
22But Abram said, “I made a strong promise to my God, the one that is more powerful than any other god, and the one that made heaven and earth. 23I promised that I will not take anything that belongs to you. I will not even take a bit of string, or anything that belongs to you. You see, I don’t want you to tell everyone that you gave me a lot of things and made me rich. 24No. The only thing that I will keep is the food that I ate and the food that my fighting men ate. And these men, Mamreh, and Aner, and Eskol, and their fighting men, they helped me save your people and your things too, so you can give them some of those things.”
14
The Four Kings. 1#Abraham plays a role with other world leaders. He defeats a coalition of five kings from the east (where, later, Israel’s enemies lived) and is recognized by a Canaanite king as blessed by God Most High. The historicity of the events is controverted; apart from Shinar (Babylon), Tidal (Hittite Tudhaliya), and Elam, the names and places cannot be identified with certainty. The five cities were apparently at the southern end of the Dead Sea, and all but Bela (i.e., Zoar) were destined for destruction (19:20–24; Hos 11:8). The passage belongs to none of the traditional Genesis sources; it has some resemblance to reports of military campaigns in Babylonian and Assyrian royal annals. When Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim 2made war on Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar), 3all the latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea#The Salt Sea: the Dead Sea.). 4For twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings allied with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El-paran, close by the wilderness.#Dt 2:12. 7They then turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they subdued the whole country of both the Amalekites and the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar. 8Thereupon the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out, and in the Valley of Siddim they went into battle against them: 9against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah fled, they fell into these, while the rest fled to the mountains. 11The victors seized all the possessions and food supplies of Sodom and Gomorrah and then went their way. 12They took with them Abram’s nephew Lot, who had been living in Sodom, as well as his possessions, and departed.#Gn 13:10–12.
13A survivor came and brought the news to Abram the Hebrew,#Abram the Hebrew: “Hebrew” was used by biblical writers for the pre-Israelite ancestors. Linguistically, it is an ethnic term; it may be built on the root Eber, who is the eponymous ancestor of the Israelites, that is, the one to whom they traced their name (10:21, 24–25; 11:14–17), or it may reflect the tradition that the ancestors came from beyond (eber) the Euphrates. It is used only by non-Israelites, or by Israelites speaking to foreigners. who was camping at the oak of Mamre the Amorite, a kinsman of Eshcol and Aner; these were allies of Abram. 14When Abram heard that his kinsman had been captured, he mustered three hundred and eighteen of his retainers,#Retainers: the Hebrew word hanik is used only here in the Old Testament. Cognate words appear in Egyptian and Akkadian texts, signifying armed soldiers belonging to the household of a local leader. born in his house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15He and his servants deployed against them at night, defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16He recovered all the possessions. He also recovered his kinsman Lot and his possessions, along with the women and the other people.
17When Abram returned from his defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were allied with him, the king of Sodom went out to greet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18Melchizedek, king of Salem,#Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem, cf. Ps 76:3), appears with majestic suddenness to recognize Abraham’s great victory, which the five local kings were unable to achieve. He prepares a feast in his honor and declares him blessed or made powerful by God Most High, evidently the highest God in the Canaanite pantheon. Abraham acknowledges the blessing by giving a tenth of the recaptured spoils as a tithe to Melchizedek. The episode is one of several allusions to David, king at Jerusalem, who also exercised priestly functions (2 Sm 6:17). Heb 7 interprets Melchizedek as a prefiguration of Christ. God Most High: in Heb. El Elyon, one of several “El names” for God in Genesis, others being El Olam (21:33), El the God of Israel (33:20), El Roi (16:13), El Bethel (35:7), and El Shaddai (the usual P designation for God in Genesis). All the sources except the Yahwist use El as the proper name for God used by the ancestors. The god El was well-known across the ancient Near East and in comparable religious literature. The ancestors recognized this God as their own when they encountered him in their journeys and in the shrines they found in Canaan. brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High. 19He blessed Abram with these words:#Ps 110:4; Heb 5:6, 10; 7:1.
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
the creator of heaven and earth;
20And blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your foes into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
21The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the captives; the goods you may keep.” 22But Abram replied to the king of Sodom: “I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High,#In vv. 22–24, Abraham refuses to let anyone but God enrich him. Portrayed with the traits of a later Israelite judge or tribal hero, Abraham acknowledges that his victory is from God alone. the creator of heaven and earth, 23that I would not take so much as a thread or a sandal strap from anything that is yours, so that you cannot say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24Nothing for me except what my servants have consumed and the share that is due to the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol and Mamre; let them take their share.”