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Genesis 14

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1And it came to pass at that time, that Amraphel king of Sennaar, and Arioch king of Pontus, and Chodorlahomor king of the Elamites, and Thadal king of nations,
2Made war against Bara king of Sodom, and against Bersa king of Gomorrha, and against Sennaab king of Adama, and against Semeber king of Seboim, and against the king of Bala, which is Segor.
3All these came together into the woodland vale, which now is the salt sea.
4For they had served Chodorlahomor twelve years, and in the thirteenth year they revolted from him.
5And in the fourteenth year came Chodorlahomor, and the kings that were with him: and they smote the Raphaim in Astarothcarnaim, and the Zuzim with them, and the Emim in Save of Cariathaim.
6And the Chorreans in the mountains of Seir, even to the plains of Pharan, which is in the wilderness.
7And they returned, and came to the fountain of Misphat, the same is Cades: and they smote all the country of the Amalecites, and the Amorrhean that dwelt in Asasonthamar.
8And the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrha, and the king of Adama, and the king of Seboim, and the king of Bala, which is Segor, went out. And they set themselves against them in battle array in the woodland vale:
9To wit, against Chodorlahomor king of the Elamites, and Thadal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Sennaar, and Arioch king of Pontus: four kings against five.
10Now the woodland vale had many pits of slime. And the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrha turned their backs and were overthrown there: and they that remained fled to the mountain.
11And they took all the substance of the Sodomites, and Gomorrhites, and all their victuals; and went their way:
12And Lot also, the son of Abram's brother, who dwelt in Sodom, and his substance.
13And, behold, one that had escaped told Abram the Hebrew, who dwelt in the vale of Mambre the Amorrhite, the brother of Escol, and the brother of Aner: for these had made league with Abram.
14Which when Abram had heard, to wit, that his brother Lot was taken, he numbered of the servants born in his house, three hundred and eighteen well appointed: and pursued them to Dan.
15And dividing his company, he rushed upon them in the night: and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hoba, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16And he brought back all the substance, and Lot his brother, with his substance, the women also the people.
17And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after he returned from the slaughter of Chodorlahomor, and of the kings that were with him in the vale of Save, which is the king's vale.
18But Melchisedech the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God,
19Blessed him, and said: Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth.
20And blessed be the most high God, by whose protection the enemies are in thy hands. And he gave him the tithes of all.
21And the king of Sodom said to Abram: Give me the persons, and the rest take to thyself.
22And he answered him: I lift up my hand to the Lord God the most high, the possessor of heaven and earth,
23That from the very woof thread unto the shoe latchet, I will not take of any things that are thine, lest thou say: I have enriched Abram.
24Except such things as the young men have eaten, and the shares of the men that came with me, Aner, Escol, and Mambre: these shall take their shares.
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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.”