Genesis 14

Written and Compiled by Gary Kukis

Genesis 14:1–24

War of the Kings/Abraham and Melchizedek


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


This is a collection of the weekly lessons of Genesis (HTML) (PDF) interspersed with the complete word-by-word exegesis of this chapter from the Hebrew with some information from Genesis (HTML) (PDF) thrown in. Furthermore, the examination of this chapter has been expanded with additional commentary as well. However, much of this material was thrown together without careful editing. Therefore, from time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated, because there was no overall editing done once all of this material was combined. At some point in the future, I need to go back and edit this material and consider other source material as well. Links to the word-by-word, verse-by-verse studies of Genesis (HTML) (PDF).

 

One more thing: it is not necessary that you read the grey Hebrew exegesis tables. They are set apart from the rest of the study so that you can easily skip over them. However, if you ever doubt a translation of a phrase or a verse, these translation tables will tell you exactly where that translation came from.


This should be the most extensive examination of Gen. 14 available, where you will be able to examine in depth every word of the original text.


Outline of Chapter 14:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–3           War of the Kings—Summary

         vv.     4–7           War of the Kings—Prelude

         vv.     8–12         War of the Kings

         vv.    13–16         Abram Deploys Against the Kings of the East

         vv.    17–24         Abram, Melchizedek and the King of Sodom

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         Links to the JEPD Theory (also known as Documentary Hypothesis)

         Introduction         The Prequel of Genesis 14

         Introduction         The Principals of Genesis 14

         Introduction         The Abrahamic Timeline for Genesis 14

         Introduction         A Synopsis of Genesis 14

         Introduction         What We Learn from Genesis 14—A Preview

 

         v.       1              Summary of the 4 Kings of the Eastern Alliance

         v.       1              Map of the 4 Kings

         v.       1              The World of the Old Testament (map)

         v.       5              A stele from the Tophet in Carthage (today Tunisia) (graphic)

         v.       6              The Horites/Hivites

         v.       6              Route of the Kings of the East (map)

         v.       7              The Route of the Kings of the East (map)

         v.       7              The Strategy and Tactics of the Kings of the East

         v.      13              The Word “Hebrew”

         v.      14              Delving into Rûwq

 

         v.      18              The Melchizedek Special

         v.      18              Melchizedek is a real person; he is not a Theophany

         v.      18              Melchizedek Blesses Abraham (a graphic)

         v.      18              Jesus Claimed to be God—a Logical Approach

         v.      18              Melchizedek is the Type; Jesus Christ is the Antitype

         v.      18              Melchizedek in Psalm 110

         v.      18              Melchizedek in the New Testament

         v.      18              Post-Diluvian Heathenism

         v.      18              The Priesthoods of God

 

         v.      19              The Doctrine of Redemption

         v.      19              The Illustration of the Slave Market of Sin

         v.      19              The Seeds of Genesis in the first 14 Chapters

         v.      19              Progressive Revelation

         v.      20              The Doctrine of Tithing

         v.      20              Modern Applications of Tithing

         v.      21              The Stages of National Discipline insert

         v.      23              The Contents of Abram’s Spiritual Victory

         v.      24              Map of the British Empire

 

         Addendum          A Retrospective of Genesis 14

         Addendum          What We Learn from Genesis 14

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes Genesis 14

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Genesis 14


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Genesis


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

 

 

 

The Horites/Hivites

 

 

Wealthy Men of the Bible


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Gen. 11

Gen. 23

 

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Psalm 33

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. Also, I have developed a few new terms and concepts which require definition as well.

In addition, there are other more traditional yet technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Sometimes the terms in the exegesis of this chapter are simply alluded to, without any in-depth explanation of them. Sometimes, these terms are explained in detail and illustrated. A collection of all these terms is found here: (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Definition of Terms

Christophany

A Christophany is an appearance by Jesus after the resurrection

Client Nation

Client-Nation, is a national entity in which a certain number of spiritually mature Christians (the salt of the earth) have formed a pivot sufficient to sustain the nation and through which God specifically protects this nation so that believers can fulfill the divine mandates of evangelism, communication and custodianship of Bible doctrine, providing a haven for Jews, and sending missionaries abroad. The United States is a client-nation to God. A client nation must have freedom: Freedom to seek God, freedom to use one’s own volition and self-determination to succeed or fail, freedom from anarchy and tyranny, freedom for evangelism, freedom for believers to hear Bible teaching without government interference and, therefore, to grow spiritually, and freedom to send missionaries to other nations.

Gloss

A gloss is simply taking the name of a place in one era and identifying it with the same place under a new name in a later era, so that the reader knows where the area is.

JEPD Theory (also known as Documentary Hypothesis)

Documentary Hypothesis simply asserts that the Pentateuch was not authored by Moses but written 1000 years after Moses by several authors who wrote portions here and there and then other men have performed extensive revisions and editing after them.

Laws of Divine Establishment

Laws which are designed by God for the entire human race with the purpose of perpetuating the human race and individual nations.

Stages of National Discipline (Cycles of Discipline)

A national entity which is a client nation to God is under both God’s protection and His discipline (much like the individual believer). As a nation moves further and further from God, God may impose disciplinary measures on that nation, which include economic disaster, illness, civil unrest, military defeat, and even invasion which may include a slavery or dispersion of the people. These cycles are found in Lev. 26. Although these warnings are designed for Israel, all client nations to God may face similar downward historical trends.

The 4th Stage of National Discipline

This is when a nation is controlled and/or taxed by an outside entity.

The 5th Stage of National Discipline

The fifth cycle of discipline involves complete loss of personal and national sovereignty, the destruction of the family and the nation. Offerings to God are unacceptable. Nations which have undergone this destruction have experienced slavery, cannibalism, and the assimilation of its surviving citizens into other cultures.

Priest Nation

A nation which represents God on earth. The United States is such a nation today, although there are attempts at all levels to stop this.

Theophany

A Theophany is an appearance by God, the Revealed Lord, before the incarnation of Jesus.

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


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An Introduction to Genesis 14


I ntroduction: Gen. 14 is one of the most unusual chapters in the Bible. The first time I studied it, I had a difficult time understanding its purpose. Now, it makes perfect sense. There are quite a number of important doctrines hidden in this chapter, including the stages of national discipline, blessing by association, and the national impact of the individual believer.


This is an odd chapter, and J. Vernon McGee observed that, if you removed this chapter from the narrative of Genesis, it would be unnoticeable. You would not feel as if you had missed out on anything, but to leave this chapter out would be to leave out one of the greatest chapters found in the Bible.


If you want to start out with a brief overview of this chapter, may I suggest Wells Bible Study on Gen. 14 (this will open up either PowerPoint or Presentations on your computer).


In Gen. 14, Abram is going to face adversity head on. The land of promise is going to be overrun by war, and, instead of running down to Egypt again, Abram is going to hold his ground, and, when it becomes necessary, he will become directly involved. This indicates that Abram has advanced spiritually.


The next thing that we need to examine is point of view. This portion of Genesis, from Gen. 11:27–24:67 (or thereabouts), seems to have been written (or recounted) by Abram originally. However, he is not an immediate participant in chapter 14. How did Abram know all this information? Abram has a large number of people with him. The impression at first, is that perhaps he had 5–20 servants or families with him. Au contraire. He probably traveled with a band of at least 350–1000 people. Lot, via blessing by association, probably had a similar entourage. Abram certainly did more than just travel about. He would have had scouts with him and interpreters. He would have, over several years, collected information about the peoples who inhabited the lands that he traversed. He was not a simple nomad bumbling across the land the best that he could. How do we know this? When faced with famine in chapter 12, he knows that famine exists throughout the land that he is in but that he might be able to find respite in Egypt. He knew enough about the land and the peoples to attempt that bit of duplicity with Sarai. This indicates that Abram in his wandering, did this in an educated way. He found out about the land and the peoples around him. This information of the beginning of chapter 14 was not necessarily pieced together immediately; he certain knew some of these people by names prior to his skirmish with some of them, and ascertained the other names after he emerged victorious.


Another introductory remark is we have these people called kings. This evokes in our mind a kingly realm or a country of perhaps millions of people, a country which might be the size of Colorado. We have to lose that notion. These are rulers over a tribe of people. If, in the first millennium b.c., we have the advent of the city-state, these countries or kingdoms are likely much smaller. My estimate is that these countries might be the size of a city and might have anywhere from 3000 to 100,000 population. These city-states would be organized, some more than others, and would have some form of government, and they would trade and do business with other groups. The fact that there are no recorded skirmishes with Abram prior to this is God's grace. Abram might have passed through the land these few times as invisible to the inhabitants (I'm speaking figuratively).


A final point of introduction is a mention of a famous theory which many people fell into: the JEPD theory; this is where it was believed that at least three different people wrote the Pentateuch, at various times, each having his own particular vocabulary (one used the name Elohim for God, another used the name Jehovah for God, etc.). This was discussed back in Gen. 11 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD) (in the special section on archeology).


In case you are unfamiliar with this overall interpretation of Old Testament Scripture.

Links to the JEPD Theory (also known as Documentary Hypothesis)

Description

Link

Basic one page description

http://imp.lss.wisc.edu/~rltroxel/Intro/hypoth.html

My coverage of this topic

Documentary Hypothesis (HTML) (PDF) (WPD)

More detailed approach; author favors this theory

http://www.cs.umd.edu/~mvz/bible/doc-hyp.pdf

A detailed analysis; seems to be a fair assessment

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/09/24/the-documentary-hypothesis.aspx

What it is; and a strong criticism of this theory

http://www.gotquestions.org/documentary-hypothesis.html

Debunking the Documentary Hypothesis

http://creation.com/debunking-the-documentary-hypothesis

A Critical Assessment of the Graf-Wellhausen Documentary Hypothesis

http://vintage.aomin.org/JEDP.html

Essentially, the JEPD theory does not believe that the authors of Scripture are who they had traditionally been believed to be; that much of the Old Testament is fabricated; and that the supernatural is a result of imaginative authors and those who wrote long after these books were assume to have been written. Essentially, this is a theory which rejected the orthodox understanding of the inspiration of Scriptures. However, it is found on many seminary campuses and often presented as the intellectual approach to the Word of God.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


It was a foolish thought which had someone during the four centuries prior to the first advent weaving these various narratives together. Their reasons for this theory were: (1) different chapters of Genesis have a slightly different vocabulary; (2) man was not advanced enough to write in Moses' time; (3) it is impossible to prophecy with any accuracy, so every prophecy had to be written after the event occurred. These objections are easy to deal with: different subjects require different vocabularies. If I discuss a television program with a friend, I will use one set of vocabulary words; if I teach a lesson in differential calculus, I will use a different vocabulary; if I teach a portion of Scripture, I will use yet another and different vocabulary. Man was very likely able to write from the earliest times. God has the ability to see into the future, as time is His invention, so he can tell us in time what will happen in the future. The thrust of the JEPDer's is to take divine inspiration out of the Bible and to make it a book like any other book, despite the evidence to the contrary. Why do I mention this theory here? I mention it because this vocabulary does not match any of the vocabularies used by J or E or P. The reason it doesn’t is two-fold: (1) there is, in reality, no J, no E and no P; and, (2) the vocabulary does not match even the imaginary J, E or P because it is different subject matter than what is dealt with in the rest of Genesis; therefore, there is a different, specific vocabulary.


There are a lot of moving parts in this chapter. There are 9 different kings involved in this chapter; there will be those who conquer and those who serve. There is going to be several other groups of people involved in this chapter, incidentally. However, the Bible will focus upon Abraham and Lot. This is because God is interested in those who have believed in Him. God has made several specific promises to Abram, so God must make certain that these promises comes to pass. Furthermore, God controls history, no matter how many players are on the field. God controls history to achieve the outcome which He requires.


Application: How does this apply to you? You might find yourself in the middle of a depression or in the midst of a war or in some other national or regional disaster. If you have believed in Jesus Christ, then God is concerned about you specifically. Furthermore, the Bible is filled with promises. There are more promises in the Bible which God has made to us as believers than He made ot Abraham—far more. God has to keep these promises. Otherwise, God is not God.


There are a number of reasons why the United States is headed for a great economic collapse, but one of them is, many people, including believers, think that they can develop a system of government which will take care of everyone. They think that they can pass a few laws and organize a few bureaucracies, and that everyone’s needs will be taken care of. Children who show up to school hungry? Government will feed them. People who did not save their money for their old age? Government will take care of them. People without medical insurance at the end of their lives when they most need it? Uncle Sam—who is now Dr. Sam—will see that they get whatever medical treatment is necessary. Such promises have led us on a road to economic collapse. Government cannot become God. Government cannot be all things to all men. Should a people not look to their God? (Isa. 8:19b). God can make promises and these promises stand forever. Man cannot. The grass withers and the flower fades: but the Word of our God shall stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). God forever remembers His covenant, the promise He ordained for a thousand generations (Psalm 105:8). “I will remember the promise that I made with you when you were young, and I will make it a promise that will last forever.” (Ezek. 16:60).


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of Genesis 14

God called Abram in Hebron and told him to leave his family and go to the land of promise. Abram stopped about ¾ths of the way there, then his father died, and he finally went to the land that God showed him. However, he took his nephew Lot with him, which was not God’s ideal. Gen. 11:27–12:3


However, Abram and Lot finally split up because they were both too prosperous, and they could not keep their things separate. Gen. 13:1–13


Lot chooses to go to a place which is filled with evil people. As a result, this geographical area is under discipline. Gen. 14

Gen. 14 will begin with 4 kings from the east coming out to put down a revolt against one of them, a revolt that is taking place in Sodom and Gomorrah, where Lot lives.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of Genesis 14

Characters

Commentary

The 4 kings of the East

One king, Chedorlaomer, had defeated Sodom and Gomorrah in battle, and had them paying him tribute. When they stopped, Chedorlaomer joined with 3 other kings to put this rebellion down.

The 5 kings of the West

Apparently, Chedorlaomer had 5 cities under his control, and they rebelled against him, the 5 kings planning on going to war against him.

Abram

Abram is in this general area, and he is well-known enough that, when the people of the west are attacked and defeated, an escapee comes to Abram and tells him about it.

Lot

When Abram and Lot went their separate ways, Lot moved down to Sodom. When Sodom and the other cities were defeated, Lot was taken into captivity with the others.

Melchizedek

After Abram successfully pursues and defeats the kings of the east, he meets Priest-King Melchizedek, of Salem, and worships with him and pays him a tithe.

The king of Sodom

The king of Sodom is the only person from the 5 kings who has a speaking part in this narrative. He asks Abram for the people to be returned to him, and asks Abram to keep the stuff.

Knowing the principal characters essentially gives away the entire plot of Gen. 14.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


The Abrahamic Timeline for Genesis 14


Legend

Birth or death

God speaks with Abraham

Historical incidents (most of which are related to Abraham)

Parenthetical dates (2065 b.c.) simply refer to taking the date assigned by the chronologist and using Scripture to determine the next date.


Brent MacDonald

Age of Abraham

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Event/Description

2164 b.c.

0

1967 b.c.

Gen. 11:26–27

Abraham (Terah’s son) and Lot (Haran’s son) born in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram would be the 43rd generation from Adam. Gen 11:26 Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Reese occasionally supplies 2 dates in his Chronological Bible; the first is his and the second is Klassen’s.

 

 

1957 b.c.

 

Birth of Sarai

 

 

1907 b.c.

1927 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 11:28, 14

Abram’s family travel from Ur to Haran, although their original intention had been to go to the land of Canaan. Gen 11:28, 14 Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans, during his father Terah's lifetime. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran's son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.

2089 b.c.

75

1892 b.c.

Gen. 12:1–4

Abraham leaves for Promised Land from Haran, after being so instructed by God. Gen 12:4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.

Reese actually gives the date of Terah’s death as April 1–4, 1892 b.c. and the date of Abram leaving Haran as April 5, 1892 b.c.

 

 

1884 b.c.

1888 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 14:5–13

Lot is taken captive.

 

 

 

Gen. 14:14–16

Abram delivers Lot.

 

 

1883 b.c.

Gen. 14:17, 21–24

Abram speaks with the King of Sodom after his victory.

 

 

 

Gen. 14:18–20

Abram’s meeting with Melchizedek, which would be in Salem (Jerusalem).

Reese suggests that Melchizedek is Shem, a theory which several people have; which theory I reject.

The New Berkeley Bible dates Gen. 14 as 2091 b.c. with a question mark.


Bibliography

MacDonald’s timeline is from: http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna63.htm accessed October 11, 2011.

See http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna63dating.htm for his justification of his timeline.

From: http://www.christianshepherd.org/bible_study_guides/abram_to_the_exodus.pdf (Christian shepherd)

The Reese Chronological Bible; KJV translation; Editor: Edward Reese; ©1977 by Edward Reese and Klassen’s dating system ©1975 by Frank R. Klassen; Ⓟ1980 by Bethany House Publishers, South Minneapolis, MN; pp. 18–19, 54–74.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Here is what to expect from Genesis 14:

A Synopsis of Genesis 14

Vv. 1–3 give us the overall setup for this chapter and the war which will take place.

The 5 cities of the west served Chedorlaomer for 12 years, rebelled in the 13th year, and he came in the 14th year with 3 other allies in order to put this rebellion down. Vv. 4–5a.

As the eastern alliance came towards Sodom and Gomorrah, they conquered several other groups of people. They also went past Sodom and Gomorrah, conquered some more people, and then doubled-back. Vv. 5b–7

This eastern alliance went to war against the armies of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities, but, because they approached them from the west (or from the southwest), the 5 western kings and their troops were defeated by the tar pits on their own land. Vv. 8–10

The eastern alliance took all of the stuff from these 5 cities and took all of their people into captivity. Vv. 11–12

Someone escapes this attack and tells Abram. Abram organizes a very small army and attacks the eastern alliance at night, defeating them and sending them in a retreat. He is able to recover the people and the things which they had. Vv. 13–16

Both the king of Salem, Melchizedek, and the king of Sodom came out to speak with Abram. Abram first interacts with the king of Salem and worships the Revealed Lord with him. Vv. 17–20

Although the king of Salem asks only to have his people back, Abram returns most of the merchandise that they recovered. Apparently some was given to Abram’s allies and some was given as a tithe to Melchizedek. Vv. 21–24

Like all chapters of the Word of God, you need more than just the simple plot outline to understand what God wants us to know.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Gen. 14 is one of the most unusual chapters in Genesis, if not in the entire Bible.

What We Learn from Genesis 14—A Preview

       This will give us a much fuller understanding of the person of Abraham with respect to his wealth, his character, his bravery, his assets. Also, the number of his servants and staff is revealed. Furthermore, the loyalty which his people have for him is apparent in this chapter.

       This chapter gives us a better clue as to the recording and the transmission of Scripture. There are a few places in here where a copyist, or, most likely, Moses, added a word of explanation or clarification. Very likely, vv. 3, 7, 8 and 17 have these points of clarification. Moses, being a genius of history, having been raised in the palace of the Pharaoh and receiving a royal education, a recognizing the need of the readers to properly interpret Scripture, would have been the most likely person to add those words of clarification, by the guidance of God the Holy Spirit. My point is that it appears as though someone recorded this information and then someone added those few words to it. Logically, this would be Abram as the original writer and Moses as the one who copied these things down.

       This chapter gives us a better idea as to the state that the world was in. This is the first war mentioned in the Bible. This is a major war, but the organization with which this is done and the existence of arms, indicates that this was a normal occurrence in life. At some point in time when the groups of peoples from Gen. 11 dispersed, there were going to be some territorial disputes. Certainly, one group would find a picturesque spot along a river with fresh water and an abundance of wild game and good land for farming and settle there, and another group would come along and either camp nearby or decide that they would like that particular place, and there would be a skirmish. Remember, that they could not communicate as a whole (although, with man's genius, it was apparent that some learned to translate from language to language at a very early time). Just like today, if you took one hundred people at random and dropped them into the middle of Germany, one or two could get by with their German skills and another 2 or 3 might be able to say a few German phrases to begin with, but the vast majority would be without linguistic resource. It was the same here.

       Even though God is not mentioned for most of this chapter, it is clear that Abram credits Him with the victory and worships the revealed God at the end of this chapter. In this, we learn about the interaction of man and God and nations.

       We understand how various nations interacted. Alliances were formed, nations were conquered, protectorates were formed, nations paid tribute; and, from time to time, a protectorate would rebel.

       We will actually learn some important principles of military function: the importance of training, surprise, and the proper use of mass.

       We have a better idea as to the state of the world and corruption of man, the violence that he was capable of soon after the flood.

       Most importantly, we learn that Jesus Christ controls history.

These few points of introduction only apply to the first portion of Gen. 14. There is a second portion which will require as much explanation as the first portion.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Every believer faces a set of problems. Sometimes they never seem to end. Abram’s first great problem in the land of Canaan was, he was living in the midst of an economic depression. His solution was to run from it, which is no solution at all. This is how he ended up in Egypt, a place of no spiritual blessing; and a time period during which Abram had no contact with God.


The contents of the first half of the chapter are as follows: a great war breaks out, one that we might understand to be the first world war; or, a war which takes in many of the main players on the world stage in the Middle East.


Then Lot is going to find himself caught up in the midst of this, and he is taken as a slave by one side of this war of kings. Then Abram will lead a very small battalion of 318 soldiers against what is easily a brigade (2000–5000) and quite probably a division (10,000–20,000) of hardened, well-trained soldiers. Furthermore, he will defeat the much larger coalition of professional soldiers with his little rag-tag band of citizen-soldiers.


The result is a great spiritual victory for Abram and God will reward him. He will meet King Melchizedek, a type of Christ, and, in my opinion, will be the recipient of one of the greatest spiritual handoffs in the history of man.


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Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


War of the Kings—Summary


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so he is in days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Eliasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim—they manufactured war with Bera king of Sodom and Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah and Shemeber king of Zeboiim and king of Bela, she [is] Zoar.

Genesis

14:1–2

And it was in the days of Amraphel, the king of Shinar; Arioch, the king of Eliasar; Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam and Tidal, the king of Goiim—they made war with Bera, the king of Sodom; and Birsha, the king of Gomorrah; [and] Shinab, the king of Admah; and Shemeber, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that (is) Zoar).

And it was in the days of Amraphel, the king of Shinar; Arioch, the king of Eliasar; Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam and Tidal, the king of Goiim—that they made war with Bera, the king of Sodom; and Birsha, the king of Gomorrah; [and] Shinab, the king of Admah; and Shemeber, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (which is Zoar).


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

The Targum of Onkelos is actually the Pentateuchal Targumim, which are The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. Taken from http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/ and first published in 1862.


Ancient texts:

 

Targum (trans. By Cook)        And it was in the days of Amraphel,--he is Nimrod, who commanded Abram to be cast into the furnace; he was then king of Pontos; Ariok, (so called) because he was (arik) tall among the giants, king of Thalasar, Kedarlaomer, (so called) because he had bound himself (or gone over) among the bondmen of the king of Elam, and Thidal, crafty as a fox, king of the peoples subjected to him, --made war with Bera, whose deeds were evil, king of Sedom, and with Birsha, whose deeds were with the wicked, king of Amora: Shinab, who had hated his father, king of Admah, and Shemebar, who had corrupted himself with fornication, king of Zeboim; and the king of the city which consumed (Bela) the dwellers thereof, which is Zoar.

Latin Vulgate                          And 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, Made 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.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he is in days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Eliasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim—they manufactured war with Bera king of Sodom and Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah and Shemeber king of Zeboiim and king of Bela, she [is] Zoar.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    AND it came to pass in the days of Amarphel king of Sinar, Arioch king of Dalasar, Cardlaamar king of Elam, and Tarael king of Gelites That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemer king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela, that is, Zoar.

Septuagint (Greek)                And it came to pass in the reign of Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, that Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, and with Shinab, king of Adamah, and with Shemeber king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela, (that is, Zoar).

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Abram rescues Lot

While Amraphel was king of Shinar, Ellasar's King Arioch, Elam's King Chedorlaomer, and Goiim's King Tidal declared war on Sodom's King Bera, Gomorrah's King Birsha, Admah's King Shinab, Zeboiim's King Shemeber, and the king of Bela, that is, Zoar.

Contemporary English V.       About this time, King Amraphel of Babylonia, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim attacked King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, also known as the city of Zoar.

Easy English                          4 kings fight against 5 kings, 14:1-12

At that time, Amraphel was the king of Shinar and Arioch was the king of Ellasar. Chedorlaomer was the king of Elam and Tidal was the king of Goiim. Those 4 kings made war with 5 other kings. These 5 kings included Bera the king of Sodom, and Birsha the king of Gomorrah. There were Shinab the king of Admah, and Shemeber the king of Zeboiim. And there was the king of Bela (the place that is also called Zoar).

Easy-to-Read Version            Amraphel was the king of Shinar. Arioch was the king of Ellasar. Kedorlaomer was the king of Elam. And Tidal was the king of Goiim. All these kings fought a war against Bera the king of Sodom, Birsha the king of Gomorrah, Shinab the king of Admah, Shemeber the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela. (Bela is also called Zoar.).

Good News Bible (TEV)         Four kings, Amraphel of Babylonia, Arioch of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer of Elam, and Tidal of Goiim, went to war against five other kings: Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (or Zoar).

The Message                         Then this: Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim went off to war to fight Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, that is, Zoar.

New Berkeley Version           In the days of Amraphel, king of Shinar; Arioch, king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of the nations [Here sacred and secular history meet and dating becomes more feasible. Shinar corresponds to Babylonia (Dan. 1:2 Isa. 11:11 Zech 5:11) though Amraphel is not to be identified with Hammurabi, king of Babel, who reigned about 1728–1686, Erisku, king of Larsa, may have been Arioch. Chedorlaomer-Kudurlagamar—means “Servant of Lagamar,” an Elamite god. Tidal, king of nations, has been identified as Tudhul, king of Gutium, located north-east of Babylonia.], these kings made war against Bera, king of Sodom; Birsha, king of Gomorrah; Shinab, king of Admah, Shemeber, king of Zeboiim and king of Belah, that is of Zoar.

New Century Version             Lot Is Captured

Now Amraphel was king of Babylonia, Arioch was king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer was king of Elam, and Tidal was king of Goiim. All these kings went to war against several other kings: Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela. (Bela is also called Zoar.)

New Living Translation           Abram Rescues Lot

About this time war broke out in the region. King Amraphel of Babylonia,[a] King Arioch of Ellasar, King Kedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim fought against King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (also called Zoar).

The Voice                               Back when King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim ruled the land, these four kings formed an alliance and made war on five other kings: Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (a city now known as Zoar).


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          It was during the reign of AmarPhal (the king of ShinaAr) and AriOch (the king of ElLasar), that ChodolLogomor (the king of Elam) and Thargal (the king of the Gentiles) went to war against BalLa (the king of Sodom), Barsa (the king of GomorRah), Shinar (the king of Adama), Symobor (the king of Seboim), and Balac (or Segor).

Christian Community Bible     At the time of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, these kings made war on Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shi nab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).

New Advent (Knox) Bible       It chanced at this time that Amraphel, the king of Sennaar, and Arioch, King of Pontus [`Of Pontus'; so the Latin version, whereas the Hebrew text and the Septuagint Greek have `of Ellasar'. It is not likely that Pontus on the southern shore of the Black Sea is meant; the other kings all lived east of Palestine.], and Chodorlahomor, king of Elam, and Thadal, king of the barbarians, 2 went out to war. And their enemies were Bara, king of Sodom, Bersa, king of Gomorrha, Sennaab, king of Adama, Semeber, king of Seboim, and the king of Bala (or Segor).

New American Bible              In the days of [In the days of . . . : the personal name by which the event is dated has not been preserved.]. . . , Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim made 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).

New American Bible (R.E.)    The Four Kings.

When Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim made 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), all the latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea [= the Dead Sea]). V. 3 is included for context. 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.

NIRV                                      Abram Saves Lot

At that time Amraphel was the king of Babylonia. Arioch was the king of Ellasar. Kedorlaomer was the king of Elam. And Tidal was the king of Goiim. They went to war against five kings. The kings were Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela. Bela was also called Zoar.

New Jerusalem Bible             When Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedor-Laomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of the Goiim, made 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), all the latter joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (now the Salt Sea). V. 3 is included for context.

Revised English Bible            In those days King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Kedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim went to war against King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      It was in the days of King Amraphel of Central-Iraq, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of South-Iran, and King Tidal of the nations: They made war with King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboim, and the King of Bela (it's Zoar).

The Expanded Bible              Lot Is Captured

Now Amraphel was king of ·Babylonia [LShinar], Arioch was king of Ellasar [Cpossibly in Mesopotamia], Kedorlaomer was king of Elam [Clocated on the Iranian plateau], and Tidal was king of Goiim [Cpossibly a people otherwise known as the Umman-manda]. All these kings went to war against several other kings: Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela. (Bela is also called Zoar.) [CSodom and Gomorrah were located in the vicinity of the Dead Sea, and the other named cities are thought to have been nearby.].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 War of Abram with the Five Kings

It was now in the reign of Amrafel, king of Shinar, Ariok, king of Ellassar, Kedarlaomer, king of Elam, and Thidal, king of the Gentiles, and they waged war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with Bersha, king of Gomorrah, Shinab, king of Zeboiim, and king Bela of Zoar.

NET Bible®                             The Blessing of Victory for God's People

At that time [The sentence begins with the temporal indicator וַיְהִי (vayehi) followed by "in the days of."] Amraphel king of Shinar [Shinar (also in Gen_14:9) is the region of Babylonia.], Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations [Or "king of Goyim." The Hebrew term גּוֹיִם (goyim) means "nations," but a number of modern translations merely transliterate the Hebrew (cf. NEB "Goyim"; NIV, NRSV "Goiim").] went to war [Heb "made war."] [Went to war. The conflict here reflects international warfare in the Early and Middle Bronze periods. The countries operated with overlords and vassals. Kings ruled over city states, or sometimes a number of city states (i.e., nations). Due to their treaties, when one went to war, those confederate with him joined him in battle. It appears here that it is Kedorlaomer's war, because the western city states have rebelled against him (meaning they did not send products as tribute to keep him from invading them).] against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

NIV, ©2011                             Abram Rescues Lot

At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar [That is, Babylonia; also in verse 9], Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim, 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).


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           When Amrafel was king of Shin'ar, Aryokh king of Elasar, K'dorla'omer king of 'Elam and Tid'al king of Goyim; they made war together against Bera king of S'dom and against Birsha king of 'Amora, Shin'av king of Admah, Shem'ever king of Tzvoyim, and the king of Bela (which is the same as Tzo'ar).

exeGeses companion Bible   ABRAM RESCUES LOT

And so be it,

in the days of Amraphel sovereign of Shinar,

Aryoch sovereign of Ellasar,

Kedorlaomer sovereign of Elam

and Tidal sovereign of goyim:

that these work war with Bera sovereign of Sedom

and with Birsha sovereign of Amorah,

Shinab sovereign of Admah,

and Shem Eber sovereign of Seboim,

and the sovereign of Bela, which is Soar:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    Now it came to pass in the days of Amraphel the king of Shinar, Arioch the king of Ellasar, Chedorloemer the king of Elam, and Tidal the king of Goiim. That they waged war with Bera the king of Sodom and with Birsha the king of Gomorrah, Shineab the king of Admah, and Shemeber the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

Kaplan Translation                 The War

It was around this time [(Rabenu Meyuchas). Literally, 'It was in the days of Amraphel,' or 'It was in the days when Amraphel....'] that Amraphel [Talmudic sources identify him with Nimrod (Genesis 10:8; cf. Targum Yonathan; Eruvin 53a; Rashi). Some identify him with the famed Hammurabi, who in ancient writings is referred to as Ammurapi. This may have occurred at the beginning of his reign, before he had built his famed empire, and hence, the leading king is seen as Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14:4,5,9). However, since he later became famous, the age is identified with him.] king of Shinar [This is identified with Sumer. The Targum Yonathan renders it as Pontus (see note on Genesis 10:10). In some manuscripts, however, the reading is Bogtos, denoting Baghdad.], Ariokh [A king of Larsa by the name of Eriaku is found in ancient writings. It was later also a popular name (cf. Daniel 2:14).] king of Ellasar [This is the same as Larsa, a city just south of Erekh, and 100 miles south of Babylon. It was a major power center in ancient times. See note on Genesis 10:10.], Chedorlaomer [K'darla'omer in Hebrew. Some sources indicate that he was originally one of Amraphel's generals, who rebelled and established an independent kingdom (Sefer HaYashar). The name itself is a Hebraicized form of Kudur (servant of) and Lagamar, the name of an Elamite deity.] king of Elam [A city-state in the area of Shushan. See note on Genesis 10:22.], and Tidal [He can be identified with the Tudghala or Tudhaliya of cuniform texts, who was king of the Northern Kurdish or Hittite nations.] king of Goiim [Literally 'nations' or 'hordes' (see Targum). This might indicate that he was the king over a number of nations, or perhaps, a barbaric king. Others, interpret Goyim as a place name (Rashi). It may be identified with Gutium in Kurdistan. See Joshua 12:23.] waged war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinav king of Admah, Shemever king of Tzevoyim [See Genesis 10:19. Also see Deuteronomy 24:22, Hosea 11:8.], and the king of Bela (now Tzoar [See note on Genesis 13:10. The name was changed after the other cities were destroyed (Genesis 19:22). Bela was still used as a name (Genesis 36:32).]).

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And it came to pass in the yamim of Amraphel Melech Shinar (i.e., Babylon), Aryoch Melech Ellasar, Kedorlaomer Melech Elam, and Tidal Melech Goiim; That these made milchamah with Bera Melech Sodom, and with Birsha Melech Amora (Gomorrah), Shinav Melech Admah, and Shemever Melech Tzevoyim, and the Melech Bela, which is Tzoar.

The Scriptures 1998              And it came to be in the days of Amraphel sovereign of Shinʽar, Aryo sovereign of Ellasar, Keorlaʽomer sovereign of Ěylam, and Tiʽal sovereign of Goyim, that they fought against Bera sovereign of Seom, Birsha sovereign of Amorah, Shina sovereign of Amah, Shemʼĕer sovereign of Tseoyim, and the sovereign of Bela, that is Tsoʽar.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                In the days of the kings Amraphel of Shinar, Arioch of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer of Elam, and Tidal of Goiim, They made war on the kings Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, that is, Zoar. One of the notable proofs of the antiquity of the early sections of Genesis is that many of the original names of places about which they speak were so old that Moses, the writer, had to add an explanation in order to identify these ancient names so that the Israelites returning from Egypt might recognize them. Chapter 14 alone contains six such explanatory notes (Gen. 14:2, 3, 7, 8, 15, and 17).

Benner Mechanical Trans1    and~ he~ will~ Exist in~ Day~ s “Amraphel [Speaker of judgement]” King “Shinar [Country of two rivers]” “Aryokh [Tall]” King “Elasar [El is noble]” “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” King “Elam [Ancient]” and~ “Tidal [Breaker of the yoke]” King “Goyim [Nations]” they~ did~ Do Battle At “Bera [With dysfunction]” King “Sedom [Secret]” and~ At “Birsha [With wickedness]” King “Ghamorah [Rebellion]” “Shinav [Teeth of father]” King “Admah [Red ground]” and~ “Shemever [Character of wing]” King “Tseviim [Gazzells]” and~ King “Bela [Swallow]” She “Tso'ar [Tiny]”.

Benner Mechanical Trans2    and it came to pass in the days of “Amraphel [Speaker of judgement]” king of “Shinar [Country of two rivers]”, “Aryokh [Tall]” king of “Elasar [El is noble]”, “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” king of “Elam [Ancient]” and “Tidal [Breaker of the yoke]” king of “Goyim [Nations]”, they did battle with “Bera [With dysfunction]” king of “Sedom [Secret]” and with “Birsha [With wickedness]” king of “Ghamorah [Rebellion]”, “Shinav [Teeth of father]” king of “Admah [Red ground]” and “Shemever [Character of wing]” king of “Tseviim [Gazzells]” and the king of “Bela [Swallow]”, she is “Tso'ar [Tiny]”,...

Concordant Literal Version    And coming is it in the days of the reign of Amraphel, king of Shinar, and Arioch, king of Ellasar, and Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of nations, that they make war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, and Shinab, king of Admah, and Shemeber, king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela. (It is now Zoar.

Context Group Version          And it happened in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, that they 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 ( the same is Zoar ).

English Standard V. – UK       Abram Rescues Lot

In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 2 these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).

The Geneva Bible                  And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar [That is, of Babylon: by kings here, meaning, them that were governors of cities. ], Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations [Of a people gathered from various countries.]; ... This is v. 1 only.

 

New King James Version       Lot's Captivity and Rescue

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 [Hebrew goyim], that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).

Syndein/Thieme                     Abram's 4 Great Victories and meet 'Melchizedek'

{See also Hebrews Chapter 7}

{Confederation of 4 Armies Led by Chedorlaomer}

And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king {melek} of Shinar {the original Babylon/Chaldea} Arioch king of Ellasar {other side of Shinar} Chedorlaomer king of Elam {mountainous area of Southern Persia} and Tidal, king of nations {country north of Jerusalem - known as Galilee}. {Note: These men combine and make a formidable force - with Chedorlaomer as the leader.}

{War in the Jordan Valley - The Land that Lot Chose for Himself}

{4 Armies Take on These 5 Armies}

These {4 armies} manufactured {'asah - out of their mental attitude sins} 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.

Third Millennium Bible            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, 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.

Young's Literal Translation     In those days Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim waged war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, as well as the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).

 

The gist of this verse:          This is an account of 5 kings of the east going to war with 4 kings in the west.


Genesis 14:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâmîym (יָמִים) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

ʾAmerâphel (אַמְרָפֶל) [pronounced am-raw-FEL]

sayer of darkness: fall of the sayer and is transliterated Amraphel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #569 BDB #57

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

Shineʿâr (שִנְעָר) [pronounced shine-GAWR]

country of two rivers; land of Babylon; transliterated Shinar

proper singular noun location

Strong’s #8152 BDB #1042


Translation: And it was in the days of Amraphel, the king of Shinar;... These first two verses make up a title for this chapter or a summary of what is to come, giving us an overview. Essentially, we find out who the participants are and who is going to war against whom.


Shinar is an early name for the Babylon area. We have come across this name twice already in our study of Genesis. You may recall Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, who was a great hunter and who established a great kingdom in the cities of Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, which were in the land of Shinar (Gen. 10:6–10). This would make Shinar an early name for Babylonia. The descendants of Noah eventually moved from the mountains near the eastern border of Modern Turkey south-southeast until they were overlooking the very lush plain of Shinar (modern-day Iraq). As waters continued to recede after the flood, they moved down into these lowlands (Gen. 11:2).


It is thought by some that Amraphel is the famous Hammurabi, although this is not universally accepted. We are similar in time period (Hammurabi reigned in approximately 2100 b.c.; yet others place him in the 1700's or the 1600's), but the names are too different without a reasonable explanation as to why. When comparing a Greek and a Hebrew name, is is likely that an h might get left out because the Greek does not have an h (except for a rough breathing before some words) and the Hebrew has, more or less, two h's. No one is certain who Arioch is, but there are several theories as to his identity and his realm.


We do not know any of these kings for certain, although the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English lexicon (and other sources) suggest that Amraphel could be Hammurabi. I haven’t a clue as to how they came up with this identity, as there were probably many city states at that time.


Genesis 14:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾĂreyôwke (אֲרְיוֹ) [pronounced uhr-YOKE]

lion-like; and is transliterated Arioch

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #746 BDB #73

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾEllâçâr (אֶלָּסָר) [pronounced el-law-SAWR]

 God is chastener; transliterated Ellasar

proper noun singular location

Strong’s #495 BDB #48

According to BDB: Ellasar was a town in Babylonia, approximately 28 miles (50 kilometers) E of Ur.


Translation: ...Arioch, the king of Eliasar;... Ellasar is probably the name of the Chaldean Larsa, which is located just a little northwest from Ur, up along the Euphrates River. In other words, this invading army is coming from the area where Abram originally lived.


Genesis 14:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Kedorelâʿômer (כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר) [pronounced ked-or-law-OH-mehr]

handful of sheaves; transliterated Chedorlaomer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3540 BDB #462

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʿÊylâm (עָילָם) [pronounced ģay-LAWM]

eternity; hidden; transliterated Elam

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #5867 BDB #743

This is also spelled ׳Ôwlâm (עוֹלָם) [pronounced ģoh-LAWM].


Translation: ...Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam... Chedorlaomer has a name which is clearly Elamish and appropriate to that era. He's been identified with one king of Elam (Kutir-nahhunti I), but his name is too different and the chronology is off.


Elam is the area just east of Ur, and it would have been the land that Noah’s descendants first came down to from the mountains. Elam was a son of Shem, after whom this land is probably named (Gen. 10:22).


Genesis 14:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Tideʿâl (תִדְעָל) [pronounced tihd-ĢAWL]

great son; transliterated Tidal

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #8413 BDB #1062

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

gôwyîm (גּוֹיִם) [pronounced goh-YIHM]

Gentiles, [Gentile] nations, people, peoples, nations

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1471 BDB #156

This can be used as a proper noun.


Translation: ...and Tidal, the king of Goiim... Tidal's name is likely identical to the Hittite name Tudhalia (the Hebrew letter ayin (a) is often identified with an Asiatic or an Akkadian h). However, he is not necessarily one of the five Hittite kings uncovered bearing that name. He is said to be the king of gôwyîm (גּוֹיִם) [pronounced goh-YIHM], which many of us recognize. This word means Gentiles, [Gentile] nations, people, peoples, nations. Strong’s #1471 BDB #156. It is possible that this is a particular nation (I doubt that it is another federation of nations as has been suggested by some) or an unnamed nation. Words do change in their usage and this word could have begun as the name of a particular nation and then later used to refer to gentile nations in general. You see, we do not yet have the corresponding term Hebrew, although it does occur in this chapter for the first time (v. 13). Since we do not yet have the distinct contrast in the mind of Abram, it would be reasonable for this term to proceed from referring to a particular nation and later be generalized to refer to any gentile nation. You cannot have goyim until you first have Hebrews and Abram is not yet a Hebrew in the technical sense until he is circumcised and thereby set apart to God. However, he will be called a Hebrew in this chapter.


You probably recognize the word Goiim, which is usually translated nations or Gentiles (the -im ending is plural in the Hebrew). We do not know if this refers to a specific place here or whether Tidal is king over a small group of city-states. Prior to this, goiim has already been translated nations in Gen. 10:5, 20, 31–32; in such a way that, it clearly does not refer to a specific geographical area. However, that does not preclude this word from referring to a particular area in the east.


This first group of kings were a tough, war-like people. They would go out, conquer areas, and then expect the people that they conquered to pay them tribute. This gave them some protection from these warriors. They would not come in a raze a village (except for practice), because a village could produce much more for them over the long wrong by exacting tribute from them.


These are men who are probably heads of city-states who have come from the east. They are vassal kings who would conquer this or that area and extract tribute from them (tribute is like taxes paid to a controlling entity).

Summary of the 4 Kings of the Eastern Alliance

King

Commentary on the King and his Kingdom

King Amraphel of Shinar

The first king named here, but the 3rd king named in v. 14. Some have associated him with Hammurabi, although it is not completely clear why. Shinar is Babylonia.

King Arioch of Ellasar

Tablets discovered suggest that this man is Eri-Aku of Larsa. Ellasar would be Al-Larsa (now Sinqâra in central Babylonia).

King Chedorlaomer of Elam

For whatever reason, Chedorlaomer is named 3rd here, but he apparently was the first to conquer the Sodom and Gomorrah area. In v. 14, Chedorlaomer is named first. This suggests that, in the Babylonian region, Amraphel is seen as preeminent. However, when it comes to conquering cities in the west, this may have been something that Chedorlaomer originally developed, which would explain his name coming first in v. 14.

King Tidal of the nations

According to Fausset, [Tidal is] From a Samaritan root "reverence" (Gesenius: Gen. 14:1, 9). [He is] Probably chief of several nomadic tribes who occupied different tracts of Lower Mesopotamia at different times, as the Arabs do there to this day. His name Thurgah (in the Septuagint, Thargal), "the great chief." or "king of nations," is Turanian or Hamitic, the original element of Babylonia's early population.

Originally, Chedorlaomer began extorting tribute from the 5 cities of the Siddim Valley. At this point, he joins forces with 3 other kings and their armies to continue doing the same thing.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


gen14_1.jpg

Map of the 4 Kings


This map was taken from a slide show from www.WellsBibleStudy.com which appears to be a fairly straightforward study of several incidents in the Bible. This particular slide is from his slide show page, which slides can be opened with PowerPoint or Presentations.


We will later find out that it takes a year for these kings to get it all together. However, given how spread out they are, it makes sense that this excursion took some time to plan out.


Gen 14:1 In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,


V. 1 essentially stops us in mid sentence, but we have enough information to take us into a few paragraphs here. First of all, this portion of Scripture was often ridiculed because liberal critics pointed out that these kings did not exist in history and that this is all fanciful stuff cooked up out of Abram's imagination to make him look important. The problem is that, at one time, these men did not appear in secular history. Man is very negative toward God's Word. Even though we have an historical portrait which bears all the earmarks of authenticity, of unbiased history, man has rejected the historical portions of the Bible whenever there is no corroborating evidence in the secular realm. Man is predisposed to reject God's Word no matter what. Now, you find a scrap of papyri or a inscription in a wall or a clay tablet and man will jump at that as authentic and accurate (I am being a bit too harsh; archeologists by and large recognize that the history recorded by and for some rulers is distorted a great deal in favor of the ruler involved). Still, they will reject God's Word precisely because it is God's Word.


The Bible has an objectivity when it comes to its central characters unparalleled in secular history. The historical records of secular kings tell us that they were the strongest, fiercest warriors in the world; however, our writers of Scripture portray themselves sometimes as faithful and strong, but other times as mistaken, sinful, weak and willful. Furthermore, this is a consistent trait of Scripture, particularly with the great men of history, like Abram, Moses, David and (especially) Solomon. My point here is that unregenerate man, despite the objectivity of Scripture, is predisposed to reject God's Word because it is God's Word. Wherever God's Word does not have corroborating evidence from unregenerate historians, then the events recorded are though to be fanciful or fables.

 

The prolific ancient historian Will Durant, however, has an objective point-of-view here: The discoveries here summarized have restored considerable credit to those chapters of Genesis that record the early traditions of the Jews. In its outlines, and barring supernatural incidents, the story of the Jews as unfolded in the Old Testament has stood the test of criticism and archeology; every year adds corroboration from documents, monuments, or excavations...We must accept the Biblical account provisionally until it is disproved.


However, over the past century, information about kings and kingdoms of this era have been retrieved from secular history, making this account much more reasonable than originally thought by the critics.


In any case, this is not some coalition of desert bandits who are out to plunder; these are invading kings from the east who have come to plunder the people of Canaan. They intend to put down this rebellion, to take their possessions, and to take many of their people as slaves.


This was not the first time that these groups had contact. Apparently, Chedorlaomer had an arrangement with these peoples of Canaan where they paid him tribute, and they were rebelling against that arrangement. We do not know how often this sort of thing occurred. We only know that, this is an invading army and they came from the general area where Abram was raised up, the area that God told Abram to leave. We will come to find out that the people whom they attacked was a very degenerate people.


Gen 14:1 In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,


This may have been the first significant war of mankind, which is why it is found here.


There is one more thing which we need to keep in mind: the Middle East then was not this vast, almost uninhabitable desert area that we know today. It was lush and green, and the area around the Euphrates is called the Fertile Crescent (a name given to this area by James Henry Breasted in 1906). Over several millennia, this area has gone from a lush, prosperous area, to what we have today, which metamorphous represents God’s judgment on the people who live in these lands.


As you will see in the map which follows, there is quite a bit of distance between the centers of these two regions. They are approximately 500 miles apart. If we take what is later found in the Bible as the way of doing things, then the kings of the east probably had outposts around Sodom and Gomorrah where a tax would be collected and then shipped off to the east. When a tax is not received in the 13th year, an army was sent to deal with it.


The first set of kings (v. 1) come from the Babylonian area (which is to the east). The second kings are from the Canaan area (v. 2), many from around the Dead Sea area.

The World of the Old Testament

map9.jpg

 

Map is from: http://jesusreigns.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/the-world-of-the-old-testament.jpg


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


This is essentially the first world war (or, at least the first one recorded in the Bible).


Genesis 14:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

Beraʿ (בֶּרַע) [pronounced BEH-rahģ]

son of evil; transliterated Bera

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1298 BDB #140

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Çedôm (סְדֹם) [pronounced sehd-OHM]

burning; which is transliterated Sodom

masculine singular locative noun

Strong’s #5467 BDB #690

Also spelled Sedum (שֶׂדֹם) [pronounced sehd-OHM]. Not sure about this spelling.


Translation: ...—they made war with Bera, the king of Sodom;... Bera is the only king that will have a personal part to play in this narrative, at the end of this chapter.


Genesis 14:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Bireshaʿ (בִּרְשַע) [pronounced beer-SHAHĢ]

with iniquity; transliterated Birsha

Masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1306 BDB #141

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʿĂămôrâh (עֲמֹרָה) [pronounced ģuhm-oh-RAW]

submersion; and is transliterated Gomorrah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6017 BDB #771


Translation: ...and Birsha, the king of Gomorrah;... The name Birsha may mean son of wickedness. What I believe happened with many names is, a person’s name was remembered in connection with his reputation. So that, there might be a merging of that person’s name with his reputation in the minds of the people of that era, so Birsha would be remembered as son of wickedness, even though that might not have been his exact name.


Sodom and Gomorrah are cities along the southern end of the Salt Sea (which would not have been as salty at this time as it today). It is definitely possible that, at one time, a river went from the Salt Sea into the Red Sea. However, at this time, it appears that these kings in v. 2 lived in the very green valley formed from that river bed.


Genesis 14:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Shineʾâb (שִנְאָב) [pronounced shin-AWBV]

splendor of the father; transliterated Shinab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8134 BDB #1039

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾAdemâh (אַדְמָה) [pronounced ahd-MAW]

 red earth; earthy; transliterated Admah

feminine singular, proper noun/location

Strong’s #126 BDB #10


Translation:...[and] Shinab, the king of Admah;... Admah means red earth and it would have been a city in the Siddim valley close to Sodom and Gomorrah (Deut. 29:23). He is only mentioned here by name.


Genesis 14:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Shemeʾêbêr (שֶמְאֵבֵר) [pronounced shem-AY-ber]

lofty flight; transliterated Shemeber

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8038 BDB #1028

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Tsebôyiyim (צְבֹיִיִם) [pronounced tsehb-oh-ih-YIM]

gazelles; transliterated Zeboim, Zeboiim

plural proper noun/location

Strong’s #6636 BDB #840


Translation: ...and Shemeber, the king of Zeboiim,... Admah, Sodom, Gomorrah and Zeboiim are all linked as cities close together, settled by Canaanites, as far back as Gen. 10:19. Shemeber is only mentioned by name in this passage.


Genesis 14:2e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Belaʿ (בֶּלַע) [pronounced BEH-lahģ]

a swallowing, a devouring; a consuming, destruction; transliterated Bela

masculine singular proper noun; location

Strong's #1106 BDB #118

hîyʾ (הִיא) [pronounced hee]

she, it; also used as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one)

3rd person feminine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb is, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

Tsôʿar (צֹּעַר) [pronounced TSOH-ģahr]

to be small, to be insignificant; transliterated Zoar

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #6820 BDB #858


Translation: ...and the king of Bela (that (is) Zoar). The Bible mentions Zoar in several places; meaning that Bela later gave way to be called Zoar during the time that this portion of the Word of God was copied by Moses. Whereas, it is mentioned in Gen. 14:2, 8 19:22, 23, 30 Deut. 34:3 Isa. 15:5 Jer. 48:34, none of these references give us a geographical fix on Zoar. Various scholars put it south of the Salt Sea (along with Sodom and Gomorrah), but Deut. 34:3 seems to place this in the valley of Jericho on the North end of the Dead Sea (i.e., the Salt Sea). Otherwise, Moses could ot have seen it from Mt. Nebo (Pisgah). Furthermore, as ZPEB points out, those cities, if they were south of the Dead Sea, would have been much more remote and inaccessible, making them unlikely targets. It is not out of the question that there were two Zoar's, except that Moses identifies this city Bela with Zoar, so he would not have done this if there was another Zoar elsewhere.


Where we read things like that is, Zoar, that is called a gloss. It is simply taking the name of a place in one era and identifying it with the same place under a new name in a later era, so that the reader knows where the area is. So, a copyist or a writer at a later date (like Moses), adds in this information. It is similar to me identifying the area where the first kings come from—ancient Babylon—as modern-day Iraq. I also mentioned that Mount Ararat is where Noah’s ark landed, and that it was probably along the eastern border of modern Turkey. Making such references is similar to a gloss in Scripture, which does not alter anything in the Old Testament.


The second group is an alliance of kings who all live in the Sodom area. Now, they are going through this pain because they are a very degenerate people, alluded to back in Gen. 13:13. Because of this great degeneracy, these people will go through disciplinary steps from God.


In human history, there are laws designed for the human race, which are known as the Laws of Divine Establishment (HTML) (PDF) (WPD). These laws protect a nation and help that nation prosper. Much of the Old Testament Law is about such laws, many of which are codified in the Law of Moses. When nations reject these laws (such as, reject the notion of family, which our nation is beginning to do), national discipline follows.


Gen 14:2 these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).


The kings mentioned in v. 2 are unknown to us. If you can imagine achieving one of the highest offices or places of authority and yet remain unknown to history; or, at best, a small footnote in history. These kings, were it not for the Bible, would be entirely unknown to us. Nobody remembers Shemember.


——————————


These joined together in a Valley of Siddim, that [is] a sea of salt.

Genesis

14:3

These joined forces in the Valley of Siddim, which [is] the Salt Sea.

These latter kings formed an alliance in the Valley of Siddim, which is near the Salt Sea.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                All these were joined in the vale of the gardens (paredesaia), the place that produced the streamlets of waters that empty themselves into the sea of salt.

Latin Vulgate                          All these came together into the woodland vale, which now is the salt sea.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        These joined together in a Valley of Siddim, that [is] a sea of salt.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    All of these joined together in the valley of Siddim, which is the Salt Sea.

Septuagint (Greek)                All these met with one accord at the Salt Valley; this is now the Salt Sea.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           These latter kings formed an alliance in the Siddim Valley (that is, the Dead Sea [Or Salt Sea]).

Contemporary English V.       King Chedorlaomer and his allies had ruled these last five kings for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year the kings rebelled and came together in Siddim Valley, which is now covered by the southern part of the Dead Sea.

Easy English                          All these 5 kings came together in the valley called Siddim, which is near the Salt Sea.

The Message                         This second group of kings, the attacked, came together at the Valley of Siddim, that is, the Salt Sea.

New Berkeley Version           All these forces met in the Siddim valley which is now the Salt Sea.

New Century Version             These kings who were attacked united their armies in the Valley of Siddim (now the Dead Sea).

New Living Translation           This second group of kings joined forces in Siddim Valley (that is, the valley of the Dead Sea [Hebrew Salt Sea.]).

The Voice                               All of these joined forces in the valley of Siddim (near the area now known as the Dead Sea [Literally, Salt Sea]).


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, they all agreed to meet together at the Salt Valley (which is now the Dead Sea).

God’s Word                         The five kings joined forces and met in the valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea).

New Advent (Knox) Bible       All these joined their forces in the Valley of the Forests, where the Salt Sea is now;...

NIRV                                      Those five kings all gathered their armies together in the Valley of Siddim. It was the valley of the Dead Sea.

Today’s NIV                          All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley).


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      All these aligned in the vale of the Dead-Sea (it's the Salt Sea).

The Expanded Bible              These kings who were attacked united their armies in the Valley of Siddim (·now [Lthat is] the ·Dead [LSalt] Sea).

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 All these were defeated in the Valley of Siddim (now known as the Salt Sea).

NET Bible®                             These last five kings [Heb "all these," referring only to the last five kings named. The referent has been specified as "these last five kings" in the translation for clarity.] joined forces [The Hebrew verb used here means "to join together; to unite; to be allied." It stresses close associations, especially of friendships, marriages, or treaties.] in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea) [The Salt Sea is the older name for the Dead Sea.].

NIV, ©2011                             All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley).


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               ...all the latter joined forces at the Valley of Siddim, now the Dead Sea [Heb., the Salt Sea].

Kaplan Translation                 All of these had come together [That is, the kings of Sodom and its sattelites had made a treaty to serve Chedorlaomer, and this treaty was made in Siddim Valley (Rashi). Others say that the five cities of the plain had made a mutual defense pact in this valley. Another possible explanation is that they gathered for war in Siddim Valley (see Genesis 14:8).] in Siddim Valley (now the Dead Sea). Siddim Valley: After the destruction, this area was submerged to become the Dead Sea. The name Siddim is from the root sadad (cf. Isaiah 28:24, Hosea 10:11), which is also the root of the word sadeh, a field (Radak). Hence, Onkelos translates it, 'Field Valley,' or 'Valley of Fields.' Targum Yonathan renders it, 'Orchard Valley,' but, since the word for orchard is pardes, it can also be rendered 'Paradise Valley' (see Bereshith Rabbah 42).

Orthodox Jewish Bible           All these were joined together in the Valley of Siddim which is the Yam HaMelach (i.e., Dead Sea).


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                The latter kings joined together [as allies] in the Valley of Siddim, which is [now] the [Dead] Sea of Salt.

Benner Mechanical Trans1    All These they~ did~ Couple To Valley the~ “Sidim [Fields]” He Sea the~ Salt.

Benner Mechanical Trans2    All of these coupled to the valley of the “Sidim [Fields]”, he is the sea of the salt,...

Concordant Literal Version    All these are joined at the vale of the salt fields. (It is now the salt sea.)

Emphasized Bible                  All these, joined together in the valley of the open fields, the same, is the Salt Sea.

English Standard Version      And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea).

The Geneva Bible                  All these were joined together [Ambition is the chief cause of wars among princes. ] in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea [Called also the dead sea, or the lake Asphaltite, near Sodom and Gomorrah. ].

NASB                                     All these came as allies [Lit joined together] to the valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea).

Syndein/Thieme                     {Battle of the Vale of Siddim}

All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim (which is the salt sea {today the Dead Sea}).

Young's Updated LT              All these have been joined together unto the valley of Siddim, which is the Salt Sea.

 

The gist of this verse:          These two sets of armies would meet in the Valley of Siddim, which is the Valley of the Salt Sea.


Genesis 14:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʾêlleh (אֵלֶּה) [pronounced ALE-leh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective with the definite article (often the verb to be is implied)

Strong's #428 BDB #41

châbar (חָבַר) [pronounced khawb-VAHR

to join [together], to unite; to adhere [to one another], to bind together; to fascinate, to charm; to be marked with stripes, lines, to be variagated

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2266 BDB #287

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿemeq (עֶמֶק) [pronounced ĢEH-mek]

valley, vale, lowland, deepening, depth

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6010 BDB #770

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

Siddîym (שִׂדִּים) [pronounced sihd-DEEM]

field, plain; transliterated Siddim

proper masculine plural noun; location

Strong’s #7708 BDB #961


Translation: These joined forces in the Valley of Siddim,... These refers back to the second group of kings. They are all located near one another in the Valley of Siddim.


Genesis 14:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one); same

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb to be, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

yâm (יָם) [pronounced yawm]

sea, lake, river, seaward, west, westward

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3220 BDB #410

melach (מֶלַח) [pronounced MEH-lakh]

salt

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4417 BDB #571


Translation: ...which [is] the Salt Sea. This valley is, according to this gloss, not just near the Salt Sea, but it is the Salt Sea. So, with this name, the implication is, even this far back, this was a salty sea (and it would be much more so today). Someone familiar with this area, many years later, after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, adds these few words to indicate that the area being discussed is now a part of the Salt Sea.


Those in the west are rebelling against those over them from the east. Apparently, 13 years ago, kings from the east came over into Canaan and conquered this set of cities. One approach when a place is conquered is, you leave the people there, and they pay a tribute (tax) to the conquering nation (s). It was not unusual for peoples in the east to come into the land of Canaan and conquer portions of it. In fact, this will happen on several occasions in the Bible.


Apparently, what had happened is the kings of the east made war with the Pentapolis [=5 city] coalition and subdued them, possibly individually (made war in v. 2 is in the perfect tense), and subjected them. They were in subjection because of the four kings of the east, specifically to Chedorlaomer. He was perhaps the king who initiated the original attack on the famous Pentapolis. The other kings no doubt received what was due them as spoils from war.


Vv. 1–3 give us the background for this chapter: And it was in the days of Amraphel, the king of Shinar; Arioch, the king of Eliasar; Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam and Tidal, the king of Goiim—they made war with Bera, the king of Sodom; and Birsha, the king of Gomorrah; [and] Shinab, the king of Admah; and Shemeber, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that (is) Zoar). These joined forces in the Valley of Siddim, which [is near] the Salt Sea. What follows will be the details of what took place.


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Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


War of the Kings—Prelude


Two-teen a year they had served Chedorlaomer; and three-teen a year they rebelled.

Genesis

14:4

[The peoples of the Valley of Siddim] served Chedorlaomer [for] 12 years, and [in] the thirteenth year, they rebelled [against him].

The people of the Valley of Siddim served Chedorlaomer for 12 years, but in the 13th year, they rebelled against him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                Twelve years they had served Kedarlaomer; and in the thirteenth year they had rebelled.

Latin Vulgate                          For they had served Chodorlahomor twelve years, and in the thirteenth year they revolted from him.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Two-teen a year they had served Chedorlaomer; and three-teen a year they rebelled.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Twelve years they served Cardlaamar, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

Septuagint (Greek)                Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and the thirteenth year they revolted.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Easy English                          They had served Chedorlaomer for 12 years. But in the 13th year they started to oppose his authority.

Easy-to-Read Version            These kings had served Kedorlaomer for twelve years. But in the 13th year they all rebelled against him.

New Century Version             They had served Kedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year, they all turned against him.

New Life Bible                        They had been ruled by Chedorlaomer for twelve years. But in the thirteenth year they went against him.

New Living Translation           For twelve years they had been subject to King Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled against him.

The Voice                               You see, the five latter kings had been conquered by Chedorlaomer and so they had served him for 12 years; but in the 13th year, they rebelled against him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          They had been vassals to ChodolLogomor for some twelve years, but in the thirteenth year, they revolted.

Christian Community Bible     Twelve years they had been dominated by Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       ...they had been tributary to Chodorlahomor for twelve years, and in the following year they had revolted from him.

NIRV                                      For 12 years they had been under the rule of Kedorlaomer. But in the 13th year they opposed him.

New Jerusalem Bible             For twelve years they had been under the yoke of Chedor-Laomer, but in the thirteenth year they revolted.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      For twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, but they rebelled in year thirteen.

Bible in Basic English             For twelve years they were under the rule of Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they put off his control.

The Expanded Bible              They had served Kedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year, they all ·turned [rebelled] against him.

NET Bible®                             For twelve years [The sentence simply begins with "twelve years"; it serves as an adverbial accusative giving the duration of their bondage] they had served Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year [This is another adverbial accusative of time.] they rebelled [The story serves as a foreshadowing of the plight of the kingdom of Israel later. Eastern powers came and forced the western kingdoms into submission. Each year, then, they would send tribute east - to keep them away. Here, in the thirteenth year, they refused to send the tribute (just as later Hezekiah rebelled against Assyria). And so in the fourteenth year the eastern powers came to put them down again. This account from Abram's life taught future generations that God can give victory over such threats - that people did not have to live in servitude to tyrants from the east.].

NIV, ©2011                             For twelve years they had been subject to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 They [That is, the five cities of the plain] had served Chedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year [According to others, 'then for 13 years they rebelled' (Bereshith Rabbah 42). According to some, the servitude began immediately after the Tower of Babel (Seder Olam Rabbah 1; cf. Shabbath 11a, Rashi ad loc. s.v. Esrim).] they rebelled.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Twelve shanah they served Kedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Benner Mechanical Trans1    Two Ten Year they~ did~ Serve At “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” and~ Three Ten Year they~ did~ Rebel.

Benner Mechanical Trans2    ...twelve years they served “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” and the thirteenth year they rebelled,...

Concordant Literal Version    Twelve years they serve Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they revolt.

New RSV                               For twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Cause of the Battle - Retrospective Explanation}

Twelve years they served {were slaves in they paid tribute for protection} Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

Young's Literal Translation     Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and the thirteenth year they rebelled.

 

The gist of this verse:          The king of Sodom (and possibly the other kings) was subject to Chedorlaomer for 12 years; they rebelled against him in the 13th year.


Genesis 14:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shenêy (שְנֵי) [pronounced shen-Ā]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of; both of

dual numeral construct

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

ʿâsâr (עָשָׂה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWR]

ten; –teen [resulting in numbers 11–19]

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6240 BDB #797

shânâh (שָנָה) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

ʿâbad (עָבַד) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

to work, to serve, to labor; to be a slave to

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #5647 BDB #712

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Kedorelâʿômer (כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר) [pronounced ked-or-law-OH-mehr]

handful of sheaves; transliterated Chedorlaomer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3540 BDB #462


Translation: [The peoples of the Valley of Siddim] served Chedorlaomer [for] 12 years,... For twelve years, these peoples of the Siddim valley were willing to pay tribute to Chedorlaomer. He may have set up a tax office there (often called a garrison) and he may have sent tax collectors to them. For, for 12 years, they continued paying what was asked of them.


Genesis 14:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâlôsh (שָלֹש) [pronounced shaw-LOHSH]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

numeral; masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

ʿâsâr (עָשָׂה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWR]

ten; –teen [resulting in numbers 11–19]

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6240 BDB #797

shânâh (שָנָה) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

mârad (מָרַד) [pronounced maw-RAHD]

to rebel, to revolt, to be seditious

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect; pausal form

Strong’s #4775 BDB #597


Translation: ...and [in] the thirteenth year, they rebelled [against him]. However, this got to a point where they were no longer willing to pay, so they rebelled against Chedarlaomer in the 13th year. Exactly what they did is not told to us—perhaps they burned down the garrison and killed those in the garrison, or perhaps, if Chedarlaomer used tax collectors, they either embarrassed or killed the tax collectors.


Gen 14:4 Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.


What was common in that era is one national entity would dominate another, and the conquered peoples would have to pay their conquerors tribute. Serving them meant working in their own land but paying taxes to the conquering country. Many times, a Suzerain-Vassal treaty would be established, which specified the responsibilities of both parties. The Suzerain (ruler from a different country) would provide these people with some modicum of protection (i.e., they would become a protectorate), furthermore, he would not invade them. In return, the vassals would pay taxes to the sovereign and swear allegiance to him. The suzerain would establish this treaty and the vassals would agree to it (otherwise, they would be destroyed by the suzerain).


Such a treaty (or covenant) could be established by means of an invasion; but sometimes these problems could be worked out before an invasion. Psychological warfare was often employed, and if one people were conquered in their minds, that would be enough to establish a suzerain-vassal treaty.


The people living in the land of Canaan had been conquered by Chedorlaomer, a great king from the east. They paid him tribute for 12 years and then they rebelled against him in the 13th year. We may reasonably assume that he sent his tax collectors to collect tribute from them in that 13th year, and they killed these tax collectors. Or, Chedorlaomer established an outpost in the Valley of Siddim (possibly several outposts), and, on the 13th year, these soldier-tax collectors were beaten down.


Application: Due to the teaching that we have received in school, we are brought up to think that a people’s revolution is a good thing; and that a facebook revolution is a great thing. Men like Gandhi are revered for standing up to the British Empire. However, when a nation does not control itself, then God must impose humility upon that nation, and that is what was happening in Sodom and Gomorrah. These nations had reached levels of great lasciviousness (which will become more apparent in Gen. 19). In order to preserve a people, God often imposes authority over them, if they do not have the ability to control themselves. We have this occurring in our nation today. We have become and arrogant and entitled people; so each successive government applies more and more controls. Our freedom is based upon self-regulation and an inherent morality; barring that, we go the way of Sodom. If you are reading this, you have probably grown up in the great period of prosperity for the United States. The idea that we could end up on some kind of ash heap of nations seems out of the question. However, the great personal immorality of the people of our nation may take us into that direction. All of the great nations fall—Spain was a world class power at one time; Great Britain virtually ruled the world. But these nations fell, not necessarily into complete ruin, but to a place of power far, far below what they once were.


That Sodom is under the thumb of another nation is a good thing; this is a warning to them from God. If they continue to go down the path of their degenerate ways, then greater discipline will follow. This is all found in Gen. 19. There is no reason to think that our nation is immune to this.


This is what we have studied so far:


Gen. 14:1–4 At that time four kings-King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim- went to war against five kings-King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). The five kings joined forces and met in the valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea). For 12 years they had been subject to Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.


At that time is literally and so it is in days of... While God is showing all of the land to Abram, there is this great human drama playing out around the Dead Sea, which is where Lot, Abram’s nephew, eventually moved.


A portion of this chapter is going to be a war between two alliances—4 kings who come out of the east and 5 kings who form as coalition in the west. Their kingdoms were far apart—about 500 miles from one another—yet for 12 years, King Chedorlaomer exerted control over these 5 city-states which are situated near the Salt Sea. The exact location of these 5 cities is disputed, but my guess is, there was a river which drained the water of the Salt Sea into the Red Sea, and that these cities were gathered along this river, in what was called the Valley of Siddim.


In the ancient world, the key to any word is its consonants. You will note the consonantal equivalence of Siddim and Sodom (the Hebrew does not double up the consonant as we do in the English, but it puts a dot in the middle of the consonant, to indicate that it both ends one syllable and begins the next syllable). Sodom and Siddim could be equivalent names or one could have arisen from the other. Even today, there is a salt mountain located at the southwest corner of the Dead Sea called Jebel Usdum. Jebel means mountain; and Usdum is consonantally equivalent to Sodom and Siddim.


As the Hebrew style is, we get the overall view first, and then this will be followed by details.


Then we read something which is quite unexpected:


——————————


And in a four-teen year came Chedorlaomer and the kings who [are] with him. And so they strike Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham and the Emin in Shavey-Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mountain Seir, as far as El-Paran, which is against the wilderness.

Genesis

14:5–6

In the 14th year, Chedorlaomer and the kings who [are] with him came and they conquered the Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emin in Shavey-Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mountain Seir, [going] as far as El-Paran, which is adjacent [to] the wilderness.

In the 14th year, Chedorlaomer and the kings who are with him came and they conquered the Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emin in Shavey-Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mountain Seir, going as far as El-Paran, which is adjacent to the wilderness.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And in the fourteenth year came Kedarlaomer and the kings who were with him, and smote the Giants (gibboraia) which were in Ashtaroth-Karniam, and the Strong who were in Hametha, and the Terrible who were in the plain of Kiriathaim, and the Choraee (dwellers in caverns) who were in the high mountains of Begala, unto the valley of Pharan, which was nigh upon the edge of the desert.

Jerusalem targum                  All these were joined in the valley of the gardens. And they slew the giants who were in Ashtaroth-Karnaim, the famed who were among them, and the formidable who inhabited the city which they had built, and the cavern people who dwelt in the mountain of Gebala, unto the valley of vision which is nigh upon the desert.

Latin Vulgate                          And 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. And the Chorreans in the mountains of Seir, even to the plains of Pharan, which is in the wilderness.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And in a four-teen year came Chedorlaomer and the kings who [are] with him. And so they strike Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham and the Emin in Shavey-Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mountain Seir, as far as El-Paran, which is against the wilderness.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And in the fourteenth year came Cardlaamar, and the kings that were with him, and smote the mighty men who were in Ashteroth Karnaim and the valiant men who were in the city, and the Emins in Shaveh Koriathaim, And the Horites in the mountains of Seir, as far as the oak of Paran, which is in the wilderness.

Septuagint (Greek)                And in the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer came, and the kings with him, and they cut to pieces the giants in Astaroth, and Karnaim, and strong nations with them, and the Emim in the city Shaveh Kiriathaim. And the Horites in the mountains of Seir, to the terebinth tree of El Paran, which is in the desert.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           In the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and the kings of his alliance came and attacked the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in the mountains of Seir as far as El-paran near the desert.

Easy English                          In the 14th year, Chedorlaomer came. He was with those kings that were helping him. Together, they defeated the people called Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim, and the people called Zuzim in Ham. Those 4 kings also defeated the people called Emim in Shaveh-Kiriathaim. And they defeated the people called Horites in the mountains called Seir, as far as El-Paran. That is at the edge of the desert.

Easy-to-Read Version            So in the 14th year, King Kedorlaomer and the kings with him came to fight against them. Kedorlaomer and the kings with him defeated the Rephaim people in Ashteroth Karnaim. They also defeated the Zuzim people in Ham. They defeated the Emim people in Shaveh Kiriathaim. And they defeated the Horite people who lived in the area from the hill country of Seir [Or, "Edom."] to El Paran [Probably the town Elath, at the southern tip of Israel near the Red Sea.]. (El Paran is near the desert.).

Good News Bible (TEV)         In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and his allies came with their armies and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in the plain of Kiriathaim, and the Horites in the mountains of Edom, pursuing them as far as Elparan on the edge of the desert.

The Message                         In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him set out and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El Paran on the far edge of the desert.

New Berkeley Version           For twelve years they had been subject to Chedorlaomer; in the thirteenth year they revolted and in the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer approached with the allied kings. They conquered the Rephaim [The Rephaim were of gigantic statures (Deut. 2:11, 20 Joshua 17:17 2Sam 21:16). The Zuzim or Zamzuzum were their kin (Deut. 2:20); so the Emim were tall as the Anakim (Deut. 2:9, 11). The Horites (Gen. 36:20) were destroyed by the Edomites (Deut. 2:12, 22). They carved rooms out of sheer rocks, stories above one another.] at Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim at Ham, the Emim in the Kiriathaim plane, and the Horites in their Seir mountain range as far as El-Paran, near the desert. V. 4 is included for context.

New Century Version             Then in the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings with him came and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, and the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim. They also defeated the Horites in the mountains of Edom to El Paran (near the desert).

New Life Bible                        Then in the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and won a war against the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shavehkiriathaim, and the Horites in their Mount Seir as far as El-paran near the place where no people live.

New Living Translation           One year later Kedorlaomer and his allies arrived and defeated the Rephaites at Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzites at Ham, the Emites at Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites at Mount Seir, as far as El-paran at the edge of the wilderness.

The Voice                               In the 14th year, Chedorlaomer and the three kings who were allied with him squashed rebellions of the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in the hill country of Seir all the way to El-paran, which lies on the edge of the wilderness.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So in the fourteenth year, ChodolLogomor and his allies attacked, cutting to pieces the giants in AstarOth and Carnain, along with the strong nations that were their allies (the OmMeans in the city of Saue and the ChorRheans in the mountains of Seir), all the way to the turpentine trees of Pharan (in the desert).

Christian Community Bible     In the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and the king who were his allies, came and fought and subdued the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emin in Shaveh-kiriathaim and the Horites in their Mount Seir as far as Elparan which is near the desert.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       So, in this fourteenth year, Chodorlahomor and the kings allied with him came out to battle. They had defeated the Raphaim, in Astaroth-Carnaim, and the Zuzim in their company [`In their company'; the Hebrew text makes this a proper name, `in Cham', a place not elsewhere mentioned.]; the Emim, too, in Save-Cariathaim, and the Horrites in the hills of Seir, right up to the plains of Pharan, out in the desert.

New American Bible (R.E.)    In 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, and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El-paran, close by the wilderness. Dt 2:12.

NIRV                                      In the 14th year, Kedorlaomer and the kings who helped him went to war. They won the battle against the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim. They also won the battle against the Zuzites in Ham and the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim. They did the same thing to the Horites in the hill country of Seir. They marched all the way to El Paran near the desert.

New Jerusalem Bible             In the fourteenth year Chedor-Laomer arrived and the kings who had allied themselves with him. They defeated the Rephaim at Ashteroth-Carnaim, the Zuzim at Ham, the Emim in the Plain of Kiriathaim, the Horites in the mountainous district of Seir near El-Paran, which is on the edge of the desert.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings with him came and smote the giants in Ashtaroth and Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, reckoned the Emims in Kiriathaim, the Hurrians in the Seir mountains, and unto the arch in the Central-Sinai wilderness.

Bible in Basic English             And in the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and the kings who were on his side, overcame the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, And the Horites in their mountain Seir, driving them as far as El-paran, which is near the waste land.

The Expanded Bible              Then in the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings with him came and ·defeated [subdued] the ·Rephaites [or Rephaim; Can especially warlike tribe in Canaan] in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, and the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim [Cthe Zuzites and Emites were likely related to the Rephaites; Deut. 2:10-11]. 6 They also defeated the Horites in the mountains of ·Edom [LSeir; Ca region outside of Palestine on the southeastern coast of the Dead Sea] to El Paran (near the ·desert [wilderness]).

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Accordingly, in the fourteen year, Kedarlaomer and his allied kings defeated the Refaim at Ashteroth’s Horn, and the Zuzim at the Devil’s Horns [Hebrew, “Shava Qirnim], and the Horites in the mountains of Seir, as far as the pastures which adjoin the desert.

NET Bible®                             In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings who were his allies came and defeated [The Hebrew verb נָכָה (nakhah) means “to attack, to strike, to smite.” In this context it appears that the strike was successful, and so a translation of “defeated” is preferable] the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is near the desert [The line of attack ran down the eastern side of the Jordan Valley into the desert, and then turned and came up the valley to the cities of the plain.].

NIV, ©2011                             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 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           In the fourteenth year K'dorla'omer and the kings with him came and defeated the Refa'im in 'Asht'rot-Karnayim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Eimim in Shaveh-Kiryatayim and the Hori at Se'ir, their mountain, all the way to Eil-Pa'ran by the desert.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and in the fourteenth year

Kedorlaomer and the sovereigns with him

come and smite the Rephaim in Ashteroth Qarnaim

and the Zuziym in Ham

and the Emim in Shaveh Qiryathayim

and the Horiy in their mount Seir

unto El Paran by the wilderness.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And in the fourteenth year, Chedorloemer came, and the kings who were with him, and they smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh kiriathaim. And the Horites in their mountain Seir, until the plain of Paran, which is alongside the desert.

Kaplan Translation                 In the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and his allied kings came. They defeated [Literally, 'struck.' It can also mean 'killed,' 'attacked,' or 'conquered.'] the Rephaim [The Targum has 'mighty ones,' or 'giants,' cf. Deuteronomy 2:11, 2:21. Their land was promised to Abraham (Genesis 15:20), and part of it was given to Lot's descendants (Deuteronomy 2:20). Og, a giant reputed to be over ten feet tall, was reputed to be one of the survivors of the Rephaim (Deuteronomy 3:11; Joshua 12:4, 13:12). Their land was later called Bashan, to the east of the Jordan (Deuteronomy 3:13). They were associated with the Perizites (Joshua 17:15, see Genesis 15:20). Some sources identify them with the Hivites (Bereshith Rabbah 44).] in Ashteroth Karnaim [Ancient twin cities, some 22 miles east of the Sea of Galilee (Kinereth Sea), on what is now the Golan Heights. Actually Karnayim was a little over two miles northeast of Ashteroth. Later, Og lived near there (Joshua 9:10, 12:4, 13:12) in Edrei (Deuteronomy 1:4. Cf. Rashi on Deuteronomy 1:4). Ashteroth was also the name of a Sidonite deity (cf. 1 Kings 11:5 etc.). Karnayim literally means 'twin horns' (Radak).], the Zuzim [These are identical with the Zumzumim of Deuteronomy 2:20 (Rashi). Zumzumim was the name given to this race of giants by the Amonites (Deuteronomy 2:20). The Targum renders it takifin, literally 'the powerful ones.'] in Ham [A city 14 miles to the east of the Jordan River, and 25 miles southwest of Ashteroth Karnayim. We thus see that the attackers were coming from the north and heading south. Some sources, however, render this verse, 'the Zuzim among them' (Bereshith Rabbah 42). This follows from Deuteronomy 2:20, where the Zuzim are identified with the Raphaim.], the Emim [Literally, 'fearsome ones' (Targum), a name given to the Rephaim (giants) by the Moabites (Deuteronomy 2:11). They lived in what was later Moabite territory (see note on Genesis 14:5, 'Shaveh Kiryathaim' ).] in Shaveh Kiryathaim [An ancient city, 8 miles east of the Dead Sea, 5 miles north of the Arnon River, and 67 miles south of Ham. It is literally, 'the plain of two cities.' It was on the frontier of Moab (Ezekiel 25:9; cf. Jeremiah 48:1,2,23,24). It later became part of Reuben's territory (Numbers 32:37, Joshua 13:19).], and the Horites [Chorites in Hebrew. These were the original inhabitants of Seir who were later driven out and destroyed by Esau's descendants (Deuteronomy 2:12, 2:22; cf. Genesis 36.8). Seir may have been named later, after Seir the Horite (cf. Genesis 36:27). See note on Genesis 36:2.] in the hill country of Seir [The area later occupied by Esau (Genesis 36:8). Seir is the hill country to the south of the Dead Sea. This means that the invaders swung around the Dead Sea and headed west.], as far as Eyl Paran [To the west of Seir. Eyl is translated 'plain' in the Targum. According to this, it might be associated with the plain known as Arabah directly south of the Dead Sea (see below). Other sources render this 'Terebinth of Paran' (Ramban; Septuagint), indicating a grove or oasis. It would then be related to the word elon (see note on Genesis 12:6). See Rashi, Targum on Ezekiel 31:14. Paran was the area settled by Ishmael (Genesis 21:21). It was on the way from Sinai (Numbers 10:12), from where the spies were sent out, heading through the Tzin Desert (Numbers 13:3,21). The Arabah is between Paran and Tophel (Deuteronomy 1:1).], which borders the desert [Probably the Tzin Desert, see note on Genesis 14:6, 'Eyl Paran'.].

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And in the fourteenth year came Kedorlaomer, and the melachim that were with him, and they defeated the Rephaim in Ashterot Karnayim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh-Kiryatayim, And the Chori in their Mt Seir, as far as Eil-Paran, which is near the midbar.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And in the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him attacked and subdued the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, And the Horites in their Mount Seir as far as El-paran, which is on the border of the wilderness.

Benner Mechanical Trans1    and~ in~ Four Ten Year he~ did~ Come “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” and~ the~ King~ s Which At~ him and~ they(m)~ will~ Hit At “Rapha [Heal]”~ s in~ “Ashterot-Qaraniym [Growths of two horns]” and~ At the~ “Zuz [Creature]”~ s in~ “Ham [Roar]” and~ At the~ “Eym [Terror]”~ s in~ “Shaweh-Qiryatayim [Plain of cities]” and~ At the~ “Hhor [Cave Dweller]”~ of in~ Mount~ them(m) “Se'iyr [Hairy]” Until “Eyl-Paran [Post of decoration]” Which Upon the~ Wilderness.

Benner Mechanical Trans2    ...and in the fourteenth year “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” came and the kings which were with him and they hit the ones of “Rapha [Heal]” in “Ashterot-Qaraniym [Growths of two horns]” and the ones of “Zuz [Creature]” in “Ham [Roar]” and the ones of “Eym [Terror]” in “Shaweh-Qiryatayim [Plain of cities]”, and the one of “Hhor [Cave dweller]” in their mount of “Se'iyr [Hairy]” as far as “Eyl-Paran [Post of decoration]” which is upon the wilderness,...

English Standard V. – UK       In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness.

NASB                                     In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, came and defeated [Lit smote] the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham and the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim [Or the plain of Kiriathaim], and the Horites in their Mount Seir, as far as El-paran, which is by the wilderness.

New RSV                               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, and the Horites in the hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the edge of the wilderness;...

Syndein/Thieme                     {3 Races of Giants are attacked - Securing the flanks and Providing Good training for the Battle of the Vale of Siddim}

And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him and drove back and slaughtered the Rephaims {famous giant peoples} in Ashteroth Karnaim and the Zuzims {also famous giant peoples} in Ham and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim and the Horites in their mount Seir {cave dwellers and also giants} unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness.

Young's Updated LT              And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings who are with him, and they smite the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-Paran, which is by the wilderness.

 

The gist of this verse:          In the 14th year, the kings of the east conquered several groups of men and cities before dealing with those in rebellion.


Genesis 14:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾarebaʿ (אַרְבַּע) [pronounced ahre-BAHĢ]

four

masculine singular noun; numeral

Strong’s #702 BDB #916

ʿâsâr (עָשָׂה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWR]

ten; –teen [resulting in numbers 11–19]

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6240 BDB #797

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Kedorelâʿômer (כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר) [pronounced ked-or-law-OH-mehr]

handful of sheaves; transliterated Chedorlaomer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3540 BDB #462

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #854 BDB #85


Translation: In the 14th year, Chedorlaomer and the kings who [are] with him came... For 12 years, these people of Sodom and Gomorrah served Chedorlaomer, which means, they paid tribute to him. Then, in the 13th year, they rebelled, although exactly what they did is not recorded. This is not really something that he can tolerate.


We understand the 14th year—it takes awhile to respond to what is happening 500 miles away—but then, who are all of these other people? This 4-king alliance from the east appears to be taking the scenic route. This gives us an idea as to how they work. They have a large, well-trained army, and, rather than go directly to Sodom and Gomorrah, they attack and defeat several people along the way. Let me suggest 3 reasons why this is done (1) It is on the way. Just as you might be going grocery shopping, and you are asked to stop by the hardware store and pick up something, since it is on the way; that is how this was viewed. (2) We do not know how logistics worked for this ancient army. They have to be fed. It is possible that they conquer these other peoples in order to eat. (3) Strategically, it is better to control contiguous sets of people, rather than to have places here and there which are independent. That means, in order to move tribute from a protectorate in the far west, they would have to move through territory which is independently held. So, in all of these areas in between, they either needed a controlling treaty or they needed to simply conquer these people. Once they have been conquered, then they will not become allies of the people the eastern alliance is going to put down. (4) Finally, if this is known to the western coalition, then this would give the eastern alliance a psychological advantage as well.


Chedor and company were busy making war when those of the pentapolis rebelled. It takes time to prepare for war, to map out what is going to be done, and they rebelled when Chedorlaomer and his allies were preparing for an attack on those mentioned. It was obviously a major campaign to solidify and to expand their control. Parallel to the Jordan River and the Dead Sea and east of same is the very famous King's Highway. This was known to exist long before 2000 b.c.. Chedorlaomer and his allies were likely making a trek along this highway during this campaign. This was likely an important trade route and dotted with various groups of peoples. One view is that the kings of the east were taking control of a portion of this highway. At the north end of this highway and across from the Sea of Galilee is Ashteroth-karnaim, never referred to again in the Bible.


Genesis 14:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Repha’îym (רְפַאִים) [pronounced refaw-EEM]

giants; transliterated Rephaim

masculine plural proper noun

Strong's #7496-7497 BDB #952

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿAshetârôwth (עַשְתָּרוֹת) [pronounced ģahsh-taw-ROHTH]

transliterated Ashtaroth, Ashtartes, Ashtaroths

feminine proper noun; plural form

Strong’s #6252 BDB #800

Qarenayim (קַרְנַיִם) [pronounced ker-nah-yihm]

two horns, both horns, a pair of horns; flashes of lightning, rays of light

feminine dual noun

Strong’s #7161 BDB #901

Together, these works make up the location of the Rephaim. Strong’s #6255 BDB #800.


tunesiastele.jpgFrom http://www.lessing-photo.com/p2/030301/03030132.jpg

Translation: ...and they conquered the Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim,... Chedarlaomer and the kings with him do not simply go to Sodom and put down the rebellion. They have been keeping track of the various groups in that general area, and have decided to expand their enterprise. Furthermore, they will use the people of Sodom and Gomorrah as examples, as in, “Here is what happens when you stop paying us tribute.”


This may also be a stop-gap measure. Chedorlaomer may not be certain just who might join with the rebels, so he takes out several cities in that general area. This way, he increases the amount of tribute that is paid to him, and he eliminates possible alliances.


They know that they will be going against the five king faction from the Valley of Siddim.


Notice that the Chedorlaomer’s eastern alliance is at war with whole different sets of people in vv. 5–7. If this all took place in the 14th year, then this was an amazing military alliance.


The operative verb here is the masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect of nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH], which means to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate. Strong #5221 BDB #645. The Hiphil appears to be the principle form of this verb and the imperfect tense means that this is a process. If this was the perfect tense, we might see this as something which had been done in the past, as in, these kings also had subdued these groups.


Those conquered by the Chedorlaomer’s eastern alliance: the Rephaim are giants, and two sources place Ashtaroth-Karnaim as being 25 miles south of Damascus, which is in Bashan, east of the Jordan. This is consistent with the location of these giants elsewhere in Scripture. Ashtaroth is likely a reference to an ancient female goddess and Karnaim simply means two horns. Interestingly enough, the two-horned goddess, Astarte, has crescent moon on her head (not unlike the symbol for Islam).


Ashteroth-Karnaim mean “Ashteroth of the two horns" or "peaks," situated between two hills, perhaps so named to honor the two horned goddess Astarte, the crescent moon on her head.


Above is a stele from the Tophet in Carthage (today Tunisia). This was probably a grave marker which had been set up over a burial urn for a child or animal which had been sacrificed to the goddess Tanit. You will note the typical Middle eastern symbols of the sun, crescent moon and triangle; with the goddess below.


The crescent moon is a common symbol of Babylon and Sumeria, which is where these kings of the east are from. Many historians have claimed that the crescent moon symbol used by Mohammed has its origins in Middle Eastern heathenism. However, if this is true, they dropped the female goddess Astarte. For a religion that treats women so shabbily, it would have seemed odd to worship a goddess at the same time.


Astarte was a common goddess found in many ancient cultures, and it is not unusual to find her associated with the sun, the crescent moon, the sacred lotus and/or intertwined serpents. Other images of Astarte can be found at Lessing Images; One of the more fascinating reliefs is one of Astarte, naked from the waist up, holding several snakes in each hand, and standing upon 14 skulls, Teenwitch.com (where else?). This appears to be Astarte, but notice that her feet are talons. Or here, the goddess of Mesopotamia is holding onto the Tree of Life,


Genesis 14:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Zûwzîym (זוּזִים) [pronounced zoo-ZEEM]

roving creatures, transliterated Zuzim

masculine plural proper noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2104 BDB #265

BDB: an ancient people of uncertain origin, perhaps, inhabitants of ancient Ammon east of the Jordan.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Hâm (הָם) [pronounced hawm]

 hot, sunburnt; transliterated Ham

proper singular noun; location

Strong’s #1990 BDB #241

BDB: the place where Chedorlaomer and his allies smote the Zuzim, probably in the territory of the Ammonites, east of the Jordan; site uncertain. This is not the same Strong’s # as the word transliterated Ham, as in Noah’s son (Strong’s #2526 BDB #325), although they appear to be identical.


Translation: ...the Zuzim in Ham,... The Zuzim are also thought to be giants living east of the Jordan (we do not know where Ham is).


The exact location of Ham is not known and the Zuzim are not mentioned again, but the direction of the attack is possibly due south on the King's Highway, so this would place it directly east of the Jordan river running between the two seas, south of Ashteroth-karnaim.


Genesis 14:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾÊymîym (אֵימִים) [pronounced ay-MEEM]

terror, dread, horror, fear; and is transliterated Emim [terrors]

masculine plural proper noun with the definite article

Strong’s #368 BDB #34

BDB: ancient inhabitants of Moab.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Shâvêh (שָוֵה) [pronounced shaw-VAY]

level plain; transliterated Shaveh

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #7740 BDB #1001

Qireyâthayim (קִרְיָת) [pronounced kir-yaw-THAHN-yim]

2 cities, two towns; transliterated Kirjathajim, Kirjathayim, Kiriathaim

feminine dual noun

Strong’s #7151 BDB #900

Together, these make up the dual cities Shaveh Kiriathaim. Together, they mean plain of the two cities; plain of the double cities. Strong’s #7741 BDB #1001.


Translation: ...the Emin in Shavey-Kiriathaim,... The Emim are east of the Salt Sea where Moab will be and many believe them to be giants as well. Shaveh Kiriathaim means the valley of two cities. Shaveh-kiriathaim (which could be translated the plain of Kiriathaim and this would be found on the southern portion of the King's Highway across from the Dead Sea. The coalition of the kings of the east have taken over the area either north of the Dead Sea (which seems most likely) or possibly the southern portion of the Dead Sea, and now they have moved to the other side and are taking their campaign down the King's Highway, taking out one city after another.


Gen 14:5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim,


This gives us a fairly straightforward time frame. Given the distance from these cities in the west from the main cities of the kings of the east, it took a year for the Chedorlaomer to realize that he had been stiffed and to gather together an army to travel this distance.


Gen 14:5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim,



Genesis 14:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Chôrîy (חֹרִי) [pronounced khoh-REE]

cave-dweller, troglodyte; transliterated Horites

adjective gentis; proper noun

Strong’s #2752 BDB #362

Probably the aboriginal Idumaean. Used to generally identify the inhabitants of Mount Seir.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

hârâr (הָרָר) [pronounced haw-RAWR]

mountain, hill, hill country, mount

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #2042 BDB #249

Sêʿîyr (שֵׂעִיר) [pronounced say-ĢEER]

hairy, shaggy; transliterated Seir

masculine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #8165 BDB #973


Translation: ...and the Horites in their mountain Seir,... Mount Seir is south of the Dead Sea, and it will be the area where Esau, Abram’s grandson, will eventually live and begin a people there. Mount Seir is southeast of the Dead Sea, right in the path of this coalition at the edge of several deserts.


This particular doctrine could stand to be updated.

The Horites/Hivites

 1.     The Horites of Mount Seir, are mentioned in Gen. 14:6, during the great war of the kings which took place in Abraham's day. Genesis does not take us any further back, so we do not know whether Seir is a Horite (named after one of his ancestors) or whether the Horites are descended from Seir (Seir will be later associated with Esau).

 2.      The Horites and the Hivites are probably the same people. Zibeon in Gen. 36:2 is called a Hivite, and Zibeon in Gen. 36:20 is called a Horite. Certainly these could be different Zibeon's, but context seems to indicate that we are talking about one and the same person (compare vv. 2 and 24). The LXX has Horite instead of Hivite in Gen. 34:2 and Joshua 9:7.

 3.      Hittite is a more general term and the Horites (Hivite) appear to be a more specific branch of the Hittites.

 4.      ZPEB suggests that their progenitor was Hori, the son of Lotan, who was the son of Seir (1Chron. 1:38–39). This line of Seir just begins with a group that lives in northern Edom, which takes its name from Seir. This would make Seir a Hittite, who moved to northern Edom (prior to Esau moving there). From Seir came a branch of his line, the Horites, who occupied the land of Seir.

 5.      Esau originally married two Hittite women, Judith and Basemath, which choice gave his family grief (Gen. 26:34 36:2).

          1)      Esau, in his travels, picked up a wife from the Horites, and twice moved his families out to Seir, a mountain range in the land of the Horites. She is called a Hivite, in Gen. 36:2, which might be a slight corruption of the text.

          2)      This association of Esau with Seir and the Horites with Seir makes perfect sense.

          3)      As in-laws, Esau learned a bit about her heritage, which certainly influenced him more than his own heritage of the Revealed God.

          4)      This information of their backgrounds likely came from Esau who either told it to one of Jacob's sons (likely Joseph, his favorite nephew) or he recorded it and left a copy of these records with Jacob's family. In any case, the original information would have come from Esau, the expert in this field.

 6.      Intermarriage and living in the same area ultimately did not draw Esau and the Horites closer together. There was apparently very little if any intermarriage after Esau and eventually Esau's descendants (the Edomites) overran and forced the Horites out of Seir (Deut. 2:12, 22).

 7.      The displaced Horites (Hivites) who survived this devastation, and they moved west of the Jordan River. They made a pact with Joshua, under false pretenses (claiming to come from a far away land, wearing battered clothing and carrying beat-up supplies (Joshua 9).

 8.      Because Joshua made a pact before God with these people, even though he was deceived, Israel was honor-bound to keep that pact (Joshua 2:16–20).

 9.      These people were not looking for peace with the Jews; they just did not want to face a pre-emptive strike. The Horites, in conjunction with the Amorites, Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, then attacked Israel, but God delivered them into the hands of the Israelites under Joshua's leadership (Joshua 11).

10.    The Hivites, along with other groups, were left in the land to test Israel (Judges 3:1–8).

11.    As predicted by Joshua (Joshua 9:22–23), these peoples became slaves to Israel (1Kings 9:20–21 2Chron. 8:6–8).

12.    There are arguments pro and con concerning identifying the Hurrians with the Horites. Horite could have been the Semitic rendering of the name, just as those mentioned in Gen. 36:20–21 could have had their names Hebrewized (as these names are not, strictly speaking, Hurrian names).

13.    The Hurrians (which, again, may or may not have been the Horites) were a group of peoples forgotten about for thousands of years. It was not until this past century when we realized that such a people existed. They lived in the northern portion of Mesopotamia, in Syria and in Palestine just prior to 2000 b.c. We also find evidence of them living in Lower (Northern) Egypt. However, there are no records indicating that they lived in Moab. We have recently (meaning during the past 200 years) discovered thousands of tablets upon which are inscribed their business records and documents and all other manner of information. The evidence that there was Hurrian influence in Palestine is the fact that some names found in the Bible are quite likely Hurrian names. The El Amarna tablets indicate that there was a Jebusite ruler in Jerusalem who was a servant of Hepa, which is likely a shortened form of Hepat or Hebat, who is the most prominent goddess of the Hurrian pantheon. A Jebusite successor to this servant of Hepa was Araunah (or Ornan) (2Sam. 24:18 1Chron. 21:18) are taken from the original Hebrew consonants ’rwnh, ’wrnh, or ’rnn is a Hurrian title found in an Hurrian-Akkadian dictionary tablet and it means lord or king. It is often that the Bible records the title rather than the name of foreign kings and rulers. Part of our problem in connecting the two groups is that we still have not cracked the Hurrian language, which seems to be related only the Urartian, the language found on inscriptions made by the kings of Urartu near Lake Van from the 900-600 bc era.

This doctrine is also posted: the Doctrine of the Horites (HTML) (PDF).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 14:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿad (עַד) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

ʾÊyl (אֵיל) [pronounced āyil]

strong man, leader, chief; a strong, robust tree [e.g., an oak, terebinth, palm]; transliterated El

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #352 BDB #18

Pâʾrân (פָּארָן) [pronounced paw-RAWN]

(possibly) boughs; abounding in foliage [or caverns]; and is transliterated Paran

proper noun/location

Strong’s #6290 BDB #803

Together, these make up the location known as El Paran. Strong’s #364 BDB #18.

According to BDB: El-paran = “palm of Paran.” [It is a] town and harbour at tip of Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea.

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

When not showing a physical relationship between two things, ʿal can take on a whole host of new meanings: on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, besides, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by on to, towards, to, against, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to. It is one of the most versatile prepositions in Scripture. This word often follows particular verbs. In the English, we have helping verbs; in the Hebrew, there are helping prepositions.

midebâr (מִדְבָר) [pronounced mide-BAWR]

wilderness, unpopulated wilderness, desert wilderness; mouth

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4057 BDB #184

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.


Translation:...[going] as far as El-Paran, which is adjacent [to] the wilderness. The wilderness probably became a word used for the desert, but is not a word which originally meant desert. Given how well-watered this overall area was, this was probably an area that had not been established or inhabited yet. So Chedarlaomer is spreading out his means of income to take in all of the people in this general area.


Gen 14:6 and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness.


The Horites are in the hill country south of the Salt Sea. BDB identifies El-paran as being at the tip of the Gulf of Aqaba at the Red Sea. So this army is coming around to Sodom and Gomorrah, conquering all that they come across. The scenic route.


Vv. 5–6: In the 14th year, Chedorlaomer and the kings who are with him came and they conquered the Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emin in Shavey-Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mountain Seir, going as far as El-Paran, which is adjacent to the wilderness.


Route of the Kings of the East. There is a clear route that this eastern alliance is following. They are beginning around where Abram used to live, in Haran, and moving west and then south, traveling parallel to the Jordan River,

4_5kingwar.jpghttp://heartofwisdom.com/imageslp/4.5kingwar.jpg

probably along the King’s Highway. We use the narrative here to determine where most of these people are located.



























——————————


And so they return and so they come unto En Mishpat (that [is], Kadesh); and so they strike all a country of the Amalekite and also the Amorite the dwellers of Hazazon Tamar.

Genesis

14:7

Then they turned back and came to Eyn Mishpat (that [is], Kadesh) and they defeated the entire country of the Amalekite as well as [lit., and also] the Amorite, the dwellers of Hazazon Tamar.

Then they turned back around and came to En Mishpat (which is today known as Kadesh), where they defeated the entire territory of the Amorites and then went on to defeat the Amorites, who were living in Hazazon Tamar.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And they returned, and came to the place where was rendered the judgment of Mosheh the prophet, to the fountain of the waters of Strife, which is Requam. And they smote all the fields of the Amalkaee, and also the Emoraee, who dwelt in En-gedi.

Latin Vulgate                          And 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.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so they return and so they come unto En Mishpat (that [is], Kadesh); and so they strike all a country of the Amalekite and also the Amorite the dwellers of Hazazon Tamar.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And they returned, and came to En-dina, which is Rakim (Kadesh) and they smote all the princes of the Amalekites and also the Amorites who dwelt in En-gad.

Septuagint (Greek)                And having turned back, they came to the Well of Judgment; this is Kadesh, and they cut to pieces all the princes of Amalek, and the Amorites dwelling in Hazezon Tamar.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       They went back to the city of Enmishpat, better known as Kadesh. Then they captured all the land that belonged to the Amalekites, and they defeated the Amorites who were living in Hazazon-Tamar.

Easy English                          Then the 4 kings turned back and they came to En-Mishpat (Kadesh). They got power over all the country where the people called Amalekites lived. And they got power over the people called *Amorites that were living in Hazezon-Tamar.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then they turned around and came back to Kadesh (then known as Enmishpat). They conquered all the land of the Amalekites and defeated the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tamar.

The Message                         On their way back they stopped at En Mishpat, that is, Kadesh, and conquered the whole region of the Amalekites as well as that of the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tamar.

New Berkeley Version           Turning there, they came to En-Mishpat — that is Kadesh — and sacked the whole Amalekite region [Later possessed by Amalekites, who were descendants of Esau.] and the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-Tamar.

New Life Bible                        Then they turned around and came to Enmishpat (that is, Kadesh). There they won a war against all the country of the Amalekites and the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar.

The Voice                               Then Chedorlaomer and his allies turned back and did the same in En-mishpat (a city also known as Kadesh), and they conquered all of the country of the Amalekites and also the Amorites, who lived then in Hazazon-tamar.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And on their return, they stopped at the Well of Judgment (Cades), where they cut all the princes of Amalec and the Amorites to pieces who were living in AsasonThamar.

Beck’s American Translation Turning there, they came to the Fountain of Justice (Kadesh), and they defeated the whole territory of the Amalekites and also the Amorites living at Hazazon-tamar.

God’s Word                         On their way back, they came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites and also the Amorites who were living at Hazazon Tamar.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And now, returning, they had reached the spring of Misphat (or Cades), where they fell upon all the Amalecite country, and the Amorrhites that lived by Asason-Thamar.

NIRV                                      Then they turned back. They went to En Mishpat. En Mishpat was also called Kadesh. They took over the whole territory of the Amalekites. They also won the battle against the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.

New Jerusalem Bible             Wheeling round, they came to the Spring of Judgement (that is, Kadesh); they conquered all the territory of the Amalekites and also the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-Tamar.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      They returned and came into the rest-stop at En-Mishpat, and smote all the fields of the slave-traders, and also the dwellers of North-Jordan in the date-palms of Hazazaon.

Bible in Basic English             Then they came back to En-mishpat which is Kadesh, making waste all the country of the Amalekites and of the Amorites living in Hazazon-tamar.

The Expanded Bible              Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh). They ·defeated [subdued] all the Amalekites [Ca fearsome tribe in pre-Israelite Canaan], as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tama.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 They then returned and came to the Well of Justice [or The Fountain of Judgment, “Kadesh”] and conquered all the plain of Amalakites, and also the Amorites who inhabited the palm groves.

HCSB                                     Then they came back to invade En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they defeated all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar.

NET Bible®                             Then they attacked En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh) again [Heb "they returned and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh)." The two verbs together form a verbal hendiadys, the first serving as the adverb: "they returned and came" means "they came again." Most English translations do not treat this as a hendiadys, but translate "they turned back" or something similar. Since in the context, however, "came again to" does not simply refer to travel but an assault against the place, the present translation expresses this as "attacked.again."], and they conquered all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.

NIV, ©2011                             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.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Next they turned back, came to 'Ein-Mishpat (which is the same as Kadesh), and defeated all the country of the 'Amaleki, and also the Emori, who lived in Hatzatzon-Tamar.

exeGeses companion Bible   And they return and come to En Mishpat - Qadesh

and smite all the field of the Amaleqiy

and also the Emoriy settling in Haseson Tamar.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               On their way back they came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and subdued all the territory of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazazon-tamar.

Kaplan Translation                 They then turned back and came to Eyn Mishpat [Literally, 'Well of Decision,' or 'Well of Judgment.'] (now Kadesh [This is Kadesh Barnea (compare Numbers 13:26 and 32:8). The Targum renders this Rekem, which is identified as Petra, 43 miles due south of the Dead Sea (cf. Genesis 16:14, 20:1). Others say that it is an area some 55 miles southwest of the Dead Sea. (Cf. Tosafoth, Gittin 2a, s.v. Ashkelon).]), and they conquered the entire field of the Amalekites [These were not the descendants of Esau (Genesis 36:12), since the latter were born much later and named after this earlier tribe (Ramban). Otherwise, it may denote the field where the Amalekites later lived (Radak; Ramban).], as well as the Amorites [See note on Genesis 10:16.] who lived in Chatzatzon Tamar [This is Eyn Gedi on the western shore of the Dead Sea (2 Chronicles 20:2; Targum; Rashi). See Judges 1:16, note on Genesis 15:19, regarding the Kenite.].

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And they turned, and came to En Mishpat, which is Kadesh, and conquered all the country of the Amaleki, and also the Emori, that dwelt in Chazezon-Tamar.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Benner Mechanical Trans1    and~ they(m)~ will~ Turn.back and~ they(m)~ will~ Come To “Eyn-Mishpat [Eye of judgement]” He “Kadesh [Set apart]” and~ they(m)~ will~ make~ Hit At All Field the~ “Amalek [People gathered]”~ of and~ Also At “Emor [Sayer]”~ of the~ Settle~ ing(masculine singular) in~ “Hhats'tson-Tamar [Dividing the palm tree]”

Benner Mechanical Trans2    ...and they turned back and they came to “Eyn-Mishpat [Eye of judgement]”, he is “Kadesh [Set apart]”, and they hit all of the field of the one of “Amaleq [People gathered]” and also the one of “Emor [Sayer]” settling in “Hhats'tson-Tamar [Dividing the palm tree]”,...

Concordant Literal Version    And returning are they and coming to En-Mishphat (It is now Kadesh). And smiting are they all the chiefs of the Amalekites and, moreover, the Amorites dwelling in Hazezon-tamar.

English Standard Version      Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling in Hazazon-tamar.

NASB                                     Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and conquered [Lit smote] all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, who lived in Hazazon-tamar.

New King James Version       Then they turned back and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and attacked all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon Tamar.

New RSV                               ...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.

Syndein/Thieme                     And they returned and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and drove back and slaughtered all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who lived in Hazezontamar.

World English Bible                They returned, and came to En-mishpat (the same is Kadesh), and struck all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that lived in Hazazon Tamar.

Young's Literal Translation     And they turn back and come in unto En-Mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smite the whole field of the Amalekite, and also the Amorite who is dwelling in Hazezon-Tamar.

 

The gist of this verse:          They were moving more or less in one direction in the previous battles, and now they turn back, going toward Sodom, and they strike the country later occupied by Amalekites and then the Amorites.


Genesis 14:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

4_5kingwar1.jpghttp://heartofwisdom.com/imageslp/4.5kingwar.jpg

Translation: Then they turned back... This appears to be key in their defeating of Sodom and Gomorrah. They were expecting an attack out of the east, but Chedarlaomer went past Sodom and Gomorrah and defeated some tribes of people here and there, and then doubled back.


The Route of the Kings of the East (map). This is the same map as was found earlier. However, here we need it for the second half of the route of these kings.


The verb to turn back is a very common one in the Hebrew, and it means just that. In context, the kings of the east are moving along a varied route, but, at some point, the begin to back track.


This map is quite important; it explains just how the eastern alliance army was able to defeat the western coalition. It also explains the thinking of the kings of the east.


You will observe in the map how this would mark the point at which the Chedorlaomer eastern alliance began to turn back toward their native land. Up to that point, they were moving further and further away from the east; and after Kadesh, they put themselves on a route back toward the east. It is almost as if they stop by the cities in the Valley of Siddim as sort of an afterthought. If you refer back to this map, then the doctrine which follows will make perfect sense.


One of the things which fascinates me about the Bible is, the number of times strategy and tactics and spoken of (although you may not recognize it as such). These kings from the east did not simply saddle up and come out to Sodom and Gomorrah to put down a rebellion.

The Strategy and Tactics of the Kings of the East

1.      These kings were quite obviously the first environmentalists. They did not take 3 trips, when they could accomplish several tasks on the same trip.

2.      First of all, Chedorlaomer allied himself with several other kings in his region. This would be done for several reasons. It would give him a larger army and he would not be in competition with these kings for the wealth of these western city-states. Obviously, these men are of like minds, as they all want to subjugate the peoples of the west. If two or three of them go after the same city-states, then the result will be that they fight amongst each other. So, their plan here is to get many groups of people to send them tribute, and then to split up the loot amongst each other.

3.      With this large, fearsome army (we do not know its size, but, since it is an allied army of 4 kings, we may assume that it is 3x or larger than the individual peoples that they will overrun. Many times, this great army would show up at the front door of a city (these cities may not have been walled cities at this time), and say, “You have 2 choices: (1) we will attack you and kill all of you and take away your women and children as slaves or (2) you can pay us a tribute each year, and you will live.” Many times, a war will not be necessary, or a short war of a few days is enough to convince the city-state to serve them.

4.      By attacking the various peoples along the King’s Highway, this eastern alliance eliminates them as possible allies for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. When the east alliance swings around Sodom and Gomorrah and moves in a southwesterly direction, they subjugate several more groups of people, and prevent them from helping out Sodom and Gomorrah. In this way, they isolate the people of Sodom and Gomorrah from any people that they might partner up with.

5.      This eastern alliance knows that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah expect them to come around from the east, or, less likely, to come down from the north, along the western edge of the Salt Sea. So, if they come from the west, that will be both a surprise and a tactical advantage. The western coalition will be ready and waiting for them to come from the east, and they will be so positioned.

6.      This will explain the next few verses: the western people know their own land. They would like to drawn the eastern alliance into the area where all of these tar pits are located, and then attack, so they would position themselves with the tar pits in between them and the eastern army. However, if the eastern army comes up behind them, then these tar pits are then right behind the western coalition army. Therefore, if the western coalition army retreats, then they will be retreating right into these tar pits.

7.      So, the eastern alliance attacks from the west side, which is a surprise, and which surprise will cause their enemies to retreat. They can retreat backwards into the tar pits, or they can retreat going northward, into the hill country along the Salt Sea. This is very difficult country to go through.

8.      All of this leaves their cities unguarded, and the eastern kings can simply go into the cities and take what they want.

If God the Holy Spirit places strategy and tactics in the Bible, then we ought to take notice of that.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 14:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿÊyn (עַיִן) [pronounced ģayn]

 spring, fountain; eye, spiritual eyes

feminine singular noun

from Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

mîshepâţ (מִשְפָּט) [pronounced mishe-PAWT]

judgement, justice, a verdict rendered by a judge, a judicial decision, a judicial sentence, a verdict, a judgement of the court

masculine singular noun

Strong's #4941 BDB #1048

Together, this gives us the spring of justice [judgment, a judicial verdict]; which is Strong’s #5880 BDB #745.

hîyʾ (הִיא) [pronounced hee]

she, it; also used as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one)

3rd person feminine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb is, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

Qâdêsh (שקָדֵ) [pronounced kaw-DAYSH]

sacred, holy, set apart; transliterated Kadesh

proper noun; location

Strong’s #6946 and #6947 BDB #873

This city is in the extreme southern portion of Judah and is the same as Kadesh-barnea.


Translation: ...and came to Eyn Mishpat (that [is], Kadesh)... As the come back, they come to what is today, Kadesh, which this gloss seems to indicate.


The words that is, Kadesh is another gloss. What would be quite logical is, Moses, who was educated in the Egyptian palace, and who would have been an excellent history and geography student, when he took possession of what were the Scriptures of God, that he added these glosses. It would also be reasonable that Joshua did this as well. Moses, because of his royal education, or Joshua, because he both traveled and conquered the land of Canaan, and then distributed this land to the children of Israel, would have been ideally suited to make such glosses.


Genesis 14:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

sâdeh (שָׂדֶה) [pronounced saw-DEH]

field, land, country, open field, open country

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7704 BDB #961

ʿĂmâlêqîy (עֲמָלֵקִי) [pronounced ģuh-maw-lay-KEE]

people of lapping; transliterated Amalekite

proper noun gentilic with the definite article

Strong’s #6003 BDB #766

Although BDB identifies Amalekite as being a descendant of Esau, Esau is not yet born.


Translation: ...and they defeated the entire country of the Amalekite... There is a large section of Amalekites, and they are defeated—all of them—in battle.


These men cannot have been descended from Esau, as he has not yet been born.


The most common explanation is, when this was written, these areas were known as Amalekite country. So these kings of the east went through and conquered all of the peoples who lived in the territory later occupied by the Amalekites.


The second explanation is, this territory was identified with a people named Amalekites, essentially destroyed here; but there would be a group of men more famously known as Amalekites who would occupy this area in the future.


Genesis 14:7d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gam (גַם) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾĔmôrîy (אֱמֹרִי) [pronounced eh-moh-REE]

mountaineer (possibly); and is transliterated Amorite

gentilic adjective; with the definite article

Strong’s #567 BDB #57

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

those inhabiting, those staying, those dwelling in, the inhabitants of, the ones dwelling in, dwellers of, those sitting [here], the ones sitting

Qal active participle with the definite article

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

I used the definitions here for the masculine plural, Qal active participle.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Chatsetsôn (חַצְצֹן) [pronounced khats-tsohn]

to sing; to shout, to yell; to prune; transliterated Hazazon, Hazezon

possibly a form of the verb châtsats (חָצַץ) [pronounced khaw-tsahts]; Strong’s #2686 BDB #346

Strong’s #2688 BDB #346

Tâmâr (תָּמָר) [pronounced taw-MAWR]

palm-tree, date-palm and is transliterated Tamar

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8559 BDB #1071

Together, these words refer to a singular location, which means division [dividing] of the palm tree; pruning of the palm tree. There are two slightly different spellings for the first name. BDB says this city is probably Engedi.


Translation: ...as well as [lit., and also] the Amorite, the dwellers of Hazazon Tamar. This is the famous Amorite, who is said to be in the land, and here, these kings from the east defeat them.


The Amalekites and Amorites named here also lived in the land of Canaan, which is the land that God would give to the Jews. The Amalekites lived mostly around this southern region of the land of Canaan, and they will show up in Israel’s history on two very important future events. When God leads Moses and the people into this land, the Amalekites, Amorites and Canaanites stand between them and entering into the land, and the people of Israel will be defeated by them (Num. 14).


On another occasion, David will wander out of the geographical will of God, and, while he is preparing to war against Israel, the Amalekites attack his main camp, taking all of the women and things which David and his men had accumulated (1Sam. 30). Both of these incidents take place here in this same geographical area.


So, what does all of this tell us? Abram, with a very small army, will defeat the Eastern Alliance. The Eastern Alliance defeated many of the peoples in the land which God is giving to Abram. Therefore, Abram is capable himself of taking the entire land (however, it is not time yet, as the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached a point of critical mass).


Moses will bring his people, the Jews, into the land, and they will face the Amorites, Amalekites and the Canaanites right at the very beginning. Their reasoning should be as follows: God led Abram and 318 soldiers to defeat the Eastern Alliance, which defeated the very people that Moses is facing. If Moses still has God on his side and has 2 million people, then how can he be defeated? He has an army much larger than Abram’s. He also has God. Therefore, Moses should have been able to enter into this Land of Promise some 400 years later and taken it. What is the key? Knowledge of the Word of God and the history found in the Word of God. Moses and the Israelites will be stopped right here, in this very spot, around the Kadesh area, in land held by the Amorites, Amalekites and the Canaanites. This chapter tells us that there is no reason for Moses and the children of Israel to be defeated at this point by this people.


To state this even more simply:


Moses + 2 million + God > [is greater than] Abram + 318 men + God > the eastern alliance (Chedorlaomer, et al) > the Amalekites, Amorites and Canaanites. Therefore, by the transitive property of inequality, Moses + 2 million + God > the Amalekites, Amorites and Canaanites.


Application: How does this relate to you? You have the power of the Holy Spirit. Access to this power will never leave you. You have the completed canon of Scripture. Potentially, you are greater than Abraham or Moses or David. They could lose the Holy Spirit and they did not have the complete Word of God. Never underestimate your power or your responsibility. You might be a woman with 2 children under your command, and your contact with the outside world is limited. This does not matter. Billy Graham, who is easily the greatest evangelist of my day, was converted at a meeting led by Mordecai Ham. If you are a normal person, you have never heard of Mordecai Ham before today. We all have different ministries, just as there are many parts to a body. Some may pray, some may give, some may have a limited evangelistic ministry to just one other person. All of these ministries are equally important. However, apart from Bible doctrine and the ministry of God the Holy Spirit (through naming your sins to God), you have no ministry. Without these 2 power options, you have shown up for work at a new job for which you have had no training, and nobody tells you what to do. Your production at that job will be about nil.


So far, we have studied:


Gen 14:1–7 In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness. Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling in Hazazon-tamar.


Chedorlaomer has conquered a number of city states and they pay him tribute. This has been the case for several city-states in the Valley of Siddim, which is the valley below the southern tip of the Salt Sea (which may or may not have been salty at this time). After 12 years of paying tribute, the Siddim coalition stopped paying taxes to Chedorlaomer. Although we are not given the full story here, very likely, in the 13th year, they overran the tax collector’s outposts and killed the soldiers there. Not receiving payment in that year, Chedorlaomer deduced what happened (he probably had spies in the area as well), so he gathered up an alliance from the east in order to crush this rebellion. Along the way, they conquered several groups of people, most of whom were discussed in the previous lesson.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


War of the Kings


And so they go out—a king of Sodom and a king of Gomorrah and a king of Admah and a king of Zeboiim and a king of Bela (she [is] Zoar). And so they set in order with them in a battle in a Valley of Siddim with Chedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim and Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings with the five.

Genesis

14:8–9

They went out—the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (which [is] Zoar]. They organized [themselves] in battle [array] with their enemies [lit., with them]—Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, Tidal the king of Goiim, Amraphel the king of Shinar and Arioch the king of Ellasar—four kings against [lit., with, near] the five.

The king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (also known as Zoar) went out and organized themselves in battle array with the four kings of the East: Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, Tidal the king of Goiim, Amraphel the king of Shinar and Arioch the king of Ellasar.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the king of Sedom, and the king of Amorah, and the kind of Admah, and the king of Zeboim, and the king of the city which consumed its inhabitants, which is Zoar, went forth, and set the array of battle against them in the valley of the gardens; with Kedarlaomer king of Elam, and Thidal king of the nations obedient to him, and Amraphel king of Pontos, and Ariok king of Thelasar; four kings arrayed in battle against five.

Jerusalem targum                  And Amraphel king of Pontos, and Ariok king of Elasar: four kings against five spread out the array of war. V. 9 only.

Latin Vulgate                          And 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: To 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.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so they go out—a king of Sodom and a king of Gomorrah and a king of Admah and a king of Zeboiim and a king of Bela (she [is] Zoar). And so they set in order with them in a battle in a Valley of Siddim with Chedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim and Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings with the five.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And there went out the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar); all of these made war in the valley of Siddim, With Cardlaamar, the king of Elam, Tarael the king of Gelites, Amarphel king of Sinar, and Arioch king of Dalasar; four kings against five.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrhah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, (that is, Zoar) went out, and they set themselves in battle array against them for war in the Salt Valley, against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, the four kings against the five.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bera (that is, Zoar) took up battle positions in the Siddim Valley against King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five.

Easy English                          Then the 5 kings went out to fight. There were the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah. There were also the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim. And there was the king of Bela (the place that is also called Zoar). They fought in the Valley called Siddim against the other 4 kings. These included Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and Tidal the king of Goiim. There were also Amraphel the king of Shinar, and Arioch the king of Ellasar. 4 kings were fighting against 5 kings..

Easy-to-Read Version            At that time, the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (Zoar) joined together and went to fight against their enemies. {They went to fight} in the Valley of Siddim [The valley or plain along the eastern or southeastern side of the Dead Sea.]. They fought against Kedorlaomer the king of Elam, Tidal the king of Goiim, Amraphel the king of Shinar, and Arioch the king of Ellasar. So there were four kings fighting against five.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela drew up their armies for battle in Siddim Valley and fought against the kings of Elam, Goiim, Babylonia, and Ellasar, five kings against four.

The Message                         That's when the king of Sodom marched out with the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, that is, Zoar. They drew up in battle formation against their enemies in the Valley of Siddim--against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five.

New Life Bible                        Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and joined in war against them in the valley of Siddim. They fought against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five.

New Living Translation           Then the rebel kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (also called Zoar) prepared for battle in the valley of the Dead Sea [Hebrew Siddim Valley (see 14:3); also in 14:10.]. They fought against King Kedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Babylonia, and King Arioch of Ellasar-four kings against five.

The Voice                               The five kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (that is, Zoar) all went and joined in battle in the valley of Siddim against the four kings (Chedorlaomer of Elam, Tidal of Goiim, Amraphel of Shinar, and Arioch of Ellasar).


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And then the kings of Sodom, GomorRah, Adama, Seboim, and Balac (or Segor) went out and set up battle lines against them in the Salt Valley - against ChodolLogomor (king of Elam), Thargal (king of the Gentiles), AmarPhal (king of ShinaAr), and AriOch (the king of ElLasar) - the four against five.

Christian Community Bible     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 took up battle positions in the valley of Siddim against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against five.

God’s Word                         Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and prepared for battle in the valley of Siddim. They fought against King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar-four kings against five.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       So the kings of Sodom, Gomorrha, Adama, Seboim and Bala (or Segor) came out to meet them, and prepared to do battle with them in the Valley of the Forests. Chodorlahomor, king of Elam, and Thadal, king of the barbarians, and Amraphel, king of Sennaar, and Arioch, king of Pontus, these were the four kings those five kings had to meet.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Thereupon 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: against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar-four kings against five.

NIRV                                      Then the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah marched out. The kings of Admah, Zeboiim and Bela went with them. Bela was also called Zoar. They lined up their armies for battle in the Valley of Siddim. They got ready to fight against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Babylonia, and Arioch king of Ellasar. There were four kings against five.

New Jerusalem Bible             Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and engaged them in the Valley of Siddim: Chedor-Laomer king of Elam, Tidal king of the Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar: four kings against five.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela (it's Zoar) proceeded and ranked for war with them in the vale of the Dead-Sea with King Chedorlaomer of South-Iran, King Tidal of the nations, King Amraphel of Central-Iraq, and King Arioch of Ellasar, the four kings with the five.

Bible in Basic English             And the king of Sodom with the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela that is Zoar, went out, and put their forces in position in the valley of Siddim, Against Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of Goiim, and Amraphel, king of Shinar, and Arioch, king of Ellasar: four kings against the five.

The Expanded Bible              At that time the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela went out to fight in the Valley of Siddim. (Bela is called Zoar.) They fought against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of ·Babylonia [LShinar], and Arioch king of Ellasar-four kings fighting against five.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The king of Sodom accordingly went out with the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and king Bela of Zoar; and they commenced hostilities in the valley of Siddim with Kedarlaomer king of Elam, and Thidal king of the Gentiles, and Amrafel king of Shinar, and Ariok king of Ellasar—four kings against five.

NET Bible®                             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 prepared for battle. In the Valley of Siddim they met [Heb "against."] Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations [Or "Goyim." See the note on the word "nations" in 14:1.], Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar. Four kings fought against [The Hebrew text has simply "against." The word "fought" is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.] five.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Then the kings of S'dom, 'Amora, Admah, Tzvoyim and Bela (that is, Tzo'ar) came out and arrayed themselves for battle in the Siddim Valley 9 against K'dorla'omer king of 'Elam, Tid'al king of Goyim, Amrafel king of Admah and Aryokh king of Elasar, four kings against the five.

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign of Sedom

and the sovereign of Amorah

and the sovereign of Admah

and the sovereign of Seboim

and the sovereign of Bela - Soar

go and array in war with them in the valley of Siddim

- with Kedorlaomer sovereign of Elam

and with Tidal sovereign of goyim

and Amraphel sovereign of Shinar

and Aryoch sovereign of Ellasar

- four sovereigns with five.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar, came forth, and they engaged them in battle in the valley of Siddim. With Chedorloemer the king of Elam and Tidal the king of Goyim and Amraphel the king of Shinar and Arioch the king of Ellasar, four kings against the five.

Kaplan Translation                 The kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Tzevoyim and Bela (Tzoar) marched forth. They set up battle lines in Siddim Valley, against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar. There were four kings against the five.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And there went out the Melech Sodom, and the Melech Amora (Gomorrah), and the Melech Admah, and the Melech Tzevoyim, and the Melech Bela (the same is Tzoar); and they joined in milchamah with them in the Valley of Siddim; With Kedorlaomer Melech Elam, and with Tidal Melech Goyim, and Amraphel Melech Shinar, and Aryoch Melech Ellasar; four melachim against five.

The Scriptures 1998              And the sovereign of Seom, and the sovereign of Amorah, and the sovereign of Amah, and the sovereign of Tseoyim, and the sovereign of Bela, that is Tsoʽar, went out and joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim, against Keorlaʽomer sovereign of Ěylam, and Tiʽal sovereign of Goyim, and Amraphel sovereign of Shinʽar, and Aryo sovereign of Ellasar – four sovereigns against five.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela, that is, Zoar, went out and [together] they joined battle [with those kings] in the Valley of Siddim, With the kings Chedorlaomer of Elam, Tidal of Goiim, Amraphel of Shinar, and Arioch of Ellasar-four kings against five.

Benner Mechanical Trans1    and~ he~ will~ Go.out King “Sedom [Secret]” and~ King “Ghamorah [Rebellion]” and~ King “Admah [Red ground]” and~ King “Tseviim [Gazzells]” and~ King “Bela [Swallow]” She “Tso'ar [Tiny]” and~ they(m)~ will~ Arrange At~ them(m) Battle in~ Valley the~ “Sidim [Fields]” At “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” King “Elam [Ancient]” and~ “Tidal [Breaker of the yoke]” King “Goyim [Nations]” and~ “Amraphel [Speaker of judgement]” King “Shinar [Country of two rivers]” and~ “Aryokh [Tall]” King “Elasar [El is noble]” Four King~ s At the~ Five

Benner Mechanical Trans2    ...and the king of “Sedom [Secret]” went out and the king of “Ghamorah [Rebellion]” and the king of “Admah [Red ground]” and the king of “Tseviim [Gazzells]” and the king of “Bela [Swallow]”, she is “Tso'ar [Tiny]”, and they arranged with them a battle in the valley of “Sidim [Fields]”, with “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” the king of “Elam [Ancient]” and “Tidal [Breaker of the yoke]” the king of “Goiim [Nations]” and “Amraphel [Speaker of judgement]” the king of “Shinar [Country of two rivers]” and “Aryokh [Tall]” the king of “Elasar [El is noble]”, four kings with the five,...

Concordant Literal Version    And forth is faring the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (It is now Zoar). And arranging themselves are they for battle in the vale of the salt fields, with Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of nations, and Amraphel, king of Shinar, and Arioch, king of Ellasar--four kings with five.

New King James Version       And 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 joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations [Hebrew goyim], Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar-four kings against five.

Syndein/Thieme                     {The 5 Cities of the Valley (now under the Dead Sea) come out to meet them - Back up to date}

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 'made their tactical dispositions'/'joined battle' with them in the vale of Siddim.

{Battle of the Vale of Siddim - Large Military Campaign 2100 - 2000 B.C.}

With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar . . . four kings . . . {battling} with five. {Note: Abraham is on the flank rear of this battle. This part of the flank was NOT secured though the other flanks WERE! He could have been wiped out by the action to protect the flanks before the battle began. But even now God is protecting Abraham.}.

Third Millennium Bible            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, against Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and against Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar -- four kings against five.

Webster’s Bible Translation  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; 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.

Young's Literal Translation     And the king of Sodom goeth out, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar; and they set the battle in array with them in the valley of Siddim, with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goyim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with the five.

 

The gist of this verse:          The two coalitions of kings meet to war.


Genesis 14:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go [come] out, to go [come] forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Çedôm (סְדֹם) [pronounced sehd-OHM]

burning; which is transliterated Sodom

masculine singular locative noun

Strong’s #5467 BDB #690

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʿĂămôrâh (עֲמֹרָה) [pronounced ģuhm-oh-RAW]

submersion; and is transliterated Gomorrah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6017 BDB #771


Translation: They went out —the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah,... These are the kings of the degenerate peoples, and this tells us that they are the aggressors here. They know that they will have to go to war against the 4 kings of the East, and so they prepared and they went out against them.


There are two things to note—these men know their own land and they expect the kings of the east to come from the east or from the north. This changes everything.


Furthermore, this war was inevitable. The 4 kings were not going to just walk on by Sodom and Gomorrah. So these kings of degenerate peoples did not have to go out as the aggressors; they could have waited in place anywhere that they chose.


Genesis 14:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾAdemâh (אַדְמָה) [pronounced ahd-MAW]

 red earth; earthy; transliterated Admah

feminine singular, proper noun/location

Strong’s #126 BDB #10

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Tsebôyiyim (צְבֹיִיִם) [pronounced tsehb-oh-ih-YIM]

gazelles; transliterated Zeboim, Zeboiim

plural proper noun/location

Strong’s #6636 BDB #840

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Belaʿ (בֶּלַע) [pronounced BEH-lahģ]

a swallowing, a devouring; a consuming, destruction; transliterated Bela

masculine singular proper noun; location

Strong's #1105 BDB #118

hîyʾ (הִיא) [pronounced hee]

she, it; also used as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one)

3rd person feminine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb is, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

Tsôʿar (צֹּעַר) [pronounced TSOH-ģahr]

to be small, to be insignificant; transliterated Zoar

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #6820 BDB #858


Translation: ...the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (which [is] Zoar]. These together make up the 5 cities of the valley, whose destruction was so complete that we cannot find these cities today (however, Josephus testified as to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in his historical writings).


Genesis 14:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʿârake (עָרך׃) [pronounced ģaw-RAK]

to arrange, to set in order, to place in a row, to place in a particular arrangement or order; to organize

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6186 BDB #789

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object); with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #854 BDB #85

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿemeq (עֶמֶק) [pronounced ĢEH-mek]

valley, vale, lowland, deepening, depth

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6010 BDB #770

Siddîym (שִׂדִּים) [pronounced sihd-DEEM]

field, plain; transliterated Siddim

proper masculine plural noun; location

Strong’s #7708 BDB #961


Translation: They organized [themselves] in battle [array] with their enemies [lit., with them]... The kings of the Sodom area either did not use their own land against their enemies or they were thrown off track when the kings of the East came from another direction.


In war, the kings of the Sodom area should have known how to use their own land against the kings of the East; they should have had scouts out there determining where the Eastern alliance was at all times; and they should have been in contact as often as possible with the kings of the Sodom area.


Gen 14:8 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 arranged [themselves] [to] battle with them [the eastern alliance] in the Valley of Siddim


These are the rebels, those who formerly paid tribute to Chedorlaomer. They have rebelled against their conqueror and have now refused to pay him tribute. As I suggested earlier, this probably involved the killing of the soldiers who collected this tribute.


The Valley of Siddim is a valley near the southern portion of the Dead Sea, which would be a part of southern Judah. These kings were fully aware of what was to come. If they stopped paying tribute to Chedorlaomer and if they killed some of his tax collectors, then this would involve war, so the Coalition of the Valley of Siddim was organized into the, coalition made up of the 5 kings named above.


The 5 kings of the Siddim coalition arrange themselves in battle array against the eastern alliance in the Valley of Siddim. They have a lot of advantages here. They know that the eastern alliance is coming; they know the terrain, as this is where they live. However, quite frankly, they do not prepare themselves enough, and that will become obvious from the few details of the battle which are recorded.


Another great difference between these armies is, Chedorlaomer’s alliance is made up of professional soldiers. They have been trained and they do this for a living. They are so well-trained that they conquered several groups of people simply marching to the Valley of Siddim. On the other hand, the army of the western coalition lacks training and does nothing about its own natural advantages (they live in this area, so they would know the terrain). They are also fighting so that their people might be free, which is usually a great motivator (see 2Sam. 10:12, for instance). However, it is possible that this particular motivation was not as strong as it could have been. A man protecting his wife and little ones is far more motivated than the gay man who is looking to have sex with more males (and there is a significant gay population in these 4 city-states, as we will see in Gen. 18). It is human nature for the male to want to protect his own family; it is not human nature for a male to want to protect those he deems as sexual objects who will gratify his lusts.


Chedorlaomer’s eastern alliance is re-identified in v. 9:


Genesis 14:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

Kedorelâʿômer (כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר) [pronounced ked-or-law-OH-mehr]

handful of sheaves; transliterated Chedorlaomer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3540 BDB #462

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʿÊylâm (עָילָם) [pronounced ģay-LAWM]

eternity; hidden; transliterated Elam

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #5867 BDB #743

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Tideʿâl (תִדְעָל) [pronounced tihd-ĢAWL]

great son; transliterated Tidal

masculine proper singular noun

Strong’s #8413 BDB #1062

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

gôwyîm (גּוֹיִם) [pronounced goh-YIHM]

Gentiles, [Gentile] nations, people, peoples, nations

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1471 BDB #156

This can be used as a proper noun.


Translation:...—Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, Tidal the king of Goiim,... Chedorlaomer takes the lead, because this people served him specifically.


This tells us that, 14 years ago, Chedorlaomer decided to invade the Sodom area and to collect tribute from them. However, since then rather than be in competition with the kings of his area to collect this tribute, these kings decided to join together. The idea is, they had such a powerful army that they could conquer a city at a time, set up a taxing office, and then continue to do this in the west, and set up a steady income stream for themselves.


Genesis 14:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾAmerâphel (אַמְרָפֶל) [pronounced am-raw-FEL]

sayer of darkness: fall of the sayer and is transliterated Amraphel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #569 BDB #57

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

Shineʿâr (שִנְעָר) [pronounced shine-GAWR]

country of two rivers; land of Babylon; transliterated Shinar

proper singular noun location

Strong’s #8152 BDB #1042

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾĂreyôwke (אֲרְיוֹ) [pronounced uhr-YOKE]

lion-like; and is transliterated Arioch

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #746 BDB #73

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾEllâçâr (אֶלָּסָר) [pronounced el-law-SAWR]

 God is chastener; transliterated Ellasar

proper noun singular location

Strong’s #495 BDB #48


Translation: ...Amraphel the king of Shinar and Arioch the king of Ellasar... The order of the kings have changed, and possibly because Chedorlaomer would naturally take the lead going against the area that he had conquered 14 years earlier.


Genesis 14:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾarebâʿâh (אַרְבַּעָה) [pronounced ahre-baw-ĢAW]

four

feminine singular noun; numeral

Strong’s #702 BDB #916

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

This preposition can also refer to being in one’s possession or in one’s keeping. This can also mean to proceed from someone. The key to this word is close association with, close proximity to beyond simple geographical proximity.

chămishshâh (חֲמִשָּה) [pronounced khuh-mish-SHAW]

five

feminine singular numeral with the definite article

Strong’s #2568 BDB #331


Translation:...—four kings against [lit., with, near] the five. For that era, this was, for all intents and purposes, a world war.


Gen 14:9 ...with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five.


The 5 kings of the Siddim Coalition versus the 4 kings of the Eastern Alliance. These 5 kings and their people want independence, but their souls are corrupted, as we will find out later in Gen. 18. Therefore, they are willing to fight for independence, but they are not willing to die for it. They do not want to give any more of their produce and production to the eastern kings; but, on the other hand, they do not fully appreciate all that this rebellion entails.


The 4 kings from the east had a very well-trained army which prevailed over the Siddim coalition. The latter wanted to keep more of their own produce, but they were ill-equipped to actually protect their own land. In fact, this coalition from the Salt Sea was apparently a lousy army. They knew the eastern alliance was coming. They had a year to prepare. They would be fighting this eastern alliance on their own turf, so the coalition had that great advantage as well. As we will see, this defending army is pathetic! They are poorly trained, they are poorly motivated, and they do not know their own geography. The eastern alliance will cause them to run in retreat.


You may think, no matter what, these people are still fighting for their own land; isn’t that a greater motivation than Chedorlaomer and his alliance? Chedorlaomer and his army were motivated by self-righteousness. They had an agreement, a contract, a suzerain-vassal treaty, which gave the vassal states some modicum of protection in exchange for a reasonable amount of taxation. If you don’t think an army can be motivated by self-righteousness, just imagine what would happen if we did not repay the Chinese the huge debt that we owe them. It would be very easy for them to motivate their soldiers to abhor the United States for reneging on our obligations to them.


Application: An early secular lesson to come out of the Bible is, if you want to protect your country, then you need a well-motivated, well-armed and well-trained military. We will find out that this is a terribly degenerate people, and degenerates cannot be easily organized into an effective defending army.


——————————


And a Valley of Siddim [there are] pits—pits of bitumen. And so flee a king of Sodom and Gomorrah. And so they fall there-ward and the remaining ones mountain-ward they have fled.

Genesis

14:10

[There were] pits—pits of bitumen— [in] the Valley of Siddim. When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah retreated, [many in their armies] fell there [into these pits]; and those who remained fled to the mountains.

There were pits of bitumen all over the Valley of Siddim. Therefore, when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah retreated, many from their armies fell into these pits; and those who did not, fled to the mountains.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the valley of the gardens had many pits filled with bitumen: [JERUSALEM. The valley of the gardens was full of pits of bitumen:] and the kings of Sedom and Amora fled away, and fell there; and they who were left fled to the mountains.

Latin Vulgate                          Now 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.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And a Valley of Siddim [there are] pits—pits of bitumen. And so flee a king of Sodom and Gomorrah. And so they fall there-ward and the remaining ones mountain-ward they have fled.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and those who survived fled to the mountain.

Septuagint (Greek)                Now the Salt Valley consists of slime pits. And the king of Sodom fled and the king of Gomorrah, and they fell in there: and they that were left fled to the mountain country.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       At Siddim Valley, the armies of the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela fought the armies of King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Babylonia, and King Arioch of Ellasar. The valley was full of tar pits, and when the troops from Sodom and Gomorrah started running away, some of them fell into the pits. Others escaped to the hill country. Vv. 8–9 are included for context.

Easy English                          Now there were very many big holes in the valley called Siddim. From those holes, people got bitumen (a black stuff that people used like cement). The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah ran away. Some men fell into the big holes. The rest ran away to the mountains.

Easy-to-Read Version            There were very many holes filled with tar [Or, "pitch," a thick oil that must be heated to become liquid.] in the Valley of Siddim. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah {and their armies} ran away. Many of the soldiers fell into those holes. But the others ran away to the mountains.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The valley was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah tried to run away from the battle, they fell into the pits; but the other three kings escaped to the mountains.

New Century Version             There were many tar pits in the Valley of Siddim. When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their armies ran away, some of the soldiers fell into the tar pits, but the others ran away to the mountains.

New Life Bible                        Now the Siddim valley was full of deep holes with tar. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah turned and ran, and some fell there. But the others ran away into the hill country.

New Living Translation           As it happened, the valley of the Dead Sea was filled with tar pits. And as the army of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into the tar pits, while the rest escaped into the mountains.

The Voice                               The valley of Siddim held many dangers; it was full of tar pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled the battle, some of their soldiers fell into the pits and were killed. The rest managed to make it out alive to the hill country.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Now, there were slime pits in the Salt Valley, and the kings of Sodom and GomorRah fled and fell into them, as the rest retreated into the mountains.

Christian Community Bible     Now there were many bitumen pits in the valley of Siddim, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them and the rest took refuge in the mountains.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       The Valley of the Forests contained many pools of asphalt, and among these the Kings of Sodom and Gomorrha were overcome and routed; those who survived took refuge in the hill country.

NIRV                                      The Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah ran away from the battle. Some of their men fell into the pits. The rest escaped to the hills.

New Jerusalem Bible             Now there were many bitumen wells in the Valley of Siddim, and in their flight the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fell into them, while the rest fled into the hills.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The vale of the Dead-Sea had wells, wells of bitumen. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled and fell there. The remaining fled to the mountain.

The Expanded Bible              There were many ·tar [bitumen] pits in the Valley of Siddim. When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their armies ·ran away [fled], some of the soldiers fell into the tar pits, but the others ·ran away [fled] to the mountains.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The valley of Siddim, however, was full of petroleum pits, and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah took flight and fell there; and the Hillmen pursued,...

NET Bible®                             Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits [Heb "Now the Valley of Siddim [was] pits, pits of tar." This parenthetical disjunctive clause emphasizes the abundance of tar pits in the area through repetition of the noun "pits."] [The word for "tar" (or "bitumen") occurs earlier in the story of the building of the tower in Babylon (see Gen 11:3).]. When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into them [Or “they were defeated there.” After a verb of motion the Hebrew particle שָם (sham) with the directional heh (שָמָּה, shammah) can mean “into it, therein” (BDB 1027 s.v. שָם).], but some survivors [Heb "the rest."] fled to the hills [The reference to the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah must mean the kings along with their armies. Most of them were defeated in the valley, but some of them escaped to the hills.].


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Now the Siddim Valley was full of clay pits; and when the kings of S'dom and 'Amora fled, some fell into them; while the rest fled to the hills.

exeGeses companion Bible   And the valley of Siddim is wells

- wells of bitumin;

and the sovereigns of Sedom and Amorah flee

and fall there;

and they who survive flee to the mountain:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    Now the valley of Siddim was composed of many clay pits, and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled and they fell there, and the survivors fled to a mountain.

Kaplan Translation                 Siddim Valley was full of tar pits [Even now, asphalt is found in the Dead Sea region. The Romans referred to it as Mer Asphaltitis, the Asphalt Sea, and it was known to cast up lumps of asphalt (Josephus, Wars 4:8:4; Tacitus, Histories 5:6).], and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah tried to flee, they fell into them. The others fled to the mountains [That is, to the mountains on the west of the Dead Sea, toward Hebron, where Abram was living.].

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the Melech Sodom and Amora (Gomorrah) they fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Now the Valley of Siddim was full of slime or bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell (were overthrown) there and the remainder [of the kings] fled to the mountain.

Benner Mechanical Trans1    and~ Valley the~ “Sidim [Fields]” Well~ s Well~ s Tar and~ they(m)~ will~ Flee King “Sedom [Secret]” and~ “Ghamorah [Rebellion]” and~ they(m)~ will~ Fall There~ unto and~ the~ be~ Remain~ ing(mp) Hill~ unto they~ did~ Flee

Benner Mechanical Trans2    ...and the valley of “Sidim [Fields]” was wells of tar and the king of “Sedom [Secret]” and “Ghamorah [Rebellion]” fled and they fell unto there and the remaining ones fled unto the hill,...

Concordant Literal Version    And the vale of salt fields had wells, asphalt wells. And fleeing are the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah, and falling are they there, and the remainder flee toward the mountain.

English Standard Version      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.

The Geneva Bible                  And the vale of Siddim [was full of] slimepits [And afterward was overwhelmed with water, and so was called the salt sea. ]; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.

Green’s Literal Translation    And the valley of Siddim was pitted with asphalt pits, and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there. And they that remained fled to the mountain.

NASB                                     Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell into them [Lit there]. But those who survived fled to the hill country.

New King James Version       Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains.

Syndein/Thieme                     And the vale of Siddim was full of pits of asphalt {oil on ground} and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and {their armies} fell there. And they {including the kings} that remained fled to the mountain.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And the vale of Siddim [was full of] slime-pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there: and they that remained fled to the mountain.

World English Bible                Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell there, and those who remained fled to the mountain.

Young's Literal Translation     And the valley of Siddim is full of bitumen-pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah flee, and fall there, and those left have fled to the mountain.

 

The gist of this verse:          There are tar pits in this valley, and the armies of the west fall into them; and others flee to the hill country.


Genesis 14:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿemeq (עֶמֶק) [pronounced ĢEH-mek]

valley, vale, lowland, deepening, depth

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6010 BDB #770

Siddîym (שִׂדִּים) [pronounced sihd-DEEM]

field, plain; transliterated Siddim

proper masculine plural noun; location

Strong’s #7708 BDB #961

beʾêr (בְּאֵר) [pronounced be-AIR]

well, pit; spring

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #875 BDB #91

beʾêr (בְּאֵר) [pronounced be-AIR]

well, pit; spring

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #875 BDB #91

chêmâr (חֵמָר) [pronounced khay-MAWR]

bitumen, asphalt, oil-based mortar; pitch; slime

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2564 BDB #330


Translation: [There were] pits—pits of bitumen— [in] the Valley of Siddim. There are many words missing from this verse. The idea is, the retreat occurs suddenly and desperately. No one spends time with perfect exact grammar. They just run.


In this valley, there are many pits of hot oil.


This is the only mention in the Bible of the Valley of Siddim, which is likely a lower area along the shores of the Dead Sea, possibly now under water. The four kings had just finished a long war which involved at least 7 battles and they were certainly exhausted and their supplies for war depleted. However, it does not appear that the five kings know any of this; and that they do not have intelligence out there determining where the eastern alliance was moving. This lack of intelligence would prove to be the undoing of the western coalition.


Genesis 14:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nûwç (נוּס) [pronounced noose]

to flee, to flee from, to escape, to depart, to retreat, to hasten quickly [away]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5127 BDB #630

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Çedôm (סְדֹם) [pronounced sehd-OHM]

burning; which is transliterated Sodom

masculine singular locative noun

Strong’s #5467 BDB #690

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿĂămôrâh (עֲמֹרָה) [pronounced ģuhm-oh-RAW]

submersion; and is transliterated Gomorrah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6017 BDB #771


Translation: When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah retreated,... The kings from the east had the more professional army, so they pressed on, and those of Sodom and Gomorrah began to retreat.


Genesis 14:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâphal (נָפַל) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply; to desert

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb with the directional hê

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

This simply means there; hê acts almost like a demonstrative.


Translation:...[many in their armies] fell there [into these pits];... This was a terrible miscalculation on the part of those involved with strategy and tactics in the western coalition. They should have used these pits to their own advantage, and yet, they are caught up in them themselves. We know that only a portion of their army fell prey to this, as another group, named below, escape toward the mountains.


Genesis 14:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâʾar (שָאַר) [pronounced shaw-AHR]

the ones remaining, those remaining, the leftovers, the survivors, the part remaining, the thing remaining, that which remains

masculine plural, Niphal participle

Strong’s #7604 BDB #983

har (הַר) [pronounced har]

hill; mountain, mount; hill-country, a mountainous area, mountain region

masculine singular noun with the directional hê

Strong’s #2022 (and #2042) BDB #249

The directional hê is the âh (הַ] ending to a noun, usually found after a verb of motion. This is called the directive hê or the he locale, which often indicates direction and puts somewhat of an adverbial spin on the noun. Essentially, it answers the question where? The pronunciation of the word does not change. The directional hê indicates the direction in which something moves. It is often used with the noun heaven and the most literal rendering in the English would be heavenward. We can also indicate the existence of the hê directional by supplying the prepositions to or toward.

nûwç (נוּס) [pronounced noose]

to flee, to flee from, to escape, to depart, to hasten quickly [away]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #5127 BDB #630


Translation: ...and those who remained fled to the mountains. Those who did not fall into the pits escaped to the mountains.


The historicity of this chapter has been questioned because (1) many readers saw Abram as a nomad with perhaps a half a dozen or so slaves; (2) the extensive campaign herein discussed sounded too advanced for the preconceived notions of some scholars; and, (3) some of the peoples mentioned have been lost in history. Archeologists, forever coming to our rescue in matters historical have unearth several cities from this time period, which could be the very cities named; which cities showed signs of being heavily fortified during Abram's time.


Gen 14:10 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.


There are a plethora of oil and tar pits around the Salt Sea. Most of the oil which pollutes the earth today seeps naturally to the surface of the ground and into oceans. It is my understanding that, about two-thirds of oil pollution today occurs naturally. Mother nature often takes care of it from there (various chemicals, enzymes and bacteria apparently will break the oil down, and work much more quickly when dealing with crude oil than with refined oil).


This Canaanite coalition retreats, and some of them are so disoriented, that they fall into tar pits. This is their own land; they should have known their own land and how to use it to their own advantage. They had a year to prepare and they were ill-prepared for the better trained and more powerful eastern alliance army. Therefore, the Western Coalition forces were defeated, and they retreated north, into the hills, some of them falling into tar pits as they ran.


This is why we know this army is poorly trained. They are on their own land; and they should have known their own land and they should have used it to their own advantage. Instead, they are so poorly organized that, even in retreat, some of them fall into tar pits, which they ought to have known were there.


We also know that they fled to the north for two reasons: (1) it is said that they fled into the hill country, and there is hill country along the west bank of the Salt Sea; and (2) by the direction that the eastern army came from. They had come down along the eastern side of the Salt Sea, gone down into the desert area when Moses would someday wander, and then turned around at Kadesh, attacking the western coalition from the southwest.


We also learn about the principle of surprise in battle. Since the Eastern Alliance is coming from the east, they would likely attack from the east, if they came around the eastern side of the Salt Sea; of they would attack from the north, if they came down the western side of the Salt Sea. This was probably quite a surprise that they came at the Western Coalition from the southwest.


The Eastern Alliance had surprise, motivation and superior training. The Western Coalition did not develop a superior military force, they were not motivated by much else than selfishness, and they allowed themselves to be trapped so that the oil pits were behind them, which meant that, when they retreated, it was into an area filled with oil pits.


Tactically, what appears to have happened is, the amateur soldiers lined themselves up on the southwestern portion of the valley, so that the enemy, coming either from the east or the north would be trapped in this valley of tar pits. However, the kings of the east came around from the other direction, so that the Sodomites and their allies now had the Valley of Siddim directly behind them, so that when they began to be beat, they had to retreat into this valley of tar pits. It was a brilliant move by the kings of the east, who, rather than walk into a trap, turned the terrain of the Sodom and Gomorrah area against the Sodomite army.


As we have been studying, Chedorlaomer, a king of Elam in the east had control over several city-states at the southern tip of the Salt Sea. They rebelled against paying him tribute, so Chedorlaomer brought in an alliance to put down this rebellion.


Gen 14:1–10 In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness. Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling in Hazazon-tamar. 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 arranged [themselves] [to] battle with them [the eastern alliance] in the Valley of Siddim with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 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.


This Eastern Alliance did not simply come out west to put down this rebellion. They defeated several other groups of people along the way, traveling all the way to Kadesh, In what would be southern Judah, and then coming back on this rebellion from a direction that they did not expect. The rebels apparently were not expecting an attack from the southwest. Furthermore, they were not a very well-disciplined army, and they did not even know their own territory. It is even likely that they functioned without an intelligence unit. As a result, they piddled away every advantage that they had, and were soundly defeated by the Eastern Alliance.


——————————


And so they take all substance of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food. And so they go.

Genesis

14:11

They took all the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as all their food; and they departed.

The kings of the east took anything of value out of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as all of their food; and they departed.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And they took all the property of Sedom and Amora, and all their food, and went.

Latin Vulgate                          And they took all the substance of the Sodomites, and Gomorrhites, and all their victuals, and went their way.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so they take all substance of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food. And so they go.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the raiders took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.

Septuagint (Greek)                And they took all the cavalry of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and departed.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           They took everything from Sodom and Gomorrah, including its food supplies, and left.

Contemporary English V.       Their enemies took everything of value from Sodom and Gomorrah, including their food supplies.

Easy English                          Their enemies took all the goods from the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah. And they took all the people's food. Then the enemies went.

Easy-to-Read Version            So their enemies took all the things that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah owned. They took all their food and clothing and left.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The four kings took everything in Sodom and Gomorrah, including the food, and went away.

New Berkeley Version           The victors took all the wealth and all the provisions of Sodom and Gomorrah and moved on;...

New Century Version             Now Kedorlaomer and his armies took everything the people of Sodom and Gomorrah owned, including their food.

New Life Bible                        Then those who won the war took all that belonged to Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food, and left.

New Living Translation           The victorious invaders then plundered Sodom and Gomorrah and headed for home, taking with them all the spoils of war and the food supplies.

The Voice                               As a result, Chedorlaomer and his allies captured all of the spoils of battle from the retreating forces of Sodom and Gomorrah-their provisions, weapons, and other supplies. Then they left.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, they took all the horses and food in Sodom and GomorRah, then left.

Beck’s American Translation The enemy took all the livestock and all the food in Sodom and Gomorrah and left.

Christian Community Bible     The enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, all their provisions and went off.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       All the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrha, and all their supply of food, was carried off by the victors as they went;...

NIRV                                      The four kings took all of the things that belonged to Sodom and Gomorrah. They also took all of their food. Then they went away.

New Jerusalem Bible             The conquerors seized all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and made off.

Revised English Bible            The four kings captured all the flocks and herds of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their provisions, and withdrew, carrying off Abram’s nephew, Lot, who was living in Sodom, and his flocks and herds. V. 12 is included for context.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      They went and took all the goods and all the food from Sodom and Gomorrah.

Bible in Basic English             And the four kings took all the goods and food from Sodom and Gomorrah and went on their way.

The Expanded Bible              Now Kedorlaomer and his armies took everything the people of Sodom and Gomorrah owned, including their food, and left.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and seized all the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the whole of their stores and marched off.

HCSB                                     The four kings took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food and went on.

NET Bible®                             The four victorious kings [Heb "they"; the referent (the four victorious kings, see v. 9) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.] took all the possessions and food of Sodom and Gomorrah and left.

NIV, ©2011                             The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The victors took all the possessions of S'dom and 'Amora and all their food supply; then they left.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and they take all the acquisitions

and all the food of Sedom and Amorah

and go their way:...

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               [The invaders] seized all the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their provisions, and went their way.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And they took all the possessions of Sodom and Amora (Gomorrah), and all their ochel, and went their way.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                [The victors] took all the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah and all the supply of provisions and departed.

Benner Mechanical Trans1    and~ they(m)~ will~ Take At All Goods “Sedom [Secret]” and~ “Ghamorah [Rebellion]” and~ At All Foodstuff~ them(m) and~ they(m)~ will~ Walk

Benner Mechanical Trans2    ...and they took all of the goods of “Sedom [Secret]” and “Ghamorah [Rebellion]” and all of their foodstuff and they walked,...

Darby Translation                  And they took all the property of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and departed.

English Standard Version      So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.

Green’s Literal Translation    And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food, and went away.

NASB                                     Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food supply, and departed.

Syndein/Thieme                     And they {Chedorlaomer's group of armies} took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food and went their way.

World English Bible                They took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.

Young's Literal Translation     And they take the whole substance of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the whole of their food, and go away.

 

The gist of this verse:          The eastern invaders took all of the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah, including their foodstuffs.


Genesis 14:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

rekûwsh (רְכוּש) [pronounced rehk-OOSH]

that which is acquired; substance, wealth; [moveable, transportable] property, goods; possessions; livestock

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7399 BDB #940

Çedôm (סְדֹם) [pronounced sehd-OHM]

burning; which is transliterated Sodom

masculine singular locative noun

Strong’s #5467 BDB #690

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿĂămôrâh (עֲמֹרָה) [pronounced ģuhm-oh-RAW]

submersion; and is transliterated Gomorrah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6017 BDB #771


Translation: They took all the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah,... We are referring here back to the kings of the east, who came in and took all of the substance of Sodom and Gomorrah. Before, they did not do this, as they wanted the people of Sodom and Gomorrah to continue to produce and pay tribute to them.


Genesis 14:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʾôkel (אֹכֶל) [pronounced OH-kehl]

food, grain, meal; prey, meat; provisions

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #400 BDB #38


Translation: ...as well as all their food;... This time, they took everything. They left nothing behind.


Genesis 14:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect; pausal form

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229


Translation: ...and they departed. They took all of these things and departed.


Gen 14:11 So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.


Sodom and Gomorrah are near the Salt Sea, in the valley, at a time when this was a much more beautiful country. Recall that Lot looked over this area and told Abram, “I’ll go in this direction.” (as Abram gave him first pick).


In war, you get all that the other country has. This is practiced by almost every nation in human history, apart from the United States in the 20th century (and in some previous wars as well). This ancient alliance from the east collected the things they liked along with the people, who would become their wives and slaves.


It is worth noting that, prior to this, Chedorlaomer did not bleed these Canaanites dry. Even though they were paying tribute to him, it was not so oppressive as to keep them from prospering on their own. Over the years, these Canaanites had built up enough personal possessions as to make this war very profitable for the Eastern Alliance.


The people in the Siddim Valley had a choice. They could have continued to serve Chedorlaomer, which meant that a percentage of their wealth was sent off to him. In return for this, he did not attack them. However, other city-states in that area did not attack them either, because that would have brought the wrath of Chedorlaomer upon them. This arrangement gave them some modicum of safety and allowed them to build up their own personal wealth as well. My point is, this was not a terrible arrangement for these people who lived around the Salt Sea. They had not been enslaved nor were they bled dry by Chedorlaomer. This verse tells us that Chedorlaomer’s Eastern Alliance took all of the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah and v. 16 is going to tell us that there was a lot of stuff taken here (this is hidden in the verb tenses in v. 16).


Along with their poorly trained army, the Siddim coalition had a failure of imagination. They did not think this through. They did not seem to realize the consequences of their actions, if they lost this war. They did not even seem to be prepared for being attacked from the southwest.


Being a protectorate is not a horrible thing. The British Empire has ruled over India, Palestine, South Africa, Rhodesia, Burma, Nigeria, Kenya, Australia, etc. The British brought law and order to these areas, and most of these countries prospered greatly under British rule. Great Britain also brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to these areas, so that there are millions in heaven today from these nations because of Great Britain. Furthermore, it would be hard to argue that South Africa, Rhodesia, Burma, Nigeria, Egypt, the Sudan, Uganda and Kenya are better off today than they were under British imperialism. The idea that being ruled by someone with the same skin color is somehow greater freedom is preposterous.


As a side note, there are two lies which are perpetrated throughout the world today: (1) America is an imperialistic nation and (2) imperialism is bad. Great Britain was an imperialist empire. They were a client nation to God, and, therefore, God allowed them to conquer huge portions of the world. When they conquered an area, they brought law and order (divine establishment) and the gospel to that area. Great Britain is a tiny spec of a nation and under its imperial power was a huge portion of the world. To look at Great Britain and then to look at the massive British Empire is an awesome thing.


As an example, Rhodesian came under British control in 1890. Although Christianity had been introduced to this country in the 1500's, there was very little positive volition under the 1850's, when a Scottish missionary Robert Moffat set up a mission there. Great gold and mineral discoveries in this area brought Rhode’s British South African Company into what would be named Rhodesia. Although there were uprisings, there were also pockets of Christianity throughout. Although they were granted self-rule as a British colony in 1923, and many Rhodesians fought in WWII as British subjects, a rebellion among the people developed, and world politics was brought into the picture in the mid-1960's. Nations, including the United States, were convinced that life in Rhodesia was terrible for the Black man, and that it was wrong from a white minority to rule, and, many nations participated in various types of boycotts against Rhodesia. I recall seeing propaganda favoring such boycotts at a church I cleaned during that era. Eventually this country won its independence from Great Britain. However, even the liberal Wikipedia describes the eras which followed as Independence and Early Decline (1980–1999) and then Deep Decline (1999-2008). Dictator Robert Mugabe, who was elected, has ruled for about 3 decades, whose rule includes a legacy of rebellions and torture camps. Since 1990, life expectancy there has gone from 60 to 39. In retrospect, British rule was a far better thing for this land (now called Zimbabwe) than majority rule, which resulted in a far bloodier and more oppressive reign.


The idea that America is some kind of an imperialist nation defies logic. The British empire was an imperialistic empire; the Eastern Alliance that we are studying is an imperialistic empire. What the United States did after WWII was, take the small amount of territory that was carved out for us, and we guided these nations to independence or protected the independence of these nations (Japan, the Philippines, West Germany). Our involvement in Korea left South Korea as a free and independent ally. Communists took over the regions given to them, and turned these areas into communist nations, where a very small minority of a wealthy class rules over a permanent underclass of poor people. In North Korea, this year (2011), between 1–6 million peasants will starve without receiving aid because of some natural disasters which have occurred there. No one in their ruling class will starve; their soldiers will not starve; but the farmers and peasants will starve by the millions. The corresponding problem with the poor in the United States is they are too fat (one of the only nations in human history where this is true).


The propaganda which is sold today is, the United States is am imperialistic nation, which is pure poppycock. We do not go out and conquer other nations and them make them subservient to us. What is presented as imperialism today is, in this or that country, they might drink coke, or walk down the street and go into a McDonald’s or a Starbucks. The idea that this represents imperialism is a result of changing the meaning of the word imperialism and reapplying it. If a nation objects to such franchises within their country, they can vote with their feet and not to go to them. The spread of businesses from one country to another is not imperialism. Going to a McDonald’s in Thailand is no more imperialism than buying a Volkswagen in America.


Having a basic understanding of the British empire may help to explain why huge numbers of people in the American colonies were willing to continue under British rule before our own War for Independence. They were paying some tribute to Britain, but they were also prospering. They looked at the well-trained British soldiers and they thought about the army that the colonists might raise up, and recognized that the more professional and well-armed British army had most of the advantages. There were very good arguments for keeping things just as they were in the early 1700's.


So, let’s return to our passage: in the 13th year, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah attempted to throw off the rule of Chedorlaomer, and, in the 14th year, their coalition army was badly defeated.


Gen 14:11 So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.


The Eastern Alliance found a great many possessions which belonged to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, and they took them (which was, in part, how ancient warriors were paid).


A portion of this narrative is all about Abram and Lot. They were traveling about the land of Canaan, but they were unrelated to the peoples who lived here. You will recall that they split up and that Lot moved down south into the area of Sodom.


——————————


And so they take Lot and his substance ([Lot is] a son of a brother of Abram). And so they go and he dwelling in Sodom.

Genesis

14:12

They also took Lot (Abram’s brother’s son) and all of his wealth, and they departed ([Lot was] the one living in Sodom).

They also took Lot and all of his wealth and departed (Lot was Abram’s nephew and he lived in Sodom).


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And they made captive Lot the son of Abram's brother, and his property, and went. And he had dwelt in Sedom.

Latin Vulgate                          And Lot also, the son of Abram's brother, who dwelt in Sodom, and his substance.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so they take Lot and his substance ([Lot is] a son of a brother of Abram). And so they go and he dwelling in Sodom.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And they carried away Lot, Abrams brothers son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Septuagint (Greek)                And they also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, and his baggage, and departed, for he dwelt in Sodom.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           They also took Lot, Abram's nephew who lived in Sodom, and everything he owned, and took off.

Contemporary English V.       They also captured Abram's nephew Lot, who lived in Sodom. They took him and his possessions and then left.

Easy English                          They also took Lot, Abram's nephew, who lived in Sodom. And they took Lot's goods and they went away.

The Message                         They captured Lot, Abram's nephew who was living in Sodom at the time, taking everything he owned with them.

New Berkeley Version           ...they also captured Lot, Abram’s nephew, who lived in Sodom, his goods too, and de-camped.

New Living Translation           They also captured Lot-Abram's nephew who lived in Sodom-and carried off everything he owned.

The Voice                               But before they left they took Lot, the son of Abram's brother who lived in Sodom, prisoner along with all of his goods.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          However, they also took Abram's nephew Lot (who lived in Sodom), along with all his possessions.

Christian Community Bible     They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who lived in Sodom, and his possessions and went off.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       ...so, too, was Abram's nephew Lot, who dwelt at Sodom, with all the wealth that was his.

New American Bible              The victors seized all the possessions and food supplies of Sodom and Gomorrah and then went their way, taking with them Abram's nephew Lot, who had been living in Sodom, as well as his possessions. V. 11 is included for context.

NIRV                                      They carried away Lot, Abram's nephew, and the things he owned. Lot was living in Sodom at that time.

New Jerusalem Bible             They also took Lot (the nephew of Abram) and his possessions and made off; he had been living at Sodom.

Today’s NIV                          They also carried off Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And in addition they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who was living in Sodom, and all his goods.

The Expanded Bible              They took Lot, Abram's ·nephew [Lson of his brother] who was living in Sodom, and ·everything he owned [Lhis possessions/goods]. Then they left.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 They also took Lot, the nephew of Abram, and his chattels when they marched, for he resided in Sodom.

NET Bible®                             They also took Abram's nephew [Heb "Lot the son of his brother."] Lot and his possessions when [Heb "and."] they left, for Lot [Heb "he"; the referent (Lot) has been specified in the translation for clarity] was living in Sodom [This disjunctive clause is circumstantial/causal, explaining that Lot was captured because he was living in Sodom at the time.].

NIV, ©2011                             They also carried off Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           But as they left, they took Lot, Avram's brother's son, and his possessions; since he was living in S'dom.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and they take Lot, the son of the brother of Abram,

who settles in Sedom

with his acquisitions and go.

Kaplan Translation                 When they left, they [also] took Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, since he had been living in Sodom.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Benner Mechanical Trans1    and~ they(m)~ will~ Take At “Loth [Covering]” and~ At Goods~ him Son Brother~ of “Avram [Father raised]” and~ they(m)~ will~ Walk and~ He Settle~ ing(ms) in~ “Sedom [Secret]”

Benner Mechanical Trans2    ...and they took “Loth [Covering]”, the son of the brother of “Avram [Father raised]”, and his goods and they walked and he settled in “Sedom [Secret]”,...

Concordant Literal Version    And taking are they Lot, Abram's brother's son, and all his goods, for he was dwelling in Sodom, and they are going.

Darby Translation                  And they took Lot and his property, Abram's brother's son, and departed. For he dwelt in Sodom.

English Standard Version      They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.

The Geneva Bible                  And they took Lot [The godly are plagued many times with the wicked: therefore their company is dangerous.], Abrams brothers son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Green’s Literal Translation    And they took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, and his goods, and left; and he was living in Sodom.

Syndein/Thieme                     And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son {nephew}, who lived in Sodom and his goods and departed. {Note: Lot had his eyes on the land and chose by sight not by the Lord. Lot is being disciplined by God in a very interesting way here. Lot is utterly helpless and hopeless right now. A picture of all mankind without fellowship with God (Lot was a believer but is currently in carnality).}

World English Bible                They took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Young's Literal Translation     And they take Lot, Abram's brother's son (seeing he is dwelling in Sodom), and his substance, and go away.

 

The gist of this verse:          The kings of the east also take Lot and all that he owns as they leave.


Genesis 14:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Lôwţ (לוֹט) [pronounced loht]

hidden; a covering, a veil; wrapped up; transliterated Lot

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3876 BDB #532

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

rekûwsh (רְכוּש) [pronounced rehk-OOSH]

that which is acquired; substance, wealth; [moveable, transportable] property, goods; possessions; livestock

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7399 BDB #940


Translation: They also took Lot and all of his wealth... They took many of the people into slavery; Lot here is mentioned specifically. They take Lot and they take all that he owns.


Being related to Abram meant that Lot received a great deal of protection and prosperity by association. However, he chose to live close to Sodom to be considered one of the Sodomites. His choosing to change associations meannt that blessing by God in his life was changed. When associated with Abram, Lot was blessed; when associated with Sodom, he received their cursing. Furthermore, at one time, Lot had great wealth, and the four kings plundered this wealth and took Lot with them into slavery. Lot did lose his wealth, but it is not clear in Scripture when this all took place.


There are two things that we know at this point: for whatever reason, Lot is not included with the army which goes out to fight the kings of the east. How many people did not volunteer? How many did not feel it necessary to protect their homeland? Could this help to explain to us why there is no intelligence gathering taking place? Given the retreat of the western coalition army, it appears that the southern attack throws them off their game. Their own peculiar land, which they had hoped to use against the eastern armies, was used against them.


Genesis 14:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brother, half-brother; kinsman or close relative; one who resembles

masculine singular construct

Strong's #251 BDB #26

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4


Translation:...([Lot is] Abram’s brother’s son),... Two times, Lot will be explained in this verse. First he is said to be Abram’s nephew.


Genesis 14:12c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect; pausal form

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one); same

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb to be, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

are inhabiting, were staying, remaining, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Çedôm (סְדֹם) [pronounced sehd-OHM]

burning; which is transliterated Sodom

masculine singular locative noun

Strong’s #5467 BDB #690


Translation: ...and they departed ([Lot was] the one living in Sodom). Again, it says that the kings of the east and their armies departed, and it mentions that Lot is the one living in Sodom.


You will note that some of this seems out of place. That is to convey the confusion that reigned as the kings of the east took all of these people captive. Only Lot is mentioned, but it will be clear in the context that most of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were seized.


Gen 14:12 They [the eastern alliance] also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.


These people could have chosen to live as a protectorate, and they chose not to. Therefore, rather than keep them as a protectorate, the Eastern Alliance took these people as slaves, including Lot, Abram’s nephew.


Gen 14:11–12 So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They [the eastern alliance] also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.


Once the Sodom Coalition army was sent running, the Eastern Alliance went into Sodom and Gomorrah and took all of their possessions as booty and they took their people as slaves, including Lot, who was living there at the time.


You will recall that, when Abram and Lot separated, Lot had first choice of the area that he would take, and he went south, toward the big cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Obviously this was a temperate climate at that time with a beautiful landscape and lots of green.


My guess is, the Jordan River was higher, the Salt Sea was higher, and that it may have even, at one time, flowed into the Gulf of Aqeba. The more water that there is in an area, the more temperate the climate is, as water transmits cooler temperatures from below, but moving water does not change temperature very much. This portion of Genesis takes place 400 to 1300 years after the flood, so the Dead Sea is not dead yet but vibrant with life. It may have not been too long ago when water moved through the Salt Sea.


There is a fascinating interactive map at: http://deadseachange.webs.com/map.html If you press play, it will show the Dead Sea’s different water levels over the ages (from 3500 b.c. to today). Interestingly enough, based on the research done for this map, the level of the Dead Sea, at one time, was much higher than it is today. In fact, there shows to be a dramatic water level reduction over a period of 500 years, which takes us to the time of Abram and Lot. This suggests that, at one time, there was a lot more rain in the land of Canaan (Israel) and that the Salt Sea possibly drained into the Gulf of Aqeba, which would have made the Salt Sea a freshwater lake.


Being the dead end lake that it is (that is, throughout most of its history, water flows into the Dead Sea but not out), its salt levels have continued to increase over the centuries. The salts are carried by the Jordan River into the Dead Sea; the water evaporates, but the salts remain. This occurs over a long period of time, which continues to increase the salt level of this lake.


At one time, Lot and Abram had a thriving combined enterprise, which was so large, they had to separate from one another. Abram still has his organization, which could be as large as a 1000 employees, slaves and dependents. It is not clear if Lot has anything remaining at this point. When Lot was in close association with Abram, he received great blessing by association. However, since Lot is not a growing believer and since his blessing depended upon his association with Abram, it appears as though his riches have long since been dissipated.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Abram Deploys Against the Kings of the East


And so comes in the fugitive and so he makes known to Abram the Hebrew (and he [is] dwelling in oaks of Mamre the Amorite a brother of Eshcol and a brother of Aner—these [are] leaders of a covenant of Abram).

Genesis

14:13

An escaped man came in and he makes [this] known to Abram the Hebrew. [At this time] He [is] living near the Oaks of Mamre, the Amorite [who is] the brother of Eshcol and the brother of Aner—[in fact] these [men] are in league with Abram [lit., (are) possessors of a covenant of Abram].

A man who escaped the kings of the east came to Abram and made this information known to Abram the Hebrew. At this time, Abram was living near the Oaks of Mamre the Amorite, who is the brother of Eshcol and Aner, all of these men being confederates with Abram.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Og came, who had been spared from the giants that died in the deluge, and had ridden protected upon the top of the ark, and sustained with food by Noah; not being spared through high righteousness, but that the inhabitants of the world might see the power of the Lord, and say, Were there not giants who in the first times rebelled against the Lord of the world, and perished from the earth? But when these kings made war, behold, Og, who was with them, said in his heart, I will go and show Abram concerning Lot, who is led captive, that he may come and deliver him from the hands of the kings into whose hands he has been delivered. And he arose and came, upon the eve of the day of the Pascha, and found him making the unleavened cakes. Then showed he to Abram the Hebrew, who dwelt in the valleys of Mamre Amoraah, brother of Eshkol and brother of Aner, who were men of covenant with Abram.

Latin Vulgate                          And 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 a league with Abram.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so comes in the fugitive and so he makes known to Abram the Hebrew (and he [is] dwelling in oaks of Mamre the Amorite a brother of Eshcol and a brother of Aner—these [are] leaders of a covenant of Abram).

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And there came one who escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew, who dwelt by the oak of Mature, which belonged to the Amorite, brother of Aner and brother of Eshcol, who were allies of Abram.

Septuagint (Greek)                And one of them that had been rescued came and told Abram the Hebrew; and he dwelt by the oak of Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eschol, and the brother of Aner, who were confederates with Abram.

 

Significant differences: 


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           When a survivor arrived, he told Abram the Hebrew, who lived near the oaks of the Amorite Mamre, who was the brother of Eshcol and Aner, Abram's treaty partners.

Contemporary English V.       At this time Abram the Hebrew was living near the oaks that belonged to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his brothers Eshcol and Aner were Abram's friends. Someone who had escaped from the battle told Abram...

Easy English                          Abram and Melchizedek, 14:13-24

Someone that escaped came to Abram the *Hebrew. And he told Abram about what had happened. Abram was living by some *oaks that belonged to Mamre the *Amorite. Mamre was Eshcol's and Aner's brother. All those brothers were Abram's friends.

Easy-to-Read Version            One of the men that was not captured went to Abram the Hebrew and told him what happened. Abram was camped near the trees of Mamre the Amorite. Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner had made an agreement to help each other [Literally, "Mamre … was a brother of Eshcol and a brother of Aner."]. And they had also signed an agreement to help Abram.

Good News Bible (TEV)         But a man escaped and reported all this to Abram, the Hebrew, who was living near the sacred trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his brothers Eshcol and Aner were Abram's allies.

New Berkeley Version           But one who had escaped, came to Abram the Hebrew and told him, for he was living by the terebinths of Mamre, the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and of Aner, who were allies of Abram. Abram had achieved enough prominence to form alliances with native chiefs and was glad to secure such friendship to protect his increasing livestock.

New Century Version             One of the men who was not captured went to Abram, the Hebrew, and told him what had happened. At that time Abram was camped near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite. Mamre was a brother of Eshcol and Aner, and they had all made an agreement to help Abram.

New Life Bible                        Then one who had run for his life came and told Abram the Hebrew. Abram was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and Aner, who were friends of Abram.

New Living Translation           But one of Lot's men escaped and reported everything to Abram the Hebrew, who was living near the oak grove belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his relatives, Eshcol and Aner, were Abram's allies.

The Voice                               Then one of the men who had escaped the battle went and found Abram, the Hebrew, who at that time was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite (brother of Eshcol and of Aner-some of Abram's allies). He told Abram what had happened.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then one of those who had been rescued came and told Abram (the Hebrew) [what had happened], while he was living by the large tree [belonging to] MamRe. ([MamRe] was an Amorite, the brother of Eschol and Aunan (who were Abram's allies).

God’s Word                         Then a soldier who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew what had happened. He was living next to the oak trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshcol and Aner. (These men were Abram's allies.)

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And now word came, by one of those who had escaped, to the Hebrew chieftain Abram, where he lived in the valley of Mambre the Amorrhite, brother of Escol and Aner; all these were confederate with Abram.

New American Bible (R.E.)    A survivor came and brought the news to 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.

NIRV                                      One man escaped. He came and reported everything to Abram. Abram was a Hebrew. He was living near the large trees of Mamre the Amorite. Mamre was a brother of Eshcol and Aner. All of them helped Abram.

New Jerusalem Bible             A survivor came to tell Abram, and Aner the Hebrew, who was living at the Oak of the Amorite Mamre, the brother of Eshcol; these were allies of Abram.

Today’s NIV                          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 of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      A refugee came and told Abram. The Hebrew resided by Mamre's oaks with the brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner, masters by covenant with Abram from North-Jordan.

Bible in Basic English             And one who had got away from the fight came and gave word of it to Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the holy tree of Mamre, the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and Aner, who were friends of Abram.

The Expanded Bible              One of the men who was not captured went to Abram, the Hebrew, and told him what had happened. At that time Abram was camped near the ·great trees [Loaks; or terebinths] of Mamre the Amorite. Mamre was a brother of Eshcol and Aner, and they had all made an ·agreement to help [covenant/treaty with] Abram.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 A fugitive then came and reported to Abram, the Colonist, who had settled at the Oakwoods of Mamrah, the Amorite, the brother of Ashkol, and brother of Aner, who were confederate chiefs with Abram.

HCSB                                     One of the survivors came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was at the oaks belonging to Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and the brother of Aner. They were bound by a treaty with Abram.

NET Bible®                             A fugitive [Heb "the fugitive." The article carries a generic force or indicates that this fugitive is definite in the mind of the speaker.] came and told Abram the Hebrew [E. A. Speiser (Genesis [AB], 103) suggests that part of this chapter came from an outside source since it refers to Abram the Hebrew. That is not impossible, given that the narrator likely utilized traditions and genealogies that had been collected and transmitted over the years. The meaning of the word "Hebrew" has proved elusive. It may be related to the verb "to cross over," perhaps meaning "immigrant." Or it might be derived from the name of Abram's ancestor Eber (see Gen 11:14-16).]. Now Abram was living by the oaks [Or "terebinths."] of Mamre the Amorite, the brother [Or "a brother"; or "a relative"; or perhaps "an ally." ] of Eshcol and Aner. (All these were allied by treaty [Heb "possessors of a treaty with." Since it is likely that the qualifying statement refers to all three (Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner) the words "all these" have been supplied in the translation to make this clear.] with Abram.) [This parenthetical disjunctive clause explains how Abram came to be living in their territory, but it also explains why they must go to war with Abram.].

NIV, ©2011                             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 [Or a relative; or an ally] of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Someone who had escaped came and told Avram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Emori, brother of Eshkol and brother of 'Aner; all of them allies of Avram.

exeGeses companion Bible   And an escapee comes

and tells Abram the Hebrew;

and he tabernacles

in the mighty oak of Mamre the Emoriy,

the brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner

- masters of a covenant with Abram.

Kaplan Translation                 Those who escaped [Some have it in the singular, 'the refugee.] came and brought the news to Abram the Hebrew [See note on Genesis 10:21.], who was living undisturbed [See Hirsch] in the plains of Mamre the Amorite [One of the defeated nations. See Genesis 14:7.], brother of Eshkol and Aner. They were Abram's allies.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And there came one that had escaped, and told Avram HaIvri; for he dwelt in Elonei Mamre the Emori, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were Ba'alei Brit Avram.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew [one from the other side], who was living by the oaks or terebinths of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshcol and of Aner-these were allies of Abram.

Benner Mechanical Trans1    and~ he~ will~ Come the~ Escaped.one and~ he~ will~ make~ Be.face.to.face to~ “Avram [Father raised]” the~ “Ever [Cross over]”~ of and~ He Dwell~ ing(ms) in~ Great.tree~ s “Mamre [Bitter place]” the~ “Emor [Sayer]”~ of Brother~ of “Eshkol [Cluster]” and~ Brother~ of “Aner [Answer]” and~ They(m) Master~ s Covenant “Avram [Father raised]”

Benner Mechanical Trans2    ...and the escaped one came and he told to “Avram [Father raised]”, the one of “Ever [Cross over]” and he was dwelling in the great trees of “Mamre [Bitter place]” and the one of “Emor [Sayer]”, the brother of “Eshkol [Cluster]” and the brother of “Aner [Answer]” who were the masters of the covenant of “Avram [Father raised]”,...

Concordant Literal Version    And coming is one who was delivered, and he is telling Abram, the Hebrew. Now he is tabernacling among the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner. And they are possessors of a covenant with Abram.

A Conservative Version         And some man came who had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew. Now he dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner. And these were allies with Abram.

New King James Version       Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre [Hebrew Alon Mamre] the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Verses 13-14: Abram's 1st Victory - Mental Attitude}

And there came 'the fugitive'/ 'one that had escaped' {paliyt - a desperate man} and kept on being compelled to tell {nagad - Hiphil tense-no place else to go for help} all to Abram the Hebrew {'Ibriy - means 'one who crosses the river' - a picture of the responsibility of the people of God to witness to unbelievers}. For he dwelt in the plain/valley of Mamre {name means wealth or strength} the Amorite - brother of Eshcol, and the brother of Aner and these {Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre - see verse 24} were allied/confederate with Abram {means they had a treaty . . . and RBT says Abram had converted to believe in the Lord}. {Note: Hebrew means 'to cross over a river'. Abram crossed over a river and was given this name. He is not a Jew at this point, he is still a gentile until age 99. These three were wonderful friends. Later the Amorites would be synonymous with decadence, but not at this time.}.

Webster’s Bible Translation  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.

World English Bible                One who had escaped came and told Abram, the Hebrew. Now he lived by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were allies of Abram.

Young’s Updated LT             And one who is escaping comes and declares to Abram the Hebrew, and he is dwelling among the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner, and they are Abram’s allies.

 

The gist of this verse:          One man escapes and comes to Abram and tells him what happened. Abram has 3 high-ranking allies from this general area.


Genesis 14:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

pâlîyţ (פָּלִיט) [pronounced paw-LEET]

escaped one, fugitive, refugee

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6412 BDB #812


Translation: An escaped man came in... In all of the confusion of the battle, at least one man escaped, and he came to Abram. Although we know nothing about this man, he is likely from the Sodom and Gomorrah area and he knows about Abram and he knows he ought to go to Abram with this information.


Genesis 14:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgad (נָגַד) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾAberâm (אַבְרָם) [pronounced abv-RAWM]

father of elevation, exalted father; and is transliterated Abram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #87 BDB #4

ʿIberîy (עִבְרִי) [pronounced ģibe-VREE]

one from beyond; transliterated Hebrew, Eberite

proper masculine singular gentilic/noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5680 BDB #720


Translation: ...and he makes [this] known to Abram the Hebrew. This man made all of this information known to Abram, as he knows Abram would be concerned about Lot and about what had happened.


Incidentally, this is the first time anyone is called a Hebrew in the Bible. The Hebrew word is ʿIberîy (עִבְרִי) [pronounced ģibe-VREE], which means one from beyond; and is transliterated Hebrew, Eberite. Strong’s #5680 BDB #720. This suggests that Abram had become fairly well-known at the time, and had been given this designation, which meant one from beyond.


Briefly, the name Hebrew is how other nations referred to the Israelites (Ex. 1:15 2:6).

The Word “Hebrew”

1.      In the Hebrew, the word Hebrew is ʿIberîy (עִבְרִי) [pronounced ģibe-VREE], which is poorly transliterated as Hebrew. This word, interestingly enough, is found most often in the books of Genesis, Exodus and 1Samuel. Apart from those books, we find it once in Deuteronomy, thrice in Jeremiah and once in Jonah. We first find this mentioned back in Gen. 14:13 in reference to Abraham, when we discussed it in more detail. Strong’s #5680 BDB #720. There are two suggested origins for the word Hebrew.

         a.      One possibility is that Abraham had an ancestor named Eber. In the Hebrew, that is ʿÊber (עֵבֶר) [pronounced ĢAYB-ver], which means, one from beyond, the other side, across, region on the other side; and is transliterated Eber, Heber, Hebrew, Eberite. Strong’s #5677 BDB #720. There appear to be times in the Bible when a person of a specific name actually has that name changed somewhat, to reflect information about that person.

         b.      The other possibility is that the name comes from the verb ʿâbar (עָבַר) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR], which means to pass over, to pass through, to pass, to go over. Strong’s #5674 BDB #716. The idea is that Abraham crossed over the Euphrates River to disassociate himself with his heathen roots.

2.      Today, we obviously use the names Israel, Israelite and Hebrew synonymously. However, historically, the name Hebrew was first applied to Abraham 500 years prior to the establishment of the nation Israel.

3.      Suggested hypothesis: Hebrew is a word used by Israel to designate themselves before foreigners (Ex. 2:6–7, 13 3:18 5:3) and it is a name used by non-Israelites to refer to the Israelites (1Sam. 4:6). In other words, this is a term which separates the Israelites from non-Israelites and is not generally used apart from making such a distinction.1 However, we find this word used in 1Sam. 13:7 which does not denote such a distinction.

4.      In Gen. 14, the chapter of the war of the kings, when the four kings took Lot as a prisoner (he was thought to be a Sodomite because his close proximity to these people), one escaped and came and told Abraham, the Hebrew what had happened. This narrative is probably written by (or recounted by) Abraham who is wandering the land. The man who told Abraham may have thought of him as a foreigner, inasmuch as he was unrelated to the war between the nine kings (Gen. 14:13).

5.      In Gen. 39:14, 17, the word is used in what appears to be a derogatory way. Joseph has resisted this woman of Potiphar's many times, so that she becomes frustrated and accuses him of rape.

6.      Joseph uses this word when describing himself while explaining his situation to the chief cupbearer in Gen. 40:15. Since there were only a bit more than a few dozen Jews in the world at that time, so that the terms Jew and Hebrew were not yet synonymous. The term Hebrew was applied to Joseph by his accuser (a term he no doubt heard prior to the accusation and during his sentencing because of her accusation), so Joseph applies it to himself. Here, in Egypt, it likely refers to those from Canaan or those from beyond the land of Egypt. When the chief cupbearer remembers, he uses this term (Gen. 41:12).

7.      Hebrew is used in connection with racial prejudice in Gen. 43:32. Joseph ate alone, his brothers ate at another table, and the Egyptians ate at another table because Egyptians did not eat with Hebrews. Even at that time, they were seen as outsiders.

8.      This name had become fully associated with Jews during the period of slavery to the Egyptians between Genesis and Exodus (Ex. 1:15, 16, 19 2:6, 7, 11, 13).

9.      God uses this term to apply to the Jews in Ex. 3:18 Deut. 15:12 (see also Ex. 5:3 7:16 9:1, 13 10:3 21:2). Note that these uses were always applied to the Jew when they were in a foreign land (in Gen. 14:13, they were still considered sojourners in a foreign land, even though they were in the land of Canaan).

10.    It is significant that this word is not found in Joshua, Judges, Ruth Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, or Isaiah.

11.    The Jews became fully associated with the term Hebrew by the time of Samuel; that is, the terms were interchangeable (1Sam. 4:6, 9 13:19 14:11, 21 29:3 Jer. 34:9, 14)

12.    The Jews applied this term to themselves (1Sam. 13:3, 7)

13.    The Hebrews were also closely associated in the minds of foreigners with Yahweh Elohim (Jonah 1:9)

1 This was suggested by Gnana Robinson, 1 & 2 Samuel; Let Us Be Like the Nations; International Theological Commentary; Eerdmans’s Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, ©1993; p. 32. This commentary is not known for having accurate information.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 14:13c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251