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;
- King of nations simply refers to being king of people, gentiles, the masses, etc.
The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
(1 Chronicles 1:17)
The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.
Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites,
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, _______________
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. All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.
- The current location is the bottom of the Dead Sea, also known as the Great Salt Sea
Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness. And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.
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.
And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
- Geologically, slime pits are tar pits, which would have been a natural occurrence during and after the Flood of Noah, such as the La Brea tar pits, etc.
- Strategically a good place for fighting an enemy, as they would naturally be trapped, at which point you could just pick them off.
And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
- Goods refer to anything other than food, water, etc. such as weapons, perhaps horses, etc.
- Victuals refers to provisions of food and water for troops.
- Because of its pronunciation (vit'lz ), today in the Southern U.S. it is spelled "vittels"
- Basically, they plundered them
And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
- Wrong place, wrong time, wrong guy
- Lot was probably not so much in the war as much as he was in the country or living on one side of that war
- This would include all of the people, servants with Lot
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.
- This is almost like Job's experience, over and over:
And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
- Again, Lot is called Abram's brother and not his nephew.
- Think about who will get the victory here. Three hundred eighteen to how many thousands?
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; Three kings, with armies That these made war with five kings, and their armies 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.
And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
- Three hundred eighteen make thousands flee
And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
- When God saves, he saves everything HE wants to:
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.
- No doubt the King of Sodom was impressed to see three hundred eighteen men take on so many and make them run!
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
- No royal priesthood established as of yet
- No nation of Israel as of yet (Israel is not even born yet)
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
- When Melchizedek blesses you, you are truly blessed
And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
- There was, as of yet, not a law for giving of tithes, even though there was the idea of a blood sacrifice from Genesis 4:
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
MELCHISEDEC, PRIEST OF THE MOST HIGH GOD
(Hebrews Chapter 7)
For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
- He gave Him tithes-a sign of deity
- He was the High Priest of the Most High God
- There was no priesthood in Israel yet
- He was called the King of righteousness,
- He was called also the King of Salem, which is, King of peace
- Without father
- Without mother
- No beginning (eternal)
- No end (eternal)
- Made like unto the Son of God
- Always a priest
And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
- The king apparently forgot who gave the victory, so he wanted Abram to get the spoils.
- He wanted his subjects back, now that the war was over.
And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
- Worship would be a natural outpouring of such a victory as being outnumbered and routing the enemy forces.
- The God of the Bible is unique in being called the "possessor of Heaven and Earth" and often "the LORD that Created the heavens, the earth, the sea and all that in them is"
That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
- One way to be and remain blameless is not to even take that which is rightfully yours, well earned.
Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
(2 Corinthians 12:13)
For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
(2 Corinthians 12:17)
Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?
Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.
- In other words, "For myself I care nothing, but take care of them"
Genesis Chapter 15