¶ 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;
2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.
.3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.
4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
.5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
.6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness.
.7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.
| 5 -
An unknown people group. They may have been the Zamzummim of de0220.
We find the Rephaim as giants in jos1715.
6 - Horites Also known as the Hurrians. They lived in the mountainous region south of the Dead Sea. Edomites later moved into the area de0222.
7 - En-mishpat This apparently earlier name means "spring of judgment." Kadesh would later become a testing time for the children of Israel as they traveled in the desert nu3208. See Egypt-Sinai map.
| 8 And there went out
the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and
the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they
joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
- Slimepits Asphalt. Apparently crude oil. The kings "fell"
in the sense of being totally defeated not killed. See v17.
Asphalt still tends to surface in the south end of the Dead Sea.
12 - Lot Had made the wrong choice ge1310.
¶ 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.
.14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
.15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
.17 ¶ And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.
- Escaped Likely a servant of Lot.
13 - Abram Later changed to "Abraham" ge1704.
14 - His brother In verse 12 we learned that Lot was his nephew. Relationships were often given more of a social meaning. See re1408c.
15 - Damascus See on je4923.
17 - King Valley of Shaveh Later "the king's dale" which may be the dale mentioned in 2sa1818 and today the Kidron Valley east of Jerusalem.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was
the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
.20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
- Melchizedek Priest and king of Salem which means "peace"
or "security." Egyptian records of the 19th century BC record the newer
name "Jerusalem" meaning "city of peace" and state that it was ruled by
Amorite kings. Melchizedek means "my king is righteous" or "King of Righteousness"
as interpreted in he0702.
18 - Bread and wine Some see the priest-king as transferring the land to Abram but there's no evidence of this. The patriarch and his men were likely hungry.
18 - Priest This is the first mention of this term. We see it as a planned ministry blessed by God. Compare ex0216. There is no basis for the speculation surrounding Melchizedek. See on he07.
20 - Tithes The text gives us no reason to see this as a new idea for Abram. See a summary of the concept - below.
¶ And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and
take the goods to thyself.
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.
It's true that some believe that tithe is not important today but basic principles like this don't just change. We first learn about tithe when Abraham met the king of Salem above (I'll give only the first verse of passages). Jacob promised a tenth to the Lord ge2820. It was for the support of the ministry (priests and Levites) in the sanctuary system and after nu1824. Other tithes are mentioned which were a tax of the king and so on. That's different. The last book of the OT emphasizes the importance of tithes and offerings mal0310. When Jesus came, the Jewish leaders were intent on getting all the people to be perfect (then they figured that God would be obliged to help them conquer the Romans). They made extra rules which told people how to keep the laws. So neglecting tithe was not an issue. Here is Jesus' comment: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Matt. 23:23). So the Jewish leaders of Jesus' day were very wrong about neglecting the love part of the law but Jesus clarified that tithe was not still important. At the cross, the ceremonial laws which pointed forward to the Lamb of Calvary ended da0927, jn0129; mt2751). The spiritual leaders of the early church were still worthy of support ac0601, 1co0909.
Our problem is rarely sacrificing too much for God. He has blessed my wife and me for many years and in ways beyond money. Holding back the tithe for any reason is not an option for us. It's a joy to be partners with the Lord.
Someone argued that Jesus' statement about tithe was only for the Priests. This has no Scriptual support. If anything, the priests would have been those exempt. The Jewish leaders tended to demand observances of the people that they themselves didn't do lu1146.