Abram Rescues Lot
1 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).
3 And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea).
4 Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
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,
6 and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness.
7 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.
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 joined battle in the Valley of Siddim
9 with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five.
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. 11So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.
12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram.
14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus.
16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.
Outline: The Courage of Abram (14:1–16)
A. The villains (14:1–11)
1. The rebellion (14:1–4): Five Canaanite city-states rebel against Kedorlaomer of Elam.
2. The retaliation (14:5–11): Kedorlaomer and his allies defeat the armies of the five city-states, plunder their cities, and carry many people away as slaves.
B. The victim (14:12): Lot, now living in Sodom, is taken away as a slave.
C. The victory (14:13–16)
1. Abram’s army (14:13–14): Upon learning of Lot’s capture, Abram and his 318 trained servants ride out to rescue Lot.
2. Abram’s attack (14:15): Abram divides his men and initiates a surprise attack at night.
3. Abram’s achievements (14:16): Kedorlaomer is defeated, and Lot is rescued.
1. Gen. 14:1-3 sets the stage for the war that was about to occur (in v.8-12). Who were the key players? Which kings were involved and how were they aligned? What was the reason for the war (v.4)?
Amraphel king of Shinar (an early king of Babylon)
Arioch king of Ellasar
Chedorlaomer king of Elam
Tidal the king of Goiim
Bera king of Sodom
Birsha king of Gomorrah
Shinab king of Admah
Shemeber king of Zeboiim
king of Bela (Zoar)
King of Chedorlaomer is the head of the invaders; he's a pocessive person. (potential benefits: human resources, slaves, trade routes, etc.)
The kings of the city states of the Jordan Valley rebelled and refused to pay their annual tribute to King Chedolaomer of Shiner (Babylon), who was then in power over this whole area.
The first 12 years they complied.
The 13th year -- forget it!
The 14th year, the war started.
2. What did Chedarlaomer and his kings do on their way to the Sodom/Gomorrah area (v.5-7)? Why would those place names be significant to the Israelites in Moses’ time? (Consider Num 20:22; 21:4; 10-13; Deut 1:46-2:8; Joshua 12:4; 13:12; Gen 36:20-21, 29-30; Deut 2:11-12, 20, 22.)
Killing everyone around, not just the rebellious nations. (Even the giants -- Rephaim and Zuzim). They defeated the Amorites and Amalekites. Anything in his path. Instilled fear in people.
"They were afraid, seen God's might before."
Israelites will encounter them again during the time -- on their way to the promise land; strategic locations of the promise land.
Numbers: wanderness / wilderness
Deut: 2nd Law.
3. What happened to Lot in v.12? What was he doing living IN Sodom? Did he start out living there? Taking chapter 12 into consideration (esp. v.10-13), what theological implications can we infer from Lot’s predicament?
He was taken captive. He chose to live there, moving away from Abram.
Lot's sin: Greed; Sodom: land - well watered; counted righteous (1 Peter).
- God's judgment.
- Suffering from ones' Sin and its consequences.
verse 13: The word Hebrew means "to cross over," "to pass over," "passenger," or "pilgrim."
4. What prompted Abram to go to war against the eastern kings (v. 14)? Describe the men whom Abram “led out”? What do these two details tell us about him?
A messenger came to Abram, When Lot is captured (who escaped).
Up to this point, he's timid, he's a peacemaker, he's passive...
Unusual of what he did here --
Trained; Prepared; home grown;
318 men + allied; small force.
Strategic with such a small force, Shock and Awe. Moving quickly, he's decisive; divided his men and surprised the enemy. Ready with moment's notice.
Abraham has wisdom; he's prepared, he's experienced; always on alert - to protect his family. He fought in faith.
5. What is the theological significance of Abram’s defeat of the eastern kings (cf. 12:3)?
- God kept his promise, from the beginning. It's all God's glory in the victory.
- Lot was spared because of God's mercy and his promise.
- Abraham's faith in God, believing the God who kept his promise.
- Restore a brother in sin.
12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
6. Remembering that Genesis was composed by Moses prior to entering the promised land, what benefit would Abram’s defeat of the eastern kings give to the wilderness Jews? What was their connection to God’s promises to Abram?
If the wilderness Jews would remembr this part: God used only 318+ men to defeat the army of four nations. God has shown Israel his power and the king over these nations, his covenant promise to Israel.
Trusting God's word; salvation; Trust He'll return; in all situation, God will be glorified.
Help; family member in need.
Passivity - need to engage more to what matters rather than engage in others. If kids don't get engaged in the word, it will be something else, like Spongebob.
1. Considering how Lot’s choices affected him, in what ways are you “encouraging” or inviting the blessing of God upon your life? In what ways are you discouraging this? How do you propose to deal biblically with these areas? Please be specific.
2. How does God’s faithfulness to Abram (in granting him victory over the Eastern Kings) encourage you in your pursuit of holiness? What New Testament promises / truths does it bring to your mind?