This chapter is about Abram rescues Lot because Lot gets kidnapped. Or adult-napped. Along with his possessions. Abram is kind of a bad ass in this chapter. I hope you enjoy reading this.
At this time Amraphel the king of Shinar (also known as Babylonia), Arioch the king of Ellasar, & Kedorlaomer king of Elam & Tidal king of Goiim went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemember king of Zeboiim, & the kind of Bela (that is, Zoar). All of the latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (the Salt Sea or the Dead Sea). For 12 years they’d been subject to Kedorlaomer (the king of Elam), but in the 13th year they revolted/”rebelled.”
In the 14th year, Kedorlaomer & the kings allied with him went out & defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim (I don’t know. I just don’t know. Sorry.), the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathain & the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert. They turned back & went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), & they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.
Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim & the king Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out & drew their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar & Arioch king of Ellasar. The odds weren’t good! It was 4 to 5. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits (Le Bera in California also has tar pits.). When the kings of Sodom & Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into the tar pits. The rest fled to the hills. Literally the hills. The 4 kings took all the “goods” of Sodom & Gomorah, plus all their food. Then away they went. They also kidnapped Lot & all of Lot’s stuff. Since he was living in Sodom, after all.
One person escaped & found Abram. The person tell Abram what had happened. This is the 1st place the word ‘Hebrew’ is found. It’s in reference to Abram. Abram was living near “the great trees of Mamre” (if you remember in the last chapter, I was unsure who/what Mamre was. But here in this chapter, Mamre is a person.) the Amorite (& at least 2 brothers, Eshcol & Aner). They were allied with Abram. When Abram heard what had happened to Lot (being kidnapped & all), he called out 318 trained men that were born in his household. That means that Abram had a 318 man army that lived in Abram’s house & was born there. They went in pursuit as far as Dan. During the night Abram divided his new to stack them & he routed them. Pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. Abram got back Lot & everything that Lot owned.
After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer & the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet Abram in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
Then Malchizedek king of Salem (which is also called Jerusalem.) brought out wine & bread. Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High. This makes me think that before Abram became Abraham, & the father of 3 modern religions, that there already was people practicing monotheism. (The belief in one God.) Because 1) Abram goes to him. 2) Abram ends up getting blessed by this priest. Why would he get blessed by a priest who wasn’t following the God he was listening to & promised him (& his descendants) land. & 3) Abram ends up giving the 1st tithe in the bible to this priest. Also the first mention of a priest (of any religion).
The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people & keep the goods for yourself.” Abram wasn’t having it! He said, “I’ve taken an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven & earth. I’ll accept nothing belonging to you, not a thread or even a strap for sandal. So you can’t say ‘I made Abram rich!’ I’ll accept nothing but what my men have eaten & the share (of the loot, I’m sure) that belongs to the men who went with me. Aner, Eshcol & Mamre, let them have their share.