16 Jan. Genesis 14:8-20

16 Jan. Abram rescues Lot from captivity

"At that time, the [five] kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Bela went out to fight in the Valley of Siddim [the lower Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea]… They fought against [four kings from the north] Kedorlaomer, king of Elam, Tidal, king of Goiim, Amraphel, king of Babylonia and Arioch, king of Ellasar - four kings fighting against five."

"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."

"Now Kedorlaomer and his armies took everything the people of Sodom and Gomorrah owned, including their food. They took Lot, Abram's nephew, who was living in Sodom, and everything he owned. Then they left."

"One of the men who was not captured went to Abram, the Hebrew, and told him what had happened... When Abram learned that Lot had been captured, he called out his 318 trained men who had been born in his camp. He led the men and chased the enemy all the way [north] to the town of Dan."

"That night he divided his men into groups, and they made a surprise attack against the enemy. They chased them all the way to Hobah, north of Damascus."

"Then Abram brought back everything the enemy had stolen, the women and the other people and Lot and everything Lot owned."

"After defeating Kedolaomer and the kings who were with him, Abram went home. As he was returning, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (now called King's Valley)."

"Melchizedek, king of Salem [Jerusalem], brought out bread and wine. He was a priest for God Most High and blessed Abram, saying,

'Abram, may you be blessed by God Most High,

the God who made heaven and earth.

And we praise God Most High,

who has helped you to defeat your enemies.' "

"Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything he had brought back from the battle [as an offering to God]."

          (Genesis 14:8-20)



In c.1833BC, five local kings in the Valley of Siddim (the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea) - Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (Zoar) - rebelled against their four distant overlords - Amraphel of Shinar (Babylonia), Arioch of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer of Elam (south east Mesopotamia), and Tidal of Goiim.

The four overlords marched south defeating the Rephaites of Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites of Ham, and the Emites of Shaveh Kiriathaim. They carried out raids in the hill country of Seir (Edom) (see Genesis 14:1-7), and then defeated the five rebel kings in the Valley of Siddim, carrying off goods and prisoners from Sodom, including Abram's nephew Lot.

The news of Lot's capture was taken to Abram at Hebron. Gathering together 318 armed men, Abram pursued the four kings along The Kings Highway north to Dan.

Abram's men mounted a surprise attack at night, and pursued the four kings as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. Lot, his family and all his possessions were rescued.

On the return journey south, Abram was met by the king of Sodom in the Valley of Shaveh ('The King’s Valley' - the Kidron Valley to the east of Jerusalem), and Abram was blessed by Melchizedek, the priestly King of Salem (Jerusalem).

In thankfulness for his victory and the safe return of his nephew Lot, Abram offered a tenth of all the recovered animals to Melchizedek as a sacrifice to God.

The photo (by Neukoln) shows the Dead Sea near the site of Sodom and Gomorrah.

You can read more about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/23-the-journeys-of-adam-enoch-noah-abraham/abram-travels-north-to-rescue-lot/

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