Abram at war with the kings
1-4Now there were many kings living in that land, at that time. They fought against each other. One fight was when Kedorlaomer had ruled over the other kings for 12 years. And in the next year, five kings made one group like that and fought against him. Kedorlaomer joined with three other kings. So it was four kings against five other kings.
The four kings were Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim. Those kings fought a war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela. (Bela is another name for the town of Zoar.) They fought in the Valley of Siddim. (That is the Salt Sea.) 5In the 14th year, Kedorlaomer and the kings with him won against the Rephaites. This was in Ashteroth Karnaim. They won against the Zuzites in Ham. They won against the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim. 6And they won against the Horites in the country of Seir. This was as far as El Paran near the desert. 7They then went back. They went to En Mishpat. (That is Kadesh.) They took the whole land of the Amalekites. They also took the land of the Amorites who were living in Hazezon Tamar.
8Then, 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 to fight. That was in the Valley of Siddim. 9They fought against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar. There were four kings fighting against five kings. 10The Valley of Siddim had many holes in the ground. The holes were filled with tar. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah ran away. Some of their men fell into the deep tar. The other men ran away to the hills. 11The four kings took everything in Sodom and Gomorrah, including all the food. Then they went away. 12Abram's nephew, Lot, was living in Sodom at that time. So they took him away from there, and everything that belonged to him.
Abram and Melchizedek
13At that time, Abram, the Hebrew man, was living near the special oak trees of Mamre. Mamre was an Amorite. He was the brother of Eshcol and Aner. These men had agreed to be Abram's friends.
A man ran away from Sodom. He told Abram everything that had happened. 14Abram understood that the kings had caught his nephew. So he called 318 men to come together. These men had been born in Abram's camp and they knew how to fight. Abram took his men with him. They went to attack the men who had caught Lot. They went as far as Dan.
15During the night, Abram separated his men into two groups. Then they attacked Kedorlaomer and his men who had taken Lot. Those men ran away and Abram followed them as far as Hobah. Hobah is north of Damascus. 16Abram took back everything that those men had taken from Sodom. He also brought back his nephew Lot, together with the women and the other people.
17In that way, Abram won against Kedorlaomer and the kings with him. As Abram was returning home, the king of Sodom came out to meet him. They met in the Valley of Shaveh, which people call the King's Valley.
18Melchizedek was the king of Salem, and he was a priest of the Most High God. He brought out bread and wine for Abram. 19He blessed Abram. He said, ‘I pray that the Most High God who made heaven and earth will bless Abram. 20Praise the Most High God! He has given you power over your enemies.’
After that, Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth part of everything. #14:20 Abram gave Melchizedek a 10th part of everything that he had taken in the fight. This was a king's part.
21Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give back to me all my people. Take everything else for yourself.’ 22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have made a strong promise to the Lord, the Most High God who made heaven and earth. 23I promised that I would not take anything that belonged to you. I will not take the smallest thing, not even a piece of string, or part of a shoe. Then you will never be able to say, “I made Abram become rich.” 24I myself will accept only the food that my young men have eaten. But Aner, Eshcol and Mamre went with me to help me to fight. They should take their part of the things that we brought back with us.’ #14:24 In those days, the people who won a war took things from their enemies. Their leader gave these things to the men who had helped him to fight.
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Abram rescues Lot
1At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar,#14:1 That is, Babylonia; also in verse 9 Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim, 2these kings went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley). 4For twelve years they had been subject to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim 6and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert. 7Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazezon Tamar.
8Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim 9against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar – four kings against five. 10Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills. 11The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. 12They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.
13A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother#14:13 Or a relative; or an ally of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram. 14When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.
17After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19and he blessed Abram, saying,
‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.’
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
21The king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.’
22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, “I made Abram rich.” 24I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me – to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.’
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