Salem or Sodom – Abraham

Well, actually at this time he still was called Abram his name change is not for another three chapters. He would have been in his 80’s and had lived in Canaan less than ten years (16:3). He had made alliances with some of the locals and seemed to well established. He has had the foresight to train his men into a working army and claimed 318 who had been born in his house. That could have made his camp 1000 people strong and would have been a good-sized village. The importance of them having been born into his house speaks not only of loyalty but also the quality and intensity of their training. If his three allies also had similar camps that truly would have been a serious coalition. Josephus records this in Book 1 Chapter 10 and makes it sound like it was just the three brothers who went with Abram and not additional forces. If Aner, Esheol, and Mamre had brought troops the fighting force could have been up to 1,200 troops. Abram trusted these men enough to make a treaty with them so that speaks volumes about their character and abilities.

In musing over Genesis 14 I realized Abram went after Lot not after Sodom. So in verse 22 when he is talking to the king of Sodom, besides being a witness to a very heathen king, Abram is making it very clear he wanted nothing except what God would supply in his life. Given the fact that he had already decided his course of action before hand shows his intelligence and character.

We also need to look at the symbolism of this battle; Abram had victory over his past. The Euphrates River valley was his birthplace so his victory sealed his “new life” and showed his faith in the “Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.”

Other facts:

  1. God will keep you in the know (vs. 13).
  2. Someone did some editing because it was not “Dan” yet (vs. 14).
  3. Ancient Elam and Shinar equate to modern Iran and Iraq it seems they have been bullies for a long time.

18 thoughts on “Salem or Sodom – Abraham

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