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Lot’s Captivity and Rescue


In the days of King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim, 2these kings made war with King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3All these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea). 4Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and subdued the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6and the Horites in the hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the edge of the wilderness; 7then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and subdued all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-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 out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim 9with King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10Now 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 goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way; 12they also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

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. 14When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred eighteen of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and routed them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16Then he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his nephew Lot with his goods, and the women and the people.

Abram Blessed by Melchizedek

17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. 19He blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

maker of heaven and earth;


and blessed be God Most High,

who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything. 21Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the L ord, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, 23that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their share.”

19. And he blessed him. Unless these two members of the sentence, ‘He was the priest of God,’ and ‘He blessed,’ cohere together, Moses here relates nothing uncommon. For men mutually bless each other; that is, they wish well to each other. But here the priest of God is described, who, according to the right of his office, sanctifies one inferior and subject to himself. For he would never have dared to bless Abram, unless he had known, that in this respect he excelled him. In this manner the Levitical priests are commanded to bless the people; and God promises that the blessing should be efficacious and ratified, (Numbers 6:23.) So Christ, when about to ascend up to heaven, having lifted up his hands, blessed the Apostles, as a minister of the grace of God, (Luke 24:51;) and then was exhibited the truth of this figure. For he testifies that the office of blessing the Church, which had been adumbrated in Melchizedek, was assigned him by his Father.

Blessed be Abram of the most high God. The design of Melchizedek is to confirm and ratify the grace of the Divine vocation to holy Abram; for he points out the honor with which God had peculiarly dignified him by separating him from all others, and adopting him as his own son. And he calls God, by whom Abram had been chosen, the Possessor of heaven and earth, to distinguish him from the fictitious idols of the Gentiles. Afterwards, indeed, God invests himself with other titles; that, by some peculiar mark, he may render himself more clearly known to men, who, because of the vanity of their mind, when they simply hear of God as the Framer of heaven and earth, never cease to wander, till at length they are lost in their own speculations. But because God was already known to Abram, and his faith was founded upon many miracles, Melchizedek deems it sufficient to declare that, by the title of Creator,366366     Creationis elogio testari,” etc. — “De donner a Dieu ce titre de Possesseur du ciel et de la terre.” To give to God this title of Possessor of heaven and earth. — French Tr He whom Abram worshipped, is the true and only God. And although Melchizedek himself maintained the sincere worship of the true God, he yet calls Abram blessed of God, in respect of the eternal covenant: as if he would say, that, by a kind of hereditary right, the grace of God resided in one family and nation, because Abram alone had been chosen out of the whole world. Then is added a special congratulation on the victory obtained; not such as is wont to pass between profane men, who puff each other up with inflated encomiums; but Melchizedek gives thanks unto God, and regards the victory which the holy man had gained as a seal of his gratuitous calling.

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