Genesis 14

Genesis 14


In the days of King AmraphelI of ShinarII, King AriochIII of Ellasar,IV

Notes on verse 1a

I “Amraphel” = Amraphel. 2x in OT. Perhaps from Akkadian ammu (people, kin) + rapi (healer) OR perhaps from Hebrew amar (to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report) + palal (to judge, discern, entreat) OR perhaps from ayom (terrible) + rapa (“spirit of Hades”) or naphal(to fall). This is Amraphel, perhaps meaning “one that darkens counsel,” “one that speaks of dark things,” or “the commandment which went forth,” “terrible giant,” or “powerful people.”  It might be the Hebrew version of the name “Hammurabi.” Historically, associated with Ibal Pi-El II of Esunna. See &
II “Shinar” = Shinar. 8x in OT– 4x in Gen, 1x in Jos, 1x in Isa, 1x in Dan, and 1x in Zech. This is the word used for Babylon in the Tower of Babel story. May be a corruption of Hebrew for two rivers or two cities. May also be a form of the Akkadian Shumeru (Sumer – what the Akkadians called the non-Semitic speaking peoples of Mesopotamia who called themselves ug sag gig ga or sang-ngiga. Lit. the black-headed people. These people called their land kiengi – the place of the noble lords). See &
III “Arioch” = Aryok. 7x in OT. Perhaps from ari (lion); from arah (to gather, pluck). This is Arioch, which was a Babylonian as well as a king of Ellasar. It may mean “lion-like.” Historically, associated with a king of Larsa Uru Ki, whose name meant “this place here.” See &
IV “Ellasar” = Ellasar. 2x in OT. Perhaps from el (God, a god) + sarar (to rebel) OR from el (to, toward) + sarar (see above). This is Ellasar. It may mean “Rebellious God” or “Onto Rebellion.” See

King ChedorlaomerV of Elam,VI and King TidalVII of Goiim,VIII 

Notes on verse 1b

V “Chedorlaomer” = Kedorlaomer. 5x in OT. Perhaps from Elamite kudur (servant) + Lagamar (Lagamar, an Elamite goddess). However, we don’t have other documentation of a king by this name.  See
VI “Elam” = Eylam. Probably from alam (to bind or tie fast; to be silent or speechless, whether voluntary or involuntary). This is Elam – a name, his descendants, and their land. It may mean “hidden” in the sense of distant.
VII “Tidal” = Tidal. 2x in OT. Perhaps from Aramaic dechal (to fear, slink, be formidable); related to Hebrew zachal (to be afraid, slink back, crawl like a worm) OR from Hebrew yadah (to praise) + al (for) OR from Tudhaliya (Hittite king). This is Tidal. It may mean “those people have created a state and stretched their power,” “splendor,” “fear,” “reverence,” “high praise,” or “for thanksgiving.”  See
VIII “Goiim” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.

these kings madeIX warX with King BeraXI of Sodom,XII

Notes on verse 2a

IX “made” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
X “war” = milchamah. From lacham (to eat or feed on; figuratively, to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction). This is battle, war, fighting, or one who fights (i.e. a warrior).
XI “Bera” = Bera. 1x in OT. Perhaps from b- (in, at, on) + ra’ (bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity; anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin); {from ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex)} OR ben (son, age, child); {from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively)} + ra’ (see above). This is Bera. It may mean “son of evil,” “in evil,” or “through evil.” See
XII “Sodom” = Sedom. Perhaps from sadam (to burn) OR from sadad (to plow a field) or shadad (to be violent) or from sadad (to join) or yasad (to assemble) + –m (their). This is Sodom or Sedom. It is a city near the Dead Sea. It may mean “scorch” or “burnt” as a reference to the volcanic area. It could also mean “wet fields, “demons,” “divisions,” “breasts, “or “their assembly.” See

King BirshaXIII of Gomorrah,XIV King ShinabXV of Admah,XVI

Notes on verse 2b

XIII “Birsha” = Birsha. Perhaps related to “Bera” in v2. 1x in OT. Perhaps from b- (in, at, on) + resha (wrong, particularly moral wrong; wickedness, evil, wicked deeds, or something that is ill-gotten); {from rasha (to be wicked, guilty, make trouble, do wrong; can also be condemn, guilty, inflict punishment; this verb implies disturbing or violating)} OR from ben (see note XI above) + resha (see above). This is Birsha, perhaps meaning “with wickedness” or “son of wickedness.”
XIV “Gomorrah” = Amorah. 19x in OT. From amar (to bind sheaves, heap; discipline as piling on blows) OR from am (people) + yarah (describes many small iterations combining to a bigger effect like many raindrops, lots of arrows, etc.). This is the city Gomorrah in the Jordan Valley. It may mean “people of fear,” “submersion,” “tyrannical dealings,” “people who shoot arrows,” “throes,” or “sheave.” See
XV “Shinab” = Shinab. 1x in OT. Perhaps from shana (to change, disguise, transfer) + ab (father, ancestor, grandfather; father in a literal or figurative sense). This is Shinab, perhaps meaning “a father has turned.”
XVI “Admah” = Admah. 5x in OT. From adamah (ground, dirt, earth); from the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is the city Admah near the Dead Sea. It may mean “earthy” or “red ground.” See

King ShemeberXVII of Zeboiim,XVIII and the king of BelaXIX (that is, Zoar).XX

Notes on verse 2c

XVII “Shemeber” = Shemeber. 1x in OT. From shem (name, fame, renown; indicating something essential about a person; honor, authority, or character); {may be from sum (to put, place, set)} + eber (wings, pinions); {from abar (to fly)} OR from shem (see above) + abar (to be strong, to protect). This is Shemeber, perhaps meaning “name of pinion,” which might imply illustrious. It could also mean “renown of the protector,” “splendor of heroism,” or “known for being strong.” See
XVIII “Zeboiim” = Tseboim. 5x in OT. From the same as tsebi (gazelle) OR from tsaba (to be a group). This is Zeboiim, a city near the Dead Sea. It may mean “collectives,” “beautiful ones,” or “gazelles.” See
XIX “Bela” = Bela. 14x in OT. From the same as bela (swallowing, gulp, destruction); from bala (to swallow, engulf, cover, destroy). This is Bela, a personal name as well as a place name. It may mean “swallowed” or “destruction.”
XX “Zoar” = Tsoar. 10x in OT. From tsaar (to be brought low, small, little one; figuratively, be insignificant or ignoble). This is Zoar or Tsoar, a city whose name means “insignificance” or “little.”

All these joined forcesXXI in the ValleyXXII of SiddimXXIII (that is, the DeadXXIV Sea).XXV 

Notes on verse 3

XXI “joined forces” = chabar. This is to unite, ally, attach, touch. It is to join in a literal or figurative sense. Also, specially, using magic knots or spells to fascinate or connect.
XXII “Valley” = emeq. From amoq (to be deep in a literal or figurative sense; profound). This is Vale or valley – frequently part of place names.
XXIII “Siddim” = Siddim. 3x in OT. From sadad (to break clods) OR from the same as sadeh (field, ground, soil, or land; wild like a wild animal); {perhaps from the same as shadday (Almighty, land, breast); from shadad (to destroy, be powerful, despoil, assault, be impregnable)}.  This is Siddim, perhaps meaning “furrows,” “divisions,” “flats,” fields,” “plains,” or “Demons.” See
XXIV “Dead” = melach. Perhaps from malach (properly, to pulverize, temper together, dissipate; also to season or salt). This is powder; used for salt or salt pit.
XXV “Sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.

TwelveXXVI years they had servedXXVII Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenthXXVIII year they rebelled.XXIX 

Notes on verse 4

XXVI “twelve” = shenayim + asar. Shenayim is from sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple. Asar is from eser (ten). This is ten or -teenth.
XXVII “served” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.
XXVIII “thirteenth” = shalosh + asar. Shalosh is three, fork, three times. Asar is the same as “twelve” in v4. See note XXVI above.
XXIX “rebelled” = marad. This is to rebel or revolt. It is the root of Nimrod’s name.

In the fourteenthXXX year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him cameXXXI and subduedXXXII the RephaimXXXIII in Ashteroth-karnaim,XXXIV

Notes on verse 5a

XXX “fourteenth” = arba + asar. Arba is from raba (to make square or be four-sided). This is four. Asar is the same as “twelve” in v4. See note XXVI above.
XXXI “came” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XXXII “subdued” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
XXXIII “Rephaim” = Rapha. From raphah (to slacken in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be to hang, be feeble, fail, drop, be helpless, relax, slink, subside, or wait) OR from rapha (properly, to repair by stitching – figuratively to heal or cure; to make whole). This is Rapha or Rephaim. It is someone who lived east of Jordan, a giant. It may mean “faded ones,” “healed ones,” or “what we’ve been healed from.” See
XXXIV “Ashteroth-karnaim” = Ashteroth Qarnayim. 1x in OT. From Ashtaroth (Ashtaroth, a location and the name of a Sidonian goddess, also called Astarte); {from ashtrah (young, enlarge a flock); from ashath (to think) or ashar (to gain wealth, become rich, enrich; to accumulate) OR {from ashat (form a union that is cohesive or solid) + torah (Torah, instruction, law); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach)}}} + qeren (horn or hill; a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power); {from qaran (to shine, hgore, have horns)}. This is Ashteroth-karnaim, perhaps meaning “Ashtaroth of the double horns,” “horned Astartes,” “Ashtaroth of the Crescent Moon,” “twin peaks near Ashtaroth,” or “radiant cohesion.” The horns symbolized Ashtaroth, the goddess. See &

the ZuzimXXXV in Ham,XXXVI the EmimXXXVII in Shaveh-kiriathaim,XXXVIII 

Notes on verse 5b

XXXV “Zuzim” = Zuzim. 1x in OT. From the same a ziz (fullness, abundance) or ziyz (moving things like animals, abundance) or zuz (to move in a regular pattern like the tides). This is Zuzim, perhaps meaning “prominent,” “commotions,” or “seasonal migrant.” See
XXXVI “Ham” = Ham. 1x in OT. Not related to “Ham,” the son of Noah. This is a location.
XXXVII “Emim” = Eymiym. Related to “Amraphel” in v1. 3x in OT. From eymah (terror, horror, idol); from the same as ayom (see note I above). This is Emim, meaning “terrors” – a Moabite people.
XXXVIII “Shaveh-kiriathaim” = Shaveh kiriathim. 2x in OT. From shavah (to equalize, resemble, agree with, compare, adjust, compose, place, or yield). “Kiriathaim” = Qiryathayim. 7x in OT. From qiryah (a place where there are buildings so it could be a fortress or a town); from qarah (to happen, meet, bring about).  This is Shaveh-kiathaim. It may mean “plain of the double city.” See

and the HoritesXXXIX in the hill country of SeirXL as far as El-paranXLI on the edge of the wilderness;XLII 

Notes on verse 6

XXXIX “Horites” = Chori. 6x in OT. From the same as chor (a hole, den, cavity); {from the same as chur (hole; a hole that was bored; a crevice where a snake lives; the cell of a prison)} OR from harar (to be the center radiating warmth, ruler, fever). This is Horite, a people group from Edom. It’s also a personal name. It may mean “cave dweller,” “noble,” hollow,” or “central authority.” See
XL “Seir” = Seir. From the same as sear (hair, hairy, rough); {from sa’ar (to storm, scattered by a storm, blow away, rage, storm tossed; this is to toss in a literal or figurative sense)} OR from sa’iyr (goat, shaggy, devil, satyr). This is Seir, Edomite mountain region. It is the name of the people that live there and a particular Judean mountain. It may mean “the hairy guys,” “bucks,” “horrors,” “bristly,” or “riders on the storm.” See
XLI “El-paran” = El Paran. 1x in OT. From ayil (strength; things that are strong or powerful: political chiefs, rams, posts, trees, oaks); {from the same as ulam (porch, hall); from the same as ul (mighty, strength, body, belly; root may mean to twist and that implies strength and power) or from alam (to bind or tie fast; to be silent or speechless, whether voluntary or involuntary)} + Paran (Paran, perhaps meaning ornamental); {from the same as porah a branch or spring; properly, ornamentation); perhaps from pa’ar (to beautify or adorn, to gleam; can refer to showing honor or glorifying someone; also to boast or to shake a tree for harvest)}. This is El-paran, perhaps meaning “terebinth of Paran,” “Oak of Paran,” “abounding in foliage,” or “protruding glory.”  It is a city on the Red Sea. See
XLII “wilderness” = midbar. From dabar (to speak, command, declare). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.

then they turned backXLIII and came to En-mishpatXLIV (that is, Kadesh),XLV and subdued all the countryXLVI of the Amalekites,XLVII

Notes on verse 7a

XLIII “turned back” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
XLIV “En-mishpat” = En Mishpat. 1x in OT. From ayin (Ain – name of two locations, meaning “spring”); {from the same as ayin (eye, appearance; eye in a literal or figurative sense; a fountain)} + mishpat (a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God; the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty; abstractly, justice, which includes the rights of the participants); {from shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern)}. This is En-mishpat, meaning “spring of judgment,” “fountain of judgment,” or “fountain of governance.” See
XLV “Kadesh” = Qadesh. 18x in OT. From the same as qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy, etc.) This is Kadesh, a place whose name means sacred or sanctuary.
XLVI “country” = sadeh. Related to “Siddim” in v3. See note XXIII above.
XLVII “Amalekites” = Amaleqi. 12x in OT. From Amaleq (Amalek or Amalekites; the person and their descendants); perhaps from amal (to work – hard labor) OR from am (people or nation; a tribe, troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals); {from amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together)} + laqaq (to lap, lick) OR from am (see above) + malaq (to wring, nip; to remove a bird’s head). This is Amalekite, perhaps meaning “people that wring,” “people that lap,” “nippers,” or “lickers.” See &

and also the AmoritesXLVIII who livedXLIX in Hazazon-tamar.L Then 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,LI and they joinedLII battleLIII in the Valley of Siddim with King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five. 

Notes on verses 7b-9

XLVIII “Amorites” = Emori. Related to “Amraphel” in v1 From amar (see note I above). This is Amorite or Emori, perhaps meaning talkers.
XLIX “lived” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
L “Hazazon-tamar” = Chatsatson Tamar. 2x in OT. From chatsats (to divide, chop, pierce, distribute, shoot an arrow, an archer) + tamar (root may mean being erect; a date palm or other palm tree; the root of Tamar’s name); {from the same as tomer (palm tree, the trunk of that tree, a post)}. This is Hazazon-tamar west of the Dead Sea. It may mean “row of palm trees,” “split palm, “Pruning of the palm,” or “compartmentalized semi-free market.” See  
LI “went out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LII “joined” = arak. This is to arrange by setting in a row. It can also mean to set a battle, estimate, put in order, or compare.
LIII “battle” = milchamah. Same as “war” in v2. See note X above.

10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumenLIV pits;LV and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled,LVI some fellLVII into them, and the restLVIII fled to the hill country. 

Notes on verse 10

LIV “bitumen” = chemar. 3x in OT– used of the tower of Babel and the basket that Moses was floated in. From chamar (to boil up, ferment, be red befoul, trouble, daub). This is bitumen or asphalt.
LV “full of…pits” = beer + beer. From baar (to make plain,; to dig; can also mean to engrave or figuratively to explain). This is a well or pit.
LVI “fled” = nus. This is to flee, vanish away, hide, escape, be displayed.
LVII “fell” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
LVIII “rest” = shaar. Properly, this is swelling up i.e. being left over, a remnant, remaining, being redundant.

11 So the enemy took all the goodsLIX of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions,LX and went their way;LXI 

Notes on verse 11

LIX “goods” = rekush. From rakash (to get, acquire property, collect). This is property, riches, possessions.
LX “provisions” = okel. From akal (to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume; eating in a literal or figurative sense). This is food, supply of provisions, the act of eating, or the time when one eats.
LXI “went their way” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.

12 they also took Lot,LXII the sonLXIII of Abram’sLXIV brother,LXV who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.LXVI

Notes on verse 12

LXII “Lot” = Lot. From the same as lot (envelope, veil); from lut (to wrap, envelop). This is Lot, “covering.”
LXIII “son” = ben. Related to “Bera” in v2. See note XI above.
LXIV “Abram’s” = Abram. Related to “Shinab” in v2. From the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (see note XV above) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abram, exalted father.
LXV “brother” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.
LXVI “departed” = halak. Same as “went their way” in v11. See note LXI above.

13 Then one who had escapedLXVII came and toldLXVIII Abram the Hebrew,LXIX who was livingLXX by the oaksLXXI of MamreLXXII the Amorite,

Notes on verse 13a

LXVII “escaped” = paliyt. From palat (to escape, slip out, deliver, calve). This is escaped, i.e. one who has gotten away such as a fugitive or refugee.
LXVIII “told” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
LXIX “Hebrew” = Ibri. From Eber (the region beyond; Eber, the name of several Israelites including a descendant of Shem); from abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is Hebrew, perhaps meaning a descendant of Eber.
LXX “living” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).
LXXI “oaks” = elon. Related to “El-paran” in v6. 10x in OT. From ayil (see note XLI above). This is terebinth, oak, or another kind of tree that is strong.
LXXII “Mamre” = Mamre. 10x in OT. Perhaps from mara (to rebel, flap wings, whip, be filthy). This is Mamre a personal name and a place name. It may mean vigor or lusty.

brother of EshcolLXXIII and of Aner;LXXIV these were alliesLXXV of Abram. 

Notes on verse 13b

LXXIII “Eshcol” = Eshkol. 6x in OT. From the same as eshkol (cluster – as a bunch of fruit like grapes); perhaps from eshek (a gathered bunch; can be a testicle or stone). This is Eshkol or Eshcol. This is a person and a place in Hebron, perhaps meaning “cluster.”
LXXIV “Aner” = Aner. 3x in OT. Probably from na’ar (a child or servant; a child in their active years, aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence); from na’ar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is Aner, a person and a location. It may mean “youth” or “servant.”
LXXV “were allies” = baal + berit. Baal is from baal (to marry, have dominion, be master). This is lord, owner, ally, master, or archer. Berit is perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.

14 When Abram heardLXXVI that his nephewLXXVII had been taken captive,LXXVIII he led forthLXXIX his trainedLXXX men,

Notes on verse 14a

LXXVI “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
LXXVII “nephew” = ach. Same as “brother” in v12. See note LXV above.
LXXVIII “taken captive” = shabah. This is to carry away into captivity, bring away, capture, lead away.
LXXIX “led forth” = ruq. 19x in OT.  This is to pour out in a literal or figurative sense. It can mean to arm, draw out, cast out, or empty.
LXXX “trained” = chanik. 1x in OT. From the same as chek (gums, mouth, roof of the mouth, palate, speech, gums, taste); probably from chanak (to narrow; to dedicate, initiate, train, or discipline). This is trained, initiated, experienced.

bornLXXXI in his house,LXXXII three hundred eighteenLXXXIII of them, and went in pursuitLXXXIV as far as Dan.LXXXV 

Notes on verse 14b

LXXXI “born” = yalid. 13x in OT. From yalad (to bear, bring forth; can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage). This is born, children, or otherwise referring to descendants.
LXXXII “house” = bayit. Related to “Bera” in v2. Probably related to banah (see note XI above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
LXXXIII “eighteen” = shemoneh + asar. Shemoneh is perhaps from shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat); from shaman (to grow fat, shine, be oily). This is eight or eighth. It can refer to abundance as being more than 7, the number of sacred fullness. Asar is the same as “twelve” in v4. See note XXVI above.
LXXXIV “went in pursuit” = radaph. This is to chase after, pursue, hunt, or persecute. It is running after someone or something, generally with hostile motives.
LXXXV “Dan” = Dan. From din (to judge, defend, dispute, govern, strive). This is Dan or a Danite. It means “judge” and can refer to Dan, his tribe, or the lands of the tribe.

15 He dividedLXXXVI his forces against them by night,LXXXVII he and his servants,LXXXVIII and routedLXXXIX them

Notes on verse 15a

LXXXVI “divided” = chalaq. This is to be smooth in a figurative sense. So, it can refer to the stones that were part of casting lots – hence, apportion, share, distribute. Figuratively, it can also mean to flatter.
LXXXVII “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
LXXXVIII “servants” = ebed. Related to “served” in v4. From abad (see note XXVII above). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
LXXXIX “routed” = nakah. Same as “subdued” in v5. See note XXXII above.

and pursuedXC them to Hobah,XCI northXCII of Damascus.XCIII 

Notes on verse 15b

XC “pursued” = radaph. Same as “went in pursuit” in v14. See note LXXXIV above.
XCI “Hobah” = Chobah. 1x in OT. From chub (to tie, endanger, forfeit) OR from chabah (to withdraw, hide). This is Hobah in Syria. It may mean “hiding place.”
XCII “north” = semol. Perhaps from the same as simlah (mantle, clothes, wrapper); perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is left, left side, or north as the part that is dark.
XCIII “Damascus” = Dammeseq. From Old Aramaic dammasq (Damascus); perhaps related to d-r (dwelling) OR in Syriac darsuq (“a well-watered land”). This is Damascus. See

16 Then he brought backXCIV all the goods, and also brought back his nephew Lot with his goods, and the womenXCV and the people.XCVI

17 After his returnXCVII from the defeatXCVIII of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meetXCIX him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 

Notes on verses 16-17

XCIV “brought back” = shub. Same as “turned back” in v7. See note XLIII above.
XCV “women” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
XCVI “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
XCVII “return” = shub. Same as “turned back” in v7. See note XLIII above.
XCVIII “defeat” = nakah. Same as “subdued” in v5. See note XXXII above.
XCIX “meet” = qirah. From the same as qara (to happen, meet, bring about). This is any kind of encounter, whether peaceful, hostile, or incidental. It can also mean help or seek.

18 And King MelchizedekC of SalemCI brought outCII breadCIII and wine;CIV

Notes on verse 18a

C “Melchizedek” = Malki-tsedeq. Related to “king” in v1. 2x in OT. From melek (king, royal) + tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, just cause, vindication; that which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense; abstractly equity; figuratively prosperity). This is Melchizedek, meaning “my king is right”.
CI “Salem” = Shalem. 2x in OT. From shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is Salem or Shalem, meaning “peaceful.”
CII “brought out” = yatsa. Same as “went out” in v8. See note LI above.
CIII “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
CIV “wine” = yayin. Root may mean to effervesce, referring to the fermentation process. This is wine, grape, or banquet. It can imply intoxication.

he was priestCV of GodCVI Most High.CVII 

Notes on verse 18b

CV “priest” = kohen. This is literally the one who officiates i.e. the priest. This is where the Jewish last name “Cohen” (and its variants) comes from.
CVI “God” = El.
CVII “Most High” = Elyon. From alah (to go up, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is most high, upper. It refers to elevation – so, lofty.

19 He blessedCVIII him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    makerCIX of heavenCX and earth;CXI

Notes on verse 19

CVIII “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
CIX “maker” = qanah. This is to acquire, create, purchase, own. Its root may mean to smith or to produce.
CX “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
CXI “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

20 and blessed be God Most High,
    who has deliveredCXII your enemiesCXIII into your hand!”CXIV

And Abram gave him one-tenthCXV of everything. 

21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons,CXVI but take the goods for yourself.”

Notes on verses 20-21

CXII “delivered” = magan. 3x in OT. From magen (a shield, defense, or figuratively a protector. It can also be used for a crocodile’s hide); from ganan (to surround, cover, defend, protect). This is to delivery, to shield, rescue, surrender.
CXIII “enemies” = tsar. From tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). Properly, this is a narrow or constricted place. Figuratively, it can be trouble, a pebble, an enemy, anguish, or distress.
CXIV “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
CXV “one-tenth” = maaser. Related to “twelve” in v4. From the same as eser (see note XXVI above). This is tenth or tithe.
CXVI “persons” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have swornCXVII to the Lord,CXVIII God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a threadCXIX or a sandalCXX-thongCXXI or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’CXXII 

Notes on verses 22-23

CXVII “sworn” = rum + yad. Literally “raised my hand.” Rum is related to “Abram’s” in v12. See note LXIV above. Yad is the same as “hand” in v20. See note CXIV above.
CXVIII “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
CXIX “thread” = chut. 7x in OT. This is a thread, cord, string, or line. Root may mean to sew. This word can also imply a measuring tape.
CXX “sandal” = naal. From naal (properly to secure with a bar or cord; to lock, bolt, enclose; to secure with a cord i.e. to put on a sandal). This is the tongue of a sandal and, by extension, a sandal or shoe itself. Figuratively, this can refer to occupancy, unwillingness to marry, or something without value.
CXXI “thong” = serok. 2x in OT. From sarak (to twist, interlace, cross). This is a strap or lace for a sandal.
CXXII “made…rich” = ashar. Related to “Ashteroth-karnaim” in v5. 17x in OT. See note XXXIV above.

24 I will take nothing but what the young menCXXIII have eaten,CXXIV and the shareCXXV of the menCXXVI who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their share.”

Notes on verse 24

CXXIII “young men” = na’ar. Related to “Aner” in v13. See note LXXIV above.
CXXIV “eaten” = akal. Related to “provisions” in v11. See note LX above.
CXXV “share” = cheleq. Related to “divided” in v15. From chalaq (see note LXXXVI above). This is a division, lot, inheritance, legacy, or portion. It can also refer to a smooth tongue.
CXXVI “men” = ish. Related to “women” in v16. See note XCV above.

Image credit: Relief at the Church of St. Christopher in Navis, Austria. Photo by Piergiuliano Chesi.

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