Abram at war with the kings
1-4 Now 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, 5 kings made one group like that and fought against him. Kedorlaomer joined with 3 other kings. So, it was 4 kings against 5 other kings.
The 4 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 called Zoar.) They fought in the Valley of Siddim. (That is the Salt Sea.) 5 In 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. 6 And they won against the Horites in the country of Seir. This was as far as El Paran near the desert. 7 They 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.
8 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 to fight. That was in the Valley of Siddim. 9 They fought against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar. There were 4 kings fighting against 5 kings. 10 The Valley of Siddim had many holes in the ground. The holes were filled with tar. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah ran away. And some of their men fell into the deep tar. The rest of the men ran away to the hills. 11 The 4 kings took everything in Sodom and Gomorrah, including all the food. Then they went away. 12 Abram'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
13 At 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. 14 Abram 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.
15 During the night, Abram separated his men into 2 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. 16 Abram took back everything that those men had taken from Sodom. He also brought back his nephew Lot, together with the women and other people.
17 In 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 Kings' valley.
18 Melchizedek was the king of Salem, and he was a priest of the Most High God. He brought out bread and wine for Abram. 19 He blessed Abram. He said, ‘I pray that the Most High God who made heaven and earth will bless Abram. 20 Praise the Most High God! He has given you power over your enemies.’
After that, Abram gave Melchizedek a 10th part of everything.
14:20Abram gave Melchizedek a 10th part of everything that he had taken in the fight. This was a king's part.
21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give back to me all my people. Take everything else for yourself.’ 22 But 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. 23 I promised that I would not take anything that belonged to you. I will not take the smallest thing, even a piece of string, or part of a shoe. Then you will never be able to say, “I made Abram become rich.” 24 I 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.’
14:24In 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. Abram had promised God that he would not take anything from the king of Sodom. But Abram lets the men who helped him have the things that they had won for themselves.