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. And these 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 Zoar. They fought in the Valley of Siddim. (That is the Salt Sea.) 5 In the 14th year, Kedorlaomer and the kings with him beat the Rephaites. This was in Ashteroth Karnaim. They beat the Zuzites in Ham. They beat the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim. 6 And they beat the Horites in the country of Seir. This was as far as El Paran near the land of dry sand. 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. This 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 tar. The rest of the men ran away to the hills. 11 The 4 kings took everything in Sodom and Gomorrah. And they took all the food. Then they went away. 12 They also took Abram's nephew. This is Lot. They took everything that Lot had. That was because Lot lived in Sodom.
Abram and Melchizedek
13 A man ran away from the kings. He told Abram the Hebrew everything that had happened. Abram lived near the big trees of Mamre the Amorite. Mamre was a brother of Eshcol and Aner. These men would fight with Abram. 14 Abram heard that the kings caught his nephew. He called 318 men. These men knew how to fight. They were born into Abram's household. Abram and the men went after the men who took Lot. They went as far as Dan.
14:14Household means everyone who lived with Abram. They did not have to be Abram's family.
15 During the night, Abram separated his men into 2 groups. Then they attacked the men who took Lot. Abram followed them as far as Hobah. Hobah is North of Damascus. 16 Abram took back everything that the men took from Sodom. He brought back his nephew Lot. Abram also brought back the women and other people.
17 Abram beat Kedorlaomer and the kings with him. He returned, and the king of Sodom came out to meet Abram. This was in the Valley of Shaveh. (That is the Kings' valley.) 18 Melchizedek was the king of Salem. He brought out bread and wine. Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed Abram. He said ‘Abram is blessed by God Most High who made heaven and earth. 20 Blessed is God Most High. He gave your enemies to you.’ Abram gave king Melchizedek a 10th of everything.
14:20Abram gave Melchizedek a 10th of everything taken in war. This was a king's part.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the people. Keep everything else.’ 22 But Abram said ‘I have raised my hand to the LORD God Most High. He made heaven and earth. And I have made a promise to him. 23 I promised not to take anything from you. I will not take even a part of your shoe. So you can never say “I made Abram rich.” 24 The men who went with me may take their part. They may take their part of anything that we took. They are Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their part.’
14:24The people who won a war took things. They took things from the people whom they had beaten. The leader gave these things to the men who had fought. Abram promised God that he would not take anything from the king of Sodom. The people of Sodom sinned against God. But Abram lets the men who fought with him have their things.