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|In chapter thirteen, Abram returned to Bethel from Egypt, very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. Lot also was
very rich. The region was such that the pasture and water was not enough to bear them both, so strife broke out
between Abram's and Lot's servants. Abram showed his unselfishness and humility in offering Lot his choice of
which direction to go. Lot chose the more plush area of Sodom, that city which was exceedingly wicked. Then
Jehovah repeated the promise of the land, promising it to his seed “for ever” or until the end of the age. Now
Lot begins to pay for his choice of the land near Sodom.
THE BATTLE OF FOUR KINGS AGAINST FIVE
The fourteenth chapter of the book of Genesis has been attacked by skeptics as being a forgery and the
expedition being called “fictitious” and the events said to be “simply impossibilities” [Theodore Noldeke (1836-
1930) in a pamphlet entitled “THE UNHISTORICAL CHARACTER OF GENESIS 14;”and, Julius
Wellhausen in DIE COMPOSITION DES HEXATEUCHES; Third Edition, Berlin; 1899; p. 312]. This
rejection of the events of chapter fourteen is based upon four reasons: 1) the names of the kings are considered
fictitious or unhistorical; 2) there is supposed to be no extensive travel as the military campaign described at this
time; 3) the geographic lines of the march are considered unreasonable; and, 4) there is supposed no record of
Mesopotamian kings having authority over Canaan.
Archaeological evidence has shown the first basis for rejection of the accuracy of the fourteenth chapter of
Genesis to be wrong. Howard Vos says: “For a long time the name of the four kings of the East were thought to
be unhistorical, but most scholars now find some means of identifying them with known persons or at least
identifying them as historical name forms” [GENESIS AND ARCHAEOLOGY; Chicago: Moody Press; 1963;
The second and third basis for the rejection of the account of Genesis fourteen can be treated as but one
objection in refutation. W.F. Albright of John Hopkins University states: “Formerly the writer considered this
extraordinary line of march as being the best proof of the essential legendary character of the narrative …” Mr.
Albright then goes on to speak of “The Way of the King” he discovered which dated back to the time of Abram
and vindicates the estensive travel shown in the Biblical narrative [ARCHAEOLOGY OF PALESTINE AND
THE BIBLE; New York: Revell; 1933; pp. 142-3]. The travel was so extensive at that time from Mesopotamia
to Palestine that rental contracts on wagons were discovered which prohibited taking the wagon to Palestine
The fourth objection to the Biblical narrative has been shown to be equally incorrect. Joseph Free writes:
“Archaeological evidence of their [Mesopotamian – rlr] control or attempt at control over the region of Canaan
was found in an inscription in which the King of Elam (Persia) called himself ‘the prince of the land of Amurru’
(M.G. Kyle, DECIDING VOICE OF THE MONUMENTS; p. 133). Amurru, the land of the Amorites,
including Syria and Canaan” [“ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE HISTORICAL ACCURACY OF SCRIPTURE,”
BIBLIOTHECA SACRA; July, 1956; Vol. 113; pp. 214-216].
We might add, there is no reason to question a factual basis for any of the Biblical narrative.
LOT TAKEN CAPTIVE
The import of the first half of this chapter is not in the war of the kings of Mesopotamia with the kings of
Canaan, but in the fact that Lot, the nephew of Abram was taken captive by the kings of Mesopotamia after
they had defeated the kings of Canaan.
Abram was informed by one who escaped from the battle, that Lot had been taken captive. He at once set out to
free his relative from the hands of his prisoners. With 318 of his trained men, Abram defeated the enemy and
brought back all that was taken: Lot, his good, the women, and the people.
MELCHIZEDEK, KING OF SALEM
As Abram returns from his victory in rescueing Lot, he is met by the king of Salem (Jerusalem), Melchizedek,
“a priest of the most high God” to whom he pays tithes. This brief encounter is the basis for a prophecy
concerning Christ, and an argument used by Paul to show the superiority of Christ’s priesthood to that of the
Levitical order [Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6; 7:1].
This is a chart of comparison between Melchizedek and Christ.
ABRAM AND THE KING OF SODOM
The king of Sodom upon Abram’s return offers him all the goods which were taken if he would but return the
people. However, Abram refuses lest the king would say, “I have if made Abram rich.” Abram, therefore, takes
on spoke to inly what his men have eaten; and, he suggests that the men who went with him be allowed to take
1. Upon what basis do the skeptics reject the narrative of the fourteenth chapter of Genesis?
2. Is there any evidence of the truthfulness of the fourteenth chapter of Genesis against the attacks of the
3. What happened to Lot as a result of the battle of the kings of Mesopotamia against the kings of Canaan?
4. With how many men did Abram set out to rescue Lot?
5. Melchizedek means and “king of righteousness.” How is Melchizedek a type of the true “king of
righteousness”, Christ Jesus?
6. How much of the spoil did Abram take from the king of Sodom? And
1. Why is it important to vindicate the Biblical narrative in occasions like the fourteenth chapter of
Genesis? What difference does it make anyhow?
2. Give two reasons why it is important that Jesus be a priest after the order of Melchizedek.
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