Genesis  ◦   Chapter 14

1At this time, king Amraphel of Babylonia, king Arioch of Ellasar, king Kedorlaomer of Elam and king Tidal of Goiim 2went to war against king Bera of Sodom, king Birsha of Gomorrah, king Shinab of Admah, king Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (also called Zoar). 3These five kings from the west joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (the Dead or Salt Sea). 4For twelve years they had been vassals paying tribute to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

5In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and his allies went to war and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim 6and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, pursuing them to the edge of the desert near El Paran. 7They turned back and went to En Mishpat (also called Kadesh), and they conquered all the lands of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tamar.

8Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Bela (also called Zoar) marched their armies to the Valley of Siddim and drew up battle lines 9against king Kedorlaomer of Elam, king Tidal of Goiim, king Amraphel of Shinar and king Ellasar of Arioch. It was four kings against five. 10The Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were defeated, some of their men fell into these pits, while the rest fled into the hills. 11The four victorious kings took all the possessions and food of Sodom and Gomorrah and left the battlefield. 12They also took captive Abram’s nephew Lot and seized his possessions, since he lived in Sodom.

13A man who had escaped came to Abram the Hebrew and reported what happened. Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and Aner. They all agreed to help Abram. 14When Abram heard what had happened to his nephew, he called up the 318 trained men born in his household and pursued the invaders as far as Dan. 15Abram divided his men into three companies and made a daring night attack, routing the enemy. He chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16He recovered all the stolen property and brought back Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other captives.

17When Abram returned from defeating king Kedorlaomer and his allies, the king of Sodom came out and greeted him in the Valley of Shaveh (also called the King’s Valley).

18Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the Infinite and Supreme God, brought out bread and wine 19and blessed Abram, saying, “The Infinite and Supreme God, the Creator of heaven and earth, blesses you. 20Worthy of praise is the Infinite and Supreme God, who has given you victory over your enemies.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the wealth he had recovered.

21The king of Sodom said to Abram, “You keep all the money and goods for yourself; just give me the people you have recovered.”

22But Abram refused and told the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand and made a solemn pledge to the Infinite and Supreme God, the Creator of heaven and earth, 23that I will take nothing that belongs to you, not even a thread or shoelace, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich – he owes his success to me.’ 24I will accept only the food my men have eaten and the share that rightfully goes to the men who went with me – Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. I will take their share to them.”