Genesis 14:1-24

 |  March 21, 2018

Gen. 14:1-24

  1. Locate the passage

This pericope records the battle scene of four kingdoms of the East battle five kingdoms of the West to whom they have been subjugated for twelve years.  In the battle, Lot is taken during the defeat of the western kingdoms.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative.  There is no narrative until the last battle is concluded and Abram and Melchizedek both recount and demonstrate their faith in God

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

14:1-12 – The land of the Covenant plundered

14:13-17 – Abram’s rescue of his nephew and restoration of people and property

14:18-24 – The blessing of Melchizedek and the tithe of Abram

  1. Exegete the passage

The events of this pericope open without Abram or Lot being mentioned until vs. 12.  The four kings and the people have been subject to the five kings for twelve years.  In the 13th year of their “service” they rebelled.  In the ensuing battle, Sodom and Gomorrah are ransacked and Lot is taken captive.

The text does not indicate how the four kings came under subjugation.  The story begins after these conditions have already been in place for 12 years.  Curiously, only four of the five kings of the west are actually named; the king of Zoar is not named.

14:2 – This is the first mention of war (Hb. “mischamah”) in Scripture

14:10 – The Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits

14:12 – no details are given regarding the capture of Lot.

14:13 – Abram “the Hebrew”

14:13 – the reference to the Oaks here recalls Abram’s dwelling in 13:18 and anticipates the Lord’s appearance to him there in 18:1.

14:14 – Abram’s response is swift.  The presence of “trained men” with his readiness

14:16 – Abram’s rescue of Lot is equally devoid of details as was Lot’s capture

14:17-24 – Both the kings of Sodom and Salem came out to meet Abram.  But their interactions with him are strikingly different.

14:18 – Melchizedek

14:22 – “I have raised my hand to the Lord”

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

Category: Sermon Structure
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