Interesting things in Genesis today…
Chapter 11…the descendants list….we find Peleg..whose name means land divided. Also notice this chapter begins with God dividing and scattering people across the land during the Tower of Babel. They established family tribes and possessed different lands. The family patriarchs were often called kings. Abram’s family tribe lived in Ur of the Chaldeans. God called him to move to the family tribe of Canaan. Some family tribes became righteous and others wicked.
Chapter 14…we find war between kings and their tribes in the Middle East…Shem descendants. They are taking sides and trying to rule over more. I was reminded that this is much the same as America today…one nation, but split by Democrats and Republicans…who fight for rule and economic power.
Abram, the king of his family tribe, is righteous and lived nearby, but not in alliance with warring kings. Abram is wealthy with 318 trained men. He is peaceful allies with 3 nearby tribes.
His nephew Lot lives under the wicked king of Sodom and Gamorrah….out of God’s protection. He, his family, and all his goods are taken. Abram being his closest relative, notifies his allies to join him to pursue justice and saving his family. Abram and his 3 ally tribes defeat the 4 kings from the east who were enslaving the 5 local kings.
Abram brings a thanksgiving offering to Melchizedek King of Salem , which is an incomplete translation…it could read King of Righteousness of Jerusalem. Some think this could have been Shem, son of Noah, or Eber, great grandson of Shem…both outlived Abram! In Hebrew tradition, both were considered righteous and the carriers of prophecy….Jerusalem being their place of residence. Note verse 13 mentions Abram the Hebrew…which actually means “son of Eber”.
Hebrews 7 tells us that Jesus is a high priest after the order of Melchizedek, king of righteousness. Jesus was not of the Levitical priesthood established later under Moses…but rather a righteous prophet.
Lastly, notice Abram did not take any recovered spoils. He did not want the king of Sodom to be able to say he made Abram rich….he depended on God, not man…wisdom!