So Lot and his family settled at Sodom, where King Bera, along with the kings of Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela, were all growing tired of paying tribute to Chedorlaomer, King of the Elamites.
Chedorlaomer and his band of loyal kings went down to the Valley of Siddim to quell the rebellion and to force tribute, if only by the tip of the sword.
The valley was peppered with tar pits. As Bera and the other rebel kings fled the imposing wrath of Elam, some fell prey to these inescapable holes while the rest found safety in the hills. Chedorlaomer went and claimed the spoils of Sodom and Gomorrah, including Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions.
One of the Sodomite rebels who escaped by the skin of his teeth fled to Mamre Oaks for help. When Abram learned of his nephew’s capture, he rallied all his blood relations together, those who had been trained, not only in the fledgling Hebron religion, but also in the art of war. Their men totaled 318 Hebrews, an impressive mob, but a menacing army, they were not.
So Abram called in a few favors with territories who had benefitted from the blessing of Abram’s presence in the region. The leaders of Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner, banded together to pursue the armies of Chedorlaomer as far away as Dan. There they hung back and regrouped. At nightfall, Abram ordered the men to divide their ranks and flank Elam at Hobah.
This strategy brought Chedorlaomer and his mighty armies to their knees. Abram rescued Lot and all his possessions. Although he was under no obligation, Abram liberated the Sodomite captives along with their goods.
After their victory, Abram and his men were camped down at King’s Valley when the king of Sodom came out to meet him.
Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High, also came and presented refreshments of bread and wine to Abram and his men.
Melchizedek blessed Abram, saying, “God Most High, maker of all things, blesses you, Abram. May He be blessed for delivering your enemies to you.”
As a token of his gratitude, Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the spoils of war.
King Bera of Sodom pulled Abram aside and said, “As long as you’re divvying up the spoils, give me the people, and you can have the goods.”
Abram grimaced and answered sharply, “I swore to my Lord, God Most High, maker of all things, that I’d not take a single thread or shoe. I’ll not have it said by anyone, ‘I have made Abram rich.’”
The king slumped, and Abram left him in a blank stare.
Abram concluded the kings’ conference. “I’ll take nothing except what my men have eaten. Let my allies, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their fair share.”
When they had finished dividing everything amongst them, the men disbursed.
Inspiration: Genesis 14