Biblical Audio Commentary – Abram & Rephaim Logistics
The account in Genesis 14 of the ancient war between four kings and five kings has some fascinating aspects to it that I just saw myself and thought you might find the logistics of that conflict equally intriguing.
This war came about sometime following the split between Abram and his nephew Lot. Seeing only in the natural, Lot chose the fertile – at the time – valley to the east that paralleled what is now the Dead Sea in Israel. We could ponder whether that body of water was always like that and possibly conclude that it may once have teamed with life. Think about it.
Of course, when the men and all their livestock separated, God declared His covenant with Abram in the land of Canaan that was some distance from Lot’s choice, which included the city of Sodom.
The war came about when the five kings decided they no longer wished to serve the peoples led by the four kings, notably a king named Chedorlaomer. The rebellion didn’t go over well with Chedorlaomer because he likely wanted the bounty of subservience that had previously been paid to him.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Note the six people groups associated with the five rebel kings in Genesis 14:6-7:
All of these are giant tribes descended from Noah’s son Ham through his son Canaan. They are also noted elsewhere as having come from the Nephilim. In other words, as we’ve seen in previous studies I’ve done in my Commentaries, these people had corrupted DNA because of the fact that their ancestors were the rebellious sons of God from Genesis 6, who had transgressed their heavenly boundaries and procreated with human women.
The kings for these peoples were from, among other cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, the very places where Lot hung out. In the midst of the battles, Chedorlaomer invaded Sodom and snatched Lot along with all his possessions.
Not long after, Abram heard the news about Lot and determined to rescue him. Now, guess who Abram was allied with at the time. Here is Genesis 14:13 with this head-rattling piece of logistical information:
Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram.
Did you catch this? Abram was allies with an Amorite, i.e. a giant descendent of the Nephilim. Who was Eschol in this relationship? Do you recall later where the spies Joshua sent out went and what they had? Here is Numbers 13:23-24:
And they came to the Valley of Eshcol and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them; they also brought some pomegranates and figs. That place was called the Valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster that the people of Israel cut down from there.
Why did they have to carry the cluster of grapes on a pole? Because the cluster was gigantic. And where had they been? In the Valley of Eschol which was named for a giant Amorite. Why was the cluster so large? Likely because it had been somehow genetically engineered, which is probably what many of the giant tribes did. Just think of why God decreed with so many different cities that they must be devoted to destruction, all men, women, children, and livestock. Even the livestock! That indicates something was going on very unnatural in those places since not all cities had God judging them in this manner.
So, Abram and his giant Amorite buddies go after Chedorlaomer and his armies, and soundly defeat them. In the process Abram rescues Lot along with all his possessions. Not only that, the people of Sodom are restored through this victory.
To honor Abram, the king of Sodom wants to give him the bounty from the war for his efforts, but Abram turns him down. The reward can go to the Amorites. Instead, Abram tithes to Melchizedek, the king of Salem, i.e. Jerusalem, who may in fact be the pre-incarnate Christ. In other words, Abram reveres only Yahweh and His anointed and will have nothing to do in the way of worship or allegiance to any other king or the gods they serve.
We learn shortly in Genesis 15:16 that this is a good move by Abram in God’s eyes. Once the Israelites end up going to Egypt for 400 years, they will come back under Moses and Joshua to defeat many of these same giant tribes so as to take the Promised Land for themselves according to God’s Word. As for the fate of the Amorites:
“And they [Abram’s descendants] shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
These allies of Abram will grow in even greater depravity. This will lead to their destruction at the hands of those who come after Abram.
All this leads to God making the famous one-sided covenant declaration with Abram for the land of Israel. Of equal import is God’s promise for Abram to be the father of many people through the God-ordained name change seen in Genesis 17:1-8:
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
It took Abraham some missteps to finally reach the point where he completely trusted God and obeyed Him. However, we see in this sequence of events how the Lord used the circumstances all around him to bring him into a deeper relationship. Abraham feared God. That eventually led to obedience in all things, and look at what came about: Abraham became the first father – the patriarch – of all Israel.
None of us knows what might result from our placing our total trust in God. None of us have any insights into where our obedience leads in our lives as we know them today. The one thing we do know is that when we trust and obey the commands of Christ, this is immensely pleasing to the Lord.
In these latter days with the end so near, as children of the living God, it is so important that we walk with Him in all His ways. Let’s find favor in His sight, for soon we’ll be in His holy presence.