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Verses 1-24

Abram meets Melchizedek (14:1-24)

Lot’s selfish choice brought him unexpected trouble. In the Dead Sea region where Lot lived, a group of city-states rebelled against their Mesopotamian overlords and brought war upon themselves. Lot was captured and his possessions plundered (14:1-12). Abram was in no danger but he was concerned for Lot. With a fighting force of over three hundred from his large household, along with others from neighbouring households, he pursued the invaders. He overpowered the enemy in a surprise night attack, rescued Lot and recovered all the plunder (13-16).

On his return, Abram was met by the king of Sodom, whose goods Abram had recovered. He was met also by Melchizedek, king of the Canaanite city-state of Salem (probably the place later called Jerusalem), who, like Abram, was a worshipper of the Most High God. More than that, Melchizedek was God’s priest. He therefore blessed Abram, reminding him that God, and no other, was the true owner of heaven and earth. God was the one who had given Abram this victory. Abram acknowledged this, firstly by making a costly offering to God’s priest, and secondly by refusing to accept any reward from the king of Sodom. God alone controlled Abram’s affairs in Canaan. Nevertheless, Abram gladly allowed his neighbours to be rewarded (17-24; cf. Hebrews 7:1-10).

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