and Lot separate and the location of Sodom
A. Abram, Lot part
1. Abram leaves Haran in 2091 BC.
2. He Builds altar at Shechem
3. He builds an altar between Ai &
Bethel at the spot later known as Ai of Joshua.
4. He moves to Egypt because of famine.
5. Pharaoh takes Sarai as his wife and
is stricken by God. Pharaoh expels Abram.
6. He returns to Ai and separates from
7. Lot chose the eastern Jordan valley,
settles in the cities of the valley and moved his tents as far as Sodom.
8. Abram moves to Hebron
B. Location of Sodom:
El-Hamman, Edh-Dhra or under salt sea?
1. Does Gen 13:11 read that Lot moved
directly to Sodom (tel el Hamman) or that he moved east, then later south to
Sodom in two stages (edh Dhra)?
2. Sodom was in the “circle” (19:17).
3. Does the circle of the Jordan
(13:10) include the whole below sea level bowl?
4. Zoar was very close to Sodom.
5. Josephus, Eusebius and Madaba map
place Zoar at the south east end.
6. While Moses was standing on Nebo
beside Shittim, viewed the promised land from Jericho to Zoar.
7. Abram viewed the smoke from Hebron.
8. Sodom was associated with the south
east border of Canaan (10:19).
9. There are tar pits in the southern
basin but not in the Shittim area.
10. The valley of Siddim may indicate the southern basin
was once a fertile plain which was first burned, then flooded with six meters of
C. Note on Gen 14-15
- Lot moved
his tents down the Jordan valley (adjacent to the dead sea) until he came
close to Sodom: Gen 13:12.
- In Gen
14:1f, four kings from the general Babyonian area (central Mesopotamia:
Gen 10:10), from the cities of Shinar (King Amraphel), Ellasar (Arioch
King ), Elam (King Chedorlaomer), Goiim (King Tidal), went to war against
5 lower Jordanian kings.
29:23; Genesis 19:20,25; Hosea 11:8 proves the 5 cities of Sodom (King
Bera), Gomorrah (King Birsha), Admah (King Shinab), Zeboiim (King
Shemeber) and Bele or Zoar (unnamed king) were very close to each other.
They lie in the plain or valley of Jordan (Gen. 13:10). All would have
been destroyed by God in Gen 19:18 if Lot hadn't wanted to stay in Zoar
which was in the valley near the other 4 cities.
Click for high resolution
four cities including Sodom may lie under the shallow southern end of the
dead sea. 2 Esdras 5:2 may be a cryptic reference to indicate this:
"And the Sodomitish sea shall cast out fish". The location of
Zoar, is the only city known for certain. On the other hand, Sodom may be
located at Shittim, north east of the salt sea.
- The war
of kings seems to have taken place in the valley of Siddim at the south
end of the Salt sea, perhaps partly under water. Gen 14:3,8,10.
- The 4
Mesopotamian kings conquered the 5 Jordanian kings, took Lot into exile:
Gen 14:12. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were killed. Later Joshua would
conquer 5 Palestinian kings in Josh 10:1-5.
- The first
time the word "Hebrew" is used in the Bible is in Gen 14:13.
Just as Abraham is first called a "Hebrew" in Gen 14:13, so also
the disciples first called Christians in Acts 11:26. The etymological
origin of "Hebrew" is uncertain. The likely origin of word
"ibri" [Hebrew] is derived from "br" which means
"to cross over a boundary".
family and all their possessions were taken into captivity from Sodom, by
the 4 Mesopotamian kings. The choices Lot and Abram make and their end
result are significant. Lot chose the worldly advantages of living near
wicked Sodom and lost everything he had not once but twice! Abraham was
the one who saved lots twice in Gen 14 & 19. When Lot was separated
from Abram, he suffered loss. When he was with Abram, he was blessed.
with God's help (Gen 14:20), pursues and defeats the 4 kings and rescues
Lot Gen 14:13-15. This win by Abram against 4 defending champions, would
become legendary in the ancient world. It also foreshadows the prophecy of
Christ who would defeat 4 world powers in Dan 7:44. Isaiah 41:2 is a
reference to the conquest of Abram.
brings refreshments for Abram's men to the valley of Shaveh (the King's
Valley: 2 Sam.18:18, possibly just outside Jerusalem) and blesses him.
Melchizedek's coming out to greet Abram after victory was traditional: 1
Samuel 18:6. Melchizedek was above Abram in spiritual rank, having blessed
Abram and accepted tithes from him.
was king of Salem, which later became Jerusalem. [Heb: Jeru = possession;
Salem = peace: "possession of peace"]. Psalm 76:2 calls
the first righteous Hebrew king to sit on Melchizedek's throne and rule
Jerusalem, prophesied Jesus would be king and priest after the order of
Melchizedek: Ps. 110:4. David was king only. (Josh 10:1-5 mentions the
king of Jerusalem who was conquered by Joshua in the conquest.) David
built a altar to the Lord on Mt. Moriah on the threshing floor of Ornan
the Jebusite: 1 Chron 21:18. (Abraham had offered Isaac on this site: Gen
22:1,14; 2 Chron 3:1, in Jerusalem where Melchizedek was king). This later
became the very temple site: 2 Chron 3:1. So we have a sequence:
First Melchizedek, as the first king
Second, Abraham, first Hebrew priest
to offer sacrifices on temple site.
Third, David, the first righteous
(like Melchizedek) Hebrew king to sit on "Melchizedek's throne" 1000
years later, announces that Jesus will be the first spiritual king to sit on
the throne in Jerusalem. So from Melchizedek to David, and from David to Christ
is about 1000 years between each!
Fourth, Jesus sits on the throne of
David (and Melchizedek) at the ascension. Acts 2:29-36.Then it comes full
circle, because Jesus was a king and priest after the order of Melchizedek.
- The new
king of Sodom also meets Abram in the valley of Shaveh and asks for his
recaptured people back. Abraham not only give the people, but the goods as
well. Abram proved himself to be humble and righteous by giving back all
the goods to the king of Sodom, after a spectacular and legendary military
victory! The King of Sodom and Melchizedek both offered Abram riches. One
from the world and one from God. Abram chose God's blessing above worldly
meeting of Melchizedek (Father) and the king of Sodom (Devil) foreshadows
Jesus temptation in the wilderness in Mt 4. The Devil, like the King of
Sodom, offered Jesus instant material wealth. Abram refused to keep the
goods he had recaptured, knowing God had promised blessing through
Testament writers pointed to three Old Testament characters to prove that
the Law of Moses was to be abolished.
First is Melchizedek whose priesthood preceded Aaron's;
whose kingship preceded David's; who blessed and received tithes from Abram.
Gen 14:19 (Heb 4)
Second is Abraham, who was justified by faith before
circumcision. Gen. 15:6 (Rom 4)
Third is Moses who wrote the Law's "self
destruct clause" in Deut 18:15, (Acts 3:22; 7:37) that stated the Jews
should ignore the Law of Moses and give exclusive heed to Christ.
wants to know for certain that he will inherit the land. Abram is told to
prepare a sacrifice where the animals are split in two and arranged so
that a man can walk between the halve. The birds of prey indicate evil and
400 years of slavery in Egypt, hence Abram's terror. Normally, both
parties "passed between the sacrifice" as a way to confirm their
mutual covenant: Jer 34:18-19 However in this case, God alone, "passes
through" because the covenant is unilateral, unconditioned on Abram's
part, being a promise! (Heb 6:13-20) God confirms his covenant with Abram
in Gen 15 and tells him that after 400 years of slavery, his seed would
possess the land he lives in.
Abram pleads for God to spare Lot, God still intended to destroy the five
cities of Gen 14:1f, but spares Zoar, so Lot can escape there. This is the
second time Abraham has saved Lot.
D. Summary of
(possible) Antitypes in Gen 14-15:
- The choices
of Abram that resulted in blessing and Lot that resulted in destruction,
are similar to several New Testament parables. (Parables of Abram's
trusting in God: Hidden Treasure: Mt 13:44, Pearl of Great Price: Mt
13:44. Parables of Lot's trusting in wealth: Rich Fool: Lk 12:13-21)
- Who you
associate with will affect you: Twice, Lot was blessed when he was near
Abram and lost is all, when he was near Sodom. Christians are likewise
admonished to be careful who they associate with: 2 Peter 2:7-9; 1 Cor 15:33;
2 Cor 6:14; 2 Thess 3:6
"victory" over four "world" powers Gen 14 is an
antitype of Jesus' victory over the four world powers of Dan 7:44; Col
2:15. Also curious is the fact that twice in scripture, 5 kings of
Jordan/Palestine, fought and lost. First, in Gen 14:9 against the 4 kings;
second in Josh 10:5 against Joshua.
victory in Gen 14, was also the very first in a long series where God did
the fighting! (Ex 14:14,25; 15:3; Deut 1:30; 3:22; Josh 23:3; 2 Chron
20:29; Neh 4:20)
- The king
of Sodom, tempting Abram to accept worldly riches after the promise of
blessings from God from Melchizedek represents the devil tempting Jesus in
the wilderness the same way in Mt 4.
king of Salem was a antitype of David, physical king of physical
Jerusalem. Both Melchizedek and David were antitypes of Jesus who is the
spiritual King of a spiritual Jerusalem.
- Jews were
first called "Hebrews" in Gen 14:13 just as the disciples first
called Christians in Acts 11:26.
- Abram was
called a Hebrew shortly after he settled near Jerusalem (future Jewish
center of the world) Paul was first called a Christian shortly after Paul
arriving in Antioch (the NT center of Abraham's spiritual Gentile seed)
after being called a Hebrew, Abram pursued the 4 kings and defeated them
in the first great physical battle fought by God. Soon after being a
Christian, Paul left on the "first missionary journey" which was
the first great spiritual battle aided by God.
Abram and Paul traveled the same route (the road to Damascus, Gen 14:15;
Acts 9) when they came to spiritual enlightenment. Abram proved his faith
in God's promise to protect and bless him as he pursued the 4 kings. Paul
came to spiritual life and was baptized in Damascus! A "great
darkness" fell upon Abram (Gen. 15:12) which may be a type of the
darkness that fell on Paul when he was three days without sight. (Acts
9:9) Both Abram and Saul had their names changed.
blessed Abram after eating bread and wine. Jesus blessed the disciples
after the Lord's Supper (unleavened bread and grape juice)
as a king is an antitype of David. Melchizedek as a king and priest is an
antitype of Christ.
and Isaac are used in the NT as an antitype of the Father and Jesus. Isaac
was sacrificed on a mountain of Moriah while Jesus was crucified just
outside Jerusalem, which was built on Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22:2; 2 Chron. 3:1)
Isaac was as good as dead in Abraham's mind for three days (Gen. 22:4)
while Jesus was in the grave for three days. Both Isaac (Gen 22:6) and
Jesus carried the wood for their own sacrifice.
was the original example of "living by faith", when he conquered
the enemies of Israel. Doubting Habakkuk was warned to "Live by
faith" after he learned that Israel's enemies would win the war in
Abram was told that Israel would suffer in Egyptian bondage before glory,
it provides the general pattern for Christ's crucifixion (Luke 24:26; 1
Peter 1:11) and Christians (Hebrews 2:10) when they must suffer first then
Steve Rudd: Contact the author for
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