SynopsisIn this chapter, Lot gets caught in the middle of a war between a number of different kings. Which kings, you ask? Well, it was Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim, against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) (verses 1–2). I hope that clears things up for you.
At the end of the chapter, the king of Sodom tells Abram just to return the people he rescued, and that he can keep the goods for himself, but he says… well, he says this:
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.” (verses 22–24)
ThoughtsA couple of things spring out at me, in this chapter.
- In this chapter, in the verses I quoted above
- In Psalm 110—which most Christians believe is written about Jesus—it is said that the Messiah will be “a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (verse 4)
- In the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapters 5–7, Jesus is compared to Melchizedek. The book of Hebrews, if one were to sum it up in a sentence, is a comparison between the old Jewish religion, and the new relationship with God we have now that Jesus has died for our sins; various aspects of the new “religion” are compared with Judaism, and shown to be better. (Jesus is better than angels; Jesus’ sacrifice is better than animal sacrifices; etc.) In these chapters, Jesus’ priesthood is compared to Melchizedek’s, and shown to be better.