Attention!
10 million Ukrainians without power because of Russia. Help us purchase electrical generators for churches.
Consider helping today!

Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Genesis 14

Verses 1-24

The Calling of the Patriarchs of Israel We can find two major divisions within the book of Genesis that reveal God’s foreknowledge in designing a plan of redemption to establish a righteous people upon earth. Paul reveals this four-fold plan in Romans 8:29-30: predestination, calling, justification, and glorification.

Romans 8:29-30, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

The book of Genesis will reflect the first two phase of redemption, which are predestination and calling. We find in the first division in Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3 emphasizing predestination. The Creation Story gives us God’s predestined plan for mankind, which is to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth with righteous offspring. The second major division is found in Genesis 2:4 to Genesis 50:25, which gives us ten genealogies, in which God calls men of righteousness to play a role in His divine plan of redemption.

The foundational theme of Genesis 2:4 to Genesis 11:26 is the divine calling for mankind to be fruitful and multiply, which commission was given to Adam prior to the Flood (Genesis 1:28-29), and to Noah after the Flood (Genesis 9:1). The establishment of the seventy nations prepares us for the calling out of Abraham and his sons, which story fills the rest of the book of Genesis. Thus, God’s calling through His divine foreknowledge (Genesis 11:27 to Genesis 50:26) will focus the calling of Abraham and his descendants to establish the nation of Israel. God will call the patriarchs to fulfill the original purpose and intent of creation, which is to multiply into a righteous nation, for which mankind was originally predestined to fulfill.

The generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob take up a large portion of the book of Genesis. These genealogies have a common structure in that they all begin with God revealing Himself to a patriarch and giving him a divine commission, and they close with God fulfilling His promise to each of them because of their faith in His promise. God promised Abraham a son through Sarah his wife that would multiply into a nation, and Abraham demonstrated his faith in this promise on Mount Moriah. God promised Isaac two sons, with the younger receiving the first-born blessing, and this was fulfilled when Jacob deceived his father and received the blessing above his brother Esau. Jacob’s son Joseph received two dreams of ruling over his brothers, and Jacob testified to his faith in this promise by following Joseph into the land of Egypt. Thus, these three genealogies emphasize God’s call and commission to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their response of faith in seeing God fulfill His word to each of them.

1. The Generations of Terah (& Abraham) Genesis 11:27 to Genesis 25:11

2. The Generations Ishmael Genesis 25:12-18

3. The Generations of Isaac Genesis 25:19 to Genesis 35:29

4. The Generations of Esau Genesis 36:1-43

5. The Generations of Jacob Genesis 37:1 to Genesis 50:26

The Origin of the Nation of Israel After Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 9:29 takes us through the origin of the heavens and the earth as we know them today, and Genesis 10:1 to Genesis 11:26 explains the origin of the seventy nations (Genesis 10:1 to Genesis 11:26), we see that the rest of the book of Genesis focuses upon the origin of the nation of Israel (Genesis 11:27 to Genesis 50:26). Thus, each of these major divisions serves as a foundation upon which the next division is built.

Paul the apostle reveals the four phases of God the Father’s plan of redemption for mankind through His divine foreknowledge of all things in Romans 8:29-30, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Predestination - Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 11:26 emphasizes the theme of God the Father’s predestined purpose of the earth, which was to serve mankind, and of mankind, which was to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with righteousness. Calling - Genesis 11:27 to Genesis 50:26 will place emphasis upon the second phase of God’s plan of redemption for mankind, which is His divine calling to fulfill His purpose of multiplying and filling the earth with righteousness. (The additional two phases of Justification and Glorification will unfold within the rest of the books of the Pentateuch.) This second section of Genesis can be divided into five genealogies. The three genealogies of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob begin with a divine calling to a patriarch. The two shorter genealogies of Ishmael and Esau are given simply because they inherit a measure of divine blessings as descendants of Abraham, but they will not play a central role in God’s redemptive plan for mankind. God will implement phase two of His divine plan of redemption by calling one man named Abraham to depart unto the Promised Land (Genesis 12:1-3), and this calling was fulfilled by the patriarch. Isaac’s calling can also be found at the beginning of his genealogy, where God commands him to dwell in the Promised Land (Genesis 26:1-6), and this calling was fulfilled by the patriarch Isaac. Jacob’s calling was fulfilled as he bore twelve sons and took them into Egypt where they multiplied into a nation. The opening passage of Jacob’s genealogy reveals that his destiny would be fulfilled through the dream of his son Joseph (Genesis 37:1-11), which took place in the land of Egypt. Perhaps Jacob did not receive such a clear calling as Abraham and Isaac because his early life was one of deceit, rather than of righteousness obedience to God; so the Lord had to reveal His plan for Jacob through his righteous son Joseph. In a similar way, God spoke to righteous kings of Israel, and was silent to those who did not serve Him. Thus, the three patriarchs of Israel received a divine calling, which they fulfilled in order for the nation of Israel to become established in the land of Egypt. Perhaps the reason the Lord sent the Jacob and the seventy souls into Egypt to multiply rather than leaving them in the Promised Land is that the Israelites would have intermarried the cultic nations around them and failed to produce a nation of righteousness. God’s ways are always perfect.

1. The Generations of Terah (& Abraham) Genesis 11:27 to Genesis 25:11

2. The Generations Ishmael Genesis 25:12-18

3. The Generations of Isaac Genesis 25:19 to Genesis 35:29

4. The Generations of Esau Genesis 36:1-43

5. The Generations of Jacob Genesis 37:1 to Genesis 50:26

Divine Miracles It is important to note that up until now the Scriptures record no miracles in the lives of men. Thus, we will observe that divine miracles begin with Abraham and the children of Israel. Testimonies reveal today that the Jews are still recipients of God’s miracles as He divinely intervenes in this nation to fulfill His purpose and plan for His people. Yes, God is working miracles through His New Testament Church, but miracles had their beginning with the nation of Israel.

Verses 17-20

Melchizedek, King of Salem Genesis 14:17-20 describes Melchizedek, the king of Salem. Note the insight on Melchizedek in the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 7:1-4, “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”

Genesis 14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

Genesis 14:17 “the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale” - Comments - It is very likely that the children of Israel changed the name of this place from “the valley of Shaveh” to “the king's dale,” or “the King's Valley,” because of this historic battle that took place here.

Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Genesis 14:18 Comments - “Salem” is Jerusalem (Psalms 76:2, Hebrews 7:1).

Psalms 76:2, “In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.”

Hebrews 7:1-2, “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace.”

Genesis 14:19 Comments - The bread and the wine will be identified in the New Testament with holy communion. Perhaps we can say that Melchizedek and Abraham partook of the first communion. Certainly, there was an important meaning in this meal that they took together.

Genesis 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

Genesis 14:19 “he blessed him” - Comments - Melchizedek blessed Abraham, thus showing that Melchizedek was the greater. Abraham was already blessed (see Genesis 13:2). Why would God want to further bless him? In Genesis 22:17 Abraham receives a further blessing. God's blessings have no limits. He wants to abundantly bless his children, to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could imagine or ask (Ephesians 3:20).

Hebrews 7:7, “And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.”

Genesis 13:2, “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.”

Genesis 22:17, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;”

Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”

Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Genesis 14:20 Comments Hebrews 7:1-9 makes it clear that Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, and not vice versa. The Scriptures record only one occasion in which Abraham gave tithes. However, it is very likely that Abraham continued to tithe unto the Lord. One supporting evidence for this view is that Jacob vowed to tithe when he had a divine vision at Bethel (Genesis 28:10-22). Most likely, Jacob had seen the power of the tithe to bless his grandfather Abraham, and this inspired him to make a vow unto God to do the same. A second supporting evidence to the view that Abraham tithed on a regular basis is the fact that the tithe was incorporated into the Law of Moses. Every Jew was required to tithe on a regular basis, and Abraham was the father of the Jewish faith. He was the role-model that every child of God is to imitate.

In the early period of Abraham’s presence in the land of Canaan, the Scriptures mention four occasions in which he build an altar in which to worship God and call upon His name (Genesis 12:7-8; Genesis 13:4; Genesis 13:18). It is worth noting that after giving the tithe to Melchizedek, no record is mentioned of Abraham building another altar except to sacrifice his son on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:1-19). Perhaps Abraham began to worship the Lord through the tithe rather than the sacrifice upon an altar.

Genesis 14:21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

Verses 22-24

Abraham’s Trust in Divine Provision and Prosperity - Why did Abraham use such a lengthy name for the Lord as “the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth”; because He is known by His names. His names reveal His character. This name fit the occasion. Other divine attributes of God were not yet revealed to mankind (Exodus 6:3).

Exodus 6:3, “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”

In Abraham’s wisdom, he made a commitment to not gain wealth by taking from others, although he had already become wealthy. He had learned about the blessing of the Lord (Proverbs 10:22; Proverbs 28:20).

Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”

Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.”

Genesis 14:22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

Genesis 14:23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Genesis 14:22-23 Comments Abraham’s Integrity - In a culture where cleverness, deceit and power determined a person’s wealth, Abraham had made a predetermined decision to walk with integrity as a witness to God’s power to bless him. He was restoring the goods that originally belonged to Sodomites and their neighbours. His possession of their goods would have potentially harmed this testimony. Through his faith in God the Canaanites and Syrians and Egyptians acknowledged that God was with Abraham (Genesis 21:22), Isaac (Genesis 26:28), Jacob (Genesis 30:27) and Joseph (Genesis 39:2-3).

Genesis 21:22, “And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:”

Genesis 26:28, “And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee;”

Genesis 30:27, “And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.”

Genesis 39:2-3, “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. His master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.”

Genesis 14:24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Genesis 14:24 Comments - Since these three brothers, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, were in covenant with Abraham (Genesis 14:13), he was obligated to fight their battles.

Genesis 14:13, “And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.”

Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.
Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Genesis 14". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/genesis-14.html. 2013.