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Genesis 14:19-23

Context
14:19 He blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by 1  the Most High God,

Creator 2  of heaven and earth. 3 

14:20 Worthy of praise is 4  the Most High God,

who delivered 5  your enemies into your hand.”

Abram gave Melchizedek 6  a tenth of everything.

14:21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and take the possessions for yourself.” 14:22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I raise my hand 7  to the Lord, the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth, and vow 8  14:23 that I will take nothing 9  belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal. That way you can never say, ‘It is I 10  who made Abram rich.’

1 tn The preposition לְ (lamed) introduces the agent after the passive participle.

2 tn Some translate “possessor of heaven and earth” (cf. NASB). But cognate evidence from Ugaritic indicates that there were two homonymic roots ָקנָה (qanah), one meaning “to create” (as in Gen 4:1) and the other “to obtain, to acquire, to possess.” While “possessor” would fit here, “creator” is the more likely due to the collocation with “heaven and earth.”

3 tn The terms translated “heaven” and “earth” are both objective genitives after the participle in construct.

4 tn Heb “blessed be.” For God to be “blessed” means that is praised. His reputation is enriched in the world as his name is praised.

5 sn Who delivered. The Hebrew verb מִגֵּן (miggen, “delivered”) foreshadows the statement by God to Abram in Gen 15:1, “I am your shield” (מָגֵן, magen). Melchizedek provided a theological interpretation of Abram’s military victory.

6 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Melchizedek) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Abram takes an oath, raising his hand as a solemn gesture. The translation understands the perfect tense as having an instantaneous nuance: “Here and now I raise my hand.”

8 tn The words “and vow” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarification.

9 tn The oath formula is elliptical, reading simply: “…if I take.” It is as if Abram says, “[May the Lord deal with me] if I take,” meaning, “I will surely not take.” The positive oath would add the negative adverb and be the reverse: “[God will deal with me] if I do not take,” meaning, “I certainly will.”

10 tn The Hebrew text adds the independent pronoun (“I”) to the verb form for emphasis.



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