14:4 For twelve years 1 they had served Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year 2 they rebelled. 3 14:5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings who were his allies came and defeated 4 the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
1 tn The sentence simply begins with “twelve years”; it serves as an adverbial accusative giving the duration of their bondage.
2 tn This is another adverbial accusative of time.
3 sn The story serves as a foreshadowing of the plight of the kingdom of Israel later. Eastern powers came and forced the western kingdoms into submission. Each year, then, they would send tribute east – to keep them away. Here, in the thirteenth year, they refused to send the tribute (just as later Hezekiah rebelled against Assyria). And so in the fourteenth year the eastern powers came to put them down again. This account from Abram’s life taught future generations that God can give victory over such threats – that people did not have to live in servitude to tyrants from the east.
4 tn The Hebrew verb נָכָה (nakhah) means “to attack, to strike, to smite.” In this context it appears that the strike was successful, and so a translation of “defeated” is preferable.