14:2 went to war 1 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). 2 14:3 These last five kings 3 joined forces 4 in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 5
14:7 Then they attacked En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh) again, 6 and they conquered all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.
1 tn Heb “made war.”
sn Went to war. The conflict here reflects international warfare in the Early and Middle Bronze periods. The countries operated with overlords and vassals. Kings ruled over city states, or sometimes a number of city states (i.e., nations). Due to their treaties, when one went to war, those confederate with him joined him in battle. It appears here that it is Kedorlaomer’s war, because the western city states have rebelled against him (meaning they did not send products as tribute to keep him from invading them).
2 sn On the geographical background of vv. 1-2 see J. P. Harland, “Sodom and Gomorrah,” The Biblical Archaeologist Reader, 1:41-75; and D. N. Freedman, “The Real Story of the Ebla Tablets, Ebla and the Cities of the Plain,” BA 41 (1978): 143-64.
3 tn Heb “all these,” referring only to the last five kings named. The referent has been specified as “these last five kings” in the translation for clarity.
4 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to join together; to unite; to be allied.” It stresses close associations, especially of friendships, marriages, or treaties.
5 sn The Salt Sea is the older name for the Dead Sea.
6 tn Heb “they returned and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh).” The two verbs together form a verbal hendiadys, the first serving as the adverb: “they returned and came” means “they came again.” Most English translations do not treat this as a hendiadys, but translate “they turned back” or something similar. Since in the context, however, “came again to” does not simply refer to travel but an assault against the place, the present translation expresses this as “attacked…again.”
7 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abram) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
8 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Abram) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
9 sn The King’s Valley is possibly a reference to what came to be known later as the Kidron Valley.