(Gen. 16:7-16 esp. V.7 keyword: fountain: Hebrew word ‘ayin: defined: the eye of the landscape) Pregnant Hagar headed south to Egypt but she traveled alone in what would later be named the Negev Desert. Coming north from Egypt she had been with Abram’s clan, they knew the way and they knew the watering places in this desert land. Her water bags were empty, she was ready to throw their useless extra weight away and Hagar was dying from thirst when she staggered numbly to the top of a dune and saw an eye looking back at her in the far distance of this awful wilderness of sand.
The beautiful, shimmering pool fed by the well looked like an eyeball, the wall around it, built by various travelers, was the eyelids, the small spray of greenery around that looked like eyelashes and the line of 7 date palm trees on the south side was the eyebrow. It was an eye in the desert and it was looking at her!
Satan ground his spiritual teeth in silent fury; “This tough woman has refused to die! I’ve done all I could to discourage her and destroy her so Abram’s seed would die within her yet she still pressed on. Well, she’s trapped now, I’ll make sure no trade caravans arrive here to rescue her. I’ll blind her to the food on the trees and she’ll starve here. (Gen. 17:20) Satan did not know God had other plans and Satan’s efforts were already doomed to failure!
Hagar, the pagan, would later regard what she saw as an omen from the Hebrew God and she would shiver at His power because the eye had been looking back north from whence she had come! And she would have to about face 180 degrees away from Egypt to go to God’s people. Hagar, the pagan, would later believe she had seen the eye of the Hebrew God. (1John 1:1 thru 2:1) Do you believe it was a prophesy of the salvation event where, after being born again, a person is expected to make a 180 degree turn away from sin, go the opposite direction and start following a path of obedience and righteousness? Of course you don’t, its fiction. Maybe!
Realization hit; “Greenery? Water! Precious water!” She staggered and stumbled toward life. She had been a gentle reared slave in Pharaoh’s house, then a slave in Abram’s house, she knew nothing about survival in the desert and she drank too much too quick and was violently ill. She remembered what she’d overheard in a conversation between the shepherds; “Drink slowly in small sips until your body re-hydrates itself.” and she did. She gained strength but realized she was trapped; “I don’t know how far south Egypt lies.
If I leave here and run out of water I will perish in this desert. I’m nearly out of food, if I stay here I will run out of food and perish here in this plentitude of water.” and for the first time, she started hopelessly sobbing. (1Cor. 10:13 keyword: escape) There in a place of plenty she saw no way out! Ever done that? Me too! With God there is always enough and there’s always a way out but so many times we fail to see it. Do you believe it was a prophesy of the above scripture? Of course you don’t, its fiction. Maybe!
(Gen. 16:7) That was when the angel (messenger) of the Lord came. (Gen. 16:8-9) The messenger told her to return to Sarai and submit to her. God had made a promise to Abram; (Gen. 13:16) “I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth.” The child was Abram’s seed and God kept His promise; (Gen. 16:10-11) “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. Thou shalt call his Name Ishmael (God shall hear)” and (Gen. 16:13) Hagar called the Messenger; “Thou God seest me: Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” and she named the well; “Be’er-la-hai’-roi (the well of the living one who sees me)” which is between Kadesh and Bered.
Hagar gathered a supply of dates from the 7 trees, filled her empty water bags and headed back north to face the wrath of Sarai. Being a runaway, a slave concubine, or even a second-place wife did not diminish Hagar’s status as the one who carried the clan leader’s only child within her. Even Sarai’s acid tongue could not change that!
Sarai was strangely silent and cold when Hagar bare Ishmael, Abram’s son and apparent heir, the next year a little after Abram had turned 86 years old. Sarai’s lack of faith in God’s promise and her bright and shining plan to obtain a child her own way had turned to bitter ashes. Like all of us sometimes do Sarai blamed everybody else for her own failure. Abram’s lack of faith in God’s promise had brought momentary pleasure but long-lasting misery. Ever done all that? Me to, and it always turns out wrong.
(Gen. 16:12) We will never know how much Sarai’s coldness to Ishmael and her cruelty toward Ishmael’s Mother contributed to the formation of Ishmael’s character. “Go pick on Ishmael, he isn’t wanted here anyway.” Even children are susceptible to Satan’s advice. The other children of Abram’s clan knew Ishmael’s situation and they bullied Ishmael or at least they tried to but tough Ishmael would not break, he would not cower and he would not back down. Sometimes he would fight and win and sometimes he would fight and lose but he always fought.
Ishmael grew stronger and of course he developed his fighting skills much faster because where any other single child might have had 2 or 3 fights Ishmael had had 50. The other children came to realize even if they fought Ishmael and won they would get hurt so they shunned Ishmael the wild child and he became a loner. Even as a child (Gen. 16:12) the prophesy was coming true that his hand would be against every man, every man’s hand would be against him, he would be a wild man and he would dwell in the presence of all his brethren. BUT Ishmael counted 2 people as his friends.
Satan had helped instigate the cauldron of the seething stew of human emotions in Abram’s house and he continued to stir it with his spoon of lies, temptation, trickery, leading, teaching and charming. Satan loved to make wrong seem right and he was becoming a master at that.
Ishmael loved his mother Hagar. He loved her strength and ability to haughtily take punishment from Sarai. Her demeanor plainly said; “I’m the mother of the heir apparent and I’m special!” and nothing could take that away from her. The other slaves picked up on Sarai’s attitude but Abram’s sharp words, scowling face and the threat emanating from his penetrating eyes quickly let them know Hagar was Sarai’s slave but he would not stand for cruelty toward Hagar from them.
The house servants (slaves) then started making overtures of friendship toward Hagar but Sarai’s sharp words and small punishments quickly let them know Hagar was a pariah (despised, rejected non-person) and to stay away from her but when Sarai wasn’t around a few of them showed Hagar small kindnesses and that helped.
Ishmael’s other friend was none other than Abram. Ishmael loved Abram simply because Abram loved him and over the years between the wars Abram taught Ishmael to think, to reason, to be a leader, how to handle the people who operated his agriculture and herds.
Ishmael often accompanied Abram as he went about his business of directing his little kingdom (Gen. 14:13) and his various dealings with his Amorite neighbor kingdoms of Mamre, Eshcol and Aner. One of the slaves given to Abram by Pharaoh had been the before mentioned (Part 17) front line, battle hardened Hittite officer taken by the Egyptians in a battle over a border dispute with the soldiers of King Suppilulimas of the Hittite Empire (source: internet map of the ancient Hittite Empire).
Pitassa, the Hittite officer and now an Egyptian slave, thought he had died and gone to heaven when he was among the slaves given (Gen. 12:16) to Abram (Gen. 14:13 keyword: Hebrew) the Hebrew. He had killed many Egyptian soldiers in the battle before he was severely wounded, taken captive, nursed back to health then paraded and tormented by the Egyptians before dignitaries, heads of state and emissaries visiting Egypt to show their Egyptian power over the dreaded Hittites.
Pitassa was a warrior through and through. He would have died before he let what he considered the puny Egyptians make him show fear, pain or humiliation and he had the scars to prove it. Pharaoh had grown disgusted that Pitassa had shown no fear, humility or pain and he ordered the slave captain to get rid of him.
The slave captain saw his chance; “I’ll give this arrogant $%&^# to these &%$#@ shepherds who have caused my master so much trouble! Pitassa had been herded into the guarded crowd of new slaves and had been part of the Hebrew’s ignominious flight north. He could have overpowered any three of Abram’s servants and escaped but “Something” caused him to stay. Pitassa didn’t know he fit nicely into the Lord God’s plan for the future.
When they arrived at Abram’s old camp between Bethel and Hai Pitassa had watched with impassive amusement while Abram prayed to a bunch of rocks; “This is a new god to me, I’ve never seen a 12 stacked rock god!” (Part 18). Satan slapped his spiritual thighs and roared with fiendish glee; “This is a man after my own heart!” Unseen, God whispered to Himself; “I will have a little surprise for you, fallen one, when Abram wages war with his tiny, wart sized army!”
The next night when Abram prayed at his altar he was astonished by how quickly the cloud formed and how impatiently the sapphire lightening took his offering of blood and fat. It scared him but the still, small voice within him gave him instructions to make himself able to field a small army of his servants and to talk to the Hittite about it.
Pitassa was astonished 2 days later when he was summoned to partake of the midday meal with Abram. He suspected some kind of trick but was again astonished by Abram’s cordial welcome. Pitassa sat at the table as Abram’s equal, ate the same food Abram ate and he drank the best wine he had ever tasted. Abram inquired of Pitassa about his life as a Hittite; “I’ve never known a Hittite but I’ve heard many stories about them, especially their prowess in war. I would like to hear from you about your people.”
Pitassa was impressed by Abram’s sincere, honest demeanor, trusting attitude and the kindness in his eyes. Something caused him start from his earliest memories of childhood and tell his life’s story in the setting of the Hittite culture. Their conversation was so intense the sun somehow fled across the sky but they were unaware of passing time.
In the dusk of evening their supper was served by silent servants and again they ate and drank. During the silence of eating and drinking Pitassa realized Abram somehow reminded him of his own father who had been dead more than 20 years. Abram could not help but think; “What father could help but be proud of such a son.” And the notion crept around the edges of his thinking; “If I had such a son as this—–” but he would not let the notion become his thinking because he knew it could not be. They talked far into the night and their affection grew into a warm friendship and their conversation ended with;
“Pitassa, I have been instructed by my Lord God, the God of Eden Who created all things, to build an army out of my servants. I know not how and I know not the way to accomplish that because I am not a man of war. I thought you were my answer but I understand what it means to want to go to your home and to once more see your wife and sons. You have become close to me and I cannot keep a friend as a slave. You are free to leave in the morning, you can select your animals and provisions and there will be a gift of gold and silver to take with you.”
The last bit of ice melted from the fierce Hittite soldier’s heart and the last bit of cold reserve melted from his eyes as he stared deeply into Abram’s open, guileless, friendly eyes. Pitassa’s eyes changed and softened, he slowly reached out his brawny, tanned, muscular soldier’s arm, his rough, callused, warrior’s hand closed upon Abram’s forearm and Abram could feel the Hittite’s steel strength even though the touch was light. “I will inspect your servants tomorrow. I will pick 3 as my lieutenants and I will train only those 3 for 3 months.”
“Then I will divide your servants into 3 companies and train them with their lieutenants in command of them. There is much to learn; conditioning, communication, maneuvering, weapons training, working together, night fighting and etc. There is a certain hardening of body and soul that must happen but it must be done in such a way their humanity remains intact. In 3 years you will have your army then I will go.” He stood up, he looked intently into Abram’s shocked eyes for a few long seconds and with his effortless, graceful soldiers’ movements he turned and left the room.
That night Abram sent a servant to rouse the overseer. When he came, Abram instructed the overseer to prepare a small caravan of armed servants to take appropriate gifts and a message to the Hittite king “Say nothing to anyone here about this mission“! A few weeks later: Somehow it was a slow, boring day and the Hittite king needed amusement. The Hittite king was amused by the audacity of the ragged, travel stained shepherds when they entered his court. Then he read the message and shouted his glee; “Captain Pitassa is alive! He’s alive!”
Then he read the message again and started barking commands. Pitassa’s 2 brothers were told about Pitassa’s survival and they requested a special audience with the king. Two days later, after the shepherds had rested and preparations were made, a much larger caravan made its way back south. It had to be larger because Pitassa’s wife, his children, his 2 brothers and all their servants accompanied the caravan. Pitassa was surprised beyond measure when he was reunited with his loved ones. He looked at Abram with new eyes; “He had what he wanted from me for free, yet he has done me this great kindness.”
In 3 years Abram had his well trained, feisty, tough little army of servants. His 3 lieutenants were so well trained and disciplined they might well have been combat veteran leaders and Pitassa went home to Hittite land. The lieutenants maintained such a combat readiness with their men Pitassa was never missed. The Hittites and the fortune Abram had given them were gone before Ishmael was old enough to clearly remember them but growing up observing Abram’s little army (Gen. 14:14 keyword: trained) in its endless training was how Ishmael learned about war. It impressed Ishmael that Father Abram trained right along with his servants.
In that process of time Satan was very busy; “Do you favor giving away all you have worked for? Your families are destitute!” “Men I’ve had it. Chedorlaomer lets us have enough to exist but, because of the tribute we pay, there is nothing extra left for our comfort!” Lot was mixed up right in the middle of the fermenting rebellion; “Oh ye kings, I thank ye for permitting me make my abode among you. Ye, oh kings, have been more than generous to me in letting me and my family have land in which I have crops and herds. I thank thee for letting me start my own small salt export business. I expected to grow rich here then these barbarous kings overcame us and put us to tribute.”
“I look at my destitute children and my longsuffering wife and I am ashamed of myself as a man.” It was a telling point because they had all grown raw under the humiliation of being little better than slaves on their own land. “Oh ye Kings, I believe I would rather be dead than live like I’m living.”
(Eccl. 1:9) “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
NOTE: (Matt. 6:24, Luke 4:3-7, & 2Cor. 4:4) In today’s times, 10-24-14, have you ever considered the fact that when you do not have God in your lives it does not matter what you gain, there is always more to want because Satan offers so many worldly things? I personally saw an interview a few years ago that was very telling. Some people boarded a helicopter on top of a New York skyscraper. The camera panned the beautiful, seemingly endless skyline of skyscrapers, banks, businesses, apartments, homes; 8 million people worked, owned and lived there.
The staccato voice of the female news reporter, Barbara Walters, asked the owner of the building and the helicopter. “Mister Trump you possess untold wealth. You have more wealth than some small nations in this world possess. You have the ear of princes, kings and presidents; what else could you possibly want? The rich man looked all around the New York skyline, there was sorrow, longing, greed and also pride in his expression when he quietly spoke; “All of it, I want all of it!”.
Then there was a local doctor who had become rich. He owned several businesses, many rental properties and much land. He dabbled in politics and his word transcended the law in many cases. He was the power behind several local thrones. Though twice married with children from both he felt and acted as if the women in this area were his personal harem from which to choose and the marriage vows of those willing cheaters who were married, as well as his own vows, meant nothing to him.
The amount of his personal wealth in millions was the subject of many speculations. He and I talked many times about him becoming a Christian but only one sentence from one conversation is still with me; “Jimmie, you must accumulate, you must accumulate!” and his eyes gleamed with power and greed, the greed of conquest, accumulation and self-image.
Then he was caught up in a scheme to defraud Medicare in his billing practices which was an attempt to bilk the government of money and I thought; “Wow, I’m richer than him because I have enough and he must steal because he doesn’t have enough!” Later a cancer came softly tiptoeing into his body. That awful, but imperfect, parasite ate greedily and grew and grew before it was discovered. All the dollars in the world, the greatest medical minds in America and the most sophisticated weapons science could produce damaged and hurt the cancer but could not kill it.
It was assaulted with chemistry, radiation, lasers and scalpels. Slices of it and him were cut out and burned. But the cancer had already sent colonizer cells quietly through his bloodstream and they had colonized other body parts. My friend grew more grey, shrunken, and weak and all the sensations of the physical, material and emotional conquests he had made were gone. (Psa. 115:3-8) His idols were many ownership deeds and monetary account numbers in many banks but they could not speak, hear, see or smell nor could they save him. Imperfect parasite? A perfect parasite lets its host live so it can live, cancer does not. Do you ever wonder about you?
I just inventoried my holdings. Before me on my desk are $316.00 and there is $2.43 in change in my right front pocket. Yes, I do have a small, emergency savings account and a small checking account but either of these 2 men would think nothing of spending an amount that equaled all I possess on a New York dinner date with some tainted beauty and yet I am far richer than they because I serve the beautiful God of glory, the God of Eden, the Lord God Almighty and I have no lust of wanting for the “more” of earthly wealth.
My friend the doctor is gone, the New York rich man will go, as I will, as you will. The doctor had no U-Haul trailer behind his hearse to take his wealth with him, neither will the rich man, neither will I, neither will you. (Matt. 7:21-27 & 1Tim. 4:1) All any of us will ever take with us to God’s judgment is; are we a (1Pet. 1:23 then 2Cor. 5:17) born again, (Mark 12:30 & John 20:28 my Lord and my God) true to our Lord and our God Christian and the rest will take their lostness and the evil they have done. Greed, racism, politics and religion; there are mighty, medium, small and tiny physical and spiritual wars fought all around you because of those 4 things. Where do you stand? END OF NOTE.
Finally a consensus was reached and in the 9th year the 5 Siddim kings started secretly manufacturing weapons in small quantities here and there. In the 10th year they started secretly training for war and the next year the weapons production became a flood. The 5 Siddim kings decided their rebellion would begin in the city of Sodom. They were as ready for a sustained war as they would ever be. Satan had worked hard to help men arrange what they already wanted to do and he was also ready for a sustained war. He licked his spiritual lips in vast anticipation.
(Gen. 14:4) The 5 Siddim kings served King Chedorlaomer 12 years then they rebelled and refused to pay their tribute in that 13th year. (not in scripture->) After their victory in the 1st war the Chaldean kings had disarmed the population and assessed the production capabilities of the 5 Siddim kingdoms at the south end of the salt sea then they assigned a tribute of gold, silver, salt and precious jewels. If that tribute was not met the Chaldeans would take their tribute from their herds, cities and homes. It was a hard tribute to meet and they worked hard to protect their herds and personal property upon which their lives depended.
In that 13th year when the company of Chaldean soldiers came to collect tribute with their mounted cavalry and infantry soldier driven wagons they were somehow not alarmed by the cold, defiant looks they received from travelers along the roads in Siddim. When they arrived at Sodom the little cavalcade quietly rode down the street toward the town square in its center. As they got deeper into town they became aware that more and more people were following along behind them and they grew uneasy.
There was not a sound. As soldiers will their senses of perception sharpened, the soft chuka, chuka, chuka, chuka of their horses’ hoofs in the dust were suddenly loud in the silence. They could hear their own leather reinforced armour creak as their bodies swayed with the motions of their horses, their helmets chaffed, there was the occasional light clang of some metal implement, one of the wagon wheels had an annoying screech, there was an eeriness, almost a dimness in the bright sunlight.
When they came into sight of the building where their Chaldean tribute gatherer stored the collected tribute neither he nor his company of soldiers who normally met them were in view. The mayor was waiting beside an obviously loaded wagon with a woven cover over it and he beckoned them on with a wave and something that sounded like; “Your men have gone to Zoar on business”, but he had used the Sodomite word “Zahre” which means death. The Captain’s lack of language understanding was tragic because had they started fighting right then some of them might have escaped. “We have your tribute ready!” and he patted the wagon; while Satan grinned.
The Chaldean Captain lifted his chin in his arrogant conqueror’s pride, kicked his horse in the sides with his heels and started on down the street with the cavalcade following him. As he dismounted the captain never noticed the evil, glittering triumph in the mayor’s eyes as he patted the wagon again and muttered; “Chaldean, this is the most valuable tribute we have ever given you.” The Captain leaned over to see, the mayor flipped the cover back and the bloody, tortured bodies of the tribute gatherer and his soldiers lay crammed into the wagon in the odd shapelessness of death!
The Captain did not have a chance because as he looked into the wagon the mayor drove a long, wicked dagger into his side all the way to the hilt, once, twice, thrice! The dying Captain wilted toward the ground and the last sound he heard was the dying of his men. It was merciful that he never had time to contemplate his failure, nor did he think of the word treachery.
The Sodomites severed the heads of the hated Chaldeans, liberally salted them, loaded the heads into a tribute wagon, dragged the headless bodies out into the scrub for the scavengers and sent the wagon with its grisly load north and east accompanied by a small company of their own soldiers who were dressed as traders.
The Siddim soldiers pressed on into the Chaldean land until they were in sight of a town. They pointed the wagon toward the town, hit the horses across their rumps with a whip and ran for their lives. Had they tried they could not have found a better town to deliver their load of Chaldean heads. It was the Captain’s hometown and his father was the magistrate of that district of King Chedorlaomer’s kingdom. The King got the message in record time.
NOTE: In this time of Old Testament wars right on through to modern warfare each nation maintained a standing army to defend itself and even attack a foe but the actual business of sustained warfare drew on all of a nations resources and the strength and willingness of its people. END OF NOTE.
King Chedorlaomer called a meeting of the other 3 kings and their generals. They decided the Amorites (Canaanites) between the salt sea (Dead Sea) and the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea) were too much of a threat if they made a direct march down the coast of the inland salt sea to attack the 5 Siddim kings. It was just too risky.
If the 10 Amorite kingdoms closed off their route of retreat they would be cut to ribbons between them and the vale of Siddim forces. They sent out their scouts who were hunters, trappers and woodsmen to a man and they could soundlessly vanish into the forest like ghosts and leave no more sign of their passing than a gentle breeze blowing through the wilderness.
Sustained war preparation takes a lot of time. While they waited for the scouts the 4 kingdom Chaldean confederation started manufacturing weapons, preparing dried or smoked meat, preparing sacks of grain, preparing dried fruit and vegetables, intensely training their troops and marshalling their forces. There were a million things to do; gathering select leather for wagon and animal rigging; the women spun cloth and manufactured uniforms and bandages and gathered herbs and roots to dry and carefully place into medical kits.
Their Shamen, their Priests and their Sorcerers made magic potions, read the stars, prayed before their idols. and, along with Satan, led in the festivities of the worship of their gods with wild pagan music, dancing, eating, strong wine, much of the gods Qunubu and Lachryma and, of course, the worship of their fertility gods.
The Chaldean blacksmiths fired their forges and began the tedious task of producing hundreds of thousands of arrowheads, spearheads, swords, hatchets, spare wagon parts and etc. Their supply wagons were refurbished and prepared for long hauls. Straight oak, ash and hickory trees were cut down by woodsmen and brought to the craftsmen who manufactured hundreds of thousands of arrow shafts, tens of thousands of spear shafts, thousands of bows, dozens of spare wagon tongues and etc.
The scouts returned with the consensus that 7 of the Amorite kingdoms in the land along the Great Sea could be successfully attacked and overcome but the 3 Amorite kingdoms of Mamre, Eshcol and Aner were nearly impregnable on their high plateau in the mountains and they were better left alone unless they came down off their mountain to fight. Once again God’s provision and Abram’s obedience had kept Abram safe. King Chedorlaomer and his forces were as ready as they would ever be. Satan was satisfied here too, he had worked very hard to arrange for men to do what they already wanted to do. He licked his spiritual lips in vast anticipation.
(Gen. 14:1 keyword: Shinar) The reason we know these were Western Chaldean (Mesopotamian) kingdoms is because the king of Shinar was among them. (Gen. 14:5-7) In the 14th year Chedorlaomer led the same allied Western Chaldean 4 kingdom attack west and south along the Mediterranean Sea through Canaan where he destroyed 7 Amorite and Amalekite kingdoms in what would someday be called Western Syria, Lebanon, Western Jordan and Israel. Now his right flank was protected.
Flush with victory and rich in the spoils of war (Gen. 14:8-12) Chedorlaomer turned back east across what would be called Southern Israel toward the vale of Siddim (Jordan Valley) and its wide plain to wage war on the 5 Siddim (Canaanite) kingdoms who had rebelled. After he conquered them in an awful bloodletting battle the 5 Siddim (Canaanite) kings fled with Chedorlaomer in fierce pursuit; “I’ll teach these stupid Canaanites to never rebel again. I’ll put the fear of my all powerful gods into them!’
The invisible, beautiful God of all glory cocked his spiritual head just a bit and silently whispered; “You have just signed your own death warrant Chedorlaomer, just like I knew you would.”
The 5 Canaanite kings discovered too late they had gone the wrong direction when they realized their armies were pinned with their backs to the slimepits (bitumen) in the vale of Siddim. The slaughter was great because the Canaanites were in a blind panic. Three kings escaped, the surviving soldiers of the 5 kingdoms fled in every direction (Gen. 14:10) but the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were taken and executed in the slimepits.
Chedorlaomer marched his victorious army into Sodom and Gomorrah. He appointed (Gen. 14:2 keyword: Bera) Sodom’s king Bera’s son, Birsha, the new king of Sodom in his father’s place and made the arrangements of tribute with him. Then he took all the victuals (spoils of war) from Sodom and Gomorrah because they were the 2 richest kingdoms. He also took Abram’s nephew Lot and all his goods (spoils of war). It was the worst mistake he would ever make!
Like some horrid bath of evil Satan had excitedly drenched himself in the emotional cascade of anger, fear, horror, malice and rage during the actual fighting as he pirouetted, whirled and danced through the carnage. Just like he did in the 1st war Satan once more pranced and bragged through the blood of the slain tens of thousands over the many battlefields that were scattered over what in the future would be called Southern Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.
Like some dark, evil, starving scavenger Satan fed greedily on the human suffering of tears, snubs, wails and hopelessness of hundreds of thousands of destitute widows and orphans and the broken hearts of lonely, grief stricken, weeping mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.
He went north with Chedorlaomer too. Satan liked being around people like Chedorlaomer because, well, because there was the smell of death about him and Satan loved that (Heb. 2:14) because he was the god of death. Satan hovered close with him when Chedorlaomer rode back west to where they would turn north toward Western Chaldea which would be called North Western Iraq in the far future. Their chests were puffed out in horrid pride in their accomplishments. The Lord God of forever was also with them but neither of them could see (Prov. 15:3) His glittering spiritual eyes as He looked at them. An invisible angel was there too, writing with a pen of fire in a book of remembrance.
Abram loved to take the somewhat short walk to the top of the ridgeline that rose up just to the east of his house near the eastern border of his land. On a clear day he could look west and see the Mediterranean Sea and it was beautiful. Abram did not know there would be a book written that was called the Holy Bible. (Num. 34:6-7; Josh. 1:4, 9:1, & 15:47 and Ezek. 47:10-15) He did not know this body of water would be called the Great Sea. (1Ki. 5:9) He didn’t know it would sometimes be simply called the sea.
OR (Joel 2:20) that it would be called the utmost sea and because Joel wrote it the way he did “with his face toward the east sea (salt sea), and his hinder parts toward the utmost sea” some would unscripturally start calling it the hinder sea. He did not know he would father a son whom the Lord God would name Isaac and that Isaac would father a son named Jacob whom the Lord God would rename Israel. Abram did not know every Biblical reference to the beautiful sea he was seeing would describe that sea as being the western border of the promised land God would give Abram’s grandson Israel’s progeny in the future.
It was a beautiful land but Abram was sad for his brother’s son, Lot, and his thoughts took a morbid turn; “I love that boy so much (Gen. 14:14) he has become my brother. I should never have brought him with me, he’s been nothing but trouble. Lot is always complaining and whining that the Chaldean kings take most of his wealth in their tribute. If I had just paid attention to my Lord God Lot would only be a dim memory instead of a source of worry all these years. I wish he had not chosen to go live in a townhouse in Sodom and leave his servants to run his farm and tend his herds.”
While He was with Chedorlaomer the Lord God was with Abram too and He was pleased that Abram had started calling Him my Lord God and was loving Him more and more.
From his high point, above his house, there in Hebron, Abram turned and looked sadly toward the east. (Gen. 14:3 keywords: salt sea) There was another sea there. Abram knew that sea was so salty nothing could live in it and that the Lord God called it the Salt Sea. Abram knew Sodom and Gomorrah had grown rich harvesting the salt from its shores and shipping it inland by caravan where salt was worth a fortune. The Plain of Jordan was so far away he couldn’t make out details and he couldn’t see the destruction of revenge wreaked by the 4 Chaldean kings. Abram turned back toward home, his supper and his night’s sleep.
Abram’s sleep, what there was of it, had been light. The times he had awakened a worry had him in its claws and he wondered. Was that trouble he sensed riding lightly on the night breeze? Then some foreign sound in the darkness awakened him. He was instantly awake and he listened, the sound was so faint it was a whisper, almost an imagining.
The whispering sounds slowly grew stronger; “That almost sounds like a struggling horse.” He looked at Sarai sleeping soundly, he quietly arose so as not to disturb her and he went into his yard. Unimpeded by walls the sound of a staggering horse was plain and he could plainly hear the great sobbing wheezes as the horse struggled for breath; “What fool would ride a horse so hard it became wind-broken?”
His concern for the horse was superficial because he knew the trouble he had been dreading was here. He heard the overseer’s tent flap door slap back then close over across the plaza of their settlement. Other tent flap doors made noises and some of his armed servants joined him. They heard muttered curses when the dying horse stumbled and fell with a sprawling crash. Torches were lit, men took up defensive positions, then a wounded, blood covered Sodomite soldier staggered into the flickering light. (Gen. 14:13-14) That was the survivor who came and told Abram the 4 Chaldean kings had taken Lot and all that he owned.
Abram’s whole settlement was in an uproar of excitement and questioning. Abram quieted them, appointed people to nurse the now comatose Sodomite soldier and said; “I must go inquire of my Lord God what He would have me do!” Most of Abram’s servants gathered in excited, chattering groups, others got busy tending the Sodomite but a few of the trained soldier servants looked thoughtfully at each other, went to their houses and started gathering their weapons.
They remembered that Pitassa the Hittite said to always be ready, to never be forced to take time to manufacture weapons, to always keep a supply of provisions so they could march on a moment’s notice. That’s one of the reasons the Hittites were such terrible foes. They were like some great, deadly hornet’s nest, always ready for a fight. (Gen. 14:10) Other survivors of the battle had fled to the mountains (end of scripture) and some had made it to the Amorite kings Mamre, Eshcol and Aner and told them what had happened.
The Amorite kings with their bodyguard retinues had arrived and were waiting. When Abram returned from his praying he had a determined air about him that plainly said a decision had been made. The 3 Amorite kings offered their services and their armies; after all they had a common enemy. But Abram courteously refused their offer with; “The battle belongs to my Lord God and under His banner we will fight.” “Perhaps we and our royal bodyguard could accompany thee and see how thy Lord God fights for thee?” “So be it King Mamre. We will be leaving at daybreak.”
“Leaving at daybreak?” The Amorite Kings saw that Abram was serious and could not believe what they were hearing; where were the preparations, where were the singing and dancing, where were Qunubu and the fertility worship? Abram turned away and gave his orders and they had never seen anything like it in their lives.
The Amorite kings were astonished that 318 soldiers and all their equipment and provisions were assembled well before daylight, each man with his saddle horse and a packhorse. They were traveling fast and light! “Abram, your personal bodyguard is well armed but where is your army.” Abram turned to Mamre and the 3 kings were struck by the look of tender reverence upon his face; “Mamre, my Lord God is the God of all gods. My Lord God is the living God and with Him little is much. This is my army.” Unseen, the Lord God smiled; “He’s learning to depend on me.”
The Chaldeans were heavily burdened with their spoils of war and traveled slowly due west. (Gen. 14:5-17) They stopped to rest on the wide plain in the valley of Shaveh where the Israelite tribe of (V.14) Dan would settle. On the other side of that plain was the double city of (V.5) Shaveh Kiriathaim they had destroyed on their march south. The Chaldeans had taken much meat and wine with their spoil and they drank and ate with abandon.
They had nothing to fear, they had destroyed every army who stood in their way and had taken the images of their gods too! It was their normal encampment of 4 separate camps together. They were 4 different tribal kingdoms, each with their own language, their own leaders, their own gods and their own ways of worship. The Lord God looked at them with cold spiritual eyes; “You have not met the real God yet!”
(V.14-15) Abram divided his forces into their 3 companies and attacked in the dead of night. Night fighters! Thank you Pitassa (see above). When the 3 companies simultaneously hit the first 3 camps the 4th took up defensive positions and just in time too because they were besieged by a mob of indistinct, screaming figures materializing out of the darkness. They cut down the invaders but the sheer numbers of the whirling melee broke their ranks and they were mingled with the attackers. Soon it was every man’s sword for himself.
They did not realize Abram’s forces had withdrawn and they were fighting themselves. It was a rout and the survivors started running north in a disorganized mob. The Amorite kings with Abram were shocked that for some reason these battle hardened troops had become confused and their battle prowess had been turned on each other. The Lord God smiled; “You will see more of My power!”
Abram’s tiny army pursued and violently cut down any groups of stragglers they found. At a place 133 miles north (V.15) called Hobah which was west (left hand) of a small village that would become known as Damascus, Syria in the future; Abram somehow discerned Chedorlaomer’s route of travel, night attacked them with great slaughter and pursued the remnant in their panicked, wild, mad dash back south from where they had just come. You cannot escape God!
The 3 Amorite kings had never seen anything like it. Abram’s forces were tireless, they were experts with their weapons and slaughtered without mercy; but still, it was extremely odd the Hebrews suffered no casualties and the way Abram’s impossibly “good luck” had held; “My brothers perhaps there is something to Abram’s strange, invisible God Who he says controls all things!”. The Chaldeans, running back south, found themselves back in the valley of Shaveh (plain of a double city). (V.17) That’s where Abram ran the Chaldeans to ground in a last ditch stand and there he slaughtered Chedorlaomer and the other 3 kings.
When the great battle that stretched all the way from Shaveh to Damascus was done Abram’s men spent days gathering the riches that were scattered over the valley of Shaveh. “My brothers do you think Abram’s invisible God decreed King Chedorlaomer would die here and he could not escape?” and they shivered as goose bumps raced over them in waves. “I’m glad we found Lot and all his family and goods. Let us quickly return him unto Abram before his invisible God destroys us!”