|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-12 The wars of nations make great figure in history, but we should not have had the record of this war if Abram and Lot had not been concerned. Out of covetousness, Lot had settled in fruitful, but wicked Sodom. Its inhabitants were the most ripe for vengeance of all the descendants of Canaan. The invaders were from Chaldea and Persia, then only small kingdoms. They took Lot among the rest, and his goods. Though he was righteous, and Abram's brother's son, yet he was with the rest in this trouble. Neither our own piety, nor our relation to the favourites of Heaven, will be our security when God's judgments are abroad. Many an honest man fares the worse for his wicked neighbours: it is our wisdom to separate, or at least to distinguish ourselves from them, 2Co 6:17. So near a relation of Abram should have been a companion and a disciple of Abram. If he chose to dwell in Sodom, he must thank himself if he share in Sodom's losses. When we go out of the way of our duty, we put ourselves from under God's protection, and cannot expect that the choice made by our lusts, should end to our comfort. They took Lot's goods; it is just with God to deprive us of enjoyments, by which we suffer ourselves to be deprived of the enjoyment of him.
Verse 4. - Twelve years - dating from the commencement of his reign (Murphy) - they served - and paid tribute (cf. 2 Kings 18:7) - Chedorlaomer. If the king of Elam was a Shemite prince, this was m accordance with the Noachic prophecy (Genesis 9:26); but according to the monuments the Elamits dynasty was Turanian. And in the thirteenth year - during the whole of the thirteenth year (vide Ewald's 'Hebrews Synt.,' § 300, a; cf. Ver. 5) - they rebelled, or had rebelled.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer,.... King of Elam, who was of the race of Shem, and so the prophecy of Noah began to be fulfilled, that Canaan should be servant to Shem, Genesis 9:26; for the kings of Sodom, &c. and their subjects, were of the race of Ham in the line of Canaan, who had by violence seized on that part of the earth which was allotted to the sons of Shem, and therefore Chedorlaomer being a descendant of his claimed his right, and made them tributary to him, which they were for the space of twelve years:
and in the thirteenth year they rebelled; refused homage to Chedorlaomer and to pay tribute to him.
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