Genesis 14:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 14:10, NIV: "Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills."

Genesis 14:10, ESV: "Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country."

Genesis 14:10, KJV: "And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain."

Genesis 14:10, NASB: "Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell into them. But those who survived fled to the hill country."

Genesis 14:10, NLT: "As it happened, the valley of the Dead Sea was filled with tar pits. And as the army of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into the tar pits, while the rest escaped into the mountains."

Genesis 14:10, CSB: "Now the Siddim Valley contained many asphalt pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, but the rest fled to the mountains."

What does Genesis 14:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verses in this chapter set up a showdown between the four eastern kings led by Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and the five kings of the city-states grouped around the southern end of the Dead Sea. These five kings were rebelling against Chedorlaomer's dozen-year rule over them.

After all that set-up, though, the text tells us nothing of the battle itself. Apparently, it didn't last long. The forces of the four kings from the east were strong and had already defeated several peoples and places along their route without ever suffering any loss that we know of. The five kings of the southern Dead Sea region were no match for them.

The Valley of Siddim, where the battle took place, was full of bitumen (or tar) pits. A petroleum substance apparently oozed up from under the ground there—an interesting point to consider when one looks ahead to the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the near future (Genesis 19). On the run from the forces of the four eastern kings, some of the men of the five kings fell into those tar pits. The rest ran into the hills that slope steeply up from the Dead Sea to the east and west.

In any case, the five rebellious kings were thoroughly defeated.