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

Genesis 14:14, NIV: "When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan."

Genesis 14:14, ESV: "When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan."

Genesis 14:14, KJV: "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan."

Genesis 14:14, NASB: "When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, numbering 318, and went in pursuit as far as Dan."

Genesis 14:14, NLT: "When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer's army until he caught up with them at Dan."

Genesis 14:14, CSB: "When Abram heard that his relative had been taken prisoner, he assembled his 318 trained men, born in his household, and they went in pursuit as far as Dan."

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

After learning that Lot has been taken captive by the forces of Chedorlaomer and the kings from the east, Abram immediately takes action. He gathers 318 of his most reliable trained men, servants born and raised in his household. That number provides a glimpse of how large Abram's overall household must have been at this point, likely numbering well above 1,000 people.

A key point of context should be considered here. The "armies" of city-states of that era would have numbered in the thousands. These were not groups of tens or hundreds of thousands. So, Abram's forces were not chasing after a force outnumbering them hundreds-to-one. At the same time, the combined forces of four kings would have numbered significantly more than Abram's allies. And, Abram is himself more than seventy-five years old (Genesis 12:4)! So, this rescue operation is not only preparing for long odds, they are effectively rebelling against Chedorlaomer, themselves.

Abram and his men—and his three Amorite allies and their men—set out after Chedorlaomer's army, chasing them all of the way to Dan, in the far northern reaches of Canaan.