Genesis 14:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 14:22, NIV: "But Abram said to the king of Sodom, 'With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,"

Genesis 14:22, ESV: "But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth,"

Genesis 14:22, KJV: "And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,"

Genesis 14:22, NASB: "But Abram said to the king of Sodom, 'I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth,"

Genesis 14:22, NLT: "Abram replied to the king of Sodom, 'I solemnly swear to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,"

Genesis 14:22, CSB: "But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand in an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,"

What does Genesis 14:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abram has recaptured from the four kings of the east all that formerly belonged to Sodom, including all of the possessions and the people. Bera, Sodom's king, (Genesis 14:2) has come out to meet Abram. In doing so, he has observed a blessing (Genesis 14:19) given by Melchizedek. This mysterious figure's name means "King of Righteousness." Bera has also witnessed Abram's gift of a tithe to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20). Not only does Bera fail to bring anything to Abram, he steps in with a demand: Keep the possessions, and give me the people (Genesis 14:21).

Abram's response to the king of Sodom's begins in this verse and continues through the following two verses.

As the victor over those who had plundered Sodom, Abram could have claimed the right to keep everything for himself. Instead, he tells Bera that he has sworn an oath to God not to keep any of it. Specifically, Abram says that he has raised his hand to swear this oath to "the Lord, God Most High, Possessor (or Creator) of heaven and earth." Having just received a blessing from the Lord's priest Melchizedek and giving a tenth of the plunder to him, Abram now declares his own loyalty to the One who owns all things.

This contrast is spectacular in its implications for Christians today. Faced with both the "king of righteousness" (Genesis 14:18) and a king of depravity (Genesis 13:13), Abram accepts a blessing from the righteous king and gives him a tithe. Abram flatly refuses to keep even a single coin—not even a thread—from the king of depravity. Abram's stance is explicitly clear: His oath to God means having absolutely nothing to do with wicked Sodom or its king. This choice parallels the need for believers, today, to draw a hard line between godly pursuits and a love of this fallen world, even material things associated with the world (1 John 2:15; Jude 1:23).