Genesis 14:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 14:23, NIV: "that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.'"

Genesis 14:23, ESV: "that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’"

Genesis 14:23, KJV: "That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:"

Genesis 14:23, NASB: "that I will not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, so that you do not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’"

Genesis 14:23, NLT: "that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, 'I am the one who made Abram rich.'"

Genesis 14:23, CSB: "that I will not take a thread or sandal strap or anything that belongs to you, so you can never say, 'I made Abram rich.'"

What does Genesis 14:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abram's response to the king of Sodom continues in this verse. Bera, Sodom's king (Genesis 14:2), has demanded that Abram give him back the people he has rescued from the enemy and keep the possessions for himself. This was after watching Melchizedek, whose name means "King of Righteousness" bless Abram and receive a tithe of Abram's spoils (Genesis 14:19–20). The contrast between these two kings is a major factor in interpreting this story.

Abram could have claimed the right to keep all of the war loot for himself. Instead, he responds by saying that he has taken an oath before God not to keep even a thread or a sandal strap from Sodom. Why? He doesn't want the king of Sodom, or anyone else, to take credit for Abram's success. Abram does not want to be associated, in any way, or in any sense, with the wicked culture of Sodom, or her king (Genesis 13:13).

This oath demonstrates Abram's commitment to making it clear that all he had was given to him by the Lord. For God's glory, Abram didn't want any hint of confusion about the source of his wealth, or his victory over the enemy, or his allegiance to God. God Most High was the one who would get the credit for Abram's success.