What does Genesis 14:10 mean?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Genesis 14:1–16 is an action-packed story of war between ancient city-states. Four kings from the east arrive to put down a rebellion by five kings from cities around the Dead Sea. After defeating them, the eastern kings loot Sodom, carrying off Abram's nephew Lot and all he owns in the process. Abram gathers his own small army, along with three Amorite allies, and gives chase. They catch the enemy in the northern reaches of Canaan, defeat them, and recapture all the plunder, including Lot.
Chapter Summary:
This short chapter is packed with action, adventure, and war. An army from the east comes to reestablish its rule over the kings of the city-states of Canaan. Five kings from the Dead Sea region rebel, are defeated, and Sodom is looted. Abram's nephew Lot is captured and taken away. Abram and his own small army chase down the eastern kings, defeating them and recapturing all that was lost. Returning home, Abram is met by a mysterious king and priest of God Most High called Melchizedek.
Chapter Context:
At first, Genesis 14 seems unrelated to the previous chapter. Four kings from the east come to wage war against the kings and people groups of Canaan, including five kings from cities around the Dead Sea. The eastern kings defeat all challengers, looting Sodom and carrying off Lot and his entire family. Now Abram reappears in the story to chase down the departing army, defeat them in a single night, and retrieve all that was lost. On the way home, he is met by a mysterious king and priest of God Most High known as Melchizedek.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 4/18/2024 12:03:09 AM
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