What does Genesis 14:15 mean?
ESV: And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus.
NIV: During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.
NASB: Then he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus.
CSB: And he and his servants deployed against them by night, defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah to the north of Damascus.
NLT: There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.
KJV: And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
Verse Commentary:
After learning that Lot had been taken captive by the forces of Chedorlaomer and the kings from the east, Abram immediately gathered 318 of his most reliable trained men and began his pursuit of the departing armies. Armies of the ancient world were significantly smaller than those of modern times. However, the combined forces of four kings, even after a campaign, would have been many, many times the size of Abram's army.

Abram apparently caught up to them at Dan, in the northern reaches of the land of Canaan. Here, strategy helps Abram and his men overcome the numbers of their enemy. Abram divides his men and attacks by night, defeating the enemy. They continue to chase the retreating eastern soldiers down as they flee farther north toward the ancient city of Damascus. This is a strong contrast to Chederlaomer's previous battle, which saw five kings literally fleeing from him in defeat (Genesis 14:10–11).

What a victory! The four kings from the east had defeated multiple kings, city-states, and people groups in Canaan with apparent ease, never suffering any loss that we know of. Clearly, they were a strong fighting force. Still, with God's help, Abram and his personal army of 318 men and three Amorite allies defeats them in a single night.

God had promised to bless Abram, as well as to bless all who blessed him and curse all who dishonored him. The mighty Chedorlaomer had dishonored Abram by taking his nephew (Genesis 14:12), and now God keeps His promise once again.
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 4/16/2024 2:19:36 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com