What does Genesis 14:20 mean?
ESV: and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
NIV: And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.' Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
NASB: And blessed be God Most High, Who has handed over your enemies to you.' And he gave him a tenth of everything.
CSB: and blessed be God Most High who has handed over your enemies to you.And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
NLT: And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.' Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.
KJV: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Verse Commentary:
Abram is returning from defeating the four kings of the east, in order to rescue his nephew Lot and all of Lot's possessions. In doing so, Abram has also recovered the plunder taken by the enemy, including all that was taken from Sodom. Bera, the king of Sodom (Genesis 14:2), has come out to meet Abram, as has the king of Salem: a mysterious figure called Melchizedek. Here, King Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God, continues his blessing for conquering Abram begun in the previous verse.

The blessing given states clearly that the Lord was responsible for this victory, something Abram was clearly already aware of. Abram responds by tithing on the plunder he has recovered from the four kings of the east. He gives ten percent of all of it to this priest of God, Melchizedek. This may have been a customary response to a blessing at this time, but it certainly would not have been required of Abram. As the victor, the spoils of war would likely have been his to claim. He chose not to keep them.

This act of tithing will also serve as an example to Israel and God's people in the future. Tithing to the priests will become required by God's Law (see Numbers 18; Leviticus 27:30-33).
Verse Context:
Genesis 14:17–24 tells the story of a meeting between Abram and two kings. Returning as the victor after having defeated the eastern kings and recapturing all their plunder, Abram is met by the king of Sodom and by Melchizedek, the mysterious king of Salem. Melchizedek, also known as a priest of God Most High, gives Abram bread, wine, and a blessing from God. Abram gives this priest ten percent of all the plunder. Sodom's king demands his people back, but offers to let Abram keep the riches. Abram refuses to keep anything. He doesn't want to be associated, in any way, with such an ungodly ruler.
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.
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