What does Genesis 14:24 mean?
ESV: I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share."
NIV: I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share."
NASB: I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.'
CSB: I will take nothing except what the servants have eaten. But as for the share of the men who came with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre—they can take their share."
NLT: I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies — Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.'
KJV: Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.
NKJV: except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”
Verse Commentary:
The king of Sodom has demanded that Abram return to him the people Abram rescued from the four kings from the east. Abram's response began in verse 22 and concludes here. Abram had taken an oath before God not to keep even a thread of the plunder for himself; he would return both it and the people to Sodom. In fact, from Abram's perspective, he never took it in the first place!

Why? Abram didn't want the king of Sodom (or anyone else) to be able to take the credit for his wealth. That credit belonged to God. Abram understood God to be the one who blessed him and made him successful. He wanted others to see that, as well.

However, in this concluding verse, Abram does say that those who fought with him, his allies, the brothers Mamre, Aner, and Eshkol, are entitled to their fair share of the plunder. Abram is not going to speak for them—this oath is his, and the burden in his. In the same way, Abram will not repay the food his men have already eaten on the way; strictly speaking, he cannot, since it's already gone. Everything that can be returned to Sodom will be returned.

In making this statement, Abram also makes it clear that this is not a gift to Bera, the king of Sodom (Genesis 14:2). From Abram's perspective, these people and goods are still the property of Sodom—he had sworn not to take any of it. Abram's commitment to avoid any connection with the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah is crystal clear (Genesis 13:13).

Of course, the share of the plunder that went to Melchizedek and Abram's three allies would have been significant. In this way, God continues to keep His promise to bless those who bless Abram (Genesis 12:3).
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.
Accessed 7/24/2024 2:38:01 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com