What does Genesis 14:8 mean?
ESV: Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim
NIV: Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim
NASB: And the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) came out; and they lined up for battle against them in the Valley of Siddim,
CSB: Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and lined up for battle in the Siddim Valley
NLT: Then the rebel kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (also called Zoar) prepared for battle in the valley of the Dead Sea.
KJV: And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
NKJV: And the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim
Verse Commentary:
The previous verses describe the war of the four kings of the east, led by Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, against the city-states and peoples of the land of Canaan. Defeating all in their path, their route took them south along a line east of the Jordan River all of the way to the edge of the southern wilderness before turning back north to defeat Kadesh and the peoples south of the Dead Sea.

Now the four kings come to the Valley of Siddim to do battle against the five kings listed in this verse. Those five kings include the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. It will be helpful to remember that Abram's nephew Lot had pitched his tents near the city of Sodom, as described in Genesis 13. This puts his family directly in the path of this counter-revolutionary army.
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.
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