Genesis 14:16
And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
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14:13-16 Abram takes this opportunity to give a real proof of his being truly friendly to Lot. We ought to be ready to succour those in distress, especially relations and friends. And though others may have been wanting in their duty to us, yet we must not neglect our duty to them. Abram rescued the captives. As we have opportunity, we must do good to all.Abram and his confederates found the enemy secure and at their ease, not expecting pursuit. They attack them on two quarters; Abram, probably, on the one, and his allies on the other; by night, defeat and pursue them unto Hobah. "On the left hand of Damascus." Hobah was on the north of Damascus. An Eastern, in fixing the points of the heavens, faces the rising sun, in which position the east is before him, the west behind, the south at the right hand, and the north at the left. Hobah is referred by the Jews to Jobar, a place northeast of Damascus. J. L. Porter suggests a place due north, called Burzeh, where there is a Muslim wely or saint's tomb, called Makam Ibrahim, the sanctuary of Abraham (Handbook, p. 492). This route, by the north of Damascus, illustrates the necessity of advancing far north to get round the desert intervening between Shinar and the cities of the plain.

Damascus, Dimishk, esh-Sham, is a very ancient city of Aram. The choice of the site was probably determined by the Abana (Barada) and Pharpar (Awaj), flowing, the one from Anti-Libanus, and the other from Mount Hermon, and fertilizing a circuit of thirty miles. Within this area arose a city which, amidst all the changes of dynasty that have come over it, has maintained its prosperity to the present day, when it has one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants. It was originally occupied by the descendants of Aram, and may have been built, as Josephus informs us, by Uz his son.

Abram, with his allies, succeeded in defeating the enemy and recovering the property, with the prisoners, male and female, that had been carried away, and, among the rest, Lot, the object of his generous and gallant adventure.

Verse 7-24

Abram's reception on his return. "The king of Sodom." This is either Bera, if he survived the defeat, or, if not, his successor. "The dale of Shaveh, which is the King's dale." The word עמק ‛ēmeq is rendered here uniformly by the familiar term "dale." The dale of Shaveh is here explained by the "King's dale." This phrase occurs at a period long subsequent as the name of the valley in which Absalom reared his pillar 2 Samuel 18:18. There is nothing to hinder the identity of the place, which must, according to the latter passage, have been not far from Jerusalem. Josephus makes the distance two stadia, which accords with the situation of Absalom's tomb, though the building now so-called, in the valley of Jehoshaphat, seems to be of later origin. The identity of the King's dale with the valley cast of Jerusalem, through which the Kedron flows, corresponds very well with the present passage.

15, 16. he divided himself … by night—This war between the petty princes of ancient Canaan is exactly the same as the frays and skirmishes between Arab chiefs in the present day. When a defeated party resolves to pursue the enemy, they wait till they are fast asleep; then, as they have no idea of posting sentinels, they rush upon them from different directions, strike down the tent poles—if there is any fight at all, it is the fray of a tumultuous mob—a panic commonly ensues, and the whole contest is ended with little or no loss on either side. He brought back all the goods which the victorious kings had taken from the princes and people mentioned before in this chapter.

And he brought back all the goods,.... Taken from Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 14:11,

and also brought again his brother Lot; his brother's son, Genesis 14:12, for whose sake chiefly he engaged in this enterprise: and his goods; money, cattle, &c.

and the women also, and the people; not only that belonged to Lot, but to Sodom and Gomorrah, who had been taken and carried captive; these were all rescued and brought back by Abram, see Genesis 14:21;

And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
Verse 16. - And he brought back all the goods. Col-harecush The LXX. translate τὴν ἵππον, as if they read רֶכֶשׁ for רְכֻשׁ. And also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods. Καὶ πάντα τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ (LXX.). And the women also, and the people.

CHAPTER 14:17-24 Genesis 14:16A fugitive (lit., the fugitive; the article denotes the genus, Ewald, 277) brought intelligence of this to Abram the Hebrew (העברי, an immigrant from beyond the Euphrates). Abram is so called in distinction from Mamre and his two brothers, who were Amorites, and had made a defensive treaty with him. To rescue Lot, Abram ordered his trained slaves (חניכיו, i.e., practised in arms) born in the house (cf. Genesis 17:12), 318 men, to turn out (lit., to pour themselves out); and with these, and (as the supplementary remark in Genesis 14:24 shows) with his allies, he pursued the enemy as far as Dan, where "he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night," - i.e., he divided his men into companies, who fell upon the enemy by night from different sides - "smote them, and pursued them to Hobah, to the left (or north) of Damascus." Hobah has probably been preserved in the village of Noba, mentioned by Troilo, a quarter of a mile to the north of Damascus. So far as the situation of Dan is concerned, this passage proves that it cannot have been identical with Leshem or Laish in the valley of Beth Rehob, which the Danites conquered and named Dan (Judges 18:28-29; Joshua 19:47); for this Laish-Dan was on the central source of the Jordan, el Leddan in Tell el Kady, which does not lie in either of the two roads, leading from the vale of Siddim or of the Jordan to Damascus.

(Note: One runs below the Sea of Galilee past Fik and Nowa, almost in a straight line to Damascus; the other from Jacob's Bridge, below Lake Merom. But if the enemy, instead of returning with their booty to Thapsacus, on the Euphrates, by one of the direct roads leading from the Jordan past Damascus and Palmyra, had gone through the land of Canaan to the sources of the Jordan, they would undoubtedly, when defeated at Laish-Dan, have fled through the Wady et Teim and the Bekaa to Hamath, and not by Damascus at all (vid., Robinson, Bibl. Researches).)

This Dan belonged to Gilead (Deuteronomy 34:1), and is no doubt the same as the Dan-Jaan mentioned in 2 Samuel 24:6 in connection with Gilead, and to be sought for in northern Peraea to the south-west of Damascus.

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