1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. 3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. 4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 8 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; 10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
I mentioned yesterday that we probably only even hear about this war in the Bible because of how it intersected with the story of Abram. Surely there were other wars and events that are glossed over or even left entirely unmentioned.
But since we do have a record of this war, I thought it would be fitting to provide a small recap of what exactly transpired.
Lot, Abram’s nephew had gone to live in the city of Sodom, which was a vassal state to the kingdom of Elam. Gomorrah was also subservient to the kingdom of Elam, as well as several other great cities. And at the time of this story several of these vassal cities decided to throw off their overlords. The ruler of Elam, King Chedorlaomer, rallied his loyal subjects and made war with these rebels, in which the uprising was given a sound beating. The rulers of Sodom and Gomorrah fell, and their cities pillaged. During which pillaging, Lot and his household were taken captive by the conquering horde.
There is a great burden of responsibility upon every ruler. The follies of a foolish king are most often paid for by his subjects, whether they were themselves innocent or guilty. Those of us who have the privilege of electing our own rulers should consider that a great blessing, and we should be very studious only those who are wise.