Wednesday, May 31st, 2023
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Trapp's Complete Commentary Trapp's Commentary
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 14". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ jtc/ genesis-14.html. 1865-1868.
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 14". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
- Henry's Complete
- Clarke Commentary
- Bridgeway Bible Commentary
- Coffman's Commentaries
- Carroll's Biblical Interpretation
- Barnes' Notes
- Bullinger's Companion Notes
- Calvin's Commentary
- College Press
- Smith's Commentary
- Dummelow on the Bible
- Constable's Expository Notes
- Darby's Synopsis
- Ellicott's Commentary
- Expositor's Dictionary
- Meyer's Commentary
- Gaebelein's Annotated
- Morgan's Exposition
- Gill's Exposition
- Everett's Study Notes
- Geneva Study Bible
- Haydock's Catholic Commentary
- Commentary Critical
- Commentary Critical Unabridged
- Gray's Concise Commentary
- Parker's The People's Bible
- Sutcliffe's Commentary
- Trapp's Commentary
- Kretzmann's Commentary
- Lange's Commentary
- Grant's Commentary
- Henry's Complete
- Henry's Concise
- Poole's Annotations
- Pett's Commentary
- Peake's Commentary
- Preacher's Homiletical
- Poor Man's Commentary
- Benson's Commentary
- The Biblical Illustrator
- Coke's Commentary
- The Expositor's Bible Commentary
- The Pulpit Commentaries
- Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
- Wesley's Notes
- Whedon's Commentary
- Henry's Complete
- Keil & Delitzsch
- Hampton's Commentary
- Mackintosh's Notes
- Utley Commentary
- Kelly Commentary
Gen 14:1 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;
Ver. 1. In the days of Amraphel, ] i.e., Nimrod, as R. Salomon saith: or Ninus, as others.
King of nations. ] Of a people made up of sundry nations, saith Lyra. Symmachus rendereth it, King of Scythians: others, of Pamphylia.
Genesis 14:2 [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.
Ver. 2. That these made war. ] War is the slaughter house of mankind, and the hell of this present world. It hews itself a way through a wood of men, and lays "heaps upon heaps" (as Samson did, Jdg 15:16 ), not with "a jaw-bone of an ass," and one after another, but in a minute of time, and by the mouth of a murdering piece. Alphonsus D. of Ferrara had two of these cannons a of a wonderful size; the one whereof he called Archidiabolo, the other, the Earthquake. The Turks battered the walls of Rhodes, with twelve basilisks, so aptly named of the serpent, basiliscus , who, as Pliny writes, killeth man or beast with his very sight. But before these bloody instruments of death were heard of in the world, men could find means to slaughter one another in war; witness these five kings, that came with Chedorlaomer, and smote the Rephaims or giants, the Zuzims or Zamzummims, Deu 2:20 and the Emims or terrible ones, as their name imports. These they slew by the way, besides what they did in the vale of Siddim, where they joined battle with the five kings, and cut off many. If we may judge one battle by another, hear what was done in a bloody fight between Amurath III, king of the Turks, and Lazarus, despot of Servia. Many thousands fell on both sides; the brightness of the armour and weapons was as like the lightning; the multitude of lances and other horsemen’s staves shadowed the light of the sun. Arrows and darts fell so fast, that a man would have thought they had poured down from heaven. The noise of the instruments of war, with the neighing of horses, and outcries of men, was so terrible and great, that the wild beasts in the mountains stood astonished therewith; and the Turkish histories, b to express the terror of the day, vainly say, that the angels in heaven, amazed with that hideous noise, for that time, forgot the heavenly hymns wherewith they always glorify God. In conclusion, Lazarus was slain, and Amurath had the victory, but a very bloody one, and such as he had no great joy of. For he lost many of his Turks; as did likewise Adrian the Emperor of the Romans, when he fought against the Jews and had the better: but with such a loss of his own men, that when he wrote of his victory to the Senate, he forbore to use that common exordium, that the emperors in like ease were wont to use, Si vos liberique vestri valeatis, bene est: Ego quidem et exercitus valemus. c There was no such thing, believe it, nor but seldom is there. But as the dragon sucks out the blood of the elephant, and the weight of the falling elephant crushes the dragon, and both usually perish together; d so doth it many times fall out with those that undertake war. These four kings beat the five; but, when they got home, became a prey to Abram and his confederates. The Low-countrymen are said to grow rich - whereas e all other nations grow poor - with war. But they may thank a good queen, under God (Queen Elizabeth, I mean), who first undertook their protection against the Spaniard. For the which act of hers, all princes admired her fortitude: and the King of Sweden said, that she had now taken the diadem from her head, and set it upon the doubtful chance of war. f Dubia sane est Martis alea, nec raro utrique parti noxia , saith Bucholcerus. g And I cannot but - as the case stands with us, especially at this present, by reason of these unnatural uncivil wars stirred up amongst us - go on, and give my vote with him. Ideo pons aureus (ut vulgato proverbio dicitur) hosti fugienti extruendus est et magno precio, precibus, patientia ac prudentia alma pax redimenda, ne infoelicitatis portas, pacis tempore clausas, infaustum bellum aperiat . War is sweet, they say, to them that never made trial of it. h But I cannot sufficiently wonder at Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, of whom Justin witnesseth, that he took as much pleasure in war, as others do in supreme government. i He might have better learned of his own prophets; so St Paul calleth their poets. Tit 1:12 Homer, the prince of them, ever brings in Mars, as most hated of Jupiter above any other god, as born for a common mischief, and being right of his mother Juno’s disposition, which was fierce, vast, contumacious, and malignant. We that are Christians, as we cannot but, with the prophet Isaiah, count and call war a singular evil; so we must acknowledge with him, that it is an evil of God’s own creating. Isa 45:7 "I make peace, and create evil," j that is, war. I, is emphatic and exclusive, as who should say, I, and I alone. Whencesoever the sword comes, it is bathed in heaven. Isa 34:5 God is pleased for this to style himself, "A man of war". Exo 15:3 The Chaldee expresseth it thus, "the Lord and victor of wars". Gen 17:1 God elsewhere calleth himself, El Shaddai. Aben-Ezra interpreteth Shaddai a conqueror. And indeed the Hebrew word Shadad signifieth to dissipate and destroy: both which he must needs do that becomes a conqueror. k God seems to glory much in his workings about warlike affairs. Hence, - "Who Psa 24:8 is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty; the Lord mighty in battle." He is in Scripture said to "send the sword"; Eze 14:17 to "muster" the men; Isa 13:4 to order the ammunition; Jer 50:25 to bring up both van and rear; Isa 52:12 to give wisdom, valour, and victory. Psa 144:1 Ezekiel 30:24 Ecc 9:11 The whole battle is his. 1Sa 17:47 And he oft thereby "revengeth the quarrel of his covenant". Lev 26:25 So he hath done already upon the Jews and Germans: so he is now doing, alas, upon Ireland and England. And here I cannot but insert that which I find observed by a prime preacher of our kingdom. The late battle at Edgehill was fought in a place called "the Vale of the Red Horse," as if God had said, "I have now sent you the red horse, to avenge the quarrel of the white"; Revelation 6:2 ; Rev 6:4 the blood spilt at Edgehill the same day of the month in which the rebellion broke out in Ireland, the year before, October 23. Yea, and upon the self-same day, if our intelligence be true, in which that bloody battle was fought near Leipsic, in Germany. This conjuncture is a sad presage, that England is to drink deep in Germany’s and Ireland’s cup. "Father, if it be thy will, let this cup pass from us." "A cup of trembling" it is, surely, to myself, among many others; such as maketh my pen almost to fall out of my fingers, while I write these things; and affects me no otherwise - when I consider of the many fearful convulsions of our kingdom, tending doubtless to a deadly consumption-than the siege of Rome did St Jerome. For hearing that that city was besieged, at such time as he was writing a Commentary upon Ezekiel, l and that many of his godly acquaintance there were slain, he was so astonished at the news, that for many nights and days he could think of nothing. When I think m of what should move the Lord to make this breach upon us, and notwithstanding that he hath been so earnestly besought; yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still; that of Cajetan comes before me; who, then commenting upon Matthew when the French soldiers having broken into Rome, offered all manner of abuse and violence to the clergy, inserts this passage into his Notes on Matthew 5:13 - "Ye are the salt of the earth," - as my former author n allegeth, and rendereth him: - "We, the prelates of Rome, do now find the truth of this by woeful experience, being become a scorn and a prey, not to infidels but Christians, by the most righteous judgment of God, because we, who by our places should have been ‘the salt of the earth,’ had ‘lost our savour,’ and were good for little else but looking after the rites and revenues of the Church. o Hence it is, that together with us, this city comes to be trodden under foot, this sixth of May 1527." That city, till it became idolatrous, was ever victorious: but since it hath been the nest of Antichrist, it was never besieged but it was taken and sacked. The God of heaven purge out of our Church, daily more and more, that land desolating sin of idolatry, and make good his promise, "That there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts," Zec 14:21 no evil spirit left in the land. Fiat, fiat . For of England we may now well say, as he once did of Rome: Nunquam magis iustis iudiciis approbatum est, non esse curae Deo securitatem nostrum, esse vindictam. p
a Peacham’s Valley of Varieties. Rev 9:17 "Fire, smoke, and brimstone," seem to note out the Turks’ guns and ordnance. For the drawing of that gun that Mohammed used in besieging Constantinople, seventy yokes of oxen and two thousand men were employed.
b Turk. Hist., fol. 200.
c Dio in Adriano.
e Heylin’s Geog., p. 253.
f Anno 1585. Camden’s Elisab.
g Bucholc. Chron., p. 583.
h Dulce bellum inexpertis.
i Nulli maiorem ex imperio quam Pyrrho ex bello voluptatem fuisse.
j Malum per αντονομασιαν ut bellum, quia minime bellum per antiphrasin .
k Eundem victorem et vastatorem esse oportet .
l Hieron. com. in Ezekiel. - Proem.
m Haec scripsi cordiciuts dolens . - August 21, 1643
n Mr Arrowsmith, ubi supra, Ep.
o Evanuimus, ac ad nihilum utiles, nisi ad externas caeremonias, externaque bona ,& c. - Heylin’s Geog.
p Tacit. Hist., lib. i. cap. 1.
Gen 14:3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.
Ver. 3. The salt sea. ] So it was afterwards called. See Trapp on " Gen 19:25 " See Plin., lib. v. cap. 16.
Gen 14:4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
Ver. 4. They rebelled. ] Which they ought not to have done, if they had promised fidelity, unless in case of extreme necessity: and then also, at first, to have been on the defensive only. a
Gen 14:5 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,
Ver. 5. Chedorlaomer. ] King of Persia; he was commander in chief; and upon his sword might have been written, as was upon Agamemnon’s, ουτος μεν φοβος εστιν ανθρωπων , this is the common terror. a
Gen 14:6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which [is] by the wilderness.
Ver. 6. And the Horites in their mount Seir. ] Their Seir could not secure them, when once they fell into the hands of these Ardeliones , Eze 21:31 burning or "brutish men," skilful to destroy.
Gen 14:7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which [is] Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.
Ver. 7. And smote all the country. ] Great is the woe of war. See Trapp on " Gen 14:2 " Great also was the goodness of God to Abram, in giving so many, and so victorious, nations into his hands.
Gen 14:8 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;
Ver. 8. And there went out the king of Sodom, &c. ] These five neighbouring kings were combined against the four kings that invaded them. It was not then a civil dissension, that worst of wars, such as was that of France (and is now, alas, of England), wherein the sons fought against their fathers, and brothers against brothers; and even women took arms on both sides for defence of their religion. a That was not more monstrous, that the Suevian women threw their young children at the Romans, their enemies, instead of darts, b than that other was piteous between the Romans themselves, those that were for Vitellius, and the other for Vespasian; that, when the women brought the Vitellians food by night, into the camp, they not only refreshed themselves, but their adversaries also, with food and drink. Each man called to his adversary by name, and said, Accipe, mi commilito, ede: Non enim tibi gladium proebeo, sed panem. Accipe rursum et bibe: Non enim tibi scutum, sed poculum trado: ut, sive tu me interficias, sive ego te, moriamur facilius: atque ut ne me, enervata atque imbecilla manu occidas, aut ego te. Hae nostrae sunt exequiae, nobis adhuc viventibus. c Thus they greeted over night, and the next day despatched one another; they gave wounds, and took wounds; they slew, and were slain, as the same author hath it. d Which as oft as I think on, I cannot but highly commend that speech of Otho the Emperor to his soldiers, a little before he took his end: I hate civil wars, though I were sure to overcome. e I know not why any Englishman should love it, that shall call to mind, that in the civil dissensions between the houses of York and Lancaster, there were slain (ere the quarrel ended) fourscore princes of the blood royal, and twice as many natives of England as were lost in the two conquests of France. f War is easily taken up, saith the wise historian, g but not so easily laid down again; neither is the beginning and the end of a war in any one man’s power. If the Scots should come in on the one side, and the French or Irish on the other, what an Aceldama should we soon become! what an Ireland, a seat of wrath, because a seat of war! It is never to be forgotten by us, that the dissension between England and Scotland consumed more Christian blood, wrought more spoil and destruction, and continued longer than ever quarrel we read of did between any two people of the world. Our Edward I adjured his son and nobles, that, if he died on his journey into Scotland, they should carry his corpse about Scotland, and not suffer it to be interred, till they had absolutely subdued the country. A desire more martial than Christian; a design of revenge beyond his life. Such spirits are raised in men "that delight in war". Psa 68:30 "Oh! pray for the peace of Jerusalem." So saith David. Psa 122:6 And so doth David in the next verse, "Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces." The Athenians, when they had gotten the better at sea of the Lacedemonians, were so overjoyed, that they then first set up altars to the public peace; and appointed a cushion to be laid thereon, for that goddess to rest upon. h Oh, would the Lord but once more grant us, that "righteousness and peace might kiss each other, and mercy and truth meet" in our land, Psa 85:9-10 how happy should we hold ourselves; how infinitely obliged to sing, Servati sumus, ut serviamus ! Luk 1:74 How should we prize our restored peace, and improve it as Abram did here, to the paying of tithes, in token of thankfulness; yea, to the setting up of altars, not to public peace, as those heathens, but to the God of peace, as Abram after this did, when he had concluded a peace with King Abimelech, and his general, Phichol! Gen 21:32-33
a Hist. of Counc. of Trent, 647.
b Heyl. Geog., p. 289.
c Dio in Vita Vitellii.
d ετιτρωσκον ετιτρωσκοντο: εφονευον, εφονευοντο . - Dio.
e Mισω πολεμον εμφυλιον, καν κρατων . - Dio in Vita Othonis.
f Daniel’s Chron. continued by Trussel., fol. 249.
g Omne bellum sumitur facile, caeterum aegerrime desin it. Non enim in eiusdem potestate est initium belli, eiusque finis . - Salust, in Jug.
h Tum primum arae Paci publicae sunt factae, eique Deae pulvinar institutum . - Cornel. Nepos.
Gen 14:9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
Ver. 9. Four kings with five. ] These five were but free princes of cities, petty kings, such as we had here of old in this island; which is therefore said, by Jerome, to be tyrannorum fertilis , fertile of tyrants.
Gen 14:10 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.
Ver. 10. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits. ] Chosen therefore on purpose by the five kings, who fled and fell there; or (as some understand the text) made haste to fall down there; a skulking and scouting, b till their enemies should pursue them, and so perish in those pits. But their cunning failed them; for as they had travailed with iniquity and conceived mischief, so they brought forth a lie. They "made a pit and digged it, but fell into the ditch that themselves had made". Psa 7:15 The way of this world, saith one, is like the vale of Siddim, slimy and slippery, full of slime pits and pitfalls, springs and stumbling-blocks, laid by Satan to maim or mischieve us, to procure our ruin or ruth. To defeat him therefore (as these four kings did the five), let us tread gingerly, step warily, lift not up one foot till we find sure footing for the other: let us look ere we leap. Alioqui saliens antequam videat, casurus est antequam debeat , as St Bernard hath it. c
a Celeriter se deiecerunt . - Piscat.
b Eo consilio ut hostes ignari locorum ,& c. - Idem.
c Bern. De Bon. Deser.
Gen 14:11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
Ver. 11. And all their victuals ] "Fulness of bread" Eze 16:49 was a part of their sin; and now "cleanness of teeth" Amo 4:6 is made a piece of their punishment, in God’s just judgment.
“ Per quod quis peccat, per idem punitur ipse. ”
Gen 14:12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
Ver. 12. And they took Lot. ] God passeth not by the sins of his dearest saints, without a sensible check. Lot, for his affecting the first choice, had soon enough of it. Strong affections bring strong afflictions; as hard knots require hard wedges. Earthly things court us, that they may cut our throats: these hosts welcome us into our inn with smiling countenance, that they may despatch us in our beds. Beware of the world’s cut-throat kindnesses; consort not with Sodomites, lest ye partake of their plagues. Hamath lies nigh to Damascus in place, and fares the worse for its neighbourhood. Zec 9:2 Lot loseth his goods and liberty; Jehoshaphat had well-nigh lost his life, for "loving those that hated the Lord." 2 Chronicles 18:31 ; 2Ch 19:2 .
Gen 14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these [were] confederate with Abram.
Ver. 13. And there came one that had escaped. ] A Sodomite likely, but a servant to God’s good providence, for Lot’s rescue. "The Lord knoweth how to deliver his," &c. 2Pe 2:9 He that "led captivity captive," Eph 4:8 can "turn our captivity as the streams in the south". Psa 126:4
Gen 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained [servants], born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued [them] unto Dan.
Ver. 14. He armed his trained servants. ] Or, catechised; such as he had painfully principled both in religion and military discipline, tractable and trusty, ready pressed for any such purpose. It is recorded to the commendation of Queen Elizabeth, that she provided for war, even when she had most perfect peace with all men. a Speers foreseen are dintless.
a Camden’s Elis., fol. 164.
Gen 14:15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which [is] on the left hand of Damascus.
Ver. 15. Smote them, and pursued them. ] Abram came upon them as they were, - secure, sleepy, and drunken, as Josephus writeth. So did David upon the Amalekites, 1Sa 30:16 and Ahab the Syrians. 1Ki 20:16 The division of his company, and taking benefit of the night, teacheth the use of godly policies and stratagems.
Gen 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.
Ver. 16. And he brought back all the goods. ] The five kings were deprived of the whole victory, because they sparest not a man whom they should have spared. One act of injustice oft loseth much that was justly gotten. Beware, saith a reverend writer hereupon, a of swallowing ill-gotten wealth; it hath a poisonful operation; and, like some evil simple in the stomach, will bring up the good food together with the evil humours.
And also brought again his brother Lot. ] Many a crooked nature would have thought of the old jar, and let Lot taste of the fruits of his departure. In a friend’s distress, let former faults be forgotten, and all possible helps afforded.
And the women also, and the people. ] The hope of this might haply move that officious messenger to address himself to the old Hebrew, Gen 14:13 little set by, till now that they were in distress. General Vere told the King of Denmark that kings cared not for soldiers (no more did the king of Sodom for Abram, and his soldiers) until such time as the crowns hang on the one side of their heads. b
a Mr Whateley’s Archetypes.
b Spec. Belli Sacri, 253.
Gen 14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that [were] with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which [is] the king’s dale.
Ver. 17. The king’s dale.] So called here by way of anticipation. 2Sa 18:18
Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God.
Ver. 18. Melehizedek king of Salem. ] Who this Melchizedek was is much controverted. Some would have him to be the Holy Ghost. Others, the Lord Christ in the habit of a king and priest. The Jerusalem Targum saith, Hu Shem Rabba : this was Shem the Great. And of the same opinion are not a few of the Hebrew doctors, and others. But what should Shem do in Canaan; which country fell not to him, but to his brother Ham? To this they answer - That by the instinct of the Holy Ghost, he left his own posterity now fallen away, for most part, to idolatry, and came to the land of Canaan, a type of heaven, and the place from whence peace and salvation should be preached to all people. If this were so, it might very well be that Amraphel, who was of Shem’s lineage, and his fellow-soldiers, moved with reverence of this their great-grandfather Shem, might forbear to molest him at Salem, or invade his territories, when they wasted and smote all the neighbour nations. a But then, on the other side, if Melchizedek were Shem, 1. Why doth not Moses call him so, but change his name? 2. Why did not Abram, dwelling so near, visit him all this while, that was so near allied to him, and so highly respected by him, as it was meet? 3. Why did Melchizedek, the grandfather, take tithes of his nephew, to whom he should rather have given gifts and legacies? 2Co 12:14 Most likely, Melchizedek was a Canaanite of the Canaanites; yet a most righteous king and priest of the most High God, and so a pledge and firstfruits of the calling of the Gentiles to the knowledge and obedience of Jesus Christ, of whom he was a lively type. Heb 7:2
Brought forth bread and wine. ] This he did as a king; as a priest he blessed Abram; which latter therefore the apostle pitcheth upon, Heb 7:1 as being to treat of Christ’s priesthood. The Papists think to find footing here for their unbloody sacrifice in the Mass. Melchizedek, say they, as a priest offered bread and wine to God; for he was a priest of the living God. So they render it, or rather wrest this text, to make it speak what it never meant. Cadem Scripturarum faciunt ad materiam suam , they murder the Scriptures to serve their own purposes, saith Tertullian. b Where can they show us in all the Book of God, that the Hebrew word Hotsi here used, signifieth to offer? But anything serves turn that hath but a show of what they allege it for. A Sorbonist finding it written at the end of St Paul’s Epistles, Missa est , &c., bragged he had found the Mass in his Bible! So another reading John 1:41 , " Invenimus Messiam ," made the same conclusion, c A third, no whit wiser than the two former, speaking of these words I now write upon, Rex Salem panem et vinum protulit, fell into a large discourse of the nature of salt! d Agreeable whereunto Dr Poynes e writes, that it was foretold in the Old Testament that the Protestants were a malignant Church, alleging 2 Chronicles 24:19 Mittebatque Prophetas, ut reverterentur ad Dominum, quos Protestantes illi audire nolebant.
a Dr Prideaux Lect. de Melchls., p. 95.
b Tert. de Proescrip. advers. Haeret.
c Beehive of Rom. Church , chap. iii. fol. 93.
d Melancthon. Orat. de encom, eloquentiae.
e Pref. to his Book of the Sacraments.
Gen 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
Ver. 19. And he blessed him. ] Lo, here an instance of the communion of saints: Melchizedek doth all good offices to Abram (a believer, though a stranger), not of courtesy only and humanity, but of charity and piety.
Gen 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Ver. 20. And he gave him tithes of all. ] Not of the Sodomites’ goods, which he restored wholly, Gen 14:23 but of the other lawful spoil he had taken from the four conquered kings; in testimony of his thankfulness to God, the giver of all victory.
Gen 14:21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
Ver. 21. And the king of Sodom said. ] He that a few days since faced the heavens, and cared not for four kings, can now become suppliant to a forlorn foreigner. Affliction will tame and take down the proudest spirits; they buckle in adversity that bore their heads on high in prosperity. "In their month you may find these wild asses." Jer 2:24
Give me the persons. ] Abram did so, and yet they were no whit amended by their late captivity, or former servitude; from both which now they are freed by Abram, but still held captive by the devil, who owes them yet a further spite, as we shall see, Genesis 19:1-38 .
Gen 14:22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
Ver. 22. I have lifted up my hand. ] A swearing gesture. Dan 12:7 Rev 10:5-6 Neither doth he this rashly, but for very good reason first, that by this oath, as by a buckler, he might fence himself against all covetous desires of the spoil; secondly, to show that he did seriously remit of that which was his right, and went not to war for wages; thirdly, hereby to profess his faith and religion in opposition to their superstitious vanities, &c.
The possessor of heaven and earth. ] The true and rightful proprietary, whose tenants-at-pleasure we all are, as Philo from this text well observeth. And here take notice how Melchizedek and Abram concur in the very terms of professing their faith, "The most high God, possessor of heaven and earth." Whereunto Abram adds "Jehovah," by which name Melchizedek haply knew not God as yet; like as Apollos was ignorant of many needful truths, till better instructed by Aquila and Priscilla. Act 18:26
Gen 14:23 That I will not [take] from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that [is] thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
Ver. 23. That I will not take from a thread. ] Melchizedek, from God, had made Abram heir of all things; for, saith he, I am the priest of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, who hath sent me with this bread and wine, as by turf and twig, as by an earnest and a little for the whole, to give thee possession of both. Now, therefore, when the king of Sodom presently after offers him the goods he had taken, Abram would none; he was grown too great to accept of such an offer; God was his "exceeding great reward". Gen 15:1 Aquila non captat muscas .
Lest thou shouldst say, I have made Abram rich. ] Occasion must not be given to any to speak the least evil of us, lest Christ be dishonoured: for every Christian quartereth arms with Christ. And if Abram do anything unbeseeming himself, Abram’s God shall be blasphemed at Sodom.
Gen 14:24 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.
Ver. 24. Let them take their portion. ] In things indifferent, we may abridge ourselves; we may not prescribe to others, as if they must needs be just of our make. "My brethren, be not many masters," Jam 3:1 as Magistri nostri parisienses . See 1 Corinthians 9:14-15 .