Today we will continue our discussion from the last post. If you recall, Abram went into Egypt because there had been famine in the land of Canaan. Pharaoh had taken Sarai to be his wife but he was afflicted by plagues so that he would not lay a hand on Sarai but return her to Abram.
After Pharaoh released Sarai to Abram, they went back to Canaan with Lot and their households. The herdsmen of Lot began to quarrel with the herdsmen of Abram because there was not enough room in the land for all of them. According to the book of Jasher, Lot’s herdsmen were also allowing their flocks to graze in the fields of the people of the land. This was causing problems between Abram, Lot, and the people of the land.
As a result of this, Abram asked Lot to separate from him and choose where he wanted to live. Lot chose the plain of Jordan and dwelled in Sodom. Abram promised that if necessary, he would help Lot in a time of need. Abram dwelled in the plain of Mamre which is in Hebron.
At that time, Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam called the three other kings he had a covenant with to come and make war against the towns that rebelled against him by not paying him a yearly tax. Nimrod, also known as Amrafel came from Shinar and was joined by Tidal, king of Goyim, and Arioch, king of Elasar. This confederacy made war against the five kings of Sodom and Gomorrah: Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim, Bera king of Sodom, Bersha king of Gomorrah, and Bela king of Zoar.
The four kings of Elam ran off their opponents and plundered the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and took all the people including Lot, his possessions, and household. Abram’s servant, Unic fought in the battle and reported what happened to Abram. When Abram heard what happened, he rounded up 318 of his men and pursued the kings of Elam, rescued his nephew Lot and his household, and took back everything else that had been taken.
Meanwhile, Bera, the king of Sodom and his men managed to get out of the lime pits they had fallen in and met Abram to reclaim what was his. Another man heard what had happened and went to meet Abram. The book of Jasher called him by the title, Adonizedek which means “Righteous Lord.” The Book of Genesis called him by the title, Melchizedek which means “Righteous King.” He was the King of Salem – the King of Jerusalem. He was a priest before God and the book of Jasher specifically identifies him as Shem, the son of Noah.
It was to Shem, Noah’s son that Abram gave a tenth of everything. By that time, Shem was the oldest righteous person in all the earth. If you remember, it was Shem and Noah who raised Abram and instructed him in the ways of the Lord.
The Biblical account and that from the book of Jasher give us a picture of what is coming in the future. As most adults know, there is quarreling taking place over the land of Israel. It’s a relatively small piece of land yet Israel’s enemies do not want to share it with the Jews. They want to wipe its inhabitants off the map of the world and keep it for themselves.
Leaders of the world want to see peace in the Land and much discussion takes place on how to divide it. How it will be divided remains to be seen. Despite what many believe, the answer probably doesn’t lie in dividing it but in allowing the Jews to stay in the Land God promised would be their inheritance and for the others to go into the plain of the Jordan or elsewhere. Obviously, this is not going to happen.
Whatever man does with the Land will only be temporary. The future border of the Land during the millennial reign of Christ will be much larger than it is now (see Ezekiel 47:13-20) and Jesus will make sure His people live in the Land.
Since true and lasting peace is not going to happen by the hands of men, there will eventually be war over who has rights to the Land. Psalm 83:1-8 says that Israel’s enemies will consult with each other, form a confederacy, and through craftiness will attempt to cut them off from being a nation.
Zechariah 14:2 says that it will really be the Lord who will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses will be ransacked, and the women will be raped. Half of the city will go into captivity but a remnant of the people will remain in the city.
After that, the ultimate Adonizedek (also known as Melchizedek, Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus Christ, and the Son of God) will come with His army to fight Israel’s enemies, the righteous remnant will return to the Land from the four corners of the earth, and people will bring offerings to the Lord (Isaiah 66).
Can you see how God’s plan was foretold in patterns from the early days of the Patriarchs?