Genesis 14:14 MEANING

Genesis 14:14
(14) Abram . . . armed . . . --Heb., led forth, or literally, let them loose, let them pour forth, the verb indicating both their number and also their haste. The word for trained comes from the same root as the name Enoch, for which see note on Genesis 4:17. As Abram's cattle would often be exposed to danger from the Amalekites, who throughout the Biblical history appear as a race of inveterate plunderers, there is no reason to doubt that these men were trained and practised in the use of weapons. This large number of servants born in his house, and of an age capable of undergoing the fatigues of a rapid pursuit, added to the older men left to defend and take care of the cattle, proves that Abram was the chieftain of a powerful tribe.

Dan.--There is a city of this name in Gilead, mentioned in Deuteronomy 34:1, but this is probably the better known town at the source of the Jordan, also called Laish (Judges 18:29). For having swept the hill country on his march southwards, Chedorlaomer would now plunder the rich vale of the Jordan as his final exploit. Dan is about 140 miles from Hebron, where Abram began his march.

Verse 14. - And when Abram heard that his brother - so called as his brother's son, or simply as his relative (Genesis 42:8) - was taken captive, he - literally, and he - armed - literally, caused to pour forth, i.e. drew out in a body, from a toot signifying "to pour out" (Gesenius, Furst); from a root meaning to unsheath or draw out anything as from a scabbard, and hence equivalent to expedivit, he got ready (Onkelos, Saadias, Rosenmüller, Bush, 'Speaker's Commentary'). Kalisch connects both senses with the root. The LXX., Vulgate, and others translate "numbered," reading later יָּדֵּק for יָּרֵק his trained - literally, initiated, instructed, but not necessarily practiced in arms (Keil); perhaps only familiar with' domestic duties (Kalisch), since it is the intention of the writer to show that Abram conquered not by arms, but by faith - servants, born in his own house - i.e. the children of his own patriarchal family, and neither purchased nor taken in war - three hundred and eighteen - which implied a household of probably more than a thousand souls - and - along with these and his allies (vide Ver. 24) - pursued them - the victorious Asiatics - unto Dan - which is here substituted for its older name Laish, for which vide Joshua 19:47 (Ewald), though regarded by some as not the Laish Dan conquered by the Danites, but probably Dan-jaan, mentioned in 2 Samuel 24:6 (Havernick, Keil, Kalisch); against which, however, is the statement of Jose. phus ('Ant.,' 1:10), that this Dan was one of the sources of the Jordan. Murphy regards Dan as the original designation of the town, which was changed under the Sidonians to Laish (lion), and restored at the conquest. Clericus suggests that the Jordan fountain may have been styled Dan, "Judge," and the neighboring town Laish, and that the Danites, observing the coincidence of the former with the name of their own tribe, gave it to the city they had conquered. Alford is doubtful whether Dan-juan was really different from Laish.

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.And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive,.... That is, his brother's son Lot, as in Genesis 14:12; which was contrary to the law of nations; since Lot was only a sojourner, and not an inhabitant n Sodom, and therefore had no concern in the quarrel between the kings, and this justified Abram's taking up arms on his behalf:

he armed his trained servants; such as were trained up by him in religious exercises, see Genesis 18:19; in the affairs and business of civil life, in the care of flocks and herds, and particularly in the art of war; which was both lawful and necessary, for the preservation of his family and substance from oppressors:

born in his own house; of his servants, and so were his property, and at his disposal and command; their number was

three hundred and eighteen, a large number for servants, and which showed how great a man Abram was, what possessions he must have to employ so many, and yet but a small number for an army, to go forth with against four kings who had conquered five; though how many his confederates brought with them is not certain:

and pursued them unto Dan; the Jerusalem Targum is, to Dan of Caesarea, meaning Caesarea of Philippi, as in the times of Christ and his apostles it was called; which at first had the name of Leshem, or Lais, and was not called Dan until the times of the judges, Judges 18:29; wherefore, if the same place is intended here, it is so called not only by anticipation, but by a spirit of prophecy; since it had not the name of Dan even in the times of Moses, the writer of this history, unless it may be thought to be inserted by Samuel or some other inspired writer, after Moses; though there is no need to suppose either of these, seeing there might be a town or city of this name in those parts at this time, or however one of the springs of Jordan might be so called, from whence the river had its name as early, Genesis 13:11; and so Josephus (f) expressly says, speaking of this expedition, that Abram fell upon them at Dan, for so, adds he, the other fountain of Jordan is called.

(f) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 10. sect. 1.

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