Genesis 14:15 MEANING

Genesis 14:15
(15) Hobah . . . on the left hand of Damascus.--That is, to the north, as the Hebrews looked eastward in defining the quarters of the heaven. The victory had thus been followed up with great energy, the pursuit having lasted, according to Josephus, the whole of the next day and night after that on which the attack was made. At Hobah the mountains cease, and the great plain of Damascus begins, and further pursuit was therefore useless.

Verse 15. - And he divided himself (i.e. his forces) against them, he and his servants (along with the troops of his allies), by night, and (falling on them unexpectedly from different quarters) smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah. A place Choba is mentioned in Judith 15:5 as that to which the Assyrians were pursued by the victorious Israelites. A village of the same name existed near Damascus in the time of Eusebius, and is "probably preserved in the village Hoba, mentioned by Troilo, a quarter of a mile to the north of Damascus" (Keil); or in that of Hobah, two miles outside the walls (Stanley, ' Syria and Palestine,' 414, k.), or in Burzeh, where there is a Moslem wady, or saint's tomb, called the sanctuary of Abraham (Porter's 'Handbook,' p. 492). Which is to the left of (i.e. to the north of, the spectator being supposed to look eastward) Damascus. The metropolis of Syria, on the river Chrysorrhoas, in a large and fertile plain at the foot of Antilibanus, the oldest existing city in the world, being possessed at the present day of 150,000 inhabitants.

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 he divided himself against them, he and his servants by night,.... Together with his confederates; and very probably their whole three was divided into four parts, under their four leaders; and this might be done in order to attack the four kings and their soldiers, who might be in four separate bodies; or to fall upon their camp in the four quarters of it, and to make a show of a greater army, thereby to intimidate the enemy: Abram seems to have understood the art of war, and the use of stratagems in it; and, as it might be night before he could come up to them, he took the advantage of that, and fell upon them unawares, when some were asleep in their beds, and others drunk, as Josephus (g) relates; and who also says, it was on the fifth night after Abram had knowledge of what had happened at Sodom:

and smote them, and pursued them unto Hoba, which is on the left hand of Damascus; a famous city in Syria; it was in later times the metropolis of that country, Isaiah 7:8; and was most delightfully situated in a vale; see Gill on Jeremiah 49:25; according to Josephus (h) it was built by Uz, the son of Aram and grandson of Shem, and some say (i) by Shem himself, and that it is to this day called Sem in the Saracene language, and lay between Palestine and Coelesyria; on the left hand of this city, or on the north of it, as all the Targums paraphrase it, lay a place called Hoba, and is completed to be eighty miles from Dan, from whence he pursued them hither, after he had discomfited them there.

(g) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 10. sect. 1.((h) lbid. c. 6. sect. 4. (i) Baumgarten. Peregrinatio, l. 3. c. 4. p. 111.

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