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Who was Chedorlaomer / Kedorlaomer?



    
    

Clarify Share Report Asked March 15 2016 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Chedorlaomer (also spelled Kedorlaomer) was a king who was a contemporary of Abraham and Lot. Chedorlaomer is mentioned in Genesis 14:9 as the king of Elam, which was an ancient civilization in the...

March 15 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini John Appelt
Chedorlaomer appears in the Bible only because of the connection with Abraham and Lot. He was the leading king of a confederacy, Genesis 14:1, that battled the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (Zoar), and took control of them for twelve years, Genesis 14:2-4. 

In the 13th year, the kings of Sodom and company rebelled and in the 14th year they joined together to battle Chedolaomer and his confederacy who routed them. In the process Lot, the nephew of Abraham and resident of Sodom, was captured, Genesis 14:12. 

The family connection of Lot to Abraham was the reason Abraham assembled and armed his 318 trained servants to perform a night-time rescue operation that brought back Lot and all that were with him, Genesis 14:15-16.

Archaeology and historical records reveal the kings of Genesis 14:1 were well-known kings of the lower Mesopotamia region of that time. Records also reveal in Abraham’s time, they invaded the region sweeping along the east of the Jordan where the King’s Highway ran, around the bottom of the Dead Sea and into the South, devasting and plundering as described in Genesis 14:5-7. This is when Sodom and company decided to battle against Chedorloamer and his confederacy and were defeated, Genesis 14:8-12. Apparently, the confederacy was heading back north when Sodom and company attacked them because Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus, Genesis 14:15. Recent scholarship places Sodom and company in the plain of Jordan north of the Dead Sea. The Valley of Siddim, Genesis 14:3, 10, is likely at the northern edge of the Dead Sea, close to their home territory.

The names of the kings in Genesis strongly resemble actual historic figures and are linked together in contemporary records. 

Amraphel, king of Shinar is probably the same as Hammurabi/Ammurapi the king of Babylonia. If so, he could be the famous leader who instituted a code of laws for his nation. “The Jewish Encyclopedia” noted that,

“The transformation of the name Hammurabi into the Hebrew form Amraphel is difficult of explanation, though a partial clue is perhaps furnished by the explanation of the name in a cuneiform letter as equivalent to Kimta-rapashtu (great people or family). On this basis ‘'am’ = ‘Kimta’ and ‘raphel’ = ‘rapaltu’ = ‘rapashtu’.”

Arioch, king of Ellasar is identified as Eri-aku, king of Larsa.

Chedorlaomer, king of Elam is the same as Kudur-Lagamar, the king of Elam. The Septuagint spells his name Chodollogomor. 

Finally Tidal, king of nations or ‘goyim,’ is believed to be Tudhulu/Tudkhula, son of Gazza or, more likely, the king of the Gutians. 

Other kings, Melchizedek of Salem, those of Sodom and company, Genesis 14:2, that Moses wrote about were not fictional but real kings having a great influence throughout the region. It gives a glimpse of the political world in the time of Abraham, who in his own right was a powerful leader. It is no coincidence that kings mentioned in the Bible are connected to historic kings of the time.

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