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the land in which they sojourned. They agreed therefore to separate. The land of Canaan had spare room sufficient for Abram, and the plains of Jordan for Lot ; therefore upon Lot's chusing to remove towards Jordan, Abram agreed to continue where he was, and thus they parted. After Lot was gone from him, God commanded Abram to lift up his eyes and view the country of Canaan, promising that the whole of it should be given to his sced for ever, and that his descendants should exceedingly flourish and multiply in it. Soon after this Abram removed bis tent, and dwelt in the plain of Mamre in Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord. IIis settling at Mamre might be about A. M. 2091.
About this time Abram became instrumental of great service to the king, in whose dominions he sojourned. The Assyrian empire, as we have observed, had in these times extended itself over the adjacent and remote countries, and brought the little nations in Asia under tribute and subjection. The seat of this empire was at this time at Elam in Persia, and Chederlaomer was king of it ; for to him the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and of the three other nations mentioned by Moses, had been in subjection. They had served him twelve years, but in the thirteenth they rebelled. We meet no where in profane history the name Chedorlaomer, nor any names of the kings mentioned by Moses, as confederate with him ; but I
c Gerr xii. 14. . Gen. xiv. 4.
have formerly observed how this might be occasioned. Ctesias, from whom the profane historians took the names of these kings, did not use their original Assyrian names in his history ; but rather such as he found in the Persian records, or what the Greek language offered instead of them.
If we consider about what time of Abraham's life this affair happened; (and we must place i it about his eighty-fourth or eighty-fifth year, i. e. A. M. 2093) we may easily see who was the supreme king of the Assyrian empire at the time here spoken of. Ninyas the son of Ninus and Semiramis began his reign A. M.' 2059, and he reigned 38 years,' so that the year of this transaction falls four years before his death. Ninyas therefore was the Chedorlaomer of Moses, head of the Assyrian empire; and Amraphel was his deputy at Babylon in Shinaar, and Arioch and Tidal his deputies over some other adjacent countries. It is remarkable, that Ninus first appointed under him such deputies," and there is no absurdity in Moses calling them kings; for it is observable, from what Isaiah hinted afterwards," that the Assyrian boasted that his . deputy-princes were equal to royal governors; are not my princes altogether kings? The great care of kings in these ages was to build cities; and thus we find almost every new king erecting a new seat of his
ii. c. about a year or two before the birth of Ishmael, who was born when Abram was eighty-six, Gen. xvi. 16. * See vol. i. b, 4.
| Euseb. in Chron. Diodor. Sic, lib. 2.
* Isaiah x. 8.
empire. Ninus fixed at Nineveh, Semiramis at Babylon, and Ninyas at Elam ; and hence it happened in after-ages, that Ctesias, when he came to write the Assyrian antiquities, found the names of their ancient kings amongst the royal records of Persia ; which he could hardly have done, if some of their early monarchs had not had their residence in this country. Ninyas therefore was the Chedorlaomer of Moses ; and these kings of Canaan had been subject to him for twelve years. In the thirteenth year they endeavoured to recover their liberty ; but within a year after this their attempt, (which is a space of time that must necessarily be supposed, before Chedorlaomer could hear at Elam of their revolt, and summon his deputies with an army to attend him) in the fourteenth year, the king of Elam with his deputy-princes, the go-' vernor of Shinaar, and of Ellasar, and of the other nations subject to him, brought an army, and over-ran the kingdoms in and round about the land of Canaan. He subdued the Rephaims, who inhabited the land, afterwards called the kingdom of Bashan, situate between Gilead and Hermon ; the Uzzims, between Arnon and Damascus; the Emmims, who inhabited what was afterwards called the land of Ammon; the Horites from mount Seir to El-paran; then he subdued the Amalekites and the Amorites; and last of all came to a battle with the king of Sodom, the king of Go.' morrah, and the king of Admah, the king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela or Zoar in the valley of Siddim, and obtained a complete and entire conquest over them. Lot, who at that time dwelt in Sodom, suffered in this action; for he and all his family and substance
were taken by the enemy; and in great danger of being carried away into captivity, had not Abram very fortunately rescued him. The force which Abram could raise, was but small; three hundred and eighteen trained servants being his whole retinue; yet with these he pursued the enemy unto Dan. We do not read that Abram attacked the whole Assyrian army ; which, without doubt, would have been an attempt too great for the little company which he commanded ; but coming up with them in the night," he artfully divided his attendants into two companies, with one of which most probably he attacked those that were appointed to guard the captives and spoil ; and with the other made the appearance of a force ready to attempt the whole body of the enemy. The Assyrians, surprised at finding a new enemy, and pretty much harrassed with obtaining their numerous victories, and fatigued in their late battle ; not knowing the strength which now attacked them, retired and filed. Abram pursued p them unto Hobah, on the left hand of Damascus; and, being by that time master of the prisoners and spoil, he did not think fit to press on any further, or follow the enemy until day-light might discover the weakness of his forces : therefore he returned back, having rescued his brother Lot,* and his goods, and the women and the people who were taken captive. We hear no more of the Assyrian army; which most probably returned home, designing to be reinforced, and come another year sufficiently prepared to make a more complete conquest of the kingdoms of Canaan; but Ninyas or Chodorlaomer dying soon after this, the new king might have other designs upon his hands, and so this might be ne, glected or laid aside. When Abram returned with the captives and the spoil, the king of Sodom and the king of Salem' went out to meet him with great cere, mony. Melchizedec, king of Salem, was the priest of the Most High God;' for which reason Abram gave him the tenth of the spoil. The remainder he returned to the king of Sodom, refusing to be himself a gainer by receiving any part of what this victorious enterprize had gotten him.
• Gen. xiv. 15.
p Ibid. * Lot was the son of Haran, and nephew to Abraham. Edit.
· Gen. xiv. 16:
GOD ALMIGHTY continued his favour to Abram, and in divers and sundry manners, sometimes by the appearance of angels, at other times by audible yoices or remarkable dreams, declared in what manner he designed to bless his posterity, and to raise them in the world. Abram at this time had no son, but upon his desiring one, he received not only a promise of one, but was informed, that his posterity should be so numerous as to be compared to the very stars of heaven.' Abram was so sincerely disposed to believe all the intimations and promises which God thought fit to give him, that it was counted to him for righteousness," that he obtaincd by it great favour and accept
Gen. xiv. ver. 17. + Gen. xv. 5.
• Ver. 18.