June 2, 2009

Abraham, the Confederate

Genesis 14:13-17
And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.

And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

That word confederate is interesting there. It's actually two words in the Hebrew: baal beriyt

The NLT Study Bible notes says the word literally is "brothers."

Baal, in addition to being a pagan deity can also mean husband, lord, owner.

Perhaps, then, a better understanding of the term here is that Abraham was legally brothers with these other people.

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