Bereshit (Genesis) Chapter 14

1Now it came to pass in the days of Amraphel the king of Shinar, Arioch the king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and Tidal the king of Goyim.   אוַיְהִ֗י בִּימֵי֙ אַמְרָפֶ֣ל מֶֽלֶךְ־שִׁנְעָ֔ר אַרְי֖וֹךְ מֶ֣לֶךְ אֶלָּסָ֑ר כְּדָרְלָעֹ֨מֶר֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ עֵילָ֔ם וְתִדְעָ֖ל מֶ֥לֶךְ גּוֹיִֽם:
Amraphel: This is Nimrod, who said (אָמַר) to Abram, “Fall (פּוֹל) into the fiery furnace.” (Gen. Rabbah) [from Mid. Tan., Lech Lecha 6; Er. 53a, Targum Jonathan]   אַמְרָפֶל: הוּא נִמְרוֹד, שֶׁאָמַר לְאַבְרָהָם פֹּל לְתוֹךְ כִּבְשַׁן הָאֵשׁ (בראשית רבה):
the king of Goyim: There is a place named Goyim, because [people] from many nations (גּוֹיִם) and places assembled there, and they crowned over them a man named Tidal (Gen. Rabbah 42:4).   מֶֽלֶךְ־גּוֹיִֽם: מָקוֹם יֵשׁ שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ גּוֹיִם, עַל שֵׁם שֶׁנִּתְקַבְּצוּ שָׁמָּה מִכַּמָּה אֻמּוֹת וּמְקוֹמוֹת וְהִמְלִיכוּ אִישׁ עֲלֵיהֶם וּשְׁמוֹ תִדְעָל:
2That they waged war with Bera the king of Sodom and with Birsha the king of Gomorrah, Shineab the king of Admah, and Shemeber the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.   בעָשׂ֣וּ מִלְחָמָ֗ה אֶת־בֶּ֨רַע֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ סְדֹ֔ם וְאֶת־בִּרְשַׁ֖ע מֶ֣לֶךְ עֲמֹרָ֑ה שִׁנְאָ֣ב | מֶ֣לֶךְ אַדְמָ֗ה וְשֶׁמְאֵ֨בֶר֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ צְבוֹיִ֔ם (כתיב צביים) וּמֶ֥לֶךְ בֶּ֖לַע הִיא־צֹֽעַר:
Bera: He was evil (רַע) to Heaven and evil to people. [from Tan. Lech Lecha 8]   בֶּרַע: רַע לַשָּׁמַיִם וְרַע לַבְּרִיּוֹת:
Birsha: He was elevated in wickedness (רֶשַׁע). [cf. Tan. Lech Lecha 8]   בִּרְשַׁע: שֶׁנִּתְעַלָּה בְרֶשַׁע:
Shineab: He hated (שׂוֹנֵא) his Father (אָב) in Heaven. [from Tan. ad loc.]   שִׁנְאָב: שׂוֹנֵא אָבִיו שׁבַּשָּׁמָיִם:
Shemeber: He made (שָׂם) wings (אֵבֶר) to fly and to spring and to rebel against the Holy One, blessed be He. [from Tan. ad loc.]   שמאבר: שָׂם אֵבֶר לָעוּף וְלִקְפֹּץ וְלִמְרֹד בְּהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
Bela: the name of the city.   בֶּלַע: שֵׁם הָעִיר:
3All these joined in the valley of Siddim, which is the Dead Sea.   גכָּל־אֵ֨לֶּה֙ חָֽבְר֔וּ אֶל־עֵ֖מֶק הַשִּׂדִּ֑ים ה֖וּא יָ֥ם הַמֶּֽלַח:
the valley of Siddim: This was its name because there were many fields (שָׂדוֹת) in it, and there are many Aggadic midrashim. [from Targum Onkelos]   עֵמֶק הַשִּׂדִּים: כָּךְ שְׁמוֹ, עַל שֵׁם שֶׁהָיו בוֹ שָׂדוֹת הַרְבֵּה:
which is the Dead Sea: Afterwards, the sea flowed into it, and it became the Dead Sea. The Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 42:6), however, states that the rocks around it split, and rivers flowed into it.   הוּא יָם הַמֶּֽלַח: לְאַחַר זְמַן נִמְשַׁךְ הַיָּם לְתוֹכוֹ וְנַעֲשָׂה יָם הַמֶּלַח. וּמִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה אוֹמֵר שֶׁנִּתְבַּקְּעוּ הַצּוּרִים סְבִיבוֹתָיו וְנִמְשְׁכוּ יְאוֹרִים לְתוֹכוֹ:
4For twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and for thirteen years they rebelled.   דשְׁתֵּ֤ים עֶשְׂרֵה֙ שָׁנָ֔ה עָֽבְד֖וּ אֶת־כְּדָרְלָעֹ֑מֶר וּשְׁלֹֽשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵ֥ה שָׁנָ֖ה מָרָֽדוּ:
For twelve years they served: These five kings [served] Chedorlaomer.   שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה עָֽבְדוּ: חֲמִשָּׁה מְלָכִים הַלָּלוּ אֶת כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר:
5And in the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer came, and the kings who were with him, and they smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim.   הוּבְאַרְבַּע֩ עֶשְׂרֵ֨ה שָׁנָ֜ה בָּ֣א כְדָרְלָעֹ֗מֶר וְהַמְּלָכִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתּ֔וֹ וַיַּכּ֤וּ אֶת־רְפָאִים֙ בְּעַשְׁתְּרֹ֣ת קַרְנַ֔יִם וְאֶת־הַזּוּזִ֖ים בְּהָ֑ם וְאֵת֙ הָֽאֵימִ֔ים בְּשָׁוֵ֖ה קִרְיָתָֽיִם:
And in the fourteenth year: of their rebellion, Chedorlaomer came. Since the matter concerned him, he bore “the heavier side of the beam” [i.e., he bore a major part of the responsibility]. [from Gen. Rabbah 42:6]   וּבְאַרְבַּע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה: לְמִרְדָּן בָּא כְדָרְלָעֹמֶר לְפִי שֶׁהוּא הָיָה בַעַל הַמַּעֲשֶׂה נִכְנַס בְּעֹבִי הַקּוֹרָה:
and the kings: These are the three kings.   וְהַמְּלָכִים: אֵלֶּה שְׁלשָׁה מְלָכִים:
and the Zuzim: These are the Zamzumim. See Deut. 2:20.   הַזּוּזִים: הֵם זַמְזֻמִּים:
6And the Horites in their mountain Seir, until the plain of Paran, which is alongside the desert.   ווְאֶת־הַֽחֹרִ֖י בְּהַֽרֲרָ֣ם שֵׂעִ֑יר עַ֚ד אֵ֣יל פָּארָ֔ן אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־הַמִּדְבָּֽר:
in their mountain: Heb. בְּהַרְרָם, in their mountain. [from Targum Onkelos]   בְּהַֽרֲרָם: בְּהַר שֶׁלָּהֶם:
the plain of Paran: Heb. אֵיל. According to its Aramaic translation, it means a plain. I say, however, that אֵיל does not mean a plain, but rather, that the plain of Paran was named Eil, and that [the plain] of Mamre was named Elonei, and that [the plain] of the Jordan was named Kikkar, and that [the plain] of Shittim was named Abel, אָבֵל הַשִּׁטִּים (Num. 33:49). And similarly, Baal-gad [was a plain] named Baal. [Though] they are all translated מִישׁוֹר, a plain, each one has its name accompanying it.   אֵיל פָּארָן: כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ מִישׁוֹר. וְאוֹמֵר אֲנִי שֶׁאֵין אֵיל לְשׁוֹן מִישׁוֹר, אֶלָּא מִישׁוֹר שֶׁל פָּארָן אֵיל שְׁמוֹ, וְשֶׁל מַמְרֵא אֵלוֹנֵי שְׁמוֹ, וְשֶׁל יַרְדֵּן כִּכָּר שְׁמוֹ, וְשֶׁל שִׁטִּים אָבֵל שְׁמוֹ, אָבֵל הַשִּׁטִּים, וְכֵן בַּעַל גָּד בַּעַל שְׁמוֹ; וְכֻלָּם מְתֻרְגָּמִין מִישׁוֹר, וְכָל א' שְׁמוֹ עָלָיו:
alongside the desert: Heb. עַל, alongside the desert, like (Num. 2:20): “and alongside them (וְעָלָיו) was the tribe of Manasseh.” - [from Targum Onkelos]   עַל־הַמִּדְבָּֽר: אֵצֶל הַמִּדְבָּר, כְּמוֹ וְעָלָיו מַטֵּה מְנַשֶּׁה (במדבר ב'):
7And they returned and came to Ein Mishpat, which is Kadesh, and they smote the entire field of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon Tamar.   זוַיָּשֻׁ֠בוּ וַיָּבֹ֜אוּ אֶל־עֵ֤ין מִשְׁפָּט֙ הִ֣וא קָדֵ֔שׁ וַיַּכּ֕וּ אֶת־כָּל־שְׂדֵ֖ה הָֽעֲמָֽלֵקִ֑י וְגַם֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֱמֹרִ֔י הַיּשֵׁ֖ב בְּחַֽצֲצֹ֥ן תָּמָֽר:
Ein Mishpat, which is Kadesh: lit. the fountain of judgment. [It was thus called] because of the future, for Moses and Aaron were destined to be judged there concerning matters [that would occur at] that fountain, viz. the waters of Meribah (Tan. Lech Lecha 8). Onkelos, however, rendered it according to its simple meaning, the place where the people of the province would assemble for all litigation.   עֵין מִשְׁפָּט היא קָדֵשׁ: עַל שֵׁם הֶעָתִיד, שֶׁעֲתִידִין מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן לְהִשְָּׁפֵט שָׁם עַל עִסְקֵי אוֹתוֹ הָעַיִן וְהֵם מֵי מְרִיבָה. וְאֻנְקְלוֹס תִּרְגְּמוֹ כִפְשׁוּטוֹ מָקוֹם שֶׁהָיוּ בְנֵי הַמְּדִינָה מִתְקַבְּצִים שָׁם לְכָל מִשְׁפָּט:
field of the Amalekites: Amalek had not yet been born, but it was given this appellation because of the [name it would bear] in the future. [from Tan. ad loc.]   שְׂדֵה הָֽעֲמָֽלֵקִי: עֲדַיִן לֹא נוֹלַד עֲמָלֵק, וְנִקְרָא עַל שֵׁם הֶעָתִיד:
in Hazezon Tamar: This is Ein-Gedi. This is an explicit verse in (II) Chronicles (20:2) concerning Jehoshaphat.   בחצצון תָּמָֽר: הוּא עֵין גֶּדִי, מִקְרָא מָלֵא בְּדִבְרֵי הַיָּמִים (ב' כ') בִּיהוֹשָׁפָט:
8And the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar, came forth, and they engaged them in battle in the valley of Siddim.   חוַיֵּצֵ֨א מֶֽלֶךְ־סְדֹ֜ם וּמֶ֣לֶךְ עֲמֹרָ֗ה וּמֶ֤לֶךְ אַדְמָה֙ וּמֶ֣לֶךְ צְבוֹיִ֔ם (כתיב צביים) וּמֶ֥לֶךְ בֶּ֖לַע הִוא־צֹ֑עַר וַיַּֽעַרְכ֤וּ אִתָּם֙ מִלְחָמָ֔ה בְּעֵ֖מֶק הַשִּׂדִּֽים:
9With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam and Tidal the king of Goyim and Amraphel the king of Shinar and Arioch the king of Ellasar, four kings against the five.   טאֵ֣ת כְּדָרְלָעֹ֜מֶר מֶ֣לֶךְ עֵילָ֗ם וְתִדְעָל֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ גּוֹיִ֔ם וְאַמְרָפֶל֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ שִׁנְעָ֔ר וְאַרְי֖וֹךְ מֶ֣לֶךְ אֶלָּסָ֑ר אַרְבָּעָ֥ה מְלָכִ֖ים אֶת־הַֽחֲמִשָּֽׁה:
four kings against the five: Nevertheless, the few were victorious. This is to inform you that they were mighty men. Despite this, Abram did not hesitate to pursue them. [from Gen. Rabbah 42:7]   אַרְבָּעָה מְלָכִים וגו': וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן נִצְּחוּ הַמֻּעָטִים, לְהוֹדִיעֲךָ שֶׁגִּבּוֹרִים הָיוּ, וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא נִמְנַע אַבְרָהָם מִלִּרְדֹּף אַחֲרֵיהֶם:
10Now the valley of Siddim was [composed of] many clay pits, and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled and they fell there, and the survivors fled to a mountain.   יוְעֵ֣מֶק הַשִּׂדִּ֗ים בֶּֽאֱרֹ֤ת בֶּֽאֱרֹת֙ חֵמָ֔ר וַיָּנֻ֛סוּ מֶֽלֶךְ־סְדֹ֥ם וַֽעֲמֹרָ֖ה וַיִּפְּלוּ־שָׁ֑מָּה וְהַנִּשְׁאָרִ֖ים הֶ֥רָה נָּֽסוּ:
many clay pits: There were many pits there from which they took earth for the clay for building (Targum Onkelos). The Midrashic explanation (Gen. Rabbah ad loc.) is that the clay was kneaded in them [i.e., in the pits], and a miracle was wrought for the king of Sodom that he escaped from there, because some of the nations did not believe that Abraham had been saved from Ur of the Chaldees, from the fiery furnace, but since this one escaped from the clay, they believed in Abraham retroactively.   בֶּֽאֱרֹת בֶּֽאֱרֹת חֵמָר: בְּאֵרוֹת הַרְבֵּה הָיוּ שָׁם, שֶׁנּוֹטְלִין מִשָּׁם אֲדָמָה לְטִיט שֶׁל בִּנְיָן. וּמִדְרַש אַגָּדָה שֶׁהָיָה הַטִּיט מֻגְבָּל בָּהֶם, וְנַעֲשָׂה נֵס לְמֶלֶךְ סְדוֹם שֶׁיָּצָא מִשָּׁם, לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ בָאֻמּוֹת מִקְצָתָן שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ מַאֲמִינִין שֶׁנִּצַּל אַבְרָהָם מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים מִכִּבְשַׁן הָאֵשׁ, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁיָּצָא זֶה מִן הַחֵמָר, הֶאֱמִינוּ בְאַבְרָם לְמַפְרֵעַ:
fled to a mountain: [Meaning]: They fled to a mountain. The word הֶרָה is the same as לְהַר. Any word that requires a lamed at the beginning, may have a hey added to it at the end [instead]. But there is a difference between הֶרָה and הָהָרָה, for the hey at the end of the word takes the place of the lamed at the beginning [of the word], but it does not take the place of a lamed vowelized with a pattach under it. Now הֶרָה is like לְהַר or like אֶל הַר, [to a mountain,] but it does not specify to which mountain, for each one fled to whichever mountain he found first. But when the letter hey is placed at the beginning, by writing הָהָרָה, or הַמִּדְבָּרָה, it is to be interpreted as אֶל הָהָר, or like לְהָהָר, [to the mountain], and it refers to that mountain that is known and specified in the chapter.   הֶרָה נָּֽסוּ: לְהָר נָסוּ, הֶרָה, כְּמוֹ לְהָר; כָּל תֵּבָה שֶׁצְּרִיכָה לָמֶ"ד בִּתְחִלָּתָהּ, הֵטִיל לָהּ הֵ"א בְּסוֹפָהּ. וְיֵשׁ חִלּוּק בֵּין הֶרָה לְהָהָרָה, שֶׁהֵ"א שֶׁבְּסוֹף הַתֵּבָה עוֹמֶדֶת בִּמְקוֹם לָמֶ"ד שֶׁבְּרֹאשָׁהּ, אֲבָל אֵינָהּ עוֹמֶדֶת בִּמְקוֹם לָמֶ"ד וּנְקוּדָה פַּתָּח תַּחְתֶּיהָ, וַהֲרֵי הֶרָה כְּמוֹ לְהַר אוֹ כְּמוֹ אֶל הַר, וְאֵינוֹ מְפָרֵשׁ לְאֵיזֶה הַר, אֶלָּא שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד נָס בַּאֲשֶׁר מָצָא הַר תְּחִלָּה, וּכְשֶׁהוּא נוֹתֵן הֵ"א בְרֹאשָׁהּ לִכְתֹּב הָהָרָה אוֹ הַמִּדְבָּרָה, פִּתְרוֹנוֹ כְּמוֹ אֶל הָהָר אוֹ כְמוֹ לְהָהָר, וּמַשְׁמַע לְאוֹתוֹ הַר הַיָּדוּעַ וּמְפֹרָשׁ בַּפָּרָשָׁה:
11And they took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food, and they departed.   יאוַיִּקְח֠וּ אֶת־כָּל־רְכֻ֨שׁ סְדֹ֧ם וַֽעֲמֹרָ֛ה וְאֶת־כָּל־אָכְלָ֖ם וַיֵּלֵֽכוּ:
12And they took Lot and his possessions, the son of Abram's brother, and they departed, and he was living in Sodom.   יבוַיִּקְח֨וּ אֶת־ל֧וֹט וְאֶת־רְכֻשׁ֛וֹ בֶּן־אֲחִ֥י אַבְרָ֖ם וַיֵּלֵ֑כוּ וְה֥וּא ישֵׁ֖ב בִּסְדֹֽם:
and he was living in Sodom: What brought this about to him [that he was taken captive]? His living in Sodom. [from Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]   וְהוּא ישֵׁב בסדום: מִי גָרַם לוֹ זֹאת? יְשִׁיבָתוֹ בִסְדוֹם:
13And the fugitive came and he told Abram the Hebrew, and he was living in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshkol and the brother of Aner, who were Abram's confederates.   יגוַיָּבֹא֙ הַפָּלִ֔יט וַיַּגֵּ֖ד לְאַבְרָ֣ם הָֽעִבְרִ֑י וְהוּא֩ שֹׁכֵ֨ן בְּאֵֽלֹנֵ֜י מַמְרֵ֣א הָֽאֱמֹרִ֗י אֲחִ֤י אֶשְׁכֹּל֙ וַֽאֲחִ֣י עָנֵ֔ר וְהֵ֖ם בַּֽעֲלֵ֥י בְרִֽית־אַבְרָֽם:
And the fugitive came: According to its simple meaning, this was Og, who escaped from the battle, and that is what is referred to (in Deut. 3:11): “Only Og survived from the rest of the Rephaim.” And that is the meaning of “survived,” that Amraphel and his allies did not kill him when they smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth-Karnaim [Midrash Tanchuma (Chukkath 25)]. The Midrash Gen. Rabbah [explains]: This is Og, who escaped from the Generation of the Flood, and this is the meaning of “from the rest of the Rephaim,” as it is said: (above 6:4): “The Nephilim were on the earth, etc.” And he [Og] intended that Abram should be killed and he would marry Sarah (Gen. Rabbah 42:8).   וַיָּבֹא הַפָּלִיט: לְפִי פְשׁוּטוֹ זֶה עוֹג, שֶׁפָּלַט מִן הַמִּלְחָמָה, וְהוּא שֶׁכָּתוּב כִּי רַק עוֹג נִשְׁאַר מִיֶּתֶר הָרְפָאִים (דבר' ג') וְזֶהוּ נִשְׁאַר, שֶׁלֹּא הֲרָגוּהוּ אַמְרָפֶל וַחֲבֵרָיו כְּשֶׁהִכּוּ הָרְפָאִים בְּעַשְׁתְּרוֹת קַרְנַיִם, תַּנְחוּמָא וּמִדְרַשׁ בּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה זֶה עוֹג, שֶׁפָּלַט מִדּוֹר הַמַּבּוּל; וְזֶהוּ מִיֶּתֶר הָרְפָאִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר הַנְּפִלִים הָיוּ בָאָרֶץ וְגוֹ' (לְעֵיל ו') וּמִתְכַּוֵּן שֶׁיֵּהָרֵג אַבְרָם וְיִשָּׂא אֶת שָׂרָה:
the Hebrew: Heb. הָעִבְרִי. [So called] because he came from the other side (מֵעֵבֶר) of the [Euphrates] river (Gen. Rabbah 42:8).   הָֽעִבְרִי: שֶׁבָּא מֵעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר (בראשית רבה):
Abram’s confederates: lit. the masters of Abram’s covenant. Because they made a covenant with him. (Other editions add: Another explanation of [בַּעֲלֵי בְּרִית]: They gave him advice concerning circumcision (Aggadath Bereishith 19:3), as is explained elsewhere) (below 18:1). [According to Aggadath Bereishith, the covenant mentioned is that of circumcision.]   בַּֽעֲלֵי בְרִֽית־אַבְרָֽם: שֶׁכָּרְתוּ עִמּוֹ בְּרִית:
14And Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, and he armed his trained men, those born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and he pursued [them] until Dan.   ידוַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָ֔ם כִּ֥י נִשְׁבָּ֖ה אָחִ֑יו וַיָּ֨רֶק אֶת־חֲנִיכָ֜יו יְלִידֵ֣י בֵית֗וֹ שְׁמֹנָ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ וּשְׁל֣שׁ מֵא֔וֹת וַיִּרְדֹּ֖ף עַד־דָּֽן:
and he armed: Heb. וַיָּרֶק, like its Aramaic translation: וְזָרֵיז, [and he armed], and similarly (Lev. 26:33): וַהִרִיקֹתִי אַחֲרֵיכֶם חָרֶב [which Onkelos renders]: “and I will arm Myself with My sword against you,” and similarly (Exod. 15:9): “I will arm myself (אָרִיק) with my sword,” and similarly (Ps. 35:3): “And arm Yourself (וְהָרֵק) with a spear and ax.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 43:2]   וַיָּרֶק: כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ וְזָרִיז, וְכֵן וַהֲרִיקֹתִי אַחֲרֵיכֶם חָרֶב (ויקרא כ"ו) – אֶזְדַּיֵּן בְּחַרְבִּי עֲלֵיכֶם, וְכֵן אָרִיק חַרְבִּי (שמות ט"ו), וְכֵן וְהָרֵק חֲנִית וּסְגֹר (תה' ל"ה):
his trained men: Heb. חֲנִיכָיו. It is written חֲנִיכוֹ [in the singular], his trained man (other editions: It is read). This is Eliezer, whom he had trained to [perform the] commandments, and it [חֲנִיכָיו] is an expression of the initiation (lit. the beginning of the entrance) of a person or a utensil to the craft with which he [or it] is destined to remain, and similarly (Prov. 22: 6): “Train (חֲנֹךְ) a child”; (Num. 7:10): “the dedication of (חֲנֻכַּת) the altar”; (Ps. 30:1): “the dedication of (חֲנֻכַּת) the Temple,” and in Old French it is called enseigner [to instruct, train].   חֲנִיכָיו: חנכו כְּתִיב (סְפָרִים אֲחֵרִים קְרֵי), זֶה אֱלִיעֶזֶר שֶׁחִנְּכוֹ לְמִצְוֹת וְהוּא לְשׁוֹן הַתְחָלַת כְּנִיסַת הָאָדָם אוֹ כְלִי לָאֻמָּנוּת שֶׁהוּא עָתִיד לַעֲמֹד בָּהּ, וְכֵן חֲנֹךְ לַנַּעַר (משלי כ"ב), חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ (במד' ז'), חֲנֻכַּת הַבַּיִת (תה' ל') ובלע"ז קוֹרִין לוֹ אינצ"נייר:
three hundred and eighteen: Our Sages said (Gen. Rabbah 43:2, Ned. 32a): It was Eliezer alone, and it [the number 318] is the numerical value of his name.   שְׁמֹנָה עָשָׂר וגו': רַבּוֹתֵינוּ אָמְרוּ אֱלִיעֶזֶר לְבַדּוֹ הָיָה (נדרים ל"ב), וְהוּא מִנְיַן גִּימַטְרִיָּא שֶׁל שְׁמוֹ:
until Dan: There he became weak, for he saw that his children were destined to erect a calf there (Sanh. 96a). The reference is to I Kings 12:29: “And he (Jeroboam) placed one in Beth-el, and the other he placed in Dan.”   עַד־דָּֽן: שָׁם תָּשַׁשׁ כֹּחוֹ, שֶׁרָאָה שֶׁעֲתִידִין בָּנָיו לְהַעֲמִיד שָׁם עֵגֶל (סנה' צ"ו):
15And he divided himself against them at night, he and his servants, and smote them, and pursued them until Hobah, which is to the left of Damascus.   טווַיֵּֽחָלֵ֨ק עֲלֵיהֶ֧ם | לַ֛יְלָה ה֥וּא וַֽעֲבָדָ֖יו וַיַּכֵּ֑ם וַיִּרְדְּפֵם֙ עַד־חוֹבָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר מִשְּׂמֹ֖אל לְדַמָּֽשֶׂק:
And he divided himself against them: According to its simple meaning, transpose the verse: “And he divided himself, he and his servants, upon them at night,” as is customary for pursuers, who divide themselves after the pursued when they flee, one here and one there.   וַיֵּֽחָלֵק עֲלֵיהֶם: לְפִי פְשׁוּטוֹ סָרֵס הַמִּקְרָא "וַיֵּחָלֵק הוּא וַעֲבָדָיו עֲלֵיהֶם לַיְלָה" כְּדֶּרֶך הָרוֹדְפִים שֶׁמִּתְפַּלְּגִים אַחַר הַנִּרְדָּפִים, כְּשֶׁבּוֹרְחִין זֶה לְכָאן וְזֶה לְכָאן:
at night: i.e., after nightfall he did not refrain from pursuing them. The Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 43:3) states, however, that the night was divided, and in its first half, a miracle was wrought for him, and its second half was preserved for the [miracle of] midnight in Egypt.   לַיְלָה: כְּלוֹמַר אַחַר שֶׁחָשְׁכָה לֹא נִמְנַע מִלְּרָדְפָם. וּמִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה שֶׁנֶּחֱלַק הַלַּיְלָה, וּבְחֶצְיוֹ הָרִאשׁוֹן נַעֲשָׂה לוֹ נֵס, וְחֶצְיוֹ הַשֵּׁנִי נִשְׁמַר וּבָא לוֹ לַחֲצוֹת לַיְלָה שֶׁל מִצְרַיִם:
until Hobah: There is no place named Hobah, but Dan is called Hobah [culpable] because of the idolatry which would be practiced there [in the future]. [from Tan. Lech Lecha 13]   עַד־חוֹבָה: אֵין מָקוֹם שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ חוֹבָה, וְדָן קוֹרֵא חוֹבָה, עַל שֵׁם עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שֶׁעֲתִידָה לִהְיוֹת שָׁם:
16And he restored all the possessions, and also Lot his brother and his possessions he restored, and also the women and the people.   טזוַיָּ֕שֶׁב אֵ֖ת כָּל־הָֽרְכֻ֑שׁ וְגַם֩ אֶת־ל֨וֹט אָחִ֤יו וּרְכֻשׁוֹ֙ הֵשִׁ֔יב וְגַ֥ם אֶת־הַנָּשִׁ֖ים וְאֶת־הָעָֽם:
17And the king of Sodom came out toward him, after his return from smiting Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, to the valley of Shaveh, which is the valley of the king.   יזוַיֵּצֵ֣א מֶֽלֶךְ־סְדֹם֘ לִקְרָאתוֹ֒ אַֽחֲרֵ֣י שׁוּב֗וֹ מֵֽהַכּוֹת֙ אֶת־כְּדָרְלָעֹ֔מֶר וְאֶת־הַמְּלָכִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתּ֑וֹ אֶל־עֵ֣מֶק שָׁוֵ֔ה ה֖וּא עֵ֥מֶק הַמֶּֽלֶךְ:
to the valley of Shaveh: That is its name, and the Targum renders: to the clear plain. It was clear of trees and of every obstacle.   עֵמֶק שָׁוֵה: כָּךְ שְׁמוֹ, כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ לְמֵישַׁר מְפַנָּא – פָּנוּי מֵאִילָנוֹת וּמִכָּל מִכְשׁוֹל:
the valley of the king: [Onkelos renders:] the king’s race course; one race course was thirty rods long, which was designated for the king to play there. The Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 42:5, 43:5), however, [explains that it was] a valley where all the nations concurred (הֻשְׁווּ) and crowned Abram over them as a prince of God and as an officer.   עֵמֶק הַמֶּֽלֶךְ: בֵּית רֵיסָא דְמַלְכָּא בֵּית רִיס א' שֶׁהוּא שְׁלֹשִׁים קָנִים, שֶׁהָיָה מְיֻחָד לַמֶּלֶךְ לְצַחֵק שָׁם. וּמִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה עֵמֶק, שֶׁהֻשְׁווּ שָׁם כָּל הָאֻמּוֹת וְהִמְלִיכוּ אֶת אַבְרָהָם עֲלֵיהֶם לִנְשִׂיא אֱלֹהִים וּלְקָצִין:
18And Malchizedek the king of Salem brought out bread and wine, and he was a priest to the Most High God.   יחוּמַלְכִּי־צֶ֨דֶק֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ שָׁלֵ֔ם הוֹצִ֖יא לֶ֣חֶם וָיָ֑יִן וְה֥וּא כֹהֵ֖ן לְאֵ֣ל עֶלְיֽוֹן:
And Malchizedek: The Midrash Aggadah (Targum Jonathan, Ned. 32b, Mid. Ps. 76:3) states that he was Shem, the son of Noah.   וּמַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק: מִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה הוּא שֵׁם בֶן נֹחַ (נדרים ל"ב):
bread and wine: This is done for those weary from battle, and he [Malchizedek] demonstrated that he bore no grudge against him [Abram] for slaying his sons (Tan. Lech Lecha 15). And according to the Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 43:6), he hinted to him about the meal offerings and the libations, which his [Abraham’s] children would offer up there.   לֶחֶם וָיָיִן: כָּךְ עוֹשִׂים לִיגִיעֵי מִלְחָמָה, וְהֶרְאָה לוֹ שֶׁאֵין בְּלִבּוֹ עָלָיו עַל שֶׁהָרַג אֶת בָּנָיו. וּמִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה רָמַז לוֹ עַל הַמְּנָחוֹת וְעַל הַנְּסָכִים שֶׁיַּקְרִיבוּ שָׁם בָּנָיו:
19And he blessed him, and he said, "Blessed be Abram to the Most High God, Who possesses heaven and earth.   יטוַיְבָֽרֲכֵ֖הוּ וַיֹּאמַ֑ר בָּר֤וּךְ אַבְרָם֙ לְאֵ֣ל עֶלְי֔וֹן קֹנֵ֖ה שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָֽרֶץ:
Who possesses heaven and earth: Heb. קֹנֶה, like (Ps. 115:15): the Maker of heaven and earth. By making them, He acquired them to be His.   קֹנֵה שָׁמַיִם וָאָֽרֶץ: כְּמוֹ עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ (תה' קל"ד); עַל יְדֵי עֲשִׂיָּתָן קְנָאָן לִהְיוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ:
20And blessed be the Most High God, Who has delivered your adversaries into your hand," and he gave him a tithe from all.   כוּבָרוּךְ֙ אֵ֣ל עֶלְי֔וֹן אֲשֶׁר־מִגֵּ֥ן צָרֶ֖יךָ בְּיָדֶ֑ךָ וַיִּתֶּן־ל֥וֹ מַֽעֲשֵׂ֖ר מִכֹּֽל:
Who has delivered: Heb. מִגֵּן, Who has delivered, and likewise, (Hosea 11:8): “I shall deliver you (אֲמַגֶּנְךָ), O Israel.”   אֲשֶׁר־מִגֵּן: אֲשֶׁר הִסְגִּיר, וְכֵן אֲמַגֶּנְךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל (הושע י"א):
and he gave him: [i.e.,] Abram [gave Malchizedek] a tithe from all that was his because he was a priest. [from Gen. Rabbah 44:7]   וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ: אַבְרָהָם מעשר מכל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ, לְפִי שֶׁהָיָה כֹהֵן: