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Genesis 3

Chapter 3, Genesis 14:1-24, when kings go to war

Genesis 14 described the battle between the four kings of Mesopotamia, headed by King Chedorlaomer of Elam, against the five kings of Canaan, headed by the King of Sodom. The battle was fought in the valley of Siddim, also known as the valley of the Salt Sea, or the Dead Sea. The soldiers captured Lot and his family in the crossfire and Abram rescued him. This battle was also known as the battle of Siddim (Genesis 14:10) and the slaughter of Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14:17).

Verses 1-3, 1 In the days of Amraphel, king of Shinar; Arioch, king of Ellasar; Chedorlaomer, king of Elam; and Tidal, king of Goiim, 2 they made war with Bera, king of Sodom; Birsha, king of Gomorrah; Shinab, king of Admah; Shemeber, king of Zeboiim; and the king of Bela (also called Zoar). 3 All these joined together in the valley of Siddim (also called the Salt Sea).

A coalition of four kings of Mesopotamia under the leadership of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam waged war against a coalition of five kings of Canaan under the leadership of Bera, king of Sodom. Shinar is ancient Mesopotamia, modern-day Irag. Elam is modern-day Iran. Sodom and Gomorrah were extinct cities in Cannan near the Dead Sea. They converged for battle at the valley of Siddim, also known as the Salt Sea, or the Dead Sea.

Verse 4-7, 4 They served Chedorlaomer for twelve years, and in the thirteenth year, they rebelled. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and struck the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in their Mount Seir, to El Paran, which is by the wilderness. 7 They returned, and came to En Mishpat (also called Kadesh), and struck all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that lived in Hazazon Tamar.

After serving served Chedorlaomer for twelve years, the five kings of Canaan

rebelled against him in the thirteenth year. Chedorlaomer and his allies attacked the Rephaim, the Zuzim, the Emim, the Horites, El Paran, the Amalekites, and the Amorites In the fourteenth year.

Verses 8-9, 8 The king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (also called Zoar) went out; and they set the battle in array against them in the valley of Siddim 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against the five.

The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their allies fought against the Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and his allies in the valley of Siddim.

Verses 10-12, 10 Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and some fell there. Those who remained fled to the hills. 11 They took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food, and went their way. 12 They took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

In those days, the valley of Siddim, (Salt Sea or Dead Sea) was full of tar pits. Chedorlaomer and his allies came out victorious and defeated the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their allies. They plundered the goods and took away the people of Sodom and Gomorrah as hostages, including Lot and his family.

Verses 13-17, 13 One who had escaped came and told Abram, the Hebrew. At that time, he lived by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner. They were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative was taken captive, he led out his three hundred eighteen trained men, born in his house, and pursued as far as Dan. 15 He divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and struck them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 16 He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot and his goods, and the women also, and the other people. 17 The king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

When Abram heard that Lot was captured, he and his allies plus three hundred and eighteen of his men went on a rescue mission and chased after the enemies as far north as Dan. We can see that Abram was very rich because he had three hundred and eighteen men born in his house! He divided the rescue team into groups and pursued the enemies at night as far as north as Damascus. Abram rescued Lot, other hostages, their families, and their possessions. In the wake of this successful campaign, the king of Sodom came to meet Abram.

Verses 18-20, 18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was the priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him, and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth. 20 Blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” Abram gave him a tenth of all.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Melchizedek, the king of Salem, appeared to Abram. Some scholars believed that Melchizedek was a Christophany, the pre-incarnate Christ who appeared to Abram in a human form. Hebrews for Melchizedek means king of righteousness. Salem was Jerusalem. Hebrews for Salem is shalom or peace. Melchizedek was the king of Jerusalem, king of peace, a priest of the Most Hogh God or El Elyon. God revealed another name to Abram, El Elyon, the Most High God. Melchizedek was a foreshadow or type of Christ. Melchizedek blessed Abram and gave him bread and wine to Abram, a foreshadow of the Holy Communion. Abram gave to Melchizedek a tenth of all his possessions. Melchizedek is also mentioned two more times in the Bible, Psalm 110:4, and Hebrews 7: 1-3. Melchizedek is like the Son of God, eternal, with no genealogy, no beginning, and no end.

Psalm 110:4, “Yahweh has sworn, and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 7: 1-3, For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, “king of righteousness”, and then also “king of Salem”, which means “king of peace”, without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God), remains a priest continually.

Verses 21-24, 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people, and take the goods for yourself.” 22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted up my hand to Yahweh, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread nor a sandal strap nor anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing from you except that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their portion.”

The king of Sodom offered Abram all the booty in exchange for the hostage, but Abram refused to take anything from him. His allegiance was to the LORD and no one else. Abram’s faith had strengthened and matured. The LORD who owned the whole universe and the cattle on a thousand hills had given him victory, Psalm 50:10, NIV.

Psalm 50:10, NIV, “for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.”

Application:

Abraham’s rescue of Lot and the hostages from Chedorlaomer is a foreshadowing of Christ rescuing us from the captivity of satan.

Abraham paid a tenth of all his possessions to Melchizedek. Since all that you have comes from God, you need to pay back a portion of what you earned to further the ministries of the kingdom of God. This is the basis for paying tithes and offerings.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for redeeming us from the bondage of sin. Thank You for setting us free from the captivity of satan. Thank You for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to secure our salvation. Thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Genesis 3

Chapter 3, Genesis 3: 1-24, the fall

This chapter records the first sin of human beings. Satan appeared on the scene disguised as a talking serpent to tempt and deceive Eve and succeeded. Everything went downhill for humanity and the whole of creation from this point onwards.

Verses 1-3, 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, 3 but not the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it. You shall not touch it, lest you die.’”

The serpent, satan was the most cunning, conniving, and deceitful of all the animals. The serpent, dragon, or satan is the father of lies and deception. Satan appeared to Eve in the form of a talking serpent. Satan questioned the honesty of God. Satan planted doubt in the mind of Eve by saying, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” Eve was deceived because she did not know the word of God. She said that God forbade her to touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God forbade her to eat, not touch the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 2: 17.

Genesis 2:17, “but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”

Verses 4-6, 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You won’t really die, 5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took some of its fruit, and ate. Then she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate it, too.

Satan questioned the integrity of God. Satan deceive Eve that God was hiding something good from her. Satan continued to sow the seeds of doubt into Eve and even accused God of hiding the knowledge of good and evil good from her.

Eve succumbed to the lust of the eye, the fruit was good to eat. She succumbed to the lust of the eyes, the fruit was good to look at. She succumbed to the pride of life, it was good for wisdom. Satan tempted Jesus along the same lines but Jesus overcame satan by the word of God.

Eve ate the fruit and gave it to Adam and Adam also ate it! Eve was tempted by satan but Adam was not deceived by satan. Adam willingly ate the forbidden fruit even though he knew the consequence of doing so.

Verses 7-9, 7 Their eyes were opened, and they both knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 They heard Yahweh God’s voice walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. 9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

Their eyes were opened, they saw their nakedness, and felt shameful. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were naked but they did not feel ashamed because their hearts were pure. After the fall, they saw their nakedness through sinful eyes because their hearts were sinful They sewed fig leaves to cover up their sin. The Lord God came to the garden but they hide from Him. The Lord God called Adam and summoned him to come out. Adam and Eve tried to cover their sins with their own self-effort but this was not adequate. Only God can cover their sins adequately.

Verses 11-14, 11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.13 Yahweh God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 Yahweh God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this you are cursed above all livestock and above every animal of the field. You shall go on your belly and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

Adam and Eve played the blame game instead of admitting, confessing, and taking responsibility for their actions. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed satan. The LORD God pronounced a curse on satan for his conniving, lying, dastardly, and wicked act.

Verses 15-16, 15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. You will bear children in pain. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

The LORD God pronounced enmity between Eve and satan, and between her offsprings and satan’s offsprings. The seed of Eve is Jesus Christ. The LORD will send Jesus Christ to bruise satan’s head and satan will bruise Jesus’ heal on Good Friday, 6000 years later. Women will suffer the pain of childbirth and be subjected to their husbands.

Verses 17-19, 17 To Adam he said, “Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and have eaten from the tree, about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’  the ground is cursed for your sake. You will eat from it with much labor all the days of your life. 18 It will yield thorns and thistles to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. 19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your face until you return to the ground, for you were taken out of it. For you are dust, and you shall return to dust.”

Even Adam was not spared. Adam will have to work the ground with his hands through sweat and tears. Even the ground was not spared. God cursed the ground so that thorns and thistles would grow. Human beings will return to dust at death since human beings were created out of dust.

Genesis 3:15-19 spelled out the consequences of the fall viz. enmity between Eve and satan, marital strife, painful childbirth, the ground was cursed, hard labour for men, physical and spiritual death.

Verses 20-24, 20 The man called his wife Eve because she would be the mother of all the living. 21 Yahweh God made garments of animal skins for Adam and for his wife and clothed them. 22 Yahweh God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever—” 23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Adam called his wife Eve because she was the mother of the living. Hebrews for Eve is Hawwah, which means source of the living. The LORD God made garments from animal skin to cover the sin of Adam and Eve. God had to kill animals and shed their blood to get the skins. The atonement of sin required the shedding of blood, Hebrews 9:22. This was the first sacrifice. This was a foreshadow of Christ, the Lamb of God, who will be the substitutionary atonement for the sins of mankind.

God expelled Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden to their deny access to the tree of life. The access into the garden of Eden was forever closed to Adam and Eve. God placed cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the entrance to the garden of Eden.

Hebrews 9:22, “According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Application:

Satan can plant seeds of doubt in your hearts if you do not know the word of God accurately. Eve was deceived because she did not know the word of God accurately. Know the word accurately. Do not be deceived by speakers who quote scriptures wrongly and out of context. Countercheck whatever you hear from any speaker with the Bible, see Acts 17:11.

Do not succumb to the lust of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life, 1 John 2:15-17.

Jesus covered our sin with His robe of righteousness, imputing His righteousness to us when we believe in Him.

Acts 17:11,  “Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”

1 John 2: 15-17, “Don’t love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t the Father’s, but is the world’s. The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God’s will remains forever.”

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for justification and salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Thank You for covering our sin by the imputed righteousness of Christ. Thank You for salvation through the finished work of Christ on the cross. Help us not to succumb to the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.