Genesis 14: Abraham Meets with Melchizedek

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 24


In Genesis 13:12 we read that Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom.” By Genesis 14:12 we learn that he “dwelt in Sodom.” As a result, he became a prisoner in a battle between the various kings of the land at that time. Abraham was apparently not affected by the war until Lot was captured. Genesis 14:1–12 explains how the different kings formed military alliances in order to protect themselves and win battles. At this time, when one king did another king a favor, something was expected in return. As you read Genesis 14:13–24, notice what Abraham did to help Lot and how Abraham felt about receiving honor, power, money, or flattery from men with worldly power. Compare this reaction to how he received and honored a man with heavenly power and authority.

Understanding the Scriptures

Genesis 14:13–24

Confederate (v. 13)Friendly and had an agreement to help one another 
Pursued (vv. 14–15)Chased 
Divided himself against them (v. 15)Split into groups to try to surround them 
Smote (v. 15)Attacked 
Goods (vv. 16, 21)Things that had been taken 
Slaughter (v. 17)Killing 
Dale (v. 17)Valley 
Lift up mine hand (v. 22)Made a promise or covenant 
Shoelachet (v. 23)Shoelaces 
Save (v. 24)Except 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A and then do either activity B or C as you study Genesis 14:13–24.

Activity A iconWho Was Melchizedek?

Notice that footnote 24a has a reference to JST, Genesis 14:25–40 (pp. 797–98). Read JST, Genesis 14:25–40; Alma 13:14–19; Doctrine and Covenants 84:14; 107:1–4; 138:41. Describe who Melchizedek was and why you think Abraham paid tithes to and received blessings from him.

Activity B iconMake Your Own Conclusion

The city of Sodom was known for having wealth and many worldly pleasures and for its great wickedness. What did Abraham’s actions toward the king of Sodom teach us about his values and commitment to God? As you answer that question, consider what Abraham could have gained from the king of Sodom. Also consider the principle found in Moroni 10:30.

Activity C iconDraw

Draw something that represents or symbolizes the story of Abraham in Genesis 14:17–24.