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Genesis 14:1

By Don Costello

Genesis 14:1

And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

1. “And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar,”

a. Amraphel (Unger’s Bible Dictionary) “a king of Shinar, the alluvial lowland of southern Babylonia, and ally of Chrdorlaomer in the invasion of the west in the time of Abrahamformerly identified with Hammurabi the Great of the First Dynasty of Babylonbut is now disproved chronologically.”

1). Chumash, p.61, Note 1. “AmraphelThe Sages (Eruvin 53a) identify Amraphel as Nimrod, who reigned over Shinar [Babylon], and who had ordered that Abraham be thrown into the furnace because of his refusal to accept Idol worship.”

b. Shinar (Unger’s Bible Dictionary) “roughly spoken of as southern Babylonia.” [See map.]

a. Ellasar (Harper Collins Bible Dictionary) The identification of Ellasar is uncertain Larsa, a city in southern Babylonia seems likely if Shinar, the home of Amraphel (Genesis 14:1) derives from the Sinjar Mountains of middle Mesopotamia.

b. Chedorlaomer [3540] All non-Jewish attempts to identify this king are unfruitful.

1). Chumash, p.61, Note 1: “The Midrash identifies Chedorlaomer as Elam, the son of Shem son of Noah.”

d. Elam was located just northeast of the Persian Gulf in present day Iran.

1). Elam is listed as one of the sons of Shem in Genesis 10:22.

a). Genesis 10:22 “The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram;”

2). Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Chapter 6.4: “Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons, who inhabited the land that began at Eurphrates, and reached to the Indian Ocean; for Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians. Ashur lived at the city of Nineveh; and named his subjects Assyrians, who became the most fortunate nation, beyond others. Arphaxad named the Arphaxadites, who are now called Chaldeans. Aram the Aramites, which the Greeks call Syrians; as Laud founded the Laudites, which are now Lydians.”
3). Shem, the son of Noah and one of those who survived the flood, lived until Abraham was 150 years old. So he was alive at this point. There is no doubt that the city/state of Elam was associated with the son of Shem. It is such a shock to me that a man of the stature of Shem, who survived the flood, would have no preeminence after the flood. It seems he just dropped off the map after the flood. I believe that that, perhaps, Shem became a worldly individual, perhaps even antagonistic toward the things of God.

3). There is a good possibility that Abraham was known to Chedorlaomer.

My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God’s word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.

My e-mail address is costello.don@gmail.com

I have a blog located at:


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