Thursday, February 5, 2009
Stormclouds of war
Master Cohen, the next section of our story is very important and will hit one of the most mysterious passages in the Bible, but we won't get that far today. But with your destiny, this is important stuff so listen well and learn.
About this time war broke out in the region. For twelve years the city states in the Siddim valley, (Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zeboiim and Bela/Zoar, had all been subject to King Kedorlaomer. They had to pay taxes to King Kedorlaomer and follow some of his dictates. But a movement was spreading through the Siddim valley, it was the original fight against big government and their battle cry was no taxation without representation.
< = = = Oh no, Mr. Storyteller, that is the American Revolution
Well perhaps you are right Master Cohen, however, as it says in the good book:
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.
Anyway, back to our story in the thirteenth year they rebelled. King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (now called Zoar) formed an alliance and mobilized their armies in Siddim Valley (that is, the valley of the Dead Sea
The Siddim valley is the area below sea level that Lot had chosen.
These cities are probably under water, under the Dead Sea today. As the Jordan River makes its way south into the depression below sea level, there is no way for the water to get out.
Now for twelve years King Kedorlaomer has been getting money from these folks, it is approaching April 15th and time to pay up and all up and down the Siddim Valley they start holding tea parties. The word gets to King Kedorlaomer, what do you think he is going to do?
<= = = He is going to want to collect that money, if he shows weakness, they will start encroaching on his territory.
Very well said Master Cohen. But they have created an alliance of five city states, Kedorlaomer has only one, does he have the resources to take on all five kings?
<= = = He would if he had invested his tax tribute money in his army, but he probably built palaces and such, so he needs to form a counter alliance?
Perfect and that is what happened. King Amraphel of Babylonia or Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Kedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim, essentially the Kings to the North and we are talking modern day Iraq at least for Babylonia and Elam formed an alliance for war and for taking plunder.
One year later, Kedorlaomer and his allies arrived from the North. Along the way, they conquered the Rephaites in Ashteroth-karnaim to the east of the Sea of Galilee. Then they made their way south, always east of the Jordan River taking their plunder a tribe at a time, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in the plain of Kiriathaim, and the Horites in the hill country around Mount Seir, as far as El-paran at the edge of the wilderness. Supposedly the Rephaites, Zuzites, Emites and the Horites were all giants, seven or even eight feet tall, but you know the saying, the bigger you are, the harder you fall, they were all defeated. Then they swung around to En-mishpat (now called Kadesh) and all but destroyed the Amalekites, and also the Amorites living in Hazazon-tamar.
Not bad for a military campaign, but now it is time for the main event. They have honed their fighting skills and recruited some new warriors from the defeated tribes. Now it is time for those pesky tax evaders in the Siddim Valley north to what would become the Dead or Salt Sea.
Showtime! The army of the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela/Zoar prepared for battle in the valley of the Salt Sea King Kedorlaomer of Elam and the kings of Goiim, Babylonia, and Ellasar--four kings against five.
You see, King Kedorlaomer's alliance had much more firepower than the tribes they had just conquered, but now, perhaps a battle of titanic proportions was brewing. But it was not to be, they army at Siddim was not, they were not battle hardened when they faced the disciplined alliance to the North they wilted like a flower too close to a candle.
As it happened, the valley was filled with tar pits. And as the army of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some slipped into the tar pits, while the rest escaped into the mountains. The victorious invaders then plundered Sodom and Gomorrah and began their long journey home, taking all the wealth and food with them.
They also captured Lot--Abram's nephew who lived in Sodom--and took everything he owned.
<= = = Mr. Storyteller, is Avram going to negotiate for Lot?
Yes exactly. Just like Bruce Willis in the Fifth Element, you remember that, Bruce is a down and out his sky taxi driver, who falls for the exotic Leeloo and needs to do the rescue bit, he blows away a roomful of hostage-holding aliens, then asks, "Does anyone else want to negotiate?". But that is a story for tomorrow.