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When Abram heard that his relative was taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, 318, and pursued as far as Dan. Bible

“trained men, born in his own house.” The word translated “trained men” occurs only here in the Bible. It could very likely refer to slaves since they were born in Abraham’s “house,” that is, in the extended camp over which he was the “father,” the leader, but it could also refer to servants or even, as some lexical evidence suggests, “retainers.” For more uses of “born in his house, see commentary on Genesis 17:12.

“Dan.” At the time of Abraham, and later when Moses wrote Genesis, the town was called “Laish” (Judg. 18:7, 27), but when the Danites conquered it they changed the name to “Dan” (Judg. 18:29). An editor during or after the time of Judges edited the name in Genesis to “Dan” to clarify the location for later readers.

The phrase “pursued as far as Dan” can be confusing because the next verse, Genesis 14:15, says he pursued them to Hobah north of Damascus. Abraham pursued Chedorlaomer and his allies as far as Dan and fought an initial battle with them there, but when Chedorlaomer’s army retreated north, Abraham and his allies pursued them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.


Commentary for: Genesis 14:14