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As soon as Abram was come back into Canaan, he parted the land between him and Lot, upon account of the tumultuous behavior of their shepherds, concerning the pastures wherein they should feed their flocks. However, he gave Lot his option, or leave, to choose which lands he would take; and he took himself what the other left, which were the lower grounds at the foot of the mountains; and he himself dwelt in Hebron, which is a city seven years more ancient than Tunis of Egypt. But Lot possessed the land of the plain, and the river Jordan, not far from the city of Sodom, which was then a fine city, but is now destroyed, by the will and wrath of God, the cause of which I shall show in its proper place hereafter. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SODOMITES BY THE ASSYRIAN WALL.
AT this time, when the Assyrians had the dominion over Asia, the people of Sodom were in a flourishing condition, both as to riches and the number of their youth. There were five kings that managed the affairs of this county: Ballas, Barsas, Senabar, and Sumobor, with the king of Bela; and each king led on his own troops: and the A
Amraphel, Arioch, Chodorlaomer, and Tidal. These kings had laid waste all
Syria, and overthrown the offspring of the giants. And when they were come
over against Sodom, they pitched their camp at the vale called the Slime
Pits, for at that time there were pits in that place; but now, upon the
destruction of the city of Sodom, thaSodom, that vale became the Lake Asphaltites,
as it is called. However, concerning this lake we shall speak more presently.
Now when the Sodomites joined battle with the Assyrians, and the fight
was very obstinate, many of them were killed, and the rest were carried
captive; among which captives was Lot, who had come to assist the Sodomites.
So Abram, when he had saved the captive Sodomites, who had been taken by the Assyrians, and Lot also, his kinsman, returned home in peace. Now the king of Sodom met him at a certain place, which they called The King's Dale, where Melchisedec, king of the city Salem, received him. That name signifies, the righteous king: and such he was, without dispute, insomuch that, on this account, he was made the priest of God: however, they afterward called Salem Jerusalem. Now this Melchisedec supplied Ab
le manner, and gave them provisions in abundance;
and as they were feasting, he began to praise him, and to bless God for
subduing his enemies under him. And when Abram gave him the tenth part
of his prey, he accepted of the gift: but the king of Sodom desired Abram
to take the prey, but entreated that he might have those men restored to
him whom Abram had saved from the Assyrians, because they belonged to him.
But Abram would not do so; nor would make any other advantage of that prey
When God had thus resolved concerning the Sodomites, Abraham, as he sat by the oak of Mambre, at the door of his tent, saw three angels; and thinking them to be strangers, he rose up, and saluted them, and desired they would accept of an entertainment, and abide with him; to which, when they agreed, he ordered cakes of meal to be made presently; and when he had slain a calf, he roasted it, and brought it to them, as they sat under the oak. Now they made a show of eating; and besides, they asked him about his wife Sarah, where she was; and when he said she was within, they said they would come again hereafter, and find her become a mother. Upon which the woman laughed, and said that it was impossible she should bear children, since she was ninety years of age, and her husband was a hundred. Then they concealed themselves no longer, but declared that they were angels of God; and that one of them was sent to inform them about the child, and two of the overthrow of Sodom.