|King of Elam|
Chedorlaomer, also spelled Kedorlaomer (//; Hebrew: כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר, Modern: Kədorla'ōmer, Tiberian: Keḏorlā'ōmer, Ancient: Keḏorlāġōmer), is a king of Elam mentioned in Genesis 14. Genesis portrays him as allied with three other kings, campaigning against five Canaanite city-states in response to an uprising in the days of Abraham.
The name Chedorlaomer is associated with familiar Elamite components, such as kudur, meaning "servant", and Lagamar, who was a high goddess in the Elamite pantheon. The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia stated that, apart from the fact that Chedorlaomer can be identified as a proper Elamite compound, all else is matter of controversy and "the records give only the rather negative result that from Babylonian and Elamite documents nothing definite has been learned of Chedorlaomer".
After twelve years of being under Elamite rule, in the thirteenth year, the Cities of the Plain (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar) rebelled against Chedorlaomer. To put down the rebellion, he called upon three other allies from Shinar, Ellasar, and Tidal "nations" regions. (Genesis 14:9)
The following allies fought as allies of Chedorlaomer in the fourteenth year of his rule.
- King Amraphel of Shinar (Hebrew for Sumer)
- King Arioch of Ellasar
- King Tidal of Goiim "nations" – possibly the Hittites
The purpose of Chedorlaomer's campaigns was to show Elam's might to all territories under Elamite authority. His armies and allies plundered tribes and cities, for their provisions, who were en route to the revolting cities of the Jordan plain.
According to Genesis 14:8-10, these are the cities plundered by Elam:
- The Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim
- The Zuzim in Ham
- The Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim
- The Horites in Mount Seir as far as El-paran near the wilderness
- The Amalekites in Kadesh at En-mishpat
- The Amorites in Hazezontamar
- The Canaanites of the cities of the Jordan plain
After warring against the cities of the plain at the Battle of Siddim, Chedorlaomer went to Sodom and Gomorrah to collect bounty. At Sodom, among the spoils of war, he took Lot and his entire household captive. When Lot's uncle, Abram, received news of what happened, he assembled a battle unit of 318 men who pursued the Elamite forces north of Damascus to Hobah. Abram and one of his divisions then proceeded to defeat Chedorlaomer. (Genesis 14:11–17)
Identifying the Kings
Genesis 14:1 gives a list of four names: "It was in the time of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedor-Laomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of the Goiim..." Traditionally these have been taken as four separate kings:.
- Amraphel has been thought by some scholars such as the writers of the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Jewish Encyclopedia to be a corruption of the name of the famed Hammurabi. The name is also associated with Ibal Pi-El II of Esnunna. Some also identify him as Aralius, or Aram-Sin, or deny his historical existence at all.
- Arioch has been thought to have been a king of Larsa (Ellasar being a corruption of this.) It has also been suggested that it is URU KI, meaning "this place here".
- Following the discovery of documents written in the Elamite language and Babylonian language, it was thought that Chedorlaomer is a transliteration of the Elamite compound Kudur-Lagamar, meaning servant of Lagamaru - a reference to Lagamaru, an Elamite deity whose existence was mentioned by Assurbanipal. However, no mention of an individual named Kudur Lagamar has yet been found; inscriptions that were thought to contain this name are now known to have different names (the confusion arose due to similar lettering).
- Tidal has been considered to be a corruption or transliteration of Tudhaliya - either referring to the first king of the Hittite New Kingdom (Tudhaliya I) or the proto-Hittite king named Tudhaliya. With the former, the title king of Nations would refer to the allies of the Hittite kingdom such as the Amurru and Mitanni; with the latter the term "goyim" has the sense of "them, those people". al ("their power") gives the sense of a people or tribe rather than a kingdom. Hence td goyim ("those people have created a state and stretched their power").
- Genesis 14:1
- Knanishu, Joseph (1899), About Persia and its People, Lutheran Augustana book concern, printers, p. 228, retrieved 2012-12-21
- Kitchen, Kenneth (1966), Ancient Orient and Old Testament, Tyndale Press, p. 44, retrieved 2012-12-21
- "Chedorlaomer", Jewish Encyclopedia, retrieved 2012-12-21
- Nelson, Russell (November 2000), "Chedorlaomer", in Freedman, David; Meyers, Allen; Beck, Astrid (eds.), Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible, Grand Rapids: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Company, p. 232, ISBN 9780802824004, retrieved 2012-12-21
- Genesis 14:1-4
- The possibility also exists that it is a single title for one king who has unified several states. Amraphel king of Shinar (ruler of Eshnunna), Chedor-laomer (king of Elam), Ellasar (the Power of Larsa) Arioch (URU KI: in charge of this place here)Tidal goiim (those people have created a state and stretched the extent of their power)
- Micael Roaf "Cambridge Atlas of Archaeology - king lists p 111
- Rohl (2010). The Lords of Avaris. p. 294.
- Seters, John (2014). Abraham in History and Tradition. Echo Point Books and Media. ISBN 978-1-62654-910-4.
- "Bible Map: Ellasar". bibleatlas.org. Retrieved 2021-09-18.
- Akkadian tD ("have stretched themselves")
- (Akkadian verbal stem intensive, reflexive expressing the bringing about of a state)
- Schniedewind, William M.; Hunt, Joel H. (2007-07-02). A Primer on Ugaritic: Language, Culture and Literature. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-46698-1.