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King of Elam

Chedorlaomer, also spelled Kedorlaomer (/ˌkɛdərˈləmər/; Hebrew: כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר, Modern: Kədarla'ōmer, Tiberian: Keḏārelā'ōmer, Ancient: Keḏārelāġōmer), is a king of Elam in Genesis 14.[1] Genesis portrays him as allied with three other kings,[2] 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.[3]

The linguistic origins of the name Chedorlaomer may be traced to Persian or Assyrian names. There is a linguistic agreement in the Persian pronunciation for Kĕdorla`omer, pronounced ked·or·lä·o'·mer. The association to Assyrian names are Kudurlagamar and Kudur-Mabuk, a ruler in Larsa from 1770 BCE to 1754 BCE.[4] However, 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".[4]


Chedorlaomer's reign[edit]

After twelve years of being under Elamite rule, in the thirteenth year, the Cities of the Plain rebelled against Chedorlaomer. To put down the rebellion, he called upon three other allies from Shinar, Ellasar, and Tidal "nations" regions. (Genesis 14:9)[5]

Chedorlaomer's allies[edit]

The following allies fought as allies of Chedorlaomer in the fourteenth year of his rule.[6]

Chedorlaomer's campaigns[edit]

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.

Chedorlaomer's demise[edit]

After warring against the cities of the Plain at the Battle of Siddim, King Chedorlaomer went to Sodom and Gomorrah to collect booty. At Sodom, amongst 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 three hundred and eighteen men who pursued the Elamite forces north of Damascus to Hobah. Abram and one of his divisions defeated Chedorlaomer.[8] According to the King James Version, verse 17 is translated that Chedorlaomer was actually slaughtered (the Hebrew word in question is "וַיַּכֵּם").[9] Young's Literal Translation uses the term smiting.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Genesis 14:1
  2. ^ Knanishu, Joseph (1899), About Persia and its People, Lutheran Augustana book concern, printers, p. 228, retrieved 2012-12-21
  3. ^ Kitchen, Kenneth (1966), Ancient Orient and Old Testament, Tyndale Press, p. 44, retrieved 2012-12-21
  4. ^ a b "Chedorlaomer", Jewish Encyclopedia, retrieved 2012-12-21
  5. ^ a b Nelson, Russell (November 2000), "Chedorlaomer", in Freedman, David; Meyers, Allen; Beck, Astrid, Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible, Grand Rapids: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Company, p. 232, ISBN 9780802824004, retrieved 2012-12-21
  6. ^ Genesis 14:1-4
  7. ^ Gen.14:8-10
  8. ^ Genesis 14:11–17
  9. ^ Genesis 14:17
  10. ^ Genesis 14:17