Chapter 15 Commentary
The chapter begins with ‘after this‘. After what, some might ask. It’s after the defeat of the kings. The LORD talks to Abram again and confirms the blessing. But the blessing is missing something important, the blessing of increase. Abram doesn’t have a child. In chapter 13 the LORD had already promised Abram increase in terms of descendants. In chapter 14 the LORD has just fulfilled the blessing of prosperity. Now there remains, as a missing piece – the blessing of increase. Children are important. But Abram had none (Sara was experiencing difficulties in child-bearing – the pain in child-bearing of chapter 3). The LORD reassures him of His promise and Abram simply believes the LORD.
Then the LORD spoke about the enslavement and subsequent exodus. There is a hint here that the disposed nations had their own role in their own decline and decimation. The LORD had all these pieces arranged and right on top of it all. Yes Abraham has defeated the kings and can easily assert control over the conquered land. But not now, the LORD seem to be saying. The time will come for that. Is the victory a dress-rehearsal for the eventual conquest of Canaan by Israel?
Take note of the land that the LORD gave to Abram. Compare the territories of the given land with the list we found in chapter 14 of the defeated kings. The land was vast and went as far as Euphrates where Shinar was located. Shinar is equal to Babylonia. Check your Bible foot notes.
We read this history with open eyes and see that the LORD had charge and in control of events. The battles of the kings in chapter 14 are not at all random events. The capture of lot isn’t at all meaningless. You would probably think like the LORD was making a case for Abram to get involved and defeat the kings. I’m just thinking that at times the LORD allows battles our way for our enlargement and not exactly for our destruction.