Chedorlaomer, also spelled Kedorlaomer (; Hebrew: , Modern: K?darla'?mer, Tiberian: Kerel?'?mer,Ancient: Kerelmer), is a king of Elam 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 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.
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.
After warring against the cities of the Plain at the Battle of Siddim, King Chedorlaomer went to Sodom and Gomorrah to collect bounty. 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. While the King James Version , verse 17 is translated the Hebrew word in question is "" in verse 17 as slaughtered , Young's Literal Translation uses the term smiting
Identifying the Kings
Genesis 14:1 gives a list of four names: "It was in the time of Amraphel king of Shinar, Aricoch king of Ellasar, Chedor-laomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of the Goiim..." Traditionally these have been taken as four separate kings:.
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 HittiteNew 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 Ammurru and Mittani; 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").
^ abNelson, 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, ISBN9780802824004, retrieved
^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)