Summary of passage: Basically, the Babylonians attacked a group of peoples living in the Siddim Valley who had been under their control but had rebelled. The Babylonians defeated or re-conquered them and took even more territory. The Babylonians sacked Sodom and Gomorrah, which included Lot and his possessions since he was living in Sodom.
3a) Amraphel King of Shinar (Babylonia), Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim
b) Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (or Zoar)
c) Plain of Shinar (or Babylonia)
4a) Lot put himself in the midst of these pagan countries by choosing the most fertile land as he saw it and pitched his tent near the evil city of Sodom (Genesis 13:11-13) and so he was caught up in the wars and taken along with the rest.
b) Personal Question. My answer: All of our choices are the same–to either choose God or to not choose Him. To choose God’s way or something else (either your way, the devil’s way, or some other idol or false god’s way). This is what all of our choices come down to. Obedience or disobedience. It’s as simple as that.
Conclusions: Didn’t like this lesson because we didn’t learn anything. Of course, Lot would end up in trouble. He chose to live with evil people. The names of these kings are obscure to most and I would wager meaningless. And the personal question? I truly don’t think details matter. What it comes down to is this: you either choose God or you don’t. Period.
My kids had this question too and they were stumped. So this is their answer as well.
I do admire the note at the beginning. This is unusual. But it sums up typical ancient times: people were conquered; the people rebelled; the conquerors put down the rebellion; prisoners and goods were taken.
End Note: Great home drawn map of the region and the battles! I love this website: