For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4




 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough



14:14.  “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.”

While certainly Abram’s recovery of Lot would remind us that each one of us is his brother’s keeper, the spiritual lesson goes far beyond that.  Since the life of the unbeliever and that of the carnal Christian are so similar, we may, in the present context, view the captive Lot as the representative of both, for God would have us see in his deliverance, a picture of Christ’s recovery of us from a bondage far more terrible than that imposed by the Babylonian confederacy - the bondage of Satan carrying us to eternal death.

Abram pursued the enemy to Dan, and there the battle began.  Dan means judging: a judge, and it points to Calvary where the battle for your soul and mine began, for it was there that the judgment due to us fell upon Christ.  For Him Calvary was “Dan,” the place of judgment.

There is one striking difference, however, between the type and the reality.  Abram was assisted by three hundred eighteen trained servants.  When the Lord Jesus Christ came to the place of judgment, “They all forsook Him and fled” (Mk 14:50).  He fought the battle alone.

14:15.  “And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.”

The battle at Calvary was also fought in the darkness, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour” (Mt 27:45).

The conflict ended at Hobah which means hiding: affectionate, and it resulted in the utter defeat of the enemy.  The battle at Calvary also ended at “Hobah” with the utter defeat of the enemy.  What began for Christ at “Dan,” the place of judgment, has become for us “Hobah,” the hiding place where our sins are eternally hidden from God’s sight under the precious blood of Christ, and where we have become the eternal objects of His affection, for it is written, “A man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest” (Isa 32:2).  Christ is that Man, that Hiding Place.

Hobah’s being on the left hand of Damascus teaches us something about our position in Christ.  The left is symbolic of weakness, but it is also the side nearest the heart, the place of affection (the second meaning of Hobah).  Christ’s love in giving Himself for us has fully met all our need, supplied everything our weakness will ever require; and in that place of shelter, that hiding place, we rest in perfect peace, eternally secure.

While the exact location of Hobah is uncertain, it is generally believed to have been on the west of Damascus, and that too, is significant, for the west is always Scripturally connected with approach to God.

Damascus, meaning,  silent is the sackcloth weaver, has also spiritual significance, for sackcloth is synonymous with sorrow, mourning, and death.  For those spiritually in “Hobah,” the sackcloth weaver is silent.  Never again will his loom produce our covering, for we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness.

14:16.  “And brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.”

Abram’s victory adumbrates that of Christ.  At Calvary all that had been snatched from the first Adam was recovered by the last Adam. 

The recovery of the goods as well as the people would remind us that when Christ won the battle at Calvary He did more than redeem men’s souls: He redeemed also the whole creation.  It is to be remembered too, that the redeemed have been restored to a better position than that which Adam had occupied.  He could, and did fall.  The believer can never lose his salvation.  This enrichment of the redeemed is symbolically declared in that those delivered by Abram returned richer than they had been before, for he had recovered, not only what had been seized from the cities of the plain, but in addition, all that had been in the possession of the invaders.



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough