Abram’s unexpected test

Discovering the Hebrew Bible

*Painting: The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek (1625) by Rubens
  • The Valley of Shaveh

    This story is a beautiful example of how the very meanings of the Hebrew words illuminate what is actually going on. The traditional reading of this episode is very different from what the Hebrew Scripture conveys. The meeting takes place at the Valley of Shaveh, שוה (shaveh) – and it is the name of the place that speaks volumes to those who understand Hebrew. 

    Abram’s temptation

    There is an expression in modern Hebrew, “to reach the Valley of Shaveh”, lehagi’a le’Emek Shaveh, (להגיע לעמק שווה), meaning “to reach a compromise”, referring to this valley. The Hebrew makes it apparent that it is here, in this valley, that Abram was tempted to compromise his principles, his integrity – his faith. While Melchizedek blessed Abram in the name of God Most High, the King of Sodom tempted him with spoils. Would Abram compromise? 

    Discover the depth of the Hebrew Bible

    Abram didn’t yield to the temptation of the King of Sodom. In Abram’s response, we hear a clear echo of Melchizedek’s blessing, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing!” Abram chooses Melchizedek and his God, passing the test of faith. Enroll in our live online course Discovering the Hebrew Bible, to understand many more biblical stories in a more complete way. 

Fill in your details and we'll be in touch shortly

I am interested in your course
To Top