Chedorlaomer Arioch & Tidal
      In Genesis chapter 14 we find the first recorded war between kingdoms in the Bible. And what is really interesting is that the names of three of these kings mentioned in the very first verse of Genesis 14 have been uncovered in archaeology.  
      First, let us look at the Biblical record of this war known by many as the Battle of the Valley of Siddim.
Battle of Siddim
      In verse 1 we have the alliance of four kings led by Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam. The three others with him were, Arioch king of Ellasar, Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel the king of Shinar. According to Genesis 10:10 the kingdom of Shinar consisted of four major cities. Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh.
       Now here, just a few pages into the BIble, we have another confirmation of one of the earliest Biblical accounts that doesn't seem to get mentioned very often by secular historians. You see, in the British Museum are a few artifacts that actually mention three of these kings. They are Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, Arioch king of Ellasar, and Tidal king of nations.
      The accounts found in the British museum appear to have been written after the Biblical account of the battle of the Valley of Siddim. And they mention Chedorlaomer leading a rebellion with Tidal and Arioch's son, Dursirilani, against the king of Shinar at Babel. And then the king of Shinar, whose name is not mentioned on these artifacts, strikes back at these three for their rebellion.  
      Now this issue of rebellion plays a key part in the Biblical account. These four kings were allied with one another. According to the Bible in Genesis 14:4, after being subject to Chedorlaomer for twelve years, the rulers of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zebolim and Zoar rebelled against him.
      Chedorlaomer then summons his alliance to gather their armies and they start off by attacking the Rephaim, Zuzim and Emim, whom the Bible mentions as a race of men whose height was taller than other men. (See our chapter on Biblical giants for evidence confirming their existence.)
      On hearing reports that Chedorlaomer and his alliance have begun attacking the inhabitants of the lands around them, the rulers of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zebolim and Zoar gather their armies together at the Valley of Siddim to do battle. Chedorlaomer and his alliance soundly defeats these kings and ransacks their cities taking their goods and the inhabitants as slaves, including Lot, the nephew of Abram.
      On hearing Lot was captured, Abram gathers a small force of 318 men, and along with his Amorite allies they pursue the unsuspecting armies of Chedorlaomer. Abram and his small army makes a surprise attack at night on the armies of the Chedorlaomer alliance, forcing them to flee all the way northward of Damascus, leaving their spoils of war behind.  
Abram battles to rescue Lot
      Because of his tactics Abram is able to free his nephew Lot and return all the people who were taken by Chedorlaomer back to their land.  
       Now the Bible never mentions that any of the Chedorlaomer alliance kings where killed in battle. We do know that due to the British Museum artifacts recording later events that Chedorlaomer and Tidal made it back safely. But since the artifacts in the British Museum indicate that Arioch's son was ruling in his place, it was possible that he was killed in Abram's night attacks.
      So what do these artifacts say? Well, here they are, and it seems that their alliance didn't last very long before they began turning on one another.
      The first artifact is known as British Museum #BM 35404  or sp II.987 and it says the following:
       "The property and the possessions of Babylon, small and great, in their faithful counsel to Chedorlaomer (Ku-der-lah-ga-mal), king of the land of Elam."  . . . "I am a King, the son of a king  . . . the son of a daughter of the king who on the throne of dominion have sat. . . .  Dur-sir-ilani the son of Arioch (Eri-ekua) who with the spoil of the throne of dominion sat, and with the sword was killed."
      Notice that here, just as in the Bible, that the king of Shinar, which included Babylon, appears closely allied with Chedorlaomer. It also appears that the King of Shinar may have been subject to Chedorlaomer. In other words the king of Shinar appears to have been a vassal of Chedorlaomer.
      It also appears that the king of Shinar had Biblical king Arioch's son, Dursirilani, the king of Ellasar, killed. The city of Ellasar, which Arioch's son ruled over, is believed to be the city known as Larsa today.
      The second artifact known as British Museum  #BM 34062  or sp. 158 & SPII.962  mentions that Chedorlaomer, the king of the Elamites, turned against the king of Shinar and attacked his cities at Babil and Borsippa. It states the following:
       “The enemy, the Elamite, multiplied evils against Bel and Babil (Babylon) which he planned evil against.  . . . there he set his mind on destroying the temple.  . . .  the enemy, the Elamite, took its goods.  . . . He decreed it's destruction . . . . he showed his dislike for and barred the people of Bel of Ezida  . . .  the road to Sumer. Who is this Chedorlaomer (Ku-der-lah-ga-mal), the maker of this evil? He has also gathered the Unman-Manda, and the people of Bel he has ruined  . . .  the Elamite caused his yoke to be directed down to Borsippa. He set his face against and he traversed also the road of darkness, the road to Mesku. This wicked man the Elamite, destroyed its palace, the princes he subdued with the sword,  and from all the temples he carried off their goods as spoils of war, and he took them back to Elam.”  
      The first thing to notice here, is that the city of Babylon is called by its earlier Biblical name of Babil, exactly the same as in Genesis 10:10.
      Secondly, it shows Chedorlaomer's tendency to gather an alliance to attack those he thought were disloyal to him and to take his enemies spoils by force, just as Genesis 14 describes.
      The third artifact in the British Museum is known as # BM 35496 or sp III.2. On this artifact the king of Shinar (Akkad and Borsippa) attacks Dursirilani, the Son of Arioch. Arioch was king of Ellasar (probably the city of Larsa south-east of the city of Erech (Uruk.) He also attacks both Tidal and Chedorlaomer and returns the spoils of war back to Babylon. The artifact states the following:
      “Samas (the Babylonian sun god) the illuminator of  . . .  Merodach (the chief Babylonian god)  . . . the rulers who were not nourishing . . . he caused to be slain. Dur-sir-ilani, the son of Arioch (Eri-ekua) . . . his goods he carried off to the waters of Babylon and back to the temple of Esaggil . . . his son, with the weapon of his hands, like a lamb he was slaughtered . . . the child he cut off . . . Tidal (Tu- ud-hul-amar) son of Gazza . . .  his goods he carried off to the waters of Babylon and to the temple of Esaggil. . . .  His son, with the weapon of his hands, fell upon him,  . . .  of his dominion, before the temple of Annunit (probably located in Sippar-Annuit) . . .  Elam, the city of Ahhe to the land of Rabbatu, he spoiled in ruins, he set the fortress of Akkad, the whole of Borsippa . .  . ended Chedorlaomer (Ku-der-lah-ga-mal), his son, and with the steel sword he pierced his heart . . .  his enemy. He took the will of these kings, the lords of sin . . . their rebellions  . .  . who the chief of the gods, Merodach, brought his anger against.”
       So as you can see, these artifacts not only confirm the names of Arioch, Tidal, and Chedorlaomer, but they also confirm that before their rebellion, the king of Shinar (Babylon) was allied with all three of them. Once again the Bible is amazing in its accuracy.
The Thanksgiving of Abram to God Most High
       “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, "Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand." And he (Abram) gave him tithes of all.” Genesis 14:18-20
      Who is this Melchizedek. the prince of Salem. Well, some people believe that this is more of a title rather then a personal name, because the word Melchizedek is comprised of two elements, (melek) meaning 'king of' and (sadeq) meaning 'to be just or righteous.'  He is also identified as the prince of (Salem) meaning 'peace' and was also an early name for Jerusalem.  
      Now, if you had never read this article and I asked you a Bible question and I said to you; "What Biblical figure in the Bible is referred to as the 'King of Righteousness' and the 'Prince of Peace?' What would your response be?
      For most they would say; "Why, Jesus Christ of course." because that was the title given to the Messiah throughout Scripture. Such as in the following passages.
       Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
      Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
The  Messianic Psalm 110 also identifies Christ with Melchizedek.
Psalms 110:1-6: The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."  The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth. The LORD has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.”
       Jesus himself mentions this same Psalm in Matthew 22:42-45 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David." He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '?  "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?"
      Hebrews 5:5-10: So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You." As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek" . . . And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek."
       There is only One high priest in the line of Melchizedek, and he was not Joseph Smith the Mormon heretic. It was The Prince of Peace, the King of Righteousness, Jesus Christ our Lord.
      The appearance of Melchizedek in Genesis 14 is what theologians call a Christophany. An appearance of the pre incarnate Christ in the Old Testament. Also interesting is the fact that He brings out bread and wine, a foreshadowing of the future from Abram's day where God Most High would save men by the sacrifice of his body and his blood.
      This article is a chapter from our 3 volume book series "Bible Believer's Archaeology" which can be downloaded for your ebook reader by visiting our resource download page by Clicking Here.
Chedorlaomer & Arioch
British Museum BM35404
Arioch & Tidal
British Museum BM35496
British Museum
Journal of the transactions of the Victoria Institute, or Philosophical Society of Great Britain Volume XXIX - Published 1897  - Full text of British Museum numbers 34062, 35496 and 35404
pg.51-54  sp II.987,  pg 54-56 sp II.987 Reverse  British Museum Translation of BM#35404
pg.61-63  BM 34062 sp. 158 & SPII.962  Reverse  British Museum Translation of BM#34062
pg.46-47  sp III.2,  pg 47-49 sp III.2 Reverse  British Museum Translation of BM#35496
Photos of the artifacts can be viewed at the British Museum’s online collection at
Clipart - Battle of Siddim Art from the book 'Historie des Ouden en Nieuwen Testaments': Author: Martin, David, 1639-1721. Engraving by Jan Goeree (1670-1731) and A. de Blois, depicts the capture of Lot (background, left), as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their soldiers fall into tar pits in their flight from battle in the Valley of Siddim.
Clipart - Abram makes the Enemies Flee Who Hold His Nephew Lot, 1613 etching by Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630), at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
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Amazing Evidence from Biblical Archaeology