Was Abram’s Tithe Expected of Him?
by Ronald W Robey
(written January 01, 2019)

According to ancient history, tithing of war spoils to kings and gods was practiced as early as 285 years prior to the account in Genesis 14.

We see in the Genesis text that Melchizedek lived in Salem. Melchizedek left Salem and traveled to Shaveh, which indicates an expectation.

Bera king of Sodom also traveled to Shaveh…again, showing an expectation.

Why would these two kings travel to Shaveh if not expecting something?

Could it be that both Bera and Melchizedek were hoping to receive the customary tithe from war spoils recovered in battle, but since that customary tithe was given to Melchizedek, Bera settled for pleading for the people?

Genesis tells us that Shaveh was also known as “the valley of the kings”. This would indicate it being a place where kings assembled for a purpose. If the purpose was in hopes of receiving the customary tithe of war spoils, then it would stand to reason that Abram tithed due to expectancy.

I once read a book, “The Struggle of the Nations”, written in the mid 1890’s by Gaston Maspero, Professor at Oxford University. In his book, Maspero explains that that geographical location of the world had been observing the war spoil tithe to kings, mentioning Thutmosis III, (1481-1425 BC) whose god was a sun god, receiving tithes of war spoils, as had been practiced by the Assyrians and Babylonians for at least eight hundred years.

One thing is for certain. The three men, (Abram, Bera, and Melchizedek) traveled to the valley of the kings for a reason. Abram lived on the West side of the Dead Sea and could have traveled South from Hobah (where he had rescued his nephew Lot and recovered the stolen goods) to his home in Mamre, keeping the spoils for himself.

But instead, he traveled South-East to the Eastern side of the Dead Sea to the valley of the kings. This gives indication that Abram was expected to travel that direction for the purpose of meeting other kings for that purpose of giving the customary tithe of the spoils. This gives more credence to the Historical books written that describe victorious soldiers tithing war spoils long before Abram tithed war spoils to Melchizedek.

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