A king of ancient Elam who, prior to Abraham’s entry into the Promised Land in 1943 B.C.E., had extended his power westward to the borders of Egypt. After twelve years of servitude, five kings near the southern end of the Dead Sea rebelled against their eastern overlord. In the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and three allies, Amraphel of Shinar, Arioch from Ellasar and Tidal of Goiim, came W to put down the rebellion. Beginning in the N and sweeping S, they annihilated all the cities along the trade routes E of the Jordan, and S of the Dead Sea in territory later occupied by the Amalekites. It was then an easy matter to put to flight the five kings that formed the core of the insurrection.
Among Chedorlaomer’s captives was Abraham’s nephew Lot, who had been living nearby. Abraham, learning of this, quickly set out in hot pursuit with 318 of his armed servants. At Dan they surprised the enemy’s far superior forces, and, successfully pursuing them as far as Hobah north of Damascus, recovered Lot and his possessions.—Gen. 14:1-17.
The name Chedorlaomer itself has not been found in listings of ancient rulers of Babylonia. It is recognized as Elamite. Kudur, a possible variation of Chedor, appears in many compound names. Lagamar, bearing a resemblance to laomer, was an Elamite deity. Some therefore conclude that Chedorlaomer means “servant of Lagamar.”