What is this chapter? Game of thrones… 9 kings form 2 alliances over a disputed plain. The alliance including Sodom loses. That is where Lot lives, so he loses everything.
Abram hears and rescuse him with 300 men, he will not see his relative enslaved. This also does a service to the king of Sodom.
Another king, Melchizedek turns up a bit like a fairy godmother. He is also a priest (of what, there is no temple yet, or even tabernacle?). I wonder what the religion of the isralite nation was at this time? And what nation was Melchizedek’s Salem? Anyway, he declares God’s hand in it all. He declares Abram blessed, and God as the one who delivered his enemies to Abram.
As a thank you for returning the goods and people that had been captured, the king of Sodom offers Abram the goods. But Abram won’t keep any of them for himself. He made a vow not to be enriched by the King of Sodom “not even a thread or the strap of a sandal”.
So the theme of separateness is retained. Lot chose probably the wiser political move, but it had risks, as he found out. But Abram stayed faithful to God’s promise. He can’t found a nation if he mingles, merges with and is beholden to with the nation already there.
PS: turns out Salem is a pre-name for Jesrusalem, duh. Melchizedek’s priestly duties would have been there. So God is already marking out the place he will be. He is used as a messiah figure, the sense of a priesthood, a person who brings God, that has always been before the Jewish system.