Kedorlaomer was the King of Elam, he was the most powerful king during the time of Abraham.
Kedorlaomer had gone out for battle against some of the kings who rebelled against him. He gained victory, but he happened to have abducted Abraham’s nephew during the war. This prompted Abraham to go against him in a battle. With the help of the Lord, Abraham won the fight against Kedorlaomer despite going with just members of his household.
All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (the Salt Sea). For twelve years they had been subject to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. GENESIS 14:3–4
Like so many other rulers in the Bible, Kedorlaomer is yet another example of a king who may have been more powerful than the other kings around him, but he was no match for someone empowered by God.
Kedorlaomer was the king of Elam, an old and powerful kingdom in the time of Abraham. Though Elam was several hundred miles away from Canaan, Kedorlaomer’s reach in Abraham’s time was so great that he was able to rule over even some of the Canaanite kings, including five cities near the Dead Sea. Eventually, however, those kings banded
together and rebelled against Kedorlaomer, so he formed a coalition of four kings and attacked them. He defeated them, but as he was returning to Elam, he carried off Abraham’s nephew Lot. When Abraham learned of this, he gathered together 318 men from his household – a significant number for a household, but probably no match for a coalition of four kings — and headed off to rescue Lot. Abraham no doubt shocked Kedorlaomer’s forces when he defeated them and rescued Lot, showing that God was surely watching over Abraham and Lot (Genesis 14).
The five cities that were allied against Kedorlaomer – Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar — are referred to elsewhere as the cities of the plain (Genesis 13:12, 19:24–25). Lot lived near the city of Sodom, which was later destroyed by the Lord for its wickedness. Of these cities, archaeologists have only been able to find Zoar, but it is possible that the other cities lay along the eastern
shore of the Dead Sea.