KEDORLAOMER (kĕd'ŏr-lā-ō'mûr). He enters the biblical record in
CHEDORLAOMER kĕd ər lā ō’mər (כְּדָרְלָעֹ֨מֶר, Gr. Χοδολλογομορ). The king of Elam defeated by Abram (
The first part of the name—kudur or kutir “servant” is unquestionably Elamite and in personal names is usually followed by a divine element. In this case la’omar might then be the name of the goddess Lakamar (or Lakamal) referred to in Akkad. texts of the Agade and Old Babylonian period (Mari) and common in Middle Iranian. The name is therefore appropriate to the period c. 2000-1700 b.c.
Chedorlaomer is named as king of Elam and leader of a coalition (
M. C. Astour, “Political and Cosmic Symbolism in
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
ked-or-la-o’-mer, ked-or-la’-omer (kedhorla`omer; Chodollogomor):
1. was He the Elamite King Kudur-lahgumal?
2. Kudur-lahgumal and the Babylonians
3. The Son of Eri-Ekua
4. Durmah-ilani, Tudhul(a) and Kudur-lahmal
5. The Fate of Sinful Rulers
6. The Poetical Legend
7. Kudur-lahgumal’s Misdeeds
8. The Importance of the Series
The name of the Elamite overlord with whom Amraphel, Arioch and Tidal marched against Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain (
See Eri-aku, 4.
1. Was He the Elamite King Kudur-lahgumal?:
Objections have been made to the identification of Chedorlaomer with the Kudur-lah(gu)mal of these texts, some Assyriologists having flatly denied the possibility, while others expressed the opinion that, though these names were respectively those with which they have been identified, they were not the personages referred to in
2. Kudur-lahgumal and the Babylonians:
The longer of the two prose compositions (Brit. Mus., Sp. II, 987) refers to the bond of heaven (extended?) to the four regions, and the fame which he (Merodach?) set for (the Elamites) in Babylon, the city of (his) glory. So (?the gods), in their faithful (or everlasting) counsel, decreed to Kudur-lahgumal, king of Elam (their favor?). He came down, and (performed) what was good to them, and exercised dominion in Babylon, the city of Kar-Dunias (Babylonia). When in power, however, he acted in a way which did not please the Babylonians, for he loved the winged fowl, and favored the dog which crunched the bone. "What(?) king of Elam was there who had (ever) (shown favor to?) the shrine of E-saggil?" (E-sagila, the great temple of Belus at Babylon).
3. The Son of Eri-Ekua:
A letter from Durmah-ilani son of Eri-Ekua (?Arioch) is at this point quoted, and possibly forms the justification for the sentences which had preceded, giving, as they do, reasons for the intervention of the native ruler. The mutilation of the inscription, however, makes the sense and sequence very difficult to follow.
4. Durmah-ilani, Tudhul(a) and Kudur-lahmal:
The less perfect fragment (Sp. III, 2) contains, near the beginning, the word hammu, and if this be, as Professor F. Hommel has suggested, part of the name Hammurabi (Amraphel), it would in all probability place the identification of Kudur-lahgumal(?) with Chedorlaomer beyond a doubt. This inscription states, that Merodach, in the faithfulness of his heart, caused the ruler not supporting (the temples of Babylonia) to be slain with the sword. The name of Durmah-ilani then occurs, and it seems to be stated of him that he carried off spoil, and Babylon and the temple E-saggil were inundated. He, however, was apparently murdered by his son, and old and young (were slain) with the sword. Then came Tudhul(a) or Tidal, son of Gazza(ni?), who also carried off spoil, and again the waters devastated Babylon and E-saggil. But to all appearance Tudhul(a), in his turn, was overtaken by his fate, for "his son shattered his head with the weapon of his hands." At this point there is a reference to Elam, to the city Ahhea(?), and to the land of Rabbatum, which he (? the king of Elam) had spoiled. Whether this refers to some expedition to Palestine or not is uncertain, and probably unlikely, as the next phrase speaks of devastation inflicted in Babylonia.
5. The Fate of Sinful Rulers:
But an untoward fate overtook this ruler likewise, for Kudur-lahmal (= lahgumal), his son, pierced his heart with the steel sword of his girdle. All these references to violent deaths are apparently cited to show the dreadful end of certain kings, "lords of sin," with whom Merodach, the king of the gods, was angry.
6. The Poetical Legend:
The third text is of a poetical nature, and refers several times to "the enemy, the Elamite"--apparently Kudur-lahgu(mal). In this noteworthy inscription, which, even in its present imperfect state, contains 78 lines of wedge-written text, the destruction wrought by him is related in detail. He cast down the door (of the temple) of Istar; entered Du- mah, the place where the fates were declared (see BABEL, BABYLON), and told his warriors to take the spoil and the goods of the temple.
7. Kudur-lahgumal’s Misdeeds:
He was afraid, however, to proceed to extremities, as the god of the place "flashed like lightning, and shook the (holy) places." The last two paragraphs state that he set his face to go down to Tiamtu (the seacoast; see Chaldea), whither Ibi-Tutu, apparently the king of that district, had hastened, and founded a pseudo-capital. But the Elamite seems afterward to have taken his way north again, and after visiting Borsippa near Babylon, traversed "the road of darkness--the road to Mesku" (?Mesech). He destroyed the palace, subdued the princes, carried off the spoil of all the temples and took the goods (of the people) to Elam. At this point the text breaks off.
8. The Importance of the Series:
Where these remarkable inscriptions came from there ought to be more of the same nature, and if these be found, the mystery of Chedorlaomer and Kudur-lahgumal will probably be solved. At present it can only be said, that the names all point to the early period of the Elamite rulers called Kudurides, before the land of Tiamtu or Tamdu was settled by the Chaldeans. Evidently it was one of the heroic periods of Babylonian history, and some scribe of about 350 BC had collected together a number of texts referring to it. All three tablets were purchased (not excavated) by the British Museum, and reached that institution through the same channel. See the Journal of the Victoria Institute, 1895-96, and Professor Sayce in Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology (1906), 193 ff, 241 ff; (1907), 7 ff.