According to the biblical narrative, Chedorlaomer's forces seized Lot, and when Abraham the Hebrew discovered this (due to a message from a fugitive), he amassed an army and led them against Chedorlaomer. Abraham's forces secured victory, and recovered the spoils taken by Chedorlaomer. The king of Sodom, one of the rebels, then went out to meet Abraham, and Melchizedek (King of Salem )- both city and ruler appearing in the narrative for the first time at this point) brought bread and wine to Abraham, and blessed him. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe. The king of Sodom then offered to give up his own share of the spoils in return for his subjects, but Abraham refused to take anything from the king of Sodom. "Not even a shoelace."
The rebels are named as:
Chedorlaomer's allies are named as:
A further curious feature is that Abraham abruptly appears at a late point in the narrative, and is referred to as the Hebrew, a turn of phrase more common for authors who are not themselves a Hebrew. Scholars regard this as indicating that the narrative originates from a non-Israelite source, or one from a time before Hebrews were regarded as synonymous with Israelites. Of course, it could also be an Israelite writer trying to create the impression of an alien source. Also, this is notably the only biblical narrative in which Abraham takes on the role of a national leader in his own time, rather than the role of an eponym or of an individual. It is also the only narrative of Genesis (and hence of the Abraham cycle) that refers to the wider world.
Since the discovery of documents written in the Elamite language and Babylonian language, it has been generally acknowledged that Chedorlaomer is a transliteration of the Elamite compound Kudur-Lagamar, meaning servant of Lagamaru - a reference to Lagamaru, an Elamite deity whose existence was mentioned by Assurbanipal. No mention of an individual named Kudur Lagamar has however been found; inscriptions that were thought to contain this name are now known to have different names (the confusion arose due to similar lettering).
As for Chedorlaomer's allies; Amraphel was once thought by most scholars to be a corruption of the name of the famed Hammurabi, but this is now considered implausible since at least three kings named Amraphel are now known to have ruled Canaanite city states; Arioch was once thought to have been a king of Larsa (Ellasar being a corruption of this), but is now thought to be more likely to have been Ariukki, a Hurrian king; and Tidal is now considered to be a corruption or transliteration of Tudhaliya - either referring to the first king of the Hittite New Kingdom (Tudhaliya I) or the proto-Hittite king named Tudhaliya. With the former, the title king of Nations would possibly thus refer to the historic conquest of much of Asia Minor by Tudhaliya, with the latter it is unclear to what this title refers.
In the biblical account, the text begins in the days of, but the remainder of the sentence is missing, and is not found in any surviving manuscript (some modern translations run this sentence together with the next to bridge the gap). The missing text would have helped to identify the date range for the events described by the narrative, and, aside from deliberately obscuring the date (perhaps because it proved inconvenient), it is unclear why the text would be missing. The tentative identifications of Tidal, however, enables the date period to be somewhat determined:
Near Eastern writings from both periods make clear that the general geo-political situation of the region during the later period is more in accordance with the accounts in Genesis than the situation in the earlier period. However, many Exodus datings exist, from 1800 BC all the way to 1200 BC (see Pharaoh of the Exodus), meaning one can not jump to a conclusion about the dating of the events, or assume that any of the datings are correct, as all have holes in them. In addition, these may not be the only valid dates. Hence neither dating (if either is correct) is indicative of Biblical accuracy.. Furthermore, there is no known historical period in which a king of Elam was able to enlist a Hittite king, a Hurrian King and a Mesopotamian king as vassal allies in a war against Canaanite cities. This is pointed out by John Van Seters in Abraham in History and Tradition. Only at the time of Ashurbanipal's campaign against Elam, did that state play any role in the political alliances found in the Levant.