Milchemet Hamelachim, Part 4

  • 40 minutes
  • Grades: 2-3
  • Lesson Plan

Four-lesson unit on Bereshit 14: 1-24. Students participate in multiple intelligences exercises in order to understand the battle of the kings. Includes worksheets.

Lesson objectives

Students will be able to describe how
1. The King of Sedom and Malki-Zedeq greet Avram after he defeated Kedorlaomer.
2. Malki-Zedeq blessed Avram and honored him with food and drink.
3. Melech Sedom asked Avram to return the captives from his kingdom, and offered Avram the spoils of war.
4. Avram refused the spoils of war, so that the King of Sedom would not be able to take credit for Avram’s wealth.
5. Avram only accepted pay for his soldiers.


Students will be able to
1. Match Biblical characters to important Biblical phrases.
2. Draw Biblical characters in text-based scenes.
3. Sequence the events of chapter 1


Students will be able to appreciate
1. The just behavior as seen in Avram’s and Malki-Zedeq’s behavior.

Resources & Equipment needed

Vocabulary Binder/workbook, blackboard, highlighter pens/pencil, Classwork chart (provided), HW sheet (provided)


I. Teacher Preparation 1. Photocopy classwork chart and homework sheet (see appendix). 2. Write the following words on the board: יט: קונה שמים וארץ – Creator of heaven and earth כ: מגן צריך בידך – handed over your enemies to you מעשר – a tenth כא: הנפש – the people כב: הרימתי ידי את ד’ – I swear כג: מחוט ועד שרוך נעל – as little value as is in a thread or a shoelace העשרתי – I made him wealthy כד: בלעדי – Not including me

II. Class Opening T: Avram returns victorious from war. Whom does he have with him? S: The fighters, his students. T: How do they feel after they’ve returned Lot and his people to their cities? S: Tired. Hungry. Wanting to go home. Grateful to God for protecting him. And for being successful in saving Lot. T: Well, let’s see what kind of greeting Avram gets upon return from war.

III. Textual Reading Read verse , pausing at each etnachta for translation. T: Which king came out to greet Avram? S: Melech Sedom T: How do you think he feels about Avram? S: He’s angry. T: Why? S: Because he lost his kingdom. He has no one to be king over now. T: Other people heard about this war as well. Let’s see who else comes out to greet Avram! A student should read verse 18, pausing at each etnachta for translation. T: Who came out to greet Avram this time? S: Malki-Zedeq. T: What was he king of? S: Shalem. T: Shalem sounds like what big city in Israel? S: Yerushalayim. T: Malki-Zedeq was king of Yerushalayim. What did he bring Avram? A: Wine and bread. T: What does this tell you about Malki-Zedeq? S: He was respectful, coming to greet Avram with food and drink. T: What is wine a symbol of? Celebration or sadness? S: Celebration. T: What else does this tell us about Malki-Zedeq? S: That he was happy Avram defeated Kedorlaomer and the other kings. T: Look at his name: Malki-Zedeq. What does this mean? What is Malki? What shoresh do you see in the word? S: מלך – king. T: And what is Zedeq? S: Justice, righteousness. T: What did Malki-Zedeq do for a living? Read the last four words of verse 18 again. S: והוא כהן לאל עליון. He was a priest. T:What does that mean? S: He was a religious man. He believed in the one God of Avram. T: Did everyone believe in the one God of Avram in those days? S: No. T: How do we know this? S: Avram’s own father worshipped idols. T: Most people worshipped idols in those days. Did Malki-Zedeq believe in idols? S: No. T: What words does the Torah use to teach us this? S: והוא כהן לאל עליון . T: So Malki-Zedeq, as his name and profession suggest, does what’s right.

IV. Sketch and Speak Student-Teacher Text-Based Activity – 20 minutes Malki-Zedeq On the board, draw 3X4 chart following the model of the chart. Distribute copy to students. T: Let’s draw the scene and imagine what they looked like. Can you help me? Don’t write anything yet. First follow along with me.Who’s speaking in verse 19 and 20? S: Malki-Zedeq to Avram T: And who else went out to greet Avram in verse 21? S: The King of Sedom. T: I need a good artist to come up to the board and help me draw. Choose an artistic student to draw a figure as students participate. T: Let’s start with Malki-Zedeq. We said that he was a religious man, a priest. What kind of clothes would he be wearing? A leather jacket? Jeans? A sweater? S: Long robes. T: What color do you think it would be? S: White. T: Would he have anything on his head? S: Some kind of a hat. T: What did he bring Avram to eat? S: Bread and wine. T: Don’t forget to draw that as well…This isn’t exactly what he looked like, obviously, but it does give you an idea of how someone would dress in those days. And what did he tell Avram? Let’s look at verse 19. Difficult words are translated on the board. Choose a student to reads in phrases, stopping at psikim (etnachtot and shva na) with teacher direction. Translate words and phrases together. T: How did Malki-Zedeq bless Avram? S: Called him the one of God, who created heaven and earth. T: Let’s put that on our charts. Write ברוך אברם לאל עליון, קונה שמים וארץ Why does Malki-Zedeq tell Avram that he is blessed by God, who created heaven and earth? (If students need more of a hint, say, ‘many people believed in idols in those days, not in God. Whom did they think created the world?’). S: Malki-Zedeq wants to show that he recognizes that God created the world and that he believes in the same God as Avram. T: Malki-Zedeq says something else to Avram, recognizing God as his God. What could he say to Avram, winner of the war, to recognize God? S: He could say that Avram must be grateful to God for helping him win the war. T: Exactly! Let’s see how the Torah phrases it. Student reads verse 20, pausing at phrases and translating together. Difficult phrases are on the board. T: How does the Torah phrase Avram’s success on the battlefield? S: …אשר מגן צריך בידיך. T: Let’s add that to what Malki-Zedeq says. Write the phrase on the board under ‘quote.’ Melech Sedom T: Who else went out to meet Avram? S: King of Sedom. T: Let’s sketch him. Choose another volunteer to sketch Melech Sedom on the board. T: What does he look like? What happened to him when he ran away from war? S: He fell into a pit. T: What happened to his clothes? S: They probably got all dirty. T: What was he wearing? He was a king after all. S: Some royal robes. T: And what do his royal robes look like now? S: Torn and dirty. T: What about his head? What does a king wear on his head? S: A crown! T: Was it still there after the fall into the pit? S: It’s broken. T: Great! Let’s draw it. And what can we write under what he says? S: תן לי את הנפש והרכוש קח לך. T: What did he say to Avram? Let’s read verse 21. Teacher or student reads verse in phrases, translating using words on the board. S: The King wanted his people back. T: And what is רכוש? Do you remember? S: Property. T: King of Sedom is offering the spoils of war to Avram in exchange for his people back. But wait a minute – are the spoils of war his to offer? S: No. They’re Avram’s. T: So why does he offer them back to Avram? S: He wants to make himself look good, as if he could give Avram something too.

V. Vote T: Do you think Avram will accept the offer? Vote thumbs up or thumbs down. Ask a few students to state why they feel that way. Don’t offer a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. This is an opinion question. Let’s take a look at verse 22 to see Avram’s response. Avram Teacher or student read verse 22, using the board and teacher for translating resources. T: Which words mean that Avram is swearing? S: הרימתי ידי את ה’ T: Obviously he feels very strongly about his response to King of Sedom. Let’s see in the next verse if he accepts his offer. Read verse 23 and 24 as the others. T: Does he accept Melech Sedom’s offer? S: No. T: Avram exaggerates his response. He feels very strongly about not taking ANYTHING from the King of Sedom. He doesn’t want to be associated with him AT ALL. He says he won’t even take a thread or a shoelace. That’s like saying he won’t even take a penny or a bottlecap from him. How does the Torah phrase that? S: אם מחוט ועד שרוך נעל. T: What reason does Avram give for not accepting even little things from the King of Sedom? S: Avram doesn’t want the King to think that he made Avram wealthy. T: Will accepting a shoelace or a string from the King of Sedom make Avram wealthy? S: No, but it’s symbolic that he won’t take anything from him and that the King of Sedom shouldn’t feel that he gave Avram ANYTHING. T: What DOES Avram accept? (Hint: for his men). S: חלקם – their portion. T: This is payment, or food for the men that fought with him. OK, Let’s sketch them on the board, and you sketch them in your charts. What does Avram look like? S: Fighting gear, maybe he has a sword in hand. T; Who is with him? S: ענר אשכול וממרא T: And draw the only item Avram accepted for his men. Which is what? S: Their food. T: Let’s write Avram’s important phrases down.What words represent his refusal to take anything from the King of Sedom? S: אם מחוט ועד שרוך נעל. T: Avram also says that he will accept food for his men, because that is what’s fair and just. There is nothing wrong with him keeping the spoils of war – he won the war! But if he doesn’t want to take shoelaces from them, that’s his business. Is it fair to prevent his men from eating a good meal after they fought for him? S: No. T: So which words mean that he will accept food for his men? S: רק אשר אכלו הנערים. T: Let’s write that in the ‘Quote’ column for Avram.

VI. Conclusion T: The lesson of justice, of doing what’s right rang out clear in this chapter. Which two people acted based on ‘doing what’s right?’ S: Malki-Zedeq, who went out specially to greet Avram with food and drink; Avram, who refused to take the spoils of war from the King of Sedom; Avram again when he made sure to feed his men when they came back from war. T: I am giving you a chance to do what’s right by putting the following sentences in order for homework. If the whole class completes this sequencing for tomorrow, I’ll bring in some Hershey kisses as a treat. See you tomorrow.