ויבא הפליט The escapee from the battle came to report to Avraham that his nephew Lot was taken prisoner by the Four Kings. Chazal tell us (Targum Yonasan Bereishis Rabba 42,8) that this survivor from war was no other than עוג the giant, the king of Basahan. The reason why he was called Og was that the day he reported to Avraham of Lot being taken prisoner was on Erev Pesach and he found Avraham baking matzos עוגות for the Seder. Wow! Whatever his name was before, he is now acknowledged as Og, because this giant of a goy merited to see the האדם הגדול בענקים Avraham (Meseches Sofrim 21), who is called the man amongst the giants, baking Erev Pesach Matzos.
The Maharil Diskin ztl continues with this observation connecting it to another Chazal brought by Rashi (Bereishis 14,15) ויחלק עליהם לילה הוא ועבדיו ויכם that this night of defeating the Four Kings in order to save Lot was divided in half. In the first part of the night, there was the miracle of defeating the Kings, and the second part of the night was saved for Makas Bechoros and the geulah from Mitzrayim. We want to suggest that there are several allusions to the connection between these two parts of this night, between the battle of the Four Kings and Yetzias Mitzrayim.
וירדף עד דן which are the words prior to ויחלק עליהם לילה. The word דן is the name of a place to which Avraham ran swiftly in order to attack them suddenly (Soforno). This journey of Avraham must have been a miracle, for the distance between Ailonei Moreh where Avraham dwelled and received the news of Lot’s captivity, and דן, also known as חובה (Rashi) situated near Damascus, is very far apart. Yet Avraham traveled this lengthy distance and still fought the battle with the Four Kings defeating them, all between the time period of Erev Pesach and midnight of the night of the Seder. Incredible! The קפיצת הדרך phenomenon that Avraham experienced that night, also was shared by the night of the geulah from Mitzrayim. The decree that Avraham heard from Hashem at the Bris Bein Habasarim was that his descendants will be in servitude for 400 years and then they will be redeemed. Our servitude in Mitzrayim was only for 210 years? Hashem פסח skipped over those remaining years in order to produce the geulah before they sunk into the 50th level from which there is no return.
However, the word דן can be interpreted also as a verb rather than a noun. In the Bris Bein Habesarim Hashem tells Avraham that during the Galus of Mitzrayim וגם את הגוי דן אנכי and also the nation that placed you in servitude I will judge with makkos. The maaka that was the מכה בפטיש of the geulah was מכת בכורות. This allusion to Makkas Bechoros which occurred on the latter part of the night of the Seder is found in the words וירדף עד דן. In the action of מעשה אבות סימן לבנים Avraham ran with a קפיצת הדרך until he assured the actualization of וגם את הגוי דן אנכי במכת בכורות .
In the letters of דן there is a hint referring to the premature exodus. For the spelling of ד with its inner letters is דלית נון which translates as there is no letter “ן” the gematria of 50. That the reason why there was a premature exodus from the 400-year mark of galus immediately following makkas bechoros, is because Hashem saved Yisrael by not allowing the sinking into the 50th level of tumah. True that Hashem skipped over those 190 years but according to many meforshim those missing years are nevertheless owed and are to be paid back in installments by undergoing servitude and suffering in the other Four Galiyos.
This concept of a debt of years to be paid back in the form of Four Galiyos is also hinted in the Bris Bein Habasarim in the words וגם את הגוי דן אנכי the word וגם and also the nations I will punish. Why even mention other tzaros during this Bris? The answer is since the decree was 400 years and there had to be a skipping of those years because Yisrael was already on the 49th level and had they waited any longer in Mitzrayim they would have sunk into the 50th. Therefore the four Galiyos are the completion of the 400. The gematria of וגם is 49 alluding to the descent of Yisrael to the 49th level on the verge of entering the 50th, upon which Hashem redeemed them earlier with a payback plan of enduring four more exiles.
Now we can understand why the passuk gives two names for the identical city, דן, and חובה. The word חובה means an obligation and debt. Due to Yisrael’s premature exodus of דן thereby protecting them from descending to the 50th level, they were left with a חובה of the Four Galiyos.
So we find Avraham at the night of the Seder waging war with the Four Kings and defeating them during the first segment of the night. Chazal tell us that these Four Kings were symbolic to the Four Galiyos. This also connects the battle of the Four Kings who correspond to the Four Exiles, with the second segment of Maakos Bechoros and the geulah from Mitzrayim. As we have just explained, the relationship is the payment of an old debt.
At the night of the Seder we perform different minhagim which manifests the connection between the Four Galiyos to Yetzias Mitzrayim. We are commanded to drink four cups of wine. The Chazal say they correspond to the Four Galiyos and the four redemptions from them. At the night of the Seder we hint to the Four Galiyos because they emerged from the geulah of Mitzrayim which was incomplete. At the fourth siman of the Haggadah יחץ, we split the middle matzah. One part we eat for HaMotzei and the other part we save for the Afikomen. The splitting of the matzah symbolizes the ויחלק עליהם הלילה the night of Avraham which was divided. The first matzah symbolizes the night and day of geulah from Yetzias Mitzrayim. As Rabban Gamliel says in the Haggadah, that we are commanded to eat matzos to remember that Am Yisrael did not have sufficient time to let the dough rise. The Afikomen represents our overcoming of the four exiles and their geulah. A hinting to this is the word אפיקמן. The מ stands for מלכות for each galus is described as a Kingdom. The aleph is the first letter of the kingdom אדום. The letter פ stands for the kingdom of פרס. The letter י stands for the kingdom of יון. The letter ן stands for נבוכדנצר who destroyed the first Bais Hamikdash in Galus Bavel. The letter ק stands for the 100 cubits which Adam Harishon lost by eating from the Aitz Hadaas but will be returned at the end of Galus Edom.
Now we are ready to fit the last part of the puzzle together. True we were redeemed from Mitzrayim earlier than decreed and we have also passed through three galiyos and we are at the end of the fourth. But how do we know that even after the fourth galus has terminated, that Moshiach will come and we will build the Bais Hamikdash and once again the Shechinah will dwell amongst us but this time never leave. Are we worthy of such redemption?
The answer is that the מעשה אבות סימן לבנים of Avraham Avinu took care of this final end as well. The Chazal and seforim elaborate on Avraham’s seemingly obsessed relationship with Lot. All the time Lot accompanied Avraham, Hashem refused to give a prophetic vision to Avraham. Yet Avraham surrendered that intimate rendezvous with Hashem in order to keep Lot in his company as much as possible. When Lot was captured Avraham risked his life to battle against all odds to save him. Lot was seemingly already off the derech of Avraham by choosing to live in Sodom a city of decadence and perversion. Why bother and endanger himself?
Avraham’s unusual close relationship with Lot was because he carried the seed of Dovid Hamelech and Moshiach and the final geulah through fathering two sons from his two daughters. From one descended Ruth the great grandmother of Dovid, and the other offspring became King Shlomo’s wife who gave birth to Rechavaam. Chazal ask on the passuk מצאתי דוד עבדי Where was Dovid found? They answer: in Sodom (Bereishis 41,1). Meaning his neshamah was housed in Lot. That is why Lot had the same facial features of Avraham (Bereishis 18,3 Rashi). Because his פנים face, was reflective of his Penim, insides which housed Dovid Hamelech. Avraham stayed with Lot as much as possible in order to protect that neshamah of Dovid Hamelech which was housed in Lot. Avraham’s saving of Lot also included the concern of saving and preserving the neshama of Dovid Hamelech through the Four Exiles. This was in order so that when it would be time for the final geulah and for the Bais Hamikdash to be built for Hashem’s presence to reside within, Dovid Hamelech will have remained wholesome and undefiled in order to achieve the task of the final geulah.
Subsequent his victory over the Four Kings and retrieving Lot, Hashem promises Avraham אנכי מגן לך I will shield you (Bereishis 15,1). The Chidushei Harim explains that Hashem promised to shield the spark of Avraham that lies in every Yid that it should never be defiled. This is the deeper meaning of what Avraham accomplished in his defeat of the Four Kings and the rescuing of Lot. שכרך הרבה מאד Your reward is threefold hinted in the letters of מאד which is the acronym of משיח, אדם, דוד .
Rashi says on Hashem’s beracha to Avraham והיה ברכה that בך חותמים with your name Avraham we will end the first beracha of the Shemoneh Esrai מגן אברהם. The חתימה of “history” as we know it will end with Days of Moshiach and the revelation of Hashem. On the level of esoteric understanding, Hashem is promising that because of you Avraham the end and destiny of world will for sure come about. מעשה אבות סימן לבנים You have already defeated the Four Galiyos in the form of the Four Kings and you have redeemed Dovid in the form of saving Lot. The סמאל, the Angel of Esav, Galus Edom, will meet his demise by the מעשה אבות סימן לבנים of Avraham Avinu in this parsha. That is why we suggest that the name סמאל is the acronym of מעשה אבות סימן לבנים.
Now we have come full circle starting from Avraham, the first member of Am Yisrael, and ending with Moshiach who will reveal Hashem’s Shechinah in revelation on earth. אם הבנים שמחים through the אם the acronym of אברהם משיח the mission of Am Yisrael will be completed and it will be revealed that we were Hashem’s children all along which will bring us tremendous simcha. Together אברהם ומשיח will bring about the greatness of the תורה which we possessed all along, and in which we fulfilled and toiled learning it day and night. This is hinted in the gematria of תורה עה”כ equaling אברהם ומשיח.
This closure will then bring about the יום שכולו שבת of which we experience a microcosm of it every Shabbos. At the chait of Aitz Hadaas, Adam’s spiritual dimensions were diminished 100 cubits. Those 100 cubits will be restored with the coming of the משיח. The height of the Bais Hamikdash was 100 cubits alluding to the tikkun of Adam Harishon. Avraham was given the instructions of לך לך which is gematria 100 to hint that his task is to restore the original dimensions of Adam. Avraham began the restoration and Moshiach will finish it. Together, אברהם משיח and 100 cubits equal השבת. Every Shabbos we have a taste of the future geulah and tikkun.
The final geulah needs the input of every Yid in every generation. מה ה’ אלקיך שואל מעמך (Deveraim 10,12) and the Chazal darshin מאה ה’ אלקיך שואל מעמך Hashem asks from every Yid to donate to the restoration of the 100 אמה cubits of Adam which were taken away by the chait. No matter if you bring to the table even a 1/10000 of a cubit through your personal tikkunim, with this you will merit to be there to greet the Shechina when it appears in its fullest glory.