Genesis Chapter 18
1 The LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.
2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood near him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth,
3 and said, "My lord, if now I have found favour in your sight, please don't go away from your servant.
4 Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
5 I will get a piece of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant." They said, "Very well, do as you have said."
6 Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Quickly prepare three seahs of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes."
7 Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it.
8 He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate.
9 They asked him, "Where is Sarah, your wife?" He said, "There, in the tent."
10 He said, "I will certainly return to you at about this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son." Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.
12 Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"
13 The LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Will I really bear a child when I am old?'
14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes round, and Sarah will have a son."
15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, "I didn't laugh," for she was afraid. He said, "No, but you did laugh."
16 The men rose up from there, and looked towards Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way.
17 The LORD said, "Will I hide from Abraham what I do,
18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him?
19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that the LORD may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him."
20 The LORD said, "Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous,
21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know."
22 The men turned from there, and went towards Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
23 Abraham came near, and said, "Will you consume the righteous with the wicked?
24 What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it?
25 May it be far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn't the Judge of all the earth do right?"
26 The LORD said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake."
27 Abraham answered, "See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord, although I am dust and ashes.
28 What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?" He said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there."
29 He spoke to him yet again, and said, "What if there are forty found there?" He said, "I will not do it for the forty's sake."
30 He said, "Oh don't let the Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?" He said, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
31 He said, "See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord. What if there are twenty found there?" He said, "I will not destroy it for the twenty's sake."
32 He said, "Oh don't let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?" He said, "I will not destroy it for the ten's sake."
33 The LORD went his way, as soon as he had finished communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
- Verse 6 (Seah)
- 1 seah is about 7 litres or 1.9 gallons or 0.8 pecks
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Genesis Chapter 18 Guide
This is the account of the sixth appearance of God to Abraham. In it four phases of relationship between God and Abraham are revealed. God visited Abraham and Abraham provided for Him. God bestowed on Abraham and Abraham received from Him. God communicated to Abraham and Abraham answered with the statement of a difficulty. God listened to Abraham and Abraham interceded with Him.
The picture of Abraham providing for the supernatural Visitors is beautiful in its revelation of his love and loyalty; but yet more in its manifestation of the grace of God.
Jehovah now communicated to Abraham His purpose concerning the cities of the Plain and His reasons for making this communication were stated. Abraham was the depository of blessing to the nations. It was fitting that his children should know the meaning of the destruction of Sodom.
Abraham found himself confronted with a difficulty which had to do with the strict justice of God; and his question, "shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" revealed his anxiety for the vindication of the character of God among the nations. The story of the intercession of Abraham with God on behalf of the cities, in the interest of the righteous, is a wonderful revelation of the patience of God. He will ever listen to honest intercession, though He knows His ways are infinitely better, than the fears that prompt our prayers. The sequel shows that in His action He goes beyond anything we ask. Abraham stopped at ten. Jehovah saved the two or three in whom there was any trace of recognition of Himself.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.