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Genesis 18:21

21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

Read Genesis 18:21 Using Other Translations

I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know."
I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”

What does Genesis 18:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Genesis 18:21

I will go down now
The Son of God in an human form now with Abraham, who proposes to go from the place where he was, which perhaps was on higher ground, to the plain in which Sodom and Gomorrah stood; and whither it seems certain he did go down, after he had done talking with Abraham, see ( Genesis 19:24 ) : and see whether they have done altogether;
committed all the sins, and in such manner, and with such circumstances as reported; or, "have made a full end" F3, have tilled up the measure of their iniquities, and so are ripe for ruin: according to the cry of it which is come unto me;
this is spoken after the manner of men; for otherwise God saw all their wickedness, and knew full well the nature and circumstances of it, and how general it was; but this method he proposes to take, to show the justice of his proceedings, and to instruct judges, and set an example to them, not to condemn any without thoroughly examining their cause: and if not, I will know:
the reason of this cry, and what is proper to be done. The note of Aben Ezra is,

``if they have so done (according to the cry) I will make a consumption among them (so he takes the sense of the word F4 we render "altogether"); but if not, "I will know", I will have mercy on them.''

FOOTNOTES:

F3 (hlk wve) "fecerint consummationem", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Vatablus, Drusius, Cocceius.
F4 "Fecerint consumptionem", Piscator, Schmidt; so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem.
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