Genesis 18:16-33

16 Then 1the men rose up from there, and looked down toward * Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off.
17 2The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham 3what I am about to do,
18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him 4all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
19 "For I have 5chosen him, so that he may 6command his children and his household after him to 7keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham 8what He has spoken about him."
20 And the LORD said, "9The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.
21 "I will 10go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know."
22 Then 11the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before 12the LORD.
23 Abraham came near and said, "13Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24 "Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
25 "Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not 14the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"
26 So the LORD said, "15If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account."
27 And Abraham replied, "Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but 16dust and ashes.
28 "Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?" And He said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five * there."
29 He spoke to Him yet again and said, "Suppose forty are found there?" And He said, "I will not do it on account of the forty."
30 Then he said, "Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?" And He said, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
31 And he said, "Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the twenty."
32 Then he said, "17Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the ten."
33 As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham 18the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place.

Genesis 18:16-33 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 18

Another appearance of God to Abraham is here recorded; three persons are seen by him in an human form, whom he kindly invites to stop with him, and generously entertains them, Ge 18:1-8; they inquire concerning Sarah his wife, and one of them renews the promise of her bearing a son to him, which occasions laughter in her, for which she is reproved, Ge 18:9-15; upon their departure the Lord thought fit, for reasons given, to make known to Abraham his intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Ge 18:16-22; when Abraham intercedes for the preservation of those cities in a most importunate and affectionate manner, Ge 18:23-33.

Genesis 18:16-33 In-Context

14 "Is anything too difficult for the LORD ? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."
15 Sarah denied it however, saying, "I did not laugh "; for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh."
16 Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off.
17 The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
19 "For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him."
20 And the LORD said, "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.
21 "I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know."
22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD .
23 Abraham came near and said, "Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24 "Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
25 "Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"
26 So the LORD said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account."
27 And Abraham replied, "Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord , although I am but dust and ashes.
28 "Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?" And He said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there."
29 He spoke to Him yet again and said, "Suppose forty are found there?" And He said, "I will not do it on account of the forty."
30 Then he said, "Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?" And He said, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
31 And he said, "Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord ; suppose twenty are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the twenty."
32 Then he said, "Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the ten."
33 As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place.

Cross References 18

  • 1. Genesis 18:2, 22; Genesis 19:1
  • 2. Gen 18:22, 26, 33; Amos 3:7
  • 3. Genesis 18:21; Genesis 19:24
  • 4. Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18; Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8
  • 5. Nehemiah 9:7; Amos 3:2
  • 6. Deuteronomy 6:6, 7
  • 7. Genesis 17:9
  • 8. Genesis 12:2, 3
  • 9. Genesis 19:13; Ezekiel 16:49, 50
  • 10. Genesis 11:5; Exodus 3:8; Psalms 14:2
  • 11. Genesis 18:16; Genesis 19:1
  • 12. Genesis 18:1, 17
  • 13. Exodus 23:7; Numbers 16:22; 2 Samuel 24:17; Psalms 11:4-7
  • 14. Deuteronomy 1:16, 17; Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 8:3, 20; Psalms 58:11; Psalms 94:2; Isaiah 3:10, 11; Romans 3:5, 6
  • 15. Jeremiah 5:1
  • 16. Genesis 3:19; Job 30:19; Job 42:6
  • 17. Judges 6:39
  • 18. Genesis 17:22; Genesis 35:13

Footnotes 8