Genesis 18:27

27 Abraham answered, "Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.

Genesis 18:27 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 18:27

And Abraham answered and said
In a very humble and modest manner, encouraged by the answer given him: behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord;
suggesting that it was bold and daring in him, and was what he was unfit for and unworthy of; or, "I have begun to speak" F5; and since he had, he intimates, it would be a favour, and what he was undeserving of, might he be permitted to proceed; or, "I am desirous to speak" F6; it is a pleasure to me, as well as an honour done me, to be permitted to speak unto the Lord, though I deserve it not, which [am but] dust and ashes;
whose original was out of the dust, and to which he would return, and was now a frail, feeble, mortal creature, mean and despicable, unworthy to speak to God; the disproportion between the speaker and the person spoken to was infinite; wherefore the most profound humility and self-abasement are necessary in a creature's approach to the divine Being.


FOOTNOTES:

F5 (rbdl ytlawh) "coepi, loquar", V. L. "loqui", Pagninus, Montanus; so Targum Jon.
F6 "Gestio, volo, eupio", Vatablus; "cuperem alloqui", Junius & Tremellius; so Jarchi and Aben Ezra, and Ben Gersom.

Genesis 18:27 In-Context

25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?"
26 And the Lord said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake."
27 Abraham answered, "Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.
28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?" And he said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there."
29 Again he spoke to him, "Suppose forty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of forty I will not do it."