Genesis 18

1 And the LORde apeared vnto him in the okegrove of Mamre as he sat in his tent doze in the heate of the daye.
2 And he lyfte vp his eyes and looked: ad lo thre men stode not farr from hym. And whe he sawe them he ran agenst them from the tent dore and fell to the grounde
3 and sayde: LORde yf I haue founde fauoure in thy syght goo not by thi seruaunte.
4 Let a litle water be fett and wash youre fete and rest youre selves vnder the tree:
5 And I will fett a morsell of breed to comforte youre hartes wythall. And tha goo youre wayes for even therfore ar ye come to youre servaunte. And they answered: Do even so as thou hast sayde.
6 And Abraha went a pace in to his tent vnto Sara ad sayde: make redy att once thre peckes of fyne meale kneade it and make cakes.
7 And Abraham ran vnto his beastes and fett a calfe that was tendre and good and gaue it vnto a yonge man which made it redy attonce.
8 And he toke butter and mylcke and the calfe which he had prepared and sett it before them and stode hymselfe by them vnder the tree: and they ate.
9 And they sayde vnto him: Where is Sara thy wife? And he sayde: in the tent.
10 And he sayde: I will come agayne vnto the as soone as the frute can lyue. And loo: Sara thy wife shall haue a sonne. That herde Sara out of the tent doore which was behind his backe.
11 Abraham and Sara were both olde and well stryken in age and it ceased to be with Sara after the maner as it is wyth wyves.
12 And Sara laughed in hir selfe saynge: Now I am waxed olde shall I geue my selfe to lust and my lorde olde also?
13 Than sayd the LORde vnto Abraha: wherfore doth Sara laughe saynge: shal I of a suertie bere a childe now when I am olde?
14 is the thinge to harde for the LORde to do? In the tyme appoynted will I returne vnto the as soone as the frute can haue lyfe And Sara shall haue a sonne.
15 Than Sara denyed it saynge: I laughed not for she was afrayde. But he sayde: yes thou laughtest.
16 Than the men stode vp from thence ad loked towarde Sodome. And Abraham went with them to brynge them on the waye.
17 And the LORde sayde: Can I hyde from Abraham that thinge which I am aboute to do
18 seynge that Abraham shall be a great ad a myghtie people and all the nations of the erth shalbe blessed in him?
19 For I knowe him that he will commaunde his childern and his housholde after him yt they kepe the waye of the LORde to do after righte and conscyence that the LORde may brynge vppon Abraham that he hath promysed him.
20 And the LORde sayde? The crie of Sodome and Gomorra is great and there synne is excedynge grevous.
21 I will go downe and see whether they haue done all to gedder acordynge to that crye which is come vnto me or not that I may knowe.
22 And the me departed thece and went to Sodomeward. But Abraham stode yet before ye LORde
23 and drewe nere and saydeWylt thou destroy the rightwes with the wyked?
24 Yf there be .l. rightwes within the cyte wilt thou destroy it and not spare the place for the sake of .l. rightwes that are therin?
25 That be farre from the that thou shuldest do after thys maner to sley the rightwes with the weked ad that the rightwes shulde be as the weked: that befarre from the. Shulde not the iudge of all ye worlde do acordynge to righte?
26 And the LORde sayde: Yf I fynde in Sodome .l. rightwes within the cyte I will spare all the place for their sakes.
27 And Abraham answered and sayde: beholde I haue taken vppon me to speake vnto ye LORde ad yet am but dust ad asshes.
28 What though there lacke .v. of .l. rightwes wylt thou destroy all the cyte for lacke of .v? And he sayde: Yf I fynde there .xl. and .v. I will not destroy them.
29 And he spake vnto him yet agayne and sayde: what yf there be .xl. foude there: And he sayde: I wyll not do it for forties sake.
30 And he sayde: O let not my LORde be angrye that I speake. What yf there be foude .xxx. there? And he sayde: I will not do it yf I finde .xxx. there.
31 And be sayde: Oh se I haue begonne to speake vnto my LORde what yf there be .xx. founde there? And he sayde: I will not distroy the for tweties sake.
32 And he sayde: O let not my LORde be angrye that I speake yet but eue once more only. What yf ten be founde there?. And he sayde: I will not destroy the for .x. sake.
33 And the LORde wet his waye as soone as he had lefte comenynge with Abraha. And Abraham returned vnto his place

Genesis 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

The Lord appears to Abraham. (1-8) Sarah's unbelief reproved. (9-15) God reveals to Abraham the destruction of Sodom. (16-22) Abraham's intercession for Sodom. (23-33)

Verses 1-8 Abraham was waiting to entertain any weary traveller, for inns were not to be met with as among us. While Abraham was thus sitting, he saw three men coming. These were three heavenly beings in human bodies. Some think they were all created angels; others, that one of them was the Son of God, the Angel of the covenant. Washing the feet is customary in those hot climates, where only sandals are worn. We should not be forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares, ( Hebrews 13:2 ) ; nay, the Lord of angels himself; as we always do, when for his sake we entertain the least of his brethren. Cheerful and obliging manners in showing kindness, are great ornaments to piety. Though our condescending Lord vouchsafes not personal visits to us, yet still by his Spirit he stands at the door and knocks; when we are inclined to open, he deigns to enter; and by his gracious consolations he provides a rich feast, of which we partake with him, ( Revelation 3:20 ) .

Verses 9-15 Where is Sarah thy wife? was asked. Note the answer, In the tent. Just at hand, in her proper place, occupied in her household concerns. There is nothing got by gadding. Those are most likely to receive comfort from God and his promises, who are in their proper place, and in the way of their duty, Lu. 2:8 . We are slow of heart to believe, and need line upon line to the same purport. The blessings others have from common providence, believers have from the Divine promise, which makes them very sweet, and very sure. The spiritual seed of Abraham owe their life, and joy, and hope, and all, to the promise. Sarah thinks this too good news to be true; she laughed, and therefore cannot as yet find in her heart to believe it. Sarah laughed. We might not have thought there was a difference between Sarah's laughter and Abraham's, ch. 17:17 ; but He who searches the heart, saw that the one sprung from unbelief, and the other from faith. She denied that she had laughed. One sin commonly brings in another, and it is not likely we shall strictly keep to truth, when we question the Divine truth. But whom the Lord loves he will rebuke, convict, silence, and bring to repentance, and if they sin before him.

Verses 16-22 The two who are supposed to have been created angels went toward Sodom. The one who is called Jehovah throughout the chapter, continued with Abraham, and would not hide from him the thing he intended to do. Though God long forbears with sinners, from which they fancy that the Lord does not see, and does not regard; yet when the day of his wrath comes, he will look toward them. The Lord will give Abraham an opportunity to intercede with him, and shows him the reason of his conduct. Consider, as a very bright part of Abraham's character and example, that he not only prayed with his family, but he was very careful to teach and rule them well. Those who expect family blessings must make conscience of family duty. Abraham did not fill their heads with matters of doubtful dispute; but he taught them to be serious and devout in the worship of God, and to be honest in their dealings with all men. Of how few may such a character be given in our days! How little care is taken by masters of families to ground those under them in the principles of religion! Do we watch from sabbath to sabbath whether they go forward or backward?

Verses 23-33 Here is the first solemn prayer upon record in the Bible; and it is a prayer for the sparing of Sodom. Abraham prayed earnestly that Sodom might be spared, if but a few righteous persons should be found in it. Come and learn from Abraham what compassion we should feel for sinners, and how earnestly we should pray for them. We see here that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Abraham, indeed, failed in his request for the whole place, but Lot was miraculously delivered. Be encouraged then to expect, by earnest prayer, the blessing of God upon your families, your friends, your neighbourhood. To this end you must not only pray, but you must live like Abraham. He knew the Judge of all the earth would do right. He does not plead that the wicked may be spared for their own sake, or because it would be severe to destroy them, but for the sake of the righteous who might be found among them. And righteousness only can be made a plea before God. How then did Christ make intercession for transgressors? Not by blaming the Divine law, nor by alleging aught in extenuation or excuse of human guilt; but by pleading HIS OWN obedience unto death.

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

The Tyndale Bible is in the public domain.