The beginning of II Samuel in the Aleppo Codex, written ca. 930 CE

The Second Book of Samuel (Hebrew-English Text) contains twenty-four chapters and continues where the First Book of Samuel left off. The first portion (chs. 1-10) recounts David’s solidification of power and his successes as the second king of Israel. The second portion (chs. 11-24) recounts David’s sins of murder and adultery and the hard times that follow. These include the death of his child, a civil war by another son, exile, the loss of his wives to another man, a second civil war, a famine, and a plague brought on by David’s sinful census. Despite these punishments, David remains a legitimate king and a devotee of Yahweh.


Outline (by chapter)

1-10. David solidifies his power and begins his rule successfully 

    1. David mourns Saul and Jonathan 

    2-4. David, who is anointed king in Hebron, outperforms and outlives Saul’s heir

    5a. David captures Jerusalem

    5b-6. David conquers the Philistines and returns the ark to Jerusalem

    7. Yahweh’s promise of kingship to David

    8. David’s military victories and leading men (first list)

    9. David honors a descendant of Saul and Jonathan

    10. The Ammonite war (Part I)

11-24. David’s sin and the hard times that follow

    11-12a. David’s sin with Batsheba and the naming of his punishment

    12b. The birth of Solomon

    12c. The Ammonite war (Part II)

    13. David’s son Absalom avenges the rape of his sister

    14-19. Absalom rebels, causing David to flee Jerusalem, but is eventually defeated by David, who returns to Jerusalem

    20a. Sheba’s failed coup

    20b. David’s leading men (second list)

    21a. David hands over Saul’s descendants to death to prevent a famine

    21b. David is nearly killed in a victory over the Philistines and is forced to retire from war

    22. David’s Thanksgiving psalm for being saved from death (=Psalm 18)

    23a. David’s theophany about the just rewards of doing good and evil

    23b. A list of David’s mighty warriors

    24. David’s sinful census and the plague that follows


Chapter-by-chapter summaries

2 Samuel 1, David Mourns Saul and Jonathan: An Amalekite tells David how he killed Saul to end his suffering. David kills the Amalekite and composes a lament for Saul and Jonathan.

2 Samuel 2, Two Kings in Israel: David moves to Hebron and is anointed king of Judah. Saul’s son Ish-bosheth is anointed king of the other tribes. The generals of the two sides lead their armies into an internecine battle.

2 Samuel 3, David’s Rise; Abner’s Untimely Death: After having a falling-out with Ish-bosheth, Abner and his forces join David’s side. Joab avenges his brother’s death by killing Abner. David mourns for Abner and protests his own innocence.

2 Samuel 4, Ish-bosheth is Murdered; David Avenges his Death: Rechab and Baanah secretly murder Ish-bosheth. They tell David about their deed and he has them both put to death. Ish-bosheth’s head is buried in Abner’s grave.

2 Samuel 5, David is Anointed; David Conquers Jerusalem; David Defeats the Philistines: All of the tribes anoint David as king of Israel. David captures Jerusalem from the Jebusites and makes it his stronghold. He then routs the Philistines who assemble against him.

2 Samuel 6, Uzzah is Killed; The Ark is Moved to Jerusalem; Michal’s Punishment: God kills Uzzah for touching the ark. David transfers the ark to Jerusalem amidst a spectacular celebration. After rebuking David for his foolish dancing, Michal is punished with barrenness.

2 Samuel 7, God’s Promise to Perpetuate the Davidic Dynasty: David expresses his desire to build the temple. Although God rejects David’s request, he promises to perpetuate the Davidic dynasty forever. David prays to God and asks him to uphold his promise.

2 Samuel 8, David’s Military Might: David is victorious over the Philistines, Moabites, Arameans, Edomites, and the king of Zobah. David acquires great wealth and rules his kingdom righteously. His cabinet members are enumerated.

2 Samuel 9, David Honors Mephibosheth: David wishes to honor one of Jonathan’s descendants. He finds his son Mephibosheth and gives him land, grants him servants, and feeds him in Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 10, David Defeats the Ammonites and Arameans: David sends courtiers to the king of Ammon and they are publicly humiliated. David assembles his army and routs the Ammonite and the Aramean armies.

2 Samuel 11, David and Batsheba – Adultery and Murder: David impregnates a married woman named Batsheba. He attempts to cover up the pregnancy by having Batsheba’s husband sleep with her, but her husband refuses to do so. David has the husband killed and takes Batsheba as his own wife.

2 Samuel 12, David’s Punishment; Solomon’s Birth; The Ammonite Capital is Captured: Nathan condemns David by telling him a parable and predicting family difficulties. David and Batsheba’s son dies, but the two have a second son named Solomon. David’s general conquers the Ammonite capital.

2 Samuel 13, An Incestuous Rape; Absalom’s Revenge: Amnon rapes his sister Tamar. Absalom kills Amnon and flees from his father David.

2 Samuel 14, Absalom is Brought to Jerusalem: After pardoning a man for killing his brother, David decides to forgive Absalom for killing Amnon. Absalom is brought to Jerusalem to meet with David.

2 Samuel 15, Absalom’s Rebellion: Absalom leads a revolt and forces David to flee Jerusalem. David sends spies to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 16, David’s Decline: Ziba supports David and accuses Mephibosheth of treason. David shows restraint when Shimei hurls epithets and stones at him. Absalom sleeps with David’s concubines in Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 17, Hushai Saves David’s Life: Hushai delays Ahitophel’s attack on David. David escapes and Ahitophel commits suicide. David’s and Absalom’s forces prepare for battle.

2 Samuel 18, David is Victorious; Absalom is Killed: David’s army routs Absalom’s forces. Absalom gets tangled in a tree and is killed by Joab. Messengers tell David about the battle and the death of his son.

2 Samuel 19, David’s Rise: David weeps for his son. He makes his way back to Jerusalem, pardons those who wronged him, and honors those who honored him.

2 Samuel 20, Sheba’s Revolt: Sheba leads the Israelites away from David. Joab pursues Sheba and besieges him in the city of Abel. The siege ends when Joab is given Sheba’s severed head.

2 Samuel 21, A Deal with the Gibeonites; David’s Close Call; Victory in Philistia: Saul’s descendants are killed by the Gibeonites. After a close call in battle, David retires from the military. His men defeat many Philistine warriors.

2 Samuel 22 (≈Psalm 18), David’s Thanksgiving Song: David sings a thanksgiving song praising Yahweh for saving him from his enemies.

2 Samuel 23, David’s Theophany; David’s Warriors: David relates a message he once received from God. David’s warriors and their military exploits are enumerated.

2 Samuel 24, David’s Census and its Repercussions: David takes a census of the people. God is enraged and kills 70,000 Israelites with a plague. David propitiates God with burnt sacrifices.

silver coins bagHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Sarah dies and Abraham buys the cave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite and buries her in it.

II. Photo

Abraham buys the cave of Machpelah: “Abraham paid out to Ephron the money that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites — four hundred shekels of silver at the going merchants’ rate.” (v. 16)

III. Select Verses

1-2: Sarah’s lifetime — the span of Sarah’s life — came to one hundred and twenty-seven years. Sarah died in Kiriath-arba — now Hebron — in the land of Canaan; and Abraham proceeded to mourn for Sarah and to bewail her.

17-20: So Ephron’s land in Machpelah, near Mamre — the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the confines of that field — passed to Abraham as his possession, in the presence of the Hittites, of all who entered the gate of his town. And then Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre — now Hebron — in the land of Canaan. Thus the field with its cave passed from the Hittites to Abraham, as a burial site.

IV. Outline

1. The years of Sarah’s life

2a. Sarah’s death

2b-4. Abraham mourns and asks the Hittites for a burial plot

5-6. The Hittites grant Abraham his request

7-9. Abraham asks for the Machpelah cave from Ephron at full price

10-16. Abraham and Ephron agree on a 400 sheqel price and make the transaction

17-18. The transaction is made before the Hittites

19. Abraham buries Sarah

20. Summary: Abraham bought the cave from the Hittites for burial

V. Comment

Although Genesis 23 concerns the death and burial of Sarah, only three verses are devoted to that topic (1-2, 19). The rest of the chapter concerns Abraham’s purchase of the cave of Machpelah in order to bury Sarah, not the burial itself. Stephen C. Russell notes a number of peculiarities in this chapter including the impression that Abraham buys the field from Ephron and the Hittites, not just from Ephron. This can be seen from the initial discussion between Abraham and the Hittites that do not involve Ephron (vv. 3-10), the emphasis that the field was sold “in the presence of the Hittites” (v. 18), and the repetition that the “cave passed from the Hittites to Abraham” (v. 20). Another peculiarity is that the purpose of the acquisition, i.e., the burial of Sarah, is mentioned excessively (vss. 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13) whereas the actual burial is only devoted one verse (v. 19). For Russell, these peculiarities can be explained with an understanding ancient and modern tribal economies. In some tribal societies, ownership is not exclusive to one person; many people can have different types of rights to one piece of land. A king might own the rights to choose what a piece of land is used for and who gets to use it, though the king may not have the right to use it himself. Similarly, a citizen might own the rights to use a piece of land for pasture but not agriculture, and the king may be able to grant the land to another family upon his death. This joint ownership is attested in documents from ancient Mari and Ugarit, which mention sales “from so-and-so and the king” and sales “from so-and-so and the tribal elders.” In the case of our chapter, Abraham is buying the cave of Machpelah from two parties. First, he buys the rights to use the land as a burial cave from the Hittite elders, who serve as wardens. Second, he buys the cave from Ephron, who had been using it for another purpose. According to Russell, “Abraham seeks the right to use land in a particular way: as a burial site. As such he requires rights that will be transferable to his heirs. Although Ephron has an estate of production in the land, the Bnei Heth hold an estate of administration in Ephron’s land. Their involvement in the transaction thus guarantees the permanent transfer to Abraham of rights to use the land as a burial site, including the right to bequeath the land to his heirs.” (170)

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

Stephen C. Russell, “Abraham’s Purchase of Ephron’s Land in Anthropological Perspective,” Biblical Interpretation 21-2 (2013), 153-170.

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tied hands ropeHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Yahweh commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac and Abraham lifts the knife in readiness. Yahweh stops Abraham and blesses him with powerful and numerous offspring. The descendants of Abraham’s brother Nahor are listed.

II. Photo

Abraham is prepared to sacrifice his son: “He bound his son Isaac; he laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham picked up the knife to slay his son.” (vv. 9-10)

III. Select Verses

1-2:  Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test. He said to him, “Abraham,” and he answered, “Here I am.” And He said, “Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you.”

6-8: Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. He himself took the firestone and the knife; and the two walked off together. Then Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he answered, “Yes, my son.” And he said, “Here are the firestone and the wood; but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “God will see to the sheep for His burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them walked on together.

9-13: They arrived at the place of which God had told him. Abraham built an altar there; he laid out the wood; he bound his son Isaac; he laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to slay his son.  Then an angel of the LORD called to him from heaven: “Abraham! Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.”  And he said, “Do not raise your hand against the boy, or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your favored one, from Me.” When Abraham looked up, his eye fell upon a ram, caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son.

15-18: The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By Myself I swear, the LORD declares: Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your favored one, I will bestow My blessing upon you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands on the seashore; and your descendants shall seize the gates of their foes. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed My command.”

IV. Outline

1-19. The test of Abraham

    1a. Introduction to Abraham’s test

    1b-2. Yahweh tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in Moriah

    3. Abraham prepares for the sacrifice and journey

    4-6. On the third day of the journey, Abraham and Isaac arrive

    7-8. Isaac asks where the sheep is, Abraham replies that Yahweh will provide

    9-10. Abraham binds Isaac to an altar and prepares to slaughter him

    11-12. A messenger of Yahweh tells Abraham to stop; it is now known Abraham fears Yahweh

    13. Abraham sacrifices a ram that appears in the thicket

    14. Abraham names the site “Yahweh appears”

    15-18. Yahweh blesses Abraham via a messenger with numerous, powerful, and blessed descendants

    19. Abraham returns to Beersheba

20-24. The genealogy of Nahor, Abraham’s brother

    20-23. The children of Nahor and Milcah

    24. The children of Nahor and his concubine Reumah

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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well water bucket desertHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Abraham and Sarah have a son in their old age and the boy, who is circumcised on the eighth day, is named Isaac (yitzhaq) because people will laugh (yitzhaq) at the age of his parents. Upon Sarah’s request and Yahweh’s blessing, Abraham sends his slave Hagar and their mutual son Ishmael into the desert, where Yahweh takes care of the two. Abraham and Abimelech make a pact demonstrating Abraham’s ownership of Beer Sheba (“the well of seven”) with seven ewes.

II. Photo

Yahweh saves Hagar and Ishmael: “Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and let the boy drink.” (v. 19)

III. Select Verses

4: And when his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him.

6-7: Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham That Sarah would suckle children! Yet I have borne a son in his old age.”

10-13: She said to Abraham, “Cast out that slave-woman and her son, for the son of that slave shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly, for it concerned a son of his. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed over the boy or your slave; whatever Sarah tells you, do as she says, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be continued for you.  As for the son of the slave-woman, I will make a nation of him, too, for he is your seed.”

14-19: Early next morning Abraham took some bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar. He placed them over her shoulder, together with the child, and sent her away. And she wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water was gone from the skin, she left the child under one of the bushes, and went and sat down at a distance, a bowshot away; for she thought, “Let me not look on as the child dies.” And sitting thus afar, she burst into tears. God heard the cry of the boy, and an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heeded the cry of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and let the boy drink.

30-31: He replied, “You are to accept these seven ewes from me as proof that I dug this well.”  Hence that place was called Beer-sheba, for there the two of them swore an oath.

IV. Outline

1-8. The birth of Isaac

    1-2. Yahweh grants Sarah a son

    3. Abraham names the boy Isaac

    4. Circumcision on the 8th day

    5. Abraham’s age: 100

    6-7. Sarah’s etymology for Isaac (yitzhaq): people will laugh (yitzchaq) at the parents’ age

    8. Abraham held a feast on Isaac’s weaning day

9-21. The expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael

    9-10. Sarah tells Abraham to cast off Hagar the slave and her son Ishmael born to Abraham

    11-13. Yahweh agrees with the plan; Isaac will inherit Abraham and Ishmael will become a nation

    14. Abraham sends Hagar and Ishamel off with some bread and water

    15-16. Dying of thirst, Hagar distances herself from Ishmael and cries

    17-18. Yahweh hears Ishmael’s cries and informs Hagar that Ishmael will become a nation

    19. A well appears to Hagar and she drinks with Ishmael

    20-21. Ishmael becomes a bowman in the desert and marries an Egyptian

22-34. Abraham and Abimelech’s pact

    22-24. Abraham swears to be honest to Abimelech and his general Phicol

    25. Abraham reproaches Abimelech for the loss of a well

    26. Abimelech denies knowledge

    27-31. Abraham and Abimelech make a pact with seven ewes, hence the place was named Beer Sheba (“the well of seven”)

    32. Abimelech and Phicol return to Philistia

33. Abraham plants a tamarisk tree and calls in the name of Yahweh at Beer Sheba

34. Abraham dwells in Philistia for many days

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

Note: There is some confusion as to who is acting in verse 33, Abraham or Abimelech. As pointed out by the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, the Samaritan, Greek, Syriac, and Vulgate versions all include the name Abraham, which makes sense because Abraham was the one dwelling in Beer Sheba.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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pregnant women belliesHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Abimelech king of Gerar takes Sarah when Abraham tells him she is his sister. Yahweh appears to Abimelech and tells him not to touch Sarah, lest he and the members of his household die. Abimelech returns Sarah to Abraham along with land, silver, and cattle, and Yahweh allows the women of Gerar to give birth again.

II. Photo

The women of Gerar are no longer barren: “Abraham then prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his slave girls, so that they bore children.” (v. 17)

III. Select Verses

1-2: Abraham journeyed from there to the region of the Negeb and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was sojourning in Gerar, Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.

6-7: And God said to him in the dream, “I knew that you did this with a blameless heart, and so I kept you from sinning against Me. That was why I did not let you touch her. Therefore, restore the man’s wife — since he is a prophet, he will intercede for you — to save your life. If you fail to restore her, know that you shall die, you and all that are yours.”

11-12: “I thought,” said Abraham, “surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. And besides, she is in truth my sister, my father’s daughter though not my mother’s; and she became my wife.

14-16: Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham; and he restored his wife Sarah to him. And Abimelech said, “Here, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” And to Sarah he said, “I herewith give your brother a thousand pieces of silver; this will serve you as vindication before all who are with you, and you are cleared before everyone.”

17-18: Abraham then prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his slave girls, so that they bore children;  for the LORD had closed fast every womb of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, the wife of Abraham.

IV. Outline

1. Abraham’s group travels to Gerar

2. Abraham introduces Sarah as his sister, and king Abimelech takes her

3-7. God warns Abimelech to release Sarah, lest he and his people die

8. Abimelech informs his servants, who are terrified

9-10. Abimelech confronts Abraham about his lie

11-13. Abraham reveals his distrust of Abimelech and his own paternal kinship to Sarah

14-16. Abimelech gives Abraham Sarah, cattle, silver, and land

17. Abraham prays and Abimelech’s women are able to give birth

18. Note: Yahweh had closed the wombs of Abimelech’s women on account of Sarah


V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

Note: a number of commentators suggest that v. 18, which provides the context for v. 17, is either a gloss or that it originally had another place in the narrative.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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hqdefaultHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

The townspeople of Sodom attempt to rape the two travelers, who are staying with Lot. Yahweh destroys Sodom and Gomorrah but saves Lot and his daughters, though Lot’s wife is turned to salt. Lot’s daughters cohabit with their father and give birth to the nations of Moab and Ammon .

II. Photo

Lot’s wife is no more: “Lot’s wife looked back, and she thereupon turned into a pillar of salt.” (v. 26)

III. Select Verses

4-11: They had not yet lain down, when the townspeople, the men of Sodom, young and old — all the people to the last man — gathered about the house. And they shouted to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may be intimate with them.” So Lot went out to them to the entrance, shut the door behind him, and said, “I beg you, my friends, do not commit such a wrong. Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please; but do not do anything to these men, since they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand back! The fellow,” they said, “came here as an alien, and already he acts the ruler! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” And they pressed hard against the person of Lot, and moved forward to break the door. But the men stretched out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And the people who were at the entrance of the house, young and old, they struck with blinding light, so that they were helpless to find the entrance.

15-16: As dawn broke, the angels urged Lot on, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two remaining daughters, lest you be swept away because of the iniquity of the city.” Still he delayed. So the men seized his hand, and the hands of his wife and his two daughters — in the LORD’s mercy on him — and brought him out and left him outside the city.

23-26: As the sun rose upon the earth and Lot entered Zoar, the LORD rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulfurous fire from the LORD out of heaven. He annihilated those cities and the entire Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation of the ground. Lot’s wife looked back, and she thereupon turned into a pillar of salt.

29: Thus it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain and annihilated the cities where Lot dwelt, God was mindful of Abraham and removed Lot from the midst of the upheaval.

36-38: Thus the two daughters of Lot came to be with child by their father. The older one bore a son and named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. And the younger also bore a son, and she called him Ben-ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.

IV. Outline

1-29. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

    1-3. Lot convinces the two visitors to lodge by him 

    4-5. The townspeople demand the men for sex

    6-8. Lot offers his daughters instead

    9. The townspeople attempt to break in

    10-11. The visitors shield Lot and blind the townspeople at the door

    12-13. The visitors tell Lot to gather his family before they destroy the city

    14. Lot’s sons-in-law do not believe the warning

    15-17. The visitors drag Lot and his family out of Sodom as a kindness

    18-22. The visitors allow Lot to flee to Zoar, understood to mean “insignificance”

    23-25. Yahweh destroys the people and vegetation of Sodom and Gomorrah with sulfurous fire

    26. Lot’s wife looked back and turned to a pillar of salt

    27-28. Abraham views the destruction

    29. Lot was saved on account of Abraham

30-38. The creation of Moab and Ammon

    30. Lot and his daughters flee to a cave in the highlands

    31-36. The daughters, who think the world is destroyed, give Lot wine and cohabitate with him 

    37. The older daughter bears Moab, meaning “from the father”

    38. The youger daughter bears Ammon, meaning “the son of my people”

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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54f64899e6298_-_lazy-meatball-kebabs-ms1013-xlargeHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Yahweh visits Abraham in the guise of three travelers and promises a child for Sarah, who is menopausal. Yahweh tells Abraham about the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and Abraham convinces Yahweh to spare Sodom if it contains ten righteous men.

II. Photo

Abraham feeds his visitors: “He took curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared and set these before them; and he waited on them under the tree as they ate.” (v. 8)

III. Select Verses

1-2a. The LORD appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre; he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot. Looking up, he saw three men standing near him.

9-15. They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he replied, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women. And Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment — with my husband so old?” Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am?’ Is anything too wondrous for the LORD? I will return to you at the time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was frightened. But He replied, “You did laugh.”

23-26. Abraham came forward and said, “Will You sweep away the innocent along with the guilty? What if there should be fifty innocent within the city; will You then wipe out the place and not forgive it for the sake of the innocent fifty who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to bring death upon the innocent as well as the guilty, so that innocent and guilty fare alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” And the LORD answered, “If I find within the city of Sodom fifty innocent ones, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.”

IV. Outline

1-15. Yahweh visits Abraham in the guise of three men

    1. Introduction: A hot day at the terebinths of Mamre

    2-5. Abraham invites three men over to eat

    6-8a. Abraham, Sarah, and a servant prepare the meal

    8b. The men eat

    9-10. The men promise a child to Sarah by the next year

    11. Note: Sarah was old and menopausal

    12. Sarah laughs (Hebrew “tizḥak,” similar to Isaac/”yitzḥak”)

    13-14. Yahweh criticizes Sarah and promises Abraham a child

    15. Sarah denies her laughter but Abraham does not believe her

16-33. Abraham pleads on behalf of Sodom

    16. The men are prepared to travel to Sodom

    17-21. Yahweh decides to tell Abraham about Sodom’s and Gomorrah’s sins

    22. The men head out for Sodom

    23-26. Abraham convinces Yahweh to spare Sodom on account of 50 righteous men

    27-28. Abraham convinces Yahweh to spare Sodom on account of 45 righteous men

    29. Abraham convinces Yahweh to spare Sodom on account of 40 righteous men

    30. Abraham convinces Yahweh to spare Sodom on account of 30 righteous men

    31. Abraham convinces Yahweh to spare Sodom on account of 20 righteous men

    32. Abraham convinces Yahweh to spare Sodom on account of 10 righteous men

    33. Yahweh and Abraham depart from one another


V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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