Genesis 18: The Three Visitors; Abraham Pleads on Behalf of Sodom

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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