Genesis 18

Sodom and Gomorrah are to be destroyed
For more, see a discussion under Revelation. The link is to a table, but you might want to scroll up to learn more about the fire and brimstone. re1410t-s&g.
.1 ¶ And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
.2  And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him [by Abraham]: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
 3  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:
 4  Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
 5  And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
   1 - The Lord appeared An introduction to the scene to be unfolded.
   2 - Three men stood The three came, as we will see, with a message of warning. The story that ends in fire and brimstone. In Revelation 14, three angels warn the world. The message of the third warns that Babylon will be destroyed with fire and brimstone. Symbolism is drawn from what is about to literally happen here in Genesis. Of course, this story stands on its own merit.
  3 - My Lord The word for "lord" is 'adonai meaning "Sir." For the divine Lord, the word is Yahwhe. Although we would not rule out that this could have been the preincarnate Messiah.
 6  And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.
 7  And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
.8  And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
  6 - Abraham hastened ...He was very courteous. He respected the value of the time of his visitors. Compare Paul's counsel to be kind to strangers he1302.
.9 ¶ And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
 10  And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
.11  Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
.12  Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
  9 - Where is Sarah? The visitors would be with only the men. This question was probably not in harmony with the cultural expectation of the time. But it revealed that the visitors who knew the wife's name were more than men. She had not witnessed previous visits from the Lord and was to hear the promise of a son for herself. Abraham already believed ro0419.
  12 - Sarah laughed within Not because the statement was humorous but in doubt and maybe scorn. ge1717.
 13  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
 14  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
 15  Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
  14 - Is any thing too hard? The question was in response to Sarah's doubt.
  14 - Time appointed Apparently at the end of the term for pregnancy although it could have been a year later.
 16 ¶ And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
.17  And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
 18  Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
.19  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
.20  And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
.21  I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
.22  And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
   17 - Shall I hide God announces His significant actions to His trusted servants am0307.
  19 - Way of the Lord "The true religion; God's WAY; that in which God walks himself, and in which, of course, his followers walk also; to do justice and judgment; not only to preserve the truth in their creed, but maintain it in their practice." (Clarke's Commentary).
   21 - I will ... see God always investigates before punishing. Obviously He knew well what was going on in Sodom. This is clear from the previous verse. Judgments like this are so we will know that He has examined the situation. Before the final punishment of the wicked at the time of Christ's return, we may expect a time of judgment re1407d, ez01pic, and see on da0525.
   "language used after the manner of men. These cities were to be made examples to all future ages of God's severity; and therefore ample proof given that the judgment was neither rash nor excessive (Eze 18:23; Jer 18:7)." (JFB)
.23 ¶ And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
 24  Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
.25  That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
 26  And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
  23 - Abraham drew near "This expression seems to indicate more than a mere physical approach to the Lord. The Hebrew word translated "drew near" nagash, is sometimes used to indicate a reaching out of the mind and heart toward God in contrition and worship ex3020, is2913, je3021." (SDABC).
   23 - Destroy the righteous with the wicked This was not actually God's plan. In the next verse "the place" would not be destroyed. The righteous would be taken out. Compare similar expressions in the NT he0416, he1022.
.27  And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
.28  Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
  27 - To speak unto the Lord Abraham, dust and ashes but will speak to God.
 29  And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
 30  And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
 31  And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
.32  And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
   32 - Not ... for ten's sake In the great punishment at the coming of Jesus, many will be saved but we may expect the vast majority to be destroyed as in the case of Sodom mt0713.
33  And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.    Went his way Abraham saw him as a man.
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