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Genesis 18

Yahweh Appears Again to Abraham
1Yahweh appeared once again to Abraham while he lived by the oak grove of Mamre. During the hottest part of the day, as Abraham sat at his tent door, 2he looked up and suddenly saw three men standing nearby. As soon as he saw them, he ran from his tent to welcome them. He bowed down to the ground # 18:2 This is the first place the Hebrew word shachah is found in the Hebrew Bible. It is most often translated “bow down in worship.” 3and said, “My Lord, # 18:3 This is the word ’Adonai (Lord), a name used over five hundred times for God. Abraham was waiting for his day of visitation at his tent (tabernacle) door. The tent or tabernacle is frequently used as a metaphor for our bodies, our lives on this earth. Abraham was prepared and ready for this supernatural day of visitation. We have to get outside of our tents (limitations, flesh life) if we are to believe the promises of God (see Gen. 15:5). Jesus said that Abraham saw him (see John 8:56). When Abraham saw the men, he knew it was the Lord coming to visit him. Verse 3 makes it clear that it was Yahweh who appeared in human form (a theophany). The two other “men” were angels in human form. See Gen. 19:1. if I have found favor in your sight, don’t pass me by. Stay for a while with your servant. 4I’ll have some water brought to you all so that you can wash your feet. # 18:4 What sweet intimacy we see in this chapter! Three times Scripture tells us that God made Abraham his friend. In 2 Chron. 20:7, God gave the land to Abraham, his friend. In Isa. 41:8, God called Abraham his friend. And in James 2:23 (see footnote), because Abraham believed, he was called God’s friend. You, too, have been given an inheritance since you believed. You are now God’s chosen friend. Rest here a while under the tree. 5Since you’ve stopped by your servant’s home and honored me with your presence, I’ll have food prepared for you so that you can be refreshed; then you can go on your way.”
“Very well,” they responded, “go ahead and do as you have said.”
6Abraham hurried back into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick, we have guests! Get three measures # 18:6 Or “seahs.” A seah is over at least seven liters of dry measurement. Orthodox Judaism measures a seah at over fourteen liters. This would have made a very large batch of bread. Abraham prepared much more food than needed for three hungry men. It is always good to be extravagant when we give to God and others. of fine flour, knead it, and bake some bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to the herd, selected a tender choice calf, and told his servant, “Hurry—prepare this calf for my guests!” 8Then he brought the meal they had prepared—roasted meat, bread, curds, and milk—and set it before his guests. Abraham stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9They asked him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” # 18:9 This was a statement of revelation-knowledge, for how did he know that Abraham was married and that his wife’s name was Sarah?
He answered, “Over there—in the tent.”
10Then one spoke up and said, “I will return about this time next year, when your wife Sarah will certainly have a son.” Sarah overheard it, for she was at the tent door not far behind him. 11Now, both Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. # 18:11 Or “it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.” In other words, she was past menopause.
12Sarah laughed to herself with disbelief, saying, “A woman my age—have a baby? After I’m worn out # 18:12 Or “withered” or “dried up.” will I now enjoy marital bliss and conceive—and with my aged husband?”
13Yahweh knew her thoughts and asked Abraham, “Why is Sarah laughing, saying, ‘How can a woman my age have a baby?’ 14Do you think there is anything too marvelous # 18:14 This same Hebrew word is used as a title of the Lord Jesus in Isa. 9:6 (“The Wonderful One”). Nothing is too extraordinary for God! He is Wonderful! Yahweh’s question remained unanswered for three thousand years until Jeremiah the prophet responded, “There is nothing too hard for you!” (Jer. 32:17). He delights in doing what is impossible to man. See Luke 1:37. for Yahweh? I will appear to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son!”
15Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I wasn’t laughing.”
But he said, “Yes, you were!”
Abraham the Intercessor
16Afterward, the three men departed and walked toward Sodom, # 18:16 Or “looked toward the face of Sodom.” and Abraham went off with them to see them on their way. 17As they walked, Yahweh said, “Should I really hide from Abraham what I intend to do? 18After all, he will become a great and powerful nation, and every nation on earth will seek bliss like his. # 18:18 Or “all nations on earth will [long to] be blessed as he is blessed.” 19It is true; I have singled him out as my own, # 18:19 Or “I have known (Hb. yada’) him.” The Hebrew word yada’ has a universe of meaning that includes “intimacy,” “choosing,” “knowing fully,” “acting justly,” “sharing love,” “to take someone into your heart,” and more. so that he will lead # 18:19 Or “instruct” or “enjoin after him.” his family and household to follow my ways # 18:19 This is the first reference to the “ways” of Yahweh, an idea found over fifty times in the Old Testament and twelve times in the New Testament (i.e., “way of the Lord”). and live by what is right and just. I will fulfill all the promises that I have spoken to him.”
20Yahweh explained to Abraham, “The outcry # 18:20 Or “shriek,” “lament,” “wail,” “shout,” or “outrage.” The Septuagint reads “their outcry,” i.e., the outcry against the people of Sodom and the indictment against them. The sin of Sodom was blatant and outrageous. See Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:49. The voices that cried out would have included those of the people suffering the abuses of those in power in their homes and cities. Sin has a voice that cries out for justice, but the blood of Jesus has a greater voice! for justice against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 21that I must go down and see if their wicked actions are as great as the outrage # 18:21 Or “according to the outrage that has come to me they have completed.” The Hebrew word for completed is kalah, meaning “finished” or “completed.” God already knew the extent of their wickedness. He was searching to see if there is still a reason to withhold judgment. that has come to me, and if not, then I will know.” # 18:21 This is the word yada’, the same word God used in v. 19: “to know Abraham [fully, intimately, firsthand knowledge].” The “if” God used in this verse sparked hope in Abraham that God might relent of his judgment.
22As Yahweh’s two companions went on toward Sodom, Abraham remained there, as Yahweh paused before Abraham. # 18:22 This verse is listed as a rare instance of Masoretic interference with the text known as tiqqun soferim or “scribal corrections.” The implication is that the text needed to be amended to read “Abraham still stood before the Lord.” This translation has left this phrase in its original state, as translated from the oldest manuscripts and ancient external sources. God paused before Abraham, giving him time to ponder and ask for mercy for the city. God waits for our intercession. God wants us to plead for mercy even when judgment is imminent. 23So Abraham came forward to present his case before Yahweh, and said, “Are you really going to sweep away the righteous while you judge the wicked? 24What if you find fifty righteous people in Sodom? Isn’t your mercy great enough to forgive? Why judge the entire city at the cost of the fifty righteous who live there? 25That’s not who you are—one who would slay the righteous with the wicked, treating them both the same way! Wouldn’t the Merciful Judge of all the earth always do what is right?” # 18:25 Or “act justly?” Abraham appeals to Yahweh not only to spare the righteous but also to express his merciful heart. Yahweh’s character, not the character of the people of Sodom, was on the line. Abraham stood alone before Yahweh and plead for the lives of wicked people to be spared. This moved God’s heart, and he granted each request Abraham made—until Abraham stopped asking. Abraham asked six times. What would have happened if Abraham had asked the seventh time? Abraham did not change the mind of God; he demonstrated what was already on God’s heart.
26And Yahweh said, “Alright. If I find fifty righteous in Sodom, I will spare the whole city for their sake.”
27Abraham spoke up again and said, “I am just a man formed from earth’s dust and ashes but allow me to be so bold as to ask you, my Lord. 28What if there are only five lacking, and you only find forty-five righteous in Sodom? It’s not who you are to destroy the entire city for lack of five righteous people.”
And Yahweh said, “Alright. If I find forty-five righteous in Sodom, I will spare the whole city.”
29“But what if there are only forty?” Abraham asked further.
Yahweh answered, “Alright. If I only find forty, I will spare the city.”
30Abraham paused—then he said, “Lord, please don’t be offended with me, and let me speak . . . What if there are only thirty?”
Yahweh answered, “Alright. If I find only thirty, I will spare the city.”
31Abraham ventured even further, asking, “Allow me to dare speak this way to you, my Lord. But what if you find there only twenty righteous?”
Yahweh answered, “Alright. For the sake of the twenty I will not destroy the city.”
32Then Abraham took a deep breath and asked, “Once more, please don’t let my Lord be angry with me if I make but one more request. What if you find only ten righteous?”
And Yahweh answered, “Alright. I will extend my mercy and not destroy the city for the sake of ten righteous.”
33Yahweh finished speaking with Abraham. He immediately went on his way, and Abraham returned home.

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Genesis 18: TPT





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