Genesis 18 – Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

Genesis 18

You could study Genesis 18 several times and get material for a different Bible class out of it each time. First, there are the three visitors Abraham gets, and his knowledge that the Lord has come calling. We know that one of them is the Lord, and Abraham quickly comes to realize it, but we wonder about the other two. Are they simply angelic beings that are accompanying him? Is one of them the son of God? We don’t know, and as Moses wrote this, he did not have divine instruction to elaborate. Abraham makes haste to bring them a “morsel of bread” – which ends up being a freshly killed and prepared calf, and cakes from three seahs of flour he has Sarah prepare. A seah is said to be roughly 7 quarts! Then after they ate, the Lord makes His promise again that when He returns the next year, Sarah will bear him a son, which provokes an interesting exchange.

The rest of the chapter is about God’s displeasure and plans for dealing with the wickedness at Sodom, which He shares with Abraham. Why does God tell Abraham what He is about to do? His word tells us exactly why in verses 18-19. The Lord has “chosen” him and made Him His in the deepest manner. So much so that He is going to bless all the nations of the earth through him, and He wants him and those after him to do righteousness and justice. God’s visit to His friend (for that is a big part of what Abraham is to Him) was out of His concern and desire to instruct. What God has planned for Sodom is terrible, but He cares enough to tell him first and have his people learn from it.

What follows is the famous bargaining session between Abraham; and that ends with God promising He would not destroy it if He can find 10 righteous people there. Think about how just a few righteous people in the right place can make a difference.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.


Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


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