Genesis chapter 18

Abraham’s three visitors. Abraham intercedes for Sodom.





VERSE 1. The LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.

The LORD appeared. This is a very powerful experience!


VERSE 2. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood near him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth,

three men. Who are these three men?

  • Three angels?
  • The three Persons of the Holy Trinity?
  • God the Father plus two angels?

he ran to meet them. When three strangers arrive, Abraham welcomes them into his camp and treats them like royalty. This is called “desert hospitality.” We are to do the same. Read  more »

bowed himself to the earth. This is a posture for worship.


VERSE 3. and said, “My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don’t go away from your servant.


VERSE 4. Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.


VERSE 5. I will get a piece of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant.” They said, “Very well, do as you have said.”


VERSE 6. Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly prepare three seahs of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.”

seahs. One seah is about 7 liters or 1.9 gallons or 0.8 pecks


VERSE 7. Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it.


VERSE 8. He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate.


VERSE 9. They asked him, “Where is Sarah, your wife?” He said, “There, in the tent.”

Where is Sarah, your wife? The three visitors knew about Sarah, even though she had not yet come up in the conversation.

Also, they knew her “new” name. They called her “Sarah,” not “Sarai.”


VERSE 10. He said, “I will certainly return to you at about this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.

He said. One of the three visitors was speaking.


VERSE 11. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.


VERSE 12. Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

will I have pleasure. Sarah sees this upcoming sexual encounter as “pleasure.”

From our studies in Biblical Sexuality, we learned that the biblical norm is for a husband to learn how to bring his wife to the fullness of sexual pleasure.


VERSE 13. The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Will I really bear a child when I am old?’


VERSE 14. Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes around, and Sarah will have a son.”

Is anything too hard for the LORD? We often forget that God is limitlessly powerful. We often ask such trivial things of him. But he delights when we ask great and mighty things. Read more »


VERSE 15. Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”




VERSE 16. The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way.

looked toward Sodom. They are about to go destroy Sodom.


VERSE 17. The LORD said, “Will I hide from Abraham what I do,

The LORD said. To whom is the LORD God speaking?


VERSE 18. since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him?

All the nations of the earth will find blessing in him. This is a GREAT promise!


VERSE 19. For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that the LORD may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.”

to do. We keep the way of the LORD God by doing. We are do do things. We are to practice action-faith.


VERSE 20. The LORD said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous,

their sin is very grievous. What was their sin? Many people assume it was homosexual activity. However, the Bible itself tells us. It provides the answer:

Ezekiel 16:49. Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. (NIV translation)

The sins of the men of Sodom were these:

  • arrogant. They were prideful.
  • overfed. They were gluttons.
  • unconcerned. They were self-centered.
  • did not help the poor and needy. They neglected to help poor people.

These are the same behaviors as many Christians of today:

  • arrogant. Many of us are prideful, expressing scorn for people of other faiths.
  • overfed. Many of us are obese.
  • unconcerned. Many of us are deeply self-centered.
  • did not help the poor and needy. Many of us express contempt for poor people.


VERSE 21. I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.”


VERSE 22. The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.


VERSE 23. Abraham came near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked?


VERSE 24. What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it?


VERSE 25. May it be far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?”


VERSE 26. The LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake.”


VERSE 27. Abraham answered, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord, although I am dust and ashes.


VERSE 28. What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?” He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”


VERSE 29. He spoke to him yet again, and said, “What if there are forty found there?” He said, “I will not do it for the forty’s sake.”


VERSE 30. He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?” He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”


VERSE 31. He said, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord. What if there are twenty found there?” He said, “I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.”


VERSE 32. He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”


VERSE 33. The LORD went his way as soon as he had finished communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.