18:1-19:38, THE FILTH OF HOMOSEXUALITY CALLED DOWN THE WRATH OF GOD UPON UNGODLY CITIES OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH.
18:1 AND THE LORD APPEARED UNTO HIM IN THE PLAINS OF MAMRE: AND HE SAT IN THE TENT DOOR IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY;
**THE LORD: Not a human being, but Deity.
18:2 AND HE LIFT UP HIS EYES AND LOOKED, AND, LO, THREE MEN STOOD BY HIM: AND WHEN HE SAW [THEM], HE RAN TO MEET THEM FROM THE TENT DOOR, AND BOWED HIMSELF TOWARD THE GROUND,
A.The how of THE LORD's appearance -- in some way He made Himself visible apparently as one of three men.
B.Note that Abraham recognized Deity: He bowed in worship.
18:3 AND SAID, MY LORD, IF NOW I HAVE FOUND FAVOUR IN THY SIGHT, PASS NOT AWAY, I PRAY THEE, FROM THY SERVANT:
18:4 LET A LITTLE WATER, I PRAY YOU, BE FETCHED, AND WASH YOUR FEET, AND REST YOURSELVES UNDER THE TREE:
18:5 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.
18:6 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.
18:7 AND ABRAHAM RAN UNTO THE HERD, AND FETCHED A CALF TENDER AND GOOD, AND GAVE [IT] UNTO A YOUNG MAN; AND HE HASTED TO DRESS IT.
18:8 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.
A.It was not unusual in that Eastern culture and at that time to extend this much hospitality to travelling strangers.
B.And remember that Abraham recognized Deity's Presence.
18:9 AND THEY SAID UNTO HIM, WHERE [IS] SARAH THY WIFE? AND HE SAID, BEHOLD, IN THE TENT.
18:10 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.
A.There were three men, AND THEY SAID...
B.But One of them was prominent, AND HE SAID, I...
18:11 NOW ABRAHAM AND SARAH [WERE] OLD [AND] WELL STRICKEN IN AGE; [AND] IT CEASED TO BE WITH SARAH AFTER THE MANNER OF WOMEN.
18:12 THEREFORE SARAH LAUGHED WITHIN HERSELF, SAYING, AFTER I AM WAXED OLD SHALL I HAVE PLEASURE, MY LORD BEING OLD ALSO?
**MY LORD: This is not worship -- she is not calling Abraham Deity (note that the word LORD is not capitalized); she was recognizing his headship over her - cf 1Pe 3:6 and context.
18:13 AND THE LORD SAID UNTO ABRAHAM, WHEREFORE DID SARAH LAUGH, SAYING, SHALL I OF A SURETY BEAR A CHILD, WHICH AM OLD?
A.THE LORD: The word is now all upper case, denoting Deity.
B.We know little here, but we might conclude that here were two angels, along with the special "angel of the Lord," Who appears to us to have been Christ.
18:14 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.
18:15 THEN SARAH DENIED, SAYING, I LAUGHED NOT; FOR SHE WAS AFRAID. AND HE SAID, NAY; BUT THOU DIDST LAUGH.
**Just as Eve would not admit her guilt, so now Sarah does not admit hers.
18:16 AND THE MEN ROSE UP FROM THENCE, AND LOOKED TOWARD SODOM: AND ABRAHAM WENT WITH THEM TO BRING THEM ON THE WAY.
18:17 AND THE LORD SAID, SHALL I HIDE FROM ABRAHAM THAT THING WHICH I DO;
**Note the pronoun used by Deity -- THE LORD SAID...I...
18:18 SEEING THAT ABRAHAM SHALL SURELY BECOME A GREAT AND MIGHTY NATION, AND ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED IN HIM?
18:19 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.
**This Verse is an illustration of the Patriarchal System.
18:20 AND THE LORD SAID, BECAUSE THE CRY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH IS GREAT, AND BECAUSE THEIR SIN IS VERY GRIEVOUS;
18:21 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.
A.Did He not know? Could He have known? - cf Heb 4:13.
B.This may be accomodative language (as His HANDS and EARS); if He speaks on our level, we better grasp the idea. So perhaps this comment is for Abraham's benefit, as it draws him into the conversation and helps him (and us) see the absolute knowledge of God and the depth of His grace.
C.I WILL KNOW: Suggesting that He was going to impress them with their sin and hold them accountable - cf Chap. 11.
D.These cities were evil before Lot moved there (Gen 13:12-13); and now God can tolerate their sinfulness no longer -- they cannot escape His wrath being poured out in judgment.
18:22 AND THE MEN TURNED THEIR FACES FROM THENCE, AND WENT TOWARD SODOM: BUT ABRAHAM STOOD YET BEFORE THE LORD.
A.Careful reading indicates that two of THE MEN...WENT TOWARD SODOM, while THE LORD stayed in the presence of Abraham.
B.The TWO MEN later are called ANGELS - Gen 19:1.
18:23 AND ABRAHAM DREW NEAR, AND SAID, WILT THOU ALSO DESTROY THE RIGHTEOUS WITH THE WICKED?
A.Abraham begins reasoning with the Lord, interceding for the people of Sodom (Lot was living there).
B.This amusing (to us) language has been spoken of as an effort on Abraham's part to "Jew the Lord down!"
18:24 PERADVENTURE THERE BE FIFTY RIGHTEOUS WITHIN THE CITY: WILT THOU ALSO DESTROY AND NOT SPARE THE PLACE FOR THE FIFTY RIGHTEOUS THAT [ARE] THEREIN?
18:25 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?
18:26 AND THE LORD SAID, IF I FIND IN SODOM FIFTY RIGHTEOUS WITHIN THE CITY, THEN I WILL SPARE ALL THE PLACE FOR THEIR SAKES.
18:27 AND ABRAHAM ANSWERED AND SAID, BEHOLD NOW, I HAVE TAKEN UPON ME TO SPEAK UNTO THE LORD, WHICH [AM BUT] DUST AND ASHES:
18:28 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].
18:29 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.
18:30 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.
18:31 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.
18:32 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.
18:33 AND THE LORD WENT HIS WAY, AS SOON AS HE HAD LEFT COMMUNING WITH ABRAHAM: AND ABRAHAM RETURNED UNTO HIS PLACE.
A.THE LORD WENT HIS WAY: LORD is all upper case, indicating this is Yahweh, Jehovah.
B.For its salvation, Sodom did not need missiles or tanks.
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