Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural.

In many scriptures I have changed the King James (English) spelling to American spelling (labour=labor, for example. I understand those in England still spell it with a u). Also, in some scriptures I have changed the "-eth" to a simple "s." Spelling standards weren't set in English until the mid 1800's, well after the translating of the KJV. So I see no problem with making these simple changes that don't affect the meaning of the scripture but make it easier for our modern mouths and ears to deal with.

Genesis 18- Bargaining with God


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: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.

The Bible clearly says that the Lord appeared to Abraham. These three beings appeared in every way to be human, yet two were angels and one a manifestation of God Himself. The word “angel” means “ministering spirit.” We don’t really know if they were physical human beings sent with a special mission or if they were angelic beings. It doesn’t really matter as both would have God’s protection and be able to perform miracles as needed.

3 And said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away I pray thee, from thy servant:

Abraham obviously could tell these were special people. He invited them to supper.

4 “Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

Providing water for guests to wash their feet was common custom in the days before travel by horse was affordable. Washing your feet after a long walk is refreshing and relaxing.

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.”

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.

This would have been some sort of flat bread (like a tortilla) as yeast bread takes several hours after kneading to be ready to serve.

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.

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.

He served a meal of tortillas, butter, milk and veal. Nowhere in the Bible are milk products or beef referred to in the negative. Here they are a meal fit for God Himself.

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.

The Lord promises Abraham that Sarah will have a baby in a year.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in ages; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

At this point, she is eighty-nine years old and has already gone through menopause. Abraham is ninety-nine years old.

12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my Lord being old also?”

She didn’t believe Him.

13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?'

14 “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."

Is anything too hard for the Lord? We will do well to remember this.

God repeats His promise: in a year or so, Sarah will birth a child.

15 Then Sara denied, saying “I laughed not.” For she was afraid. And He said, "Nay, but thou didst laugh."

It is useless to lie to God. He knows everything, including the very thoughts of our hearts.

16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.

Now the focus of the story turns from God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah to His plans for Sodom and Gomorrah.

17 And the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?

The Lord decides to take Abraham into His confidence because of Abraham’s faith and the future He has promised him.

18 “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.

The entire planet has been blessed through Abraham’s descendant Jesus.

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; and that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."

God knew what kind of father Abraham would be. He knew that Abraham would raise his children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (“culture and education of the Lord” Ephesians 6:4). This love for God is why God chose Abraham to be the lineage for Christ and the keeper of the Word.

2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23 say that God called Abraham His friend. Imagine! Being so close to God, so desirous of following Him that the Almighty Himself calls you His friend!

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."

God knew that Sodom and Gomorrah and their suburbs were so deep in sin that they could not be saved. There does come a time when God quits dealing with man and just brings judgment on them. These cities were too far-gone.

God IS love, but He is also Judgment and Justice. Sin cannot exist in His presence.

22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

The two angels left leaving Abraham alone with God.

23 And Abraham drew near, and said: "Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

24 “Preadventure 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 the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

Abraham is no doubt thinking of Lot who lives in the city of Sodom as well as others he knows. He is a compassionate man and can’t bear the thought of all those people not only being destroyed but also going to hell.

26 The LORD said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, I will spare all the place for their sakes."

God is love and would have gladly spared the cities for only fifty God-fearing men. This city, possibly with several thousand people, didn’t have even fifty that had a heart to do right.

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."

Abraham continues to “jew” God down. God doesn’t seem to object, but goes along with him. He, of course, knows that there is only one righteous man in all of Sodom.

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."

God agrees to save the entire city (and its suburbs) if His angels find only ten men with a heart to live right. I don’t believe God wants to punish the evil, but He will not let them thrive for long due to His Justice. He knew while He was making this deal that there were not any righteous men except for Lot. Yet He also knew that Abraham, who had a heart to serve Him needed to understand just how wicked the cities had become. When the destruction came, Abraham knew that it was a just sentence because God couldn’t even find ten righteous men in the whole city.

33 And the Lord went His way, as soon as He had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

Their conversation was over so God went on and Abraham went home.