Genesis 18:22
And the men turned their faces from there, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
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(22) Abraham stood yet before the Lord (before Jehovah).—The two angels went on their way in form as men, towards Sodom, but the one who was a manifestation of Jehovah (Genesis 18:13; Genesis 18:17) remained behind.

Genesis 18:22. And the men — That is, two of them, who appear to have been created angels: turned their faces from thence — And went toward Sodom, which they entered in the evening; but the one called Jehovah throughout the chapter continued with Abraham, who stood yet before the Lord, evidently the same person with whom he had hitherto been communing.18:16-22 The two who are supposed to have been created angels went toward Sodom. The one who is called Jehovah throughout the chapter, continued with Abraham, and would not hide from him the thing he intended to do. Though God long forbears with sinners, from which they fancy that the Lord does not see, and does not regard; yet when the day of his wrath comes, he will look toward them. The Lord will give Abraham an opportunity to intercede with him, and shows him the reason of his conduct. Consider, as a very bright part of Abraham's character and example, that he not only prayed with his family, but he was very careful to teach and rule them well. Those who expect family blessings must make conscience of family duty. Abraham did not fill their heads with matters of doubtful dispute; but he taught them to be serious and devout in the worship of God, and to be honest in their dealings with all men. Of how few may such a character be given in our days! How little care is taken by masters of families to ground those under them in the principles of religion! Do we watch from sabbath to sabbath whether they go forward or backward?The Lord now proceeds to unfold his design. There is justice in every step of the divine procedure. He comes down to inquire and act according to the merits of the case. The men now depart on their errand; but Abraham still stands before the Lord.21. I will go down … and see—language used after the manner of men. These cities were to be made examples to all future ages of God's severity; and therefore ample proof given that the judgment was neither rash nor excessive (Eze 18:23; Jer 18:7). And the men, i.e. two of them; for the third staid with Abraham, as it here follows.

Before the Lord, the third of these persons, whom now he perceived to be the Lord himself, who had assumed a human shape. And the men turned their faces from thence,.... From the place to which Abraham brought them on; these were only two of them, for the third continued with Abraham:

and went towards Sodom; and are the two angels said to come thither at evening, Genesis 19:1,

but Abraham stood yet before the Lord; before the third person, whom Abraham now began to know more clearly; he stood before him with all reverence and humility, to hear what he had further to say to him, as well as to say something to him himself; he stood "yet", he continued to stand after the departure of the two angels that were gone to Sodom. Onkelos and Jonathan paraphrase it,"he ministered in prayer before the Lord.''

And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
22. And the men turned] There is nothing definitely to shew that all three Angels are not here intended. But, as the passage stands, Jehovah here separates Himself from the two Angels mentioned in Genesis 19:1.

Abraham stood yet] Standing is the posture of prayer and intercession. The dialogue (1) emphasizes Abraham’s intimacy with Jehovah, (2) heightens expectation of the catastrophe.

The Massoretic note on this verse suggests that the original reading ran “and Jehovah stood yet before Abraham,” and that this was altered for reverential reasons. The alteration was included in the list of the so-called Tikkun Sopherim, or “Corrections of the Scribes.” The versions, however, shew no uncertainty as to the reading. Targum of Onkelos has “And Abraham still ministered in prayer before the Lord.”Verse 22. - And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom (i.e. two of the three proceeded on their way towards the Jordan valley, while the third was detained by the patriarch, probably on the heights overlooking the plain, for a sublime act of intercession which is thus briefly but suggestively described): but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. According to the Masorites the text originally read, "And the Lord stood before Abraham, and was changed because it did not seem becoming to speak of God standing in the presence of a creature. This, however, is a mere Rabbinical conceit. As Abraham is not said to hays stood before the three men, the expression points to spiritual rather than to local contiguity.

CHAPTER 18:23-33 After this conversation with Sarah, the heavenly guests rose up and turned their faces towards the plain of Sodom (פּני על, as in Genesis 19:28; Numbers 21:20; Numbers 23:28). Abraham accompanied them some distance on the road; according to tradition, he went as far as the site of the later Caphar barucha, from which you can see the Dead Sea through a ravine, - solitudinem ac terras Sodomae. And Jehovah said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I propose to do? Abraham is destined to be a great nation and a blessing to all nations (Genesis 12:2-3); for I have known, i.e., acknowledged him (chosen him in anticipative love, ידע as in Amos 3:2; Hosea 13:4), that he may command his whole posterity to keep the way of Jehovah, to practise justice and righteousness, that all the promises may be fulfilled in them." God then disclosed to Abraham what he was about to do to Sodom and Gomorrah, not, as Kurtz supposes, because Abraham had been constituted the hereditary possessor of the land, and Jehovah, being mindful of His covenant, would not do anything to it without his knowledge and assent (a thought quite foreign to the context), but because Jehovah had chosen him to be the father of the people of God, in order that, by instructing his descendants in the fear of God, he might lead them in the paths of righteousness, so that they might become partakers of the promised salvation, and not be overtaken by judgment. The destruction of Sodom and the surrounding cities was to be a permanent memorial of the punitive righteousness of God, and to keep the fate of the ungodly constantly before the mind of Israel. To this end Jehovah explained to Abraham the cause of their destruction in the clearest manner possible, that he might not only be convinced of the justice of the divine government, but might learn that when the measure of iniquity was full, no intercession could avert the judgment-a lesson and a warning to his descendants also.
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