Genesis 18:31
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
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 the twenty's sake.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Seeing, saith he, I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord. What if twenty be found there? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.

English Revised Version
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 the twenty's sake.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak to the Lord: Peradventure there will be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.

Genesis 18:31 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

God was about to go down, and convince Himself whether they had done entirely according to the cry which had reached Him, or not. כלה עשׂה, lit., to make completeness, here referring to the extremity of iniquity, generally to the extremity of punishment (Nahum 1:8-9; Jeremiah 4:27; Jeremiah 5:10): כּלה is a noun, as Isaiah 10:23 shows, not an adverb, as in Exodus 11:1. After this explanation, the men (according to Genesis 19:1, the two angels) turned from thence to go to Sodom (Genesis 18:22); but Abraham continued standing before Jehovah, who had been talking with him, and approached Him with earnestness and boldness of faith to intercede for Sodom. He was urged to this, not by any special interest in Lot, for in that case he would have prayed for his deliverance; nor by the circumstance that, as he had just before felt himself called upon to become the protector, avenger, and deliverer of the land from its foes, so he now thought himself called upon to act as mediator, and to appeal from Jehovah's judicial wrath to Jehovah's covenant grace (Kurtz), for he had not delivered the land from the foe, but merely rescued his nephew Lot and all the booty that remained after the enemy had withdrawn; nor did he appeal to the covenant grace of Jehovah, but to His justice alone; and on the principle that the Judge of all the earth could not possibly destroy the righteous with the wicked, he founded his entreaty that God would forgive the city if there were but fifty righteous in it, or even if there were only ten. He was led to intercede in this way, not by "communis erga quinque populos misericordia" (Calvin), but by the love which springs from the consciousness that one's own preservation and rescue are due to compassionate grace alone; love, too, which cannot conceive of the guilt of others as too great for salvation to be possible. This sympathetic love, springing from the faith which was counted for righteousness, impelled him to the intercession which Luther thus describes: "sexies petiit, et cum tanto ardore ac affectu sic urgente, ut prae nimia angustia, qua cupit consultum miseris civitatibus, videatur quasi stulte loqui." There may be apparent folly in the words, "Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" but they were only "violenta oratio et impetuosa, quasi cogens Deum ad ignoscendum." For Abraham added, "peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou also destroy and not forgive (נשׁא, to take away and bear the guilt, i.e., forgive) the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?" and described the slaying of the righteous with the wicked as irreconcilable with the justice of God. He knew that he was speaking to the Judge of all the earth, and that before Him he was "but dust and ashes" - "dust in his origin, and ashes in the end;" and yet he made bold to appeal still further, and even as low as ten righteous, to pray that for their sake He would spare the city. - הפּעם אך (Genesis 18:32) signifies "only this (one) time more," as in Exodus 10:17. This "seemingly commercial kind of entreaty is," as Delitzsch observes, "the essence of true prayer. It is the holy ἀναίδεια, of which our Lord speaks in Luke 11:8, the shamelessness of faith, which bridges over the infinite distance of the creature from the Creator, appeals with importunity to the heart of God, and ceases not till its point is gained. This would indeed be neither permissible nor possible, had not God, by virtue of the mysterious interlacing of necessity and freedom in His nature and operations, granted a power to the prayer of faith, to which He consents to yield; had He not, by virtue of His absoluteness, which is anything but blind necessity, placed Himself in such a relation to men, that He not merely works upon them by means of His grace, but allows them to work upon Him by means of their faith; had He not interwoven the life of the free creature into His own absolute life, and accorded to a created personality the right to assert itself in faith, in distinction from His own." With the promise, that even for the sake of ten righteous He would not destroy the city, Jehovah "went His way," that is to say, vanished; and Abraham returned to his place, viz., to the grove of Mamre. The judgment which fell upon the wicked cities immediately afterwards, proves that there were not ten "righteous persons" in Sodom; by which we understand, not merely ten sinless or holy men, but ten who through the fear of God and conscientiousness had kept themselves free from the prevailing sin and iniquity of these cities.

Genesis 18:31 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Genesis 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken on me to speak to the LORD, which am but dust and ashes:

Matthew 7:7,11 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you...

Luke 11:8 I say to you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend...

Luke 18:1 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit...

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:20-22 By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh...

Cross References
Genesis 18:30
Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there." He answered, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there."

Genesis 18:32
Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there." He answered, "For the sake of ten I will not destroy it."

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