*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Genesis 18:31-33 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 18:31
  • Genesis 18:32
  • Genesis 18:33

Abraham continued to ask, what if there are 20 or 10 righteous people? God replied He would not destroy the city if 10 righteous are found. Then God departed, and Abraham returned home

Abraham continues his intercession, now in increments of ten.  After starting the bargaining at fifty, Abraham gets down to twenty, then decides to make one final ask. “Suppose ten are found there?” Interestingly, ten was the number in Lot’s family. There were Lot and his wife, two sons, two married daughters, two son-in-law’s, and two unmarried daughters (Genesis 19:12-14). God promises, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” We will soon learn, Lot must leave Sodom, so that God can punish the wicked (Genesis 19:16-17).

When the conversation between God and Abraham ended, the Lord departed and Abraham returned to his place, his tent by the Oaks of Mamre at Hebron (Genesis 13:18, 18:1). The events of this chapter took place in one afternoon at Mamre.

Biblical Text

31 And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” 32 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” 33 As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his place.

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