Genesis 18:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 18:24, NIV: "What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?"

Genesis 18:24, ESV: "Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?"

Genesis 18:24, KJV: "Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?"

Genesis 18:24, NASB: "Suppose there are fifty righteous people within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?"

Genesis 18:24, NLT: "Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city--will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes?"

Genesis 18:24, CSB: "What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people who are in it?"

What does Genesis 18:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Lord has revealed to Abraham his plan to investigate and, by implication, bring judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their great sinfulness. This is a poetic device on God's part, meant to highlight His just handling of the situation. God already knows everything He needs to know about Sodom, so His words here are for the sake of our understanding. Abraham, standing with the Lord as two angels walk toward Sodom, is asking the Lord some hard questions.

Abraham's nephew Lot lives in Sodom. In the previous verse, Abraham asked God if He would bring destruction on the righteous with the wicked in His judgment. Now Abraham gets more specific. What if 50 righteous people lived in Sodom? Would God not spare the place for the sake of those 50 people? This is a question we often struggle with today: when, and why, does God allow those we perceive as "innocent" to suffer for the actions of those who we perceive as "guilty?"

Abraham is asking a bold question of the Lord who has blessed him. He's not done, yet.