Genesis 18:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 18:27, NIV: Then Abraham spoke up again: 'Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,

Genesis 18:27, ESV: Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.

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

Genesis 18:27, NASB: And Abraham replied, 'Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am only dust and ashes.

Genesis 18:27, NLT: Then Abraham spoke again. 'Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes.

Genesis 18:27, CSB: Then Abraham answered, "Since I have ventured to speak to my lord--even though I am dust and ashes--

What does Genesis 18:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the prior verses, Abraham brazenly questioned if God's judgment on Sodom would be fair, since it might mean harming righteous people along with wicked people. In this verse, Abraham seems to have a moment of clarity, and checks himself. Abraham acknowledges to the Lord that he is being very bold even in speaking to Him. After all, Abraham is a mere man. He calls himself "dust and ashes." He recognizes, apparently, that he has no right to demand anything from God.

This is a key part of our perspective on God and His actions. God most certainly does what is good, fair, and just—and for that reason, human beings who are limited have no right to assume He is being unfair or unjust simply because we don't like His decisions. God's conversation with Abraham, regarding the people of Sodom, is meant to clarify this very idea. Abraham worries that God might do something unfair. God's response proves that His planned action against Sodom and Gomorrah is perfectly, absolutely justified.

Abraham's moment of humility will not prevent him, however, from continuing to push the Lord for assurances that He will spare the city of Sodom for the sake of any righteous people who live there. This almost certainly is Abraham's attempt to keep his nephew Lot, who lives in Sodom, from being destroyed.