Genesis 18:29 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 18:29, NIV: "Once again he spoke to him, 'What if only forty are found there?' He said, 'For the sake of forty, I will not do it.'"

Genesis 18:29, ESV: "Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.”"

Genesis 18:29, KJV: "And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake."

Genesis 18:29, NASB: "And he spoke to Him yet again and said, 'Suppose forty are found there?' And He said, 'I will not do it on account of the forty.'"

Genesis 18:29, NLT: "Then Abraham pressed his request further. 'Suppose there are only forty?' And the LORD replied, 'I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.'"

Genesis 18:29, CSB: "Then he spoke to him again, "Suppose forty are found there?" He answered, "I will not do it on account of forty.""

What does Genesis 18:29 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Thanks to God's gracious responses, Abraham seems to think he is negotiating with the Lord to spare Sodom. This is probably an attempt by Abraham to spare the life of his nephew, Lot, and Lot's family. The Lord has revealed that He will investigate the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and, by implication, bring judgment upon those cities. This is not actually a negotiation, of course. Like a teacher who allows a student to "talk out" a problem, God is allowing Abraham to set an incredibly weak standard for the city of Sodom—one which will still prove more than it can live up to.

Abraham started by asking if God would spare the city if He found 50 righteous people there. The Lord agreed. Then Abraham said, "What about 45?" The Lord agreed. Now Abraham goes to 40. Again, the Lord agrees.

The countdown continues in the following verses.