What does Genesis 18:18 mean?
ESV: seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
NIV: Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.
NASB: since Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
CSB: Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.
NLT: For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.
KJV: Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
NKJV: since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Verse Commentary:
In the previous verse, the Lord, two angels, and Abraham stood looking at Sodom in the distance. God, apparently speaking to the angels, asks a rhetorical question. His statement is not a request for information; it's meant to point out God's purpose in this encounter. Should God hide from Abraham what He was about to do with Sodom? The expected answer, and the meaning of the comment, is that God has no intention of hiding His plans from Abraham.

Here, God continues to explain to the angels why He will not hide from Abraham what He is about to do. Abraham, the Lord says, will become a great and mighty nation. More, all of the nations of the earth will be blessed in Abraham. In other words, God has already given His astounding covenant promises to Abraham, along with His plans for Abraham's future offspring. Why would God now withhold from Abraham information about His plans for Sodom?

This also means that God's actions against Sodom are meant to carry a message to men like Abraham. What eventually occurs in that city will not only prove that God always makes good on His promises, it will also prove that God's judgment on sin is unmistakable.
Verse Context:
Genesis 18:16–21 is an example of God using human language, and human behavior, to more clearly explain His will. Taking on a temporary human form, God speaks with Abraham about the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This process reveals that God not only intends to keep His promises—all His promises—but that His judgment on Sodom is well-deserved. God does not need to justify His actions to mankind, but in this passage, He does exactly that, for our benefit, and for our learning.
Chapter Summary:
Abraham hurries to offer respect and hospitality to three men who appear near his tent. Over the course of the chapter, the men reveal themselves to be the Lord and two angels in human form. As He had told Abraham in the previous chapter, the Lord now reveals to Sarah that she will have a son within the year. Later, the Lord poetically says He will investigate the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, where Abraham's nephew Lot lives. Abraham asks, and the Lord agrees, not to destroy Sodom if God finds 10 righteous people there.
Chapter Context:
God appeared to Abraham in the previous chapter revealing, in part, that Sarah would bear Abraham a son within a year's time. Now the Lord appears again, this time in human form and accompanied by two disguised angels. He reveals to Sarah the same promise. She laughs, and the Lord insists that even her age isn't too hard for Him to overcome. Next the Lord reveals to Abraham that He will investigate the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham receives the Lord's promise not to destroy Sodom (where Abraham's nephew lives) if He finds 10 righteous people in the city. Unfortunately, the city is beyond saving, and the next chapter details its utter destruction.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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