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Genesis 18:20-21

Context

18:20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against 1  Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 2  18:21 that I must go down 3  and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. 4  If not, 5  I want to know.”

1 tn Heb “the outcry of Sodom,” which apparently refers to the outcry for divine justice from those (unidentified persons) who observe its sinful ways.

2 tn Heb “heavy.”

3 tn The cohortative indicates the Lord’s resolve.

sn I must go down. The descent to “see” Sodom is a bold anthropomorphism, stressing the careful judgment of God. The language is reminiscent of the Lord going down to see the Tower of Babel in Gen 11:1-9.

4 tn Heb “[if] according to the outcry that has come to me they have done completely.” Even the Lord, who is well aware of the human capacity to sin, finds it hard to believe that anyone could be as bad as the “outcry” against Sodom and Gomorrah suggests.

5 sn The short phrase if not provides a ray of hope and inspires Abraham’s intercession.



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