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And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
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.
And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.
And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

18:23 destroy the righteous. This is the most remarkable passage of intercessory prayer in the Bible, also indicating how vitally important is the presence of even a tiny godly minority in an ungodly community. This model intercessory prayer continually appeals both to God’s righteous character and His lovingkindness, as the basis for making the request. Abraham thought he knew of ten righteous people in Sodom (Lot and his family of two unmarried sons, two unmarried daughters, two married daughters and their husbands), not realizing that most of Lot’s family had been caught up in the city’s wickedness, and so stopped his intercession at ten.


18:25 Judge of all the earth. God is still the judge of all the earth, not only of the chosen nation, and Abraham recognized this.


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