Genesis 18: "Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?"

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 26–27

In Genesis 17, the Lord promised Abraham that Sarah would bear a son. We read how Abraham reacted to that promise. In Genesis 18 we find out how Sarah reacted when she learned of this same promise.
Abraham praying

Understanding the Scriptures

Genesis 18

Pass not away (v. 3)Do not leave 
Fetched, fetch, fetcht (vv. 4–5, 7)Bring, brought 
Morsel (v. 5)Piece 
Pass on (v. 5)Leave 
Hasten, hasted (vv. 6–7)Hurry, hurried 
Meal (v. 6)Flour 
Knead (v. 6)Prepare it for baking 
Hearth (v. 6)Place for cooking 
Dress, dressed (vv. 7–8)Prepare for eating 
According to the time of life (vv. 10, 14)At the time when life can be conceived 
It ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women (v. 11)Sarah was too old to have a baby 
Lord (v. 12)Husband 
Do justice and judgment (v. 19)Live righteously and help others 
Cry (v. 20)What is being said about the sin and wickedness 
Grievous (v. 20)Terrible 
See whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it (v. 21)Find out if they have done all the things people said they did 
Peradventure (vv. 24, 28–32)What if 
That be far from thee to do after this manner (v. 25)That is not the way you usually do things 
Dust and ashes (v. 27)Nothing compared to God 
Left communing (v. 33)Finished speaking 

Genesis 18:1–22—Who Visited Abraham?

Genesis 18:1 indicates that the Lord appeared to Abraham. This does not mean that the Lord was one of the three men that visited him. The Joseph Smith Translation indicates that these three men were holy men who held the priesthood and were official representatives of the Lord.

Genesis 18:20—The Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah

In Genesis 19 we learn that immorality was one of these cities’ major sins. Ezekiel 16:48–50 helps us realize that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were prideful, were unwilling to take care of the poor and needy among them, and were idle.

Genesis 18:23–33—The Wicked May Be Spared Because of the Righteous

Read Alma 10:20–23 to learn more about this principle of sparing the wicked because of the righteous.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Genesis 18.

Activity A iconAnswer the Lord’s Question

  1. 1.

    Notice that the question in Genesis 18:14 is not answered. Look in Luke 1:37 for an answer, and then explain the answer.

  2. 2.

    Write about an experience that you or someone you know has had that shows “nothing is too hard for the Lord” (v. 14).

Activity B iconChoose the Best Words

After reading Genesis 18:16–33, consider what you learn about the character of Abraham and the character of God. Choose from this passage two words you think best describe Abraham and two words you think best describe the nature of God.