Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Genesis 18

Introduction

1The Lord appears to Abraham, who entertains angels.
9Sarah is reproved for laughing at the promise of a son.
16The destruction of Sodom is revealed to Abraham.
23Abraham makes intercession for the inhabitants.

Verse 1

And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
appeared
15:1; 17:1-3,22; 26:2; 48:3; Exodus 4:1; 2 Chronicles 1:7; Acts 7:2
Mamre
13:18; 14:13
and he sat
In these verses we have a delightful picture of genuine and primitive hospitality: a venerable father sits at the tent door, not only to enjoy the current of refreshing air, but that if he saw any weary and exhausted travellers, he might invite them to rest and refresh themselves during the heat of the day, and the same custom still continues in the east. It was not the custom, nor was there any necessity, for strangers to knock at the door, or to speak first, but to stand till they were invited.
Reciprocal: Genesis 12:7 - appeared;  Genesis 18:22 - stood;  Genesis 19:1 - GeneralGenesis 20:1 - from;  Genesis 31:11 - the angel;  Genesis 35:9 - GeneralGenesis 35:27 - Mamre;  Exodus 4:5 - the Lord;  Hebrews 11:9 - dwelling

Verse 2

And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
And he
Judges 13:3,9; Hebrews 13:2
three
22; 19:1; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9
he ran
Romans 12:13
bowed
23:7; 33:3-7; 43:26,28; 44:14; Ruth 2:10; 2 Kings 2:15
Reciprocal: Genesis 23:12 - GeneralGenesis 32:13 - a present;  Genesis 42:6 - bowed;  Genesis 48:12 - he bowed himself;  Exodus 18:7 - did obeisance;  Numbers 22:36 - went;  Joshua 5:13 - a man;  Judges 19:15 - no man;  2 Samuel 9:6 - he fell;  2 Samuel 12:4 - a traveller;  2 Samuel 24:20 - bowed;  1 Kings 18:7 - fell on;  Isaiah 58:7 - bring;  Ezekiel 10:1 - as the;  Matthew 25:35 - I was a;  Luke 24:4 - two men;  Hebrews 11:9 - dwelling

Verse 3

And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:
favour
32:5
Reciprocal: Genesis 30:27 - favour;  Genesis 34:11 - GeneralGenesis 39:4 - Joseph;  Genesis 47:25 - let us;  Genesis 50:4 - found grace;  Judges 6:18 - bring;  Judges 13:15 - let us;  Luke 19:5 - for

Verse 4

Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
wash your feet
In those ancient times, shoes such as ours, were not in use; and the foot was protected only with sandals or soles, fastened round the foot with straps. It was, therefore, not only necessary from motives of cleanliness, but also a very great refreshment, in so hot a country, to get the feet washed at the end of a day's journey; and this is the first thing that Abraham proposes.
19:2; 24:32; 43:24; 1 Samuel 25:41; Luke 7:44; John 13:5-15; 1 Timothy 5:10
tree
Rest in the shade was the second requisite for the refreshment of a weary traveller.
Reciprocal: Genesis 24:25 - GeneralJudges 19:21 - they washed;  2 Samuel 11:8 - wash;  2 Kings 3:11 - poured water;  Luke 7:38 - wash;  Acts 16:15 - come;  Ephesians 3:20 - able

Verse 5

And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
And I
Judges 6:18; 13:15; Matthew 6:11
bread
This was the third requisite, and is introduced in its proper order; as eating immediately after exertion or fatigue is very unwholesome.
comfort
Heb. stay.
Judges 19:5; Psalms 104:15; Isaiah 3:1
are ye come
Heb. ye have passed.
19:8; 33:10
Reciprocal: Exodus 2:20 - call him;  1 Kings 13:7 - refresh;  1 Kings 17:11 - a morsel;  Acts 16:15 - come

Verse 6

And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.
Make ready quickly
Heb. hasten. three.
Isaiah 32:8; Matthew 13:33; Luke 10:38-40; Acts 16:15; Romans 12:13; Galatians 5:13; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9
Reciprocal: Genesis 19:3 - a feast;  Genesis 24:67 - his mother;  Judges 6:19 - and made;  2 Samuel 13:6 - make me;  Proverbs 31:13 - worketh;  Ezekiel 4:12 - cakes;  Luke 19:6 - he;  1 Timothy 5:14 - guide;  Hebrews 11:9 - dwelling

Verse 7

And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
19:3; Judges 13:15,16; Amos 6:4; Malachi 1:14; Matthew 22:4; Luke 15:23,27,30
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 28:24 - a fat calf;  Luke 19:6 - he

Verse 8

And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
he took
19:3; Deuteronomy 32:14; Judges 5:25
stood
Nehemiah 12:44; Luke 12:37; 17:8; John 12:2; Galatians 5:13; Revelation 3:20
and they
19:3; Judges 13:15; Luke 24:30,43; Acts 10:41
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 28:24 - a fat calf

Verse 9

And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
Where
4:9
in
24:67; 31:33; Titus 2:5
Reciprocal: Proverbs 7:11 - her feet;  1 Timothy 5:14 - guide;  Hebrews 11:9 - dwelling

Verse 10

And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
he said
13,14; 16:10; 22:15,16
according
17:21; 21:2; 2 Kings 4:16,17
lo, Sarah
17:16,19,21; 21:2; Judges 13:3-5; Luke 1:13; Romans 9:8,9; Galatians 4:23,28
Reciprocal: Genesis 16:2 - the Lord;  Genesis 21:1 - Sarah as;  Genesis 24:36 - Sarah;  Genesis 24:67 - his mother;  Genesis 26:2 - appeared;  2 Kings 4:14 - she hath no child;  Matthew 1:21 - she;  Luke 1:20 - because

Verse 11

Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
old
17:17,24; Luke 1:7,18,36; Romans 4:18-21; Hebrews 11:11,12,19
the
31:35; Leviticus 15:19
Reciprocal: Genesis 11:30 - barren;  Genesis 21:7 - for I;  Genesis 24:1 - was old;  Joshua 13:1 - Joshua;  1 Kings 1:1 - and stricken in years;  Isaiah 51:2 - unto Abraham;  Romans 4:19 - considered

Verse 12

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
laughed
13; 17:17; 21:6,7; Psalms 126:2; Luke 1:18-20,34,35; Hebrews 11:11,12
my
Ephesians 5:33; 1 Peter 3:6
Reciprocal: Genesis 11:30 - barren;  Genesis 23:6 - my lord;  Genesis 31:35 - my lord;  Judges 19:26 - her lord was;  1 Kings 1:17 - My lord;  1 Kings 18:7 - my lord Elijah;  2 Kings 4:16 - do not lie;  2 Kings 7:2 - if the Lord;  Psalm 78:20 - can he give

Verse 13

And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
Wherefore
John 2:25
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:10 - he said;  Genesis 18:12 - laughed;  Genesis 43:1 - GeneralMark 10:27 - With men;  Acts 12:11 - I know

Verse 14

Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Is
Numbers 11:23; Deuteronomy 7:21; 1 Samuel 14:6; 2 Kings 7:1,2; Job 36:5; 42:2; Psalms 93:1; 95:3; Jeremiah 32:17; Micah 7:18; Zechariah 8:6; Matthew 3:9; 14:31; 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:13,37; 8:50; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 3:21; 4:13; Hebrews 11:19
I will
10; 17:21; Deuteronomy 30:3; 2 Kings 4:16; Psalms 90:13; Micah 7:18; Luke 1:13,18
Reciprocal: Genesis 17:1 - Almighty;  Genesis 21:1 - Sarah as;  Genesis 21:2 - at the set;  Genesis 22:8 - GeneralGenesis 35:11 - God Almighty;  Exodus 4:11 - GeneralNumbers 20:8 - speak;  2 Kings 7:18 - as the man;  Isaiah 50:2 - Is my;  Isaiah 59:1 - the Lord's;  Isaiah 66:9 - bring to;  Daniel 3:17 - our God;  Daniel 6:20 - able;  Zephaniah 3:17 - is mighty;  Matthew 22:29 - nor;  Mark 1:40 - if thou;  Mark 12:24 - neither;  Mark 14:36 - all;  Luke 5:12 - if;  Luke 18:27 - GeneralActs 26:8 - GeneralRomans 4:21 - he was able;  Romans 9:9 - At this time

Verse 15

Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
denied
4:9; 12:13; Job 2:10; Proverbs 28:13; John 18:17,25-27; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:9; 1 John 1:8
Nay
Psalms 44:21; Proverbs 12:19; Mark 2:8; John 2:25; Romans 3:19
Reciprocal: 1 Peter 3:6 - and

Verse 16

And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
to bring
Acts 15:3; 20:38; 21:5; Romans 15:24; 3 John 1:6
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:33 - And the

Verse 17

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
2 Kings 4:27; 2 Chronicles 20:7; Psalms 25:14; Amos 3:7; John 15:15; James 2:23
Reciprocal: Genesis 31:11 - the angel;  Job 24:1 - not see;  Ezekiel 10:1 - as the;  Daniel 2:23 - and hast;  Matthew 20:17 - took

Verse 18

Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
become
12:2,3; 22:17,18; 26:4; Psalms 72:17; Acts 3:25,26; Galatians 3:8,14; Ephesians 1:3
Reciprocal: Genesis 13:15 - GeneralGenesis 13:16 - GeneralGenesis 28:14 - and in thee;  Genesis 35:11 - a nation;  Genesis 46:3 - I will;  Exodus 2:24 - remembered;  Exodus 24:11 - did eat;  Ezra 9:12 - and leave it;  John 5:46 - for;  John 15:16 - that your;  2 Thessalonians 1:12 - and ye

Verse 19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
For I
2 Samuel 7:20; Psalms 1:6; 11:4; 34:15; John 10:14; 21:17; 2 Timothy 2:19
command
17:23-27; Deuteronomy 4:9,10; 6:6,7; 11:19-21; 32:46; Joshua 24:15; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Job 1:5; Psalms 78:2-9; Proverbs 6:20-22; 22:6; Isaiah 38:19; Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 3:4; 1 Timothy 3:5,12; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15
that the
1 Samuel 2:30,31; Acts 27:23,24,31
Reciprocal: Genesis 14:14 - born;  Genesis 17:27 - circumcised;  Genesis 26:5 - GeneralGenesis 35:2 - unto his;  Exodus 21:4 - shall be her;  Exodus 33:12 - I know;  Leviticus 14:42 - GeneralLeviticus 21:15 - profane;  Deuteronomy 6:2 - and thy son;  Joshua 22:24 - for fear;  Judges 13:12 - How shall we order the child;  Ruth 2:4 - And they;  1 Samuel 1:21 - General2 Samuel 6:20 - bless;  2 Samuel 22:22 - the ways;  1 Kings 2:4 - That the Lord;  1 Chronicles 16:43 - to bless;  2 Chronicles 14:4 - commanded;  2 Chronicles 33:16 - commanded;  2 Chronicles 34:32 - caused;  Ezra 9:12 - and leave it;  Esther 4:16 - I also;  Job 4:3 - Behold;  Job 23:10 - he knoweth;  Psalm 78:5 - that they;  Psalm 101:2 - walk;  Proverbs 4:4 - He;  Jeremiah 2:21 - wholly;  Jeremiah 32:39 - for the;  Ezekiel 18:5 - that;  Micah 6:8 - to do;  Zechariah 10:7 - yea;  Matthew 25:17 - he also;  Acts 10:2 - with;  Acts 11:14 - all;  Acts 13:10 - the right;  Acts 16:31 - and thy;  Acts 18:8 - believed;  Acts 18:25 - instructed;  Romans 12:8 - ruleth;  Philippians 4:8 - are just;  Titus 1:6 - having

Verse 20

And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
the cry
4:10; 19:13; Isaiah 3:9; 5:7; Jeremiah 14:7; James 5:4
sin
13:13
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:9 - GeneralGenesis 6:5 - God;  Genesis 10:19 - Sodom;  Genesis 19:4 - all;  Exodus 2:23 - cry;  Numbers 11:17 - talk with;  Job 24:1 - not see;  Psalm 78:59 - God;  Jeremiah 23:14 - Sodom;  Ezekiel 16:46 - thy younger sister;  Ezekiel 16:49 - fulness;  Ezekiel 16:50 - and committed;  Joel 3:13 - for their;  Jonah 1:2 - for;  Luke 16:2 - How;  Luke 17:28 - GeneralRomans 5:13 - until;  Revelation 18:5 - reached

Verse 21

I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
I will go down
This is spoken figuratively; and as the Jewish writers speak, according to the language of men. So eyes, ears, hands, and other members of the body are attributed to God, for effecting those things which men cannot accomplish without these members.
11:5,7; Exodus 3:8; 33:5; Micah 1:3; John 6:38; 1 Thessalonians 4:16
see
Job 34:22; Psalms 90:8; Jeremiah 17:1,10; Zephaniah 1:12; Hebrews 4:13
I will know
Exodus 33:5; Deuteronomy 8:2; 13:3; Joshua 22:22; Psalms 139:1-24; Luke 16:15; 2 Corinthians 11:11
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:9 - GeneralGenesis 6:5 - God;  Genesis 6:12 - God;  Exodus 2:23 - cry;  Exodus 3:7 - I know;  Numbers 11:17 - I will come;  Deuteronomy 9:13 - I have;  Job 24:1 - not see;  Psalm 14:2 - The Lord;  Psalm 78:59 - God;  Isaiah 3:9 - and they declare;  Jonah 1:2 - for;  Luke 16:2 - How;  Luke 17:28 - GeneralActs 7:34 - and am;  Revelation 18:5 - reached

Verse 22

And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
the men
2; 19:1
stood
The two, whom we suppose to have been created angels, departed at this time; and accordingly two entered Sodom at evening: while the one, called Jehovah throughout the chapter, continued with Abraham, who "stood yet before the Lord." --Scott.
1; Psalms 106:23; Jeremiah 15:1; 18:20; Ezekiel 22:30; Acts 7:55; 1 Timothy 2:1
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:33 - And the;  Genesis 19:17 - he said;  Genesis 19:27 - to the;  Deuteronomy 5:5 - GeneralEzekiel 10:1 - as the;  Ezekiel 14:23 - that I have not

Verse 23

And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
drew
Psalms 73:28; Jeremiah 30:21; Hebrews 10:22; James 5:17
Wilt
25; 20:4; Numbers 16:22; 2 Samuel 24:17; Job 8:3; 34:17; Psalms 11:4-7; Romans 3:5,6
Reciprocal: Genesis 19:29 - that God;  Numbers 11:2 - prayed;  2 Samuel 20:19 - peaceable;  1 Kings 17:20 - hast thou also;  Isaiah 59:16 - he saw;  Jeremiah 5:1 - if there;  Ezekiel 9:8 - Ah;  Ezekiel 14:16 - they shall;  Ezekiel 22:30 - make;  John 9:31 - him;  Acts 27:24 - lo;  1 Timothy 2:1 - supplications;  James 4:8 - Draw nigh to God;  James 5:16 - The effectual

Verse 24

Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
there
32; Isaiah 1:9; Jeremiah 5:1; Matthew 7:13,14
spare
Acts 27:24
Reciprocal: Genesis 19:21 - that;  Joshua 6:23 - out Rahab;  1 Samuel 23:10 - destroy the city;  2 Chronicles 12:12 - also in Judah things went well;  Job 35:8 - may profit;  Jeremiah 27:18 - let them

Verse 25

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?
be far
Jeremiah 12:1
that the
Job 8:20; 9:22,23; Ecclesiastes 7:15; 8:12,13; Isaiah 3:10,11; 57:1,2; Malachi 3:18
Shall
Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 8:3; 34:17-19; Psalms 11:5-7; 58:11; 94:2; 98:9; Romans 3:6
Judge
John 5:22-27; 2 Corinthians 5:10
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:23 - Wilt;  Genesis 44:17 - God forbid;  Leviticus 10:3 - Aaron;  Joshua 7:24 - his sons;  Judges 11:27 - the Judge;  Judges 20:25 - destroyed;  1 Samuel 3:18 - It is the Lord;  1 Samuel 15:6 - depart;  1 Kings 8:45 - cause;  2 Chronicles 19:7 - no iniquity;  Nehemiah 9:33 - Howbeit;  Job 4:17 - Shall mortal;  Job 23:4 - fill my mouth;  Job 31:28 - an;  Job 34:10 - far;  Psalm 7:8 - The Lord;  Psalm 9:8 - GeneralPsalm 36:6 - righteousness;  Psalm 50:6 - God;  Psalm 67:4 - for thou;  Psalm 97:2 - righteousness;  Psalm 119:75 - right;  Psalm 145:17 - righteous;  Proverbs 17:26 - to punish;  Ecclesiastes 3:17 - God;  Isaiah 10:22 - with;  Isaiah 33:22 - the Lord is our judge;  Jeremiah 11:20 - judgest;  Ezekiel 18:25 - my;  Hosea 6:5 - and thy judgments are as;  Hosea 14:9 - for;  Zephaniah 3:5 - he will;  Matthew 20:13 - I do;  John 5:30 - I judge;  Romans 2:2 - judgment;  Romans 2:16 - God;  Romans 9:14 - Is there unrighteousness;  2 Timothy 4:8 - the righteous;  Hebrews 2:10 - it;  Hebrews 12:23 - God;  1 Peter 2:23 - judgeth;  Revelation 16:5 - Thou art;  Revelation 20:11 - I saw

Verse 26

And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
Isaiah 6:13; 10:22; 19:24; 65:8; Jeremiah 5:1; Ezekiel 22:30; Matthew 24:22
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:28 - If I;  Job 22:30 - He shall deliver the island of the innocent;  Isaiah 1:9 - we should

Verse 27

And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
I have
30-32; Ezra 9:6; Job 42:6-8; Isaiah 6:5; Luke 18:1
dust
2:7; 3:19; Job 4:19; Psalms 8:4; 144:3; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Isaiah 6:5; 64:8; Luke 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:47,48; 2 Corinthians 5:1,2
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:31 - GeneralGenesis 32:10 - not worthy of the least of all;  2 Samuel 14:12 - speak one word;  Job 13:12 - ashes;  Job 25:6 - How much less;  Job 30:19 - dust;  Job 40:4 - Behold;  Job 42:4 - Hear;  Psalm 22:15 - into the;  Ecclesiastes 5:2 - not rash;  Jeremiah 30:21 - engaged

Verse 28

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.
wilt
Numbers 14:17-19; 1 Kings 20:32,33; Job 23:3,4
If I
26,29
Reciprocal: Daniel 2:18 - of the God of heaven

Verse 29

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.
Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 4:16
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:28 - If I

Verse 30

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.
44:18; Judges 6:39; Esther 4:11-16; Job 40:4; Psalms 9:12; 10:17; 89:7; Isaiah 6:5; Isaiah 55:8,9; Hebrews 12:28,29
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:27 - I have;  Genesis 18:32 - Oh;  Job 42:4 - Hear;  Ecclesiastes 5:2 - not rash;  Jeremiah 30:21 - engaged

Verse 31

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.
27; Matthew 7:7,11; Luke 11:8; 18:1; Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 4:16; 10:20-22
Reciprocal: Ezekiel 10:1 - as the

Verse 32

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.
Oh
30; Judges 6:39; Proverbs 15:8; Isaiah 42:6,7; James 5:15-17; 1 John 5:15,16
I will not
Exodus 32:9,10,14; 33:13,14; 34:6,7,9,10; Numbers 14:11-20; Job 33:23; Psalms 86:5; Isaiah 65:8; Micah 7:18; Matthew 7:7; Ephesians 3:20; James 5:16
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:24 - there;  Genesis 44:18 - let thy;  Exodus 33:17 - I will do;  Numbers 16:22 - one man sin;  2 Samuel 14:12 - speak one word;  Ecclesiastes 5:2 - not rash;  Isaiah 1:9 - we should;  Jeremiah 30:21 - engaged

Verse 33

And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
And the
16,22; 32:26
and Abraham
31:55 Reciprocal: Genesis 17:22 - GeneralGenesis 30:25 - mine;  Genesis 35:13 - GeneralExodus 18:23 - and all this;  Exodus 25:22 - and I will;  Exodus 32:10 - let me alone;  Exodus 33:9 - talked;  Numbers 11:17 - talk with;  1 Kings 10:2 - communed;  John 1:10 - was in;  John 1:18 - he hath

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/genesis-18.html.