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Genesis 18

18
The Three Visitors
1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When Abraham saw them, he ran from his tent to meet them. He bowed facedown on the ground before them 3and said, “Sir, if you think well of me, please stay awhile with me, your servant. 4I will bring some water so all of you can wash your feet. You may rest under the tree, 5and I will get some bread for you so you can regain your strength. Then you may continue your journey.”
The three men said, “That is fine. Do as you said.”
6Abraham hurried to the tent where Sarah was and said to her, “Hurry, prepare twenty quarts of fine flour, and make it into loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his herd and took one of his best calves. He gave it to a servant, who hurried to kill it and to prepare it for food. 8Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been cooked and milk curds and milk. While they ate, he stood under the tree near them.
9The men asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
“There, in the tent,” said Abraham.
10Then the Lord said, “I will certainly return to you about this time a year from now. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old. Since Sarah was past the age when women normally have children, 12she laughed to herself, “My husband and I are too old to have a baby.”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘I am too old to have a baby’? 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? No! I will return to you at the right time a year from now, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord said, “No. You did laugh.”
16Then the men got up to leave and started out toward Sodom. Abraham walked along with them a short time to send them on their way.
Abraham’s Bargain with God
17The Lord said, “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do now? 18Abraham’s children will certainly become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19I have chosen him so he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to, to live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, will give Abraham what I promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many complaints against the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They are very evil. 21I will go down and see if they are as bad as I have heard. If not, I will know.”
22So the men turned and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Do you plan to destroy the good people along with the evil ones? 24What if there are fifty good people in that city? Will you still destroy it? Surely you will save the city for the fifty good people living there. 25Surely you will not destroy the good people along with the evil ones; then they would be treated the same. You are the judge of all the earth. Won’t you do what is right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city because of them.”
27Then Abraham said, “Though I am only dust and ashes, I have been brave to speak to the Lord. 28What if there are only forty-five good people in the city? Will you destroy the whole city for the lack of five good people?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Again Abraham said to him, “If you find only forty good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty, I will not destroy it.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If you find only thirty good people in the city, will you destroy it?”
He said, “If I find thirty good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
31Then Abraham said, “I have been brave to speak to the Lord. But what if there are twenty good people in the city?”
He answered, “If I find twenty there, I will not destroy the city.”
32Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me bother you this one last time. What if you find ten there?”
He said, “If I find ten there, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord finished speaking to Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
18
Birth of Isaac Promised
1Now the Lord appeared to #Lit himAbraham by the #Or terebinthsoaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. 2When he raised his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed down to the ground, 3and said, “#Or O LordMy Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not #Lit pass away from Your servantpass Your servant by. 4Please let a little water be brought and wash #I.e., referring to the three visitorsyour feet, and make yourselves comfortable under the tree; 5and I will #Lit takebring a piece of bread, so that you may #Lit sustain your heartrefresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have #Lit come tovisited your servant.” And they said, “So do as you have said.” 6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “#Lit Hasten three measuresQuickly, prepare three #Heb seah; one seah is about 7 qt. or 7.7 litersmeasures of fine flour, knead it, and make bread cakes.” 7Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and #Lit goodchoice calf and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it. 8He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree #Lit andas they ate.
9Then they said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10He said, “I will certainly return to you #Lit when the time revivesat this time next year; and behold, your wife Sarah will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past #Lit the way of womenchildbearing. 12So Sarah laughed #Lit withinto herself, saying, “After I have become old, am I to have pleasure, my lord being old also?” 13But the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I actually give birth to a child, when I am so old?’ 14Is anything too #Or wonderfuldifficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, #Lit when the time revivesat this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 15Sarah denied it, however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. 17The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18since Abraham will certainly become a great and #Or populousmighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? 19For I have #Lit knownchosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” 20And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21I will go down now and see whether they have done entirely as the outcry, which has come to Me indicates; and if not, I will know.”
Abraham Appeals for Sodom
22Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23Abraham approached and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous people within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not #Or forgivespare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from You to do #Lit like this thingsuch a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth #Lit do justicedeal justly?” 26So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will #Or forgivespare the entire place on their account.” 27And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have #Or resolvedventured to speak to the Lord, although I am only dust and ashes. 28Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the entire city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31And he said, “Now behold, I have #Or resolvedventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” 32Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once: suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” 33As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his place.