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Genesis 18

18
The Three Visitors
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,#18:3 Or eyes, Lord do not pass your servant by. 4Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs#18:6 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
16When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.#18:18 Or will use his name in blessings (see 48:20) 19For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.#18:22 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition but the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare#18:24 Or forgive; also in verse 26 the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
18
The LORD promises Abraham a son
1One hot summer afternoon Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, when the LORD appeared to him. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground,#He 13.2. 3and said, “Please come to my home where I can serve you. 4I'll have some water brought, so you can wash your feet, then you can rest under the tree. 5Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honoured to serve you.”
“Thank you very much,” they answered. “We accept your offer.”
6Abraham quickly went to his tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get a large sack of flour and make some bread.” 7After saying this, he rushed off to his herd of cattle and picked out one of the best calves, which his servant quickly prepared. 8He then served his guests some yoghurt and milk together with the meat.
While they were eating, he stood near them under the trees, 9and they asked, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
“She is there in the tent,” Abraham answered.
10One of the guests was the LORD, and he said, “I'll come back about this time next year, and when I do, Sarah will already have a son.”#Ro 9.9.
Sarah was behind Abraham, listening at the entrance to the tent. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was well past the age for having children. 12So she laughed and said to herself, “Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, will I really know such happiness?”#18.12 know such happiness: Either the joy of making love or the joy of having children.#1 P 3.6.
13The LORD asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Does she doubt that she can have a child in her old age? 14I am the LORD! There is nothing too difficult for me. I'll come back next year at the time I promised, and Sarah will already have a son.”#Lk 1.37.
15Sarah was so frightened that she lied and said, “I didn't laugh.”
“Yes, you did!” he answered.
Abraham, Lot, Sodom, and Gomorrah
Abraham prays for Sodom
16When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down towards Sodom, and Abraham walked part of the way with them.
17The LORD said to himself, “I should tell Abraham what I am going to do, 18since his family will become a great and powerful nation that will be a blessing to all other nations on earth.#18.18 that will be…on earth: Or “and all other nations on earth will ask me to bless them as I have blessed his family.” 19I have chosen him to teach his family to obey me for ever and to do what is right and fair. Then I will give Abraham many descendants, just as I promised.”
20The LORD said, “Abraham, I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are doing all kinds of evil things. 21Now I am going down to see for myself if those people really are that bad. If they aren't, I want to know about it.”
22The men turned and started towards Sodom. But the LORD stayed with Abraham, 23who asked, “LORD, when you destroy the evil people, are you also going to destroy those who are good? 24Wouldn't you spare the city if there are only fifty good people in it? 25You surely wouldn't let them be killed when you destroy the evil ones. You are the judge of all the earth, and you do what is right.”
26The LORD replied, “If I find fifty good people in Sodom, I will save the city to keep them from being killed.”
27Abraham answered, “I am nothing more than the dust of the earth. Please forgive me, LORD, for daring to speak to you like this. 28But suppose there are only forty-five good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?”
“If I find forty-five good people,” the LORD replied, “I won't destroy the city.”
29“Suppose there are just forty good people?” Abraham asked.
“Even for them,” the LORD replied, “I won't destroy the city.”
30Abraham said, “Please don't be angry, LORD, if I ask you what you will do if there are only thirty good people in the city.”
“If I find thirty,” the LORD replied, “I still won't destroy it.”
31Then Abraham said, “I don't have any right to ask you, LORD, but what would you do if you find only twenty?”
“Because of them, I won't destroy the city,” was the LORD's answer.
32Finally, Abraham said, “Please don't get angry, LORD, if I speak just once more. Suppose you find only ten good people there.”
“For the sake of ten good people,” the LORD told him, “I still won't destroy the city.”
33After speaking with Abraham, the LORD left, and Abraham went back home.