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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
1And the Lord appeared to him by the #ch. 13:18; 14:13oaks#18:1 Or terebinths of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. #ch. 19:1; [Heb. 13:2]When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3and said, “O Lord,#18:3 Or My lord if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4Let a #ch. 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; [Luke 7:44; John 13:14]little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5while I bring a morsel of bread, that #Judg. 19:5; [Ps. 104:15] you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—#ch. 19:8; 33:10since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs#18:6 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is #ch. 24:67in the tent.” 10The Lord said, “I will surely return to you #ver. 14; 2 Kgs. 4:16 about this time next year, and #ch. 17:19, 21; 21:2; Cited Rom. 9:9Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11Now #ch. 17:17; Rom. 4:19; Heb. 11:11, 12Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12#[ch. 17:17] So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, #[Luke 1:18] “After I am worn out, and #1 Pet. 3:6my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14#Job 42:2; Jer. 32:17, 27; Zech. 8:6; Matt. 19:26; Luke 1:37 Is anything too hard#18:14 Or wonderful for the Lord? #ver. 10At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15But Sarah denied it,#18:15 Or acted falsely saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The Lord said, #[Ps. 25:14; Amos 3:7; John 15:15]“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be #ch. 12:3; 22:18; 26:4; Acts 3:25; Gal. 3:8blessed in him? 19For I have #[Amos 3:2]chosen#18:19 Hebrew known him, 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 to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20Then the Lord said, “Because #ch. 4:10; 19:13; [Isa. 3:9; Ezek. 16:49, 50; James 5:4]the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21#ch. 11:5, 7; Ex. 3:8 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether#18:21 Or they deserve destruction; Hebrew they have made a complete end according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, #Josh. 22:22I will know.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
22 # ver. 16; ch. 19:1 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham #ver. 1; [Ps. 106:23; Jer. 18:20]still stood before the Lord. 23Then Abraham drew near and said, #ch. 20:4; Num. 16:22; 2 Sam. 24:17“Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, #[Job 8:20] so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! #Deut. 32:4; Job 8:3; 34:10; Rom. 3:5, 6Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the Lord said, #Jer. 5:1; Ezek. 22:30; [Isa. 65:8]“If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Abraham answered and said, #[Luke 18:1]“Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32Then he said, #Judg. 6:39“Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.