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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
Abraham’s Three Visitors
1Then the Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre # Gn 13:18; 14:13; 23:17-19 while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. 2He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him. # Gn 18:16,22; 19:1; 32:24; Jos 5:13; Jdg 13:6-11; Heb 13:2 When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed to the ground. 3Then he said, “My lord, # Or My Lord, or The Lord if I have found favor in your sight, please do not go on past your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves. # Lit may sustain your heart This is why you have passed your servant’s way. Later, you can continue on.”
“Yes,” they replied, “do as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Knead three measures # Lit three seahs ; about 21 quarts of fine flour and make bread.” # A round, thin, unleavened bread 7Meanwhile, Abraham ran to the herd and got a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man, who hurried to prepare it. 8Then Abraham took curds # Or butter and milk, and the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served # Lit was standing by them as they ate under the tree.
Sarah Laughs
9“Where is your wife Sarah? ” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he answered.
10The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son! ” # Gn 17:10; 21:1; Rm 9:9 Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
11Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years. # Lit days Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. # Lit The way of women had ceased for Sarah # Gn 17:17; Rm 4:19; Heb 11:11-12 12So she laughed to herself: “After I have become shriveled up and my lord is old, will I have delight? ” # Gn 17:17; Lk 1:18; 1Pt 3:6
13But the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Can I really have a baby when I’m old? ’ 14Is anything impossible for the Lord? # Jb 34:10; Jr 32:17,27; Mt 19:26; Mk 10:27; Lk 1:37; 18:27; Heb 6:18 At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.”
15Sarah denied it. “I did not laugh,” she said, because she was afraid.
But He replied, “No, you did laugh.”
Abraham’s Plea for Sodom
16The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off. 17Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham? # Am 3:7 18Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. # Gn 12:3; 26:4; Gl 3:8 19For I have chosen # Lit known him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what He promised him.” 20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. 21I will go down # Gn 11:5; Ex 3:8; Ps 14:2 to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to Me. If not, I will find out.”
22The men turned from there and went toward Sodom # Gn 19:1 while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. # Ancient Jewish tradition reads while the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? # Ex 23:7; Nm 16:22; 2Sm 24:17; Ps 11:4-7 24What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people who are in it? 25You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of all the earth do what is just? ” # Dt 1:16-17; 32:4; Jb 8:3,20; Ps 58:11; 94:2; Is 3:10-11; Rm 3:5-6
26The Lord said, “If I find 50 righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” # Jr 5:1
27Then Abraham answered, “Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord — even though I am dust and ashes — 28suppose the 50 righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five? ”
He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find 45 there.”
29Then he spoke to Him again, “Suppose 40 are found there? ”
He answered, “I will not do it on account of 40.”
30Then he said, “Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose 30 are found there? ”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find 30 there.”
31Then he said, “Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose 20 are found there? ”
He replied, “I will not destroy it on account of 20.”
32Then he said, “Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time. # Jdg 6:39 Suppose 10 are found there? ”
He answered, “I will not destroy it on account of 10.” 33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, He departed, and Abraham returned to his place.