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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 favour 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 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 towards 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 towards 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.

Genesis 18

18
God promised again to give Abraham and Sarah a son
1Abraham camped for some time near the big trees that belonged to a man called Mamreh. One day, God came to Abraham there. It happened like this. Abraham was sitting in the doorway of his tent, at the hottest part of the day, 2and he looked up and saw 3 men standing nearby. He got up quickly, and he ran to meet them, and he got down on his knees and put his face near the ground to show them respect.#Hebrews 13:2 3Abraham said, “Sirs, please come and sit at my place for a while. Let me look after you. 4I will get a work-man to bring water so that you can wash your feet, and then you can rest in the shade of this tree. 5And I will get some food for you, so that you will be strong enough to keep walking to the place where you are going. I really want to do that for you.”
The 3 men said, “All right. We’ll rest here while you do that.”
6Then Abraham went quickly into the tent to tell Sarah, and he said, “Quick, get a big bag of really good flour and make some damper for our visitors.”
7Then he ran to his mob of cows and picked out a really good young cow. He gave it to one of his work-men and said, “Quick, kill this young cow, and cook it for our visitors.” 8Then Abraham gave the men that cooked meat, and some cheese and milk. And Abraham stood near them in the shade of that tree, and he looked after them while they ate that food.
9Then they said to Abraham, “Where is your wife, Sarah?”
Abraham said, “She is right here, in our tent.”
10You know, one of those men was God, but he made himself to be like a man when he talked to Abraham. He said, “I will come back to you at this time next year, and Sarah will have a baby boy.”#Romans 9:9
Sarah was at the doorway of the tent, and she listened to them talking. 11Abraham and Sarah were both very old. She knew she was too old to have a baby, 12so when she heard him say that, she laughed quietly and said to herself, “I am too old and worn out to have a baby, and my husband is old too. If I had a baby, I would be really happy. But I’m too old for that now.”#1 Peter 3:6
13God said, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say to herself, ‘I can’t have a baby now, I am too old’? 14I’m telling you, nothing is too hard for me. I am God. Just like I said, at this time next year, I will come back, and Sarah will have a baby boy.”#Luke 1:37
15Sarah was frightened, and so she lied and said, “I didn’t laugh.”
But God said, “That’s not true. You did laugh.”
God talked to Abraham about the town called Sodom
16Then the 3 men got up to leave, and Abraham went with them for a little while to say goodbye. They went to a hill where they looked down at the town called Sodom. 17God said, “Maybe I will tell Abraham what I am going to do. 18You know, Abraham’s family will be a big and powerful nation one day, and I will use his family to do good things for all the nations in the world.#Galatians 3:8 19I have picked him out so that he can teach his family to live my way, and do what is good and right. Then I will keep my promise to him.”
20So God said, “Abraham, I heard about all the really bad things that people do in those 2 towns down there, called Sodom and Gomorrah. A lot of people are telling me that those people are always doing bad things. 21I will go down and find out if they are really doing those bad things that I heard about.” That’s what the man said, the one that had God in him.
22Then the other 2 men turned and walked towards Sodom. They left Abraham standing in front of God.
23Abraham went up close to God and asked him, “Are you going to kill all the good people, as well as the bad people? 24There might be 50 good people that live the right way down there in that town. Will you still finish up that town? Or will you save that town to save those 50 good people? 25I don’t think you will kill 50 good people. I know that you are the judge of everybody in the world, and you always do what is right. I don’t think you will kill the good people with the bad people.”
26God said, “If I find 50 good people in Sodom, I will not finish up that town. I will save that town so that I can save those 50 good people.”
27Then Abraham said, “Look, I know that I am just a man and you are God, but I’m being brave and I’m talking to you. I want to ask you another question. 28What if you find only 45 good people in that town, will you still finish up that town?”
God said, “If I find 45 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
29Then Abraham asked God again, he said, “What if you find only 40 good people there?”
God said, “If I find 40 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
30Then Abraham said, “God, please don’t get angry with me, but I will say a little bit more. What if you find only 30 good people in that town?”
God said, “If I find 30 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
31Then Abraham said, “I know that I am being brave to talk to God like this, but what if you find only 20 good people in that town?”
God said, “If I find 20 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
32Then Abraham said, “God, please don’t get angry with me, but I will ask one more question. What if you find only 10 good people in that town?”
God said, “If I find 10 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
33Then they finished talking, and God left Abraham, and Abraham went back to his camp.