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Genesis 18

18
Isaac’s Birth Foretold
1#Ge 13:18; 14:13The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great oak trees of Mamre while he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2#Heb 13:2; Ge 18:22; 19:1Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked and saw three men standing across from him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself toward the ground.
3He said, “My Lord, if I have found favor in Your sight, do not pass by Your servant. 4#Ge 19:2; 43:24Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5#Jdg 13:15; Ge 19:8I will bring a piece of bread so that you may refresh yourselves. After that you may pass on, now that you have come to your servant.”
And they said, “So do, as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly prepare three measures#Likely about 36 pounds, or 16 kilograms. of fine flour, knead it, and make cakes.”
7Then Abraham ran to the herd and took a choice and tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8#Ge 19:3He then brought butter 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.
9#Ge 24:67They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
And he said, “There, in the tent.”
10#Ge 21:2; 17:21; 17:19One of them said, “I will certainly return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11#Ge 17:17; Heb 11:11–12Now Abraham and Sarah were old and very advanced in age, and Sarah was well past childbearing. 12#Ge 17:17; 1Pe 3:6Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am so old and my lord is old also, shall I have pleasure?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I surely bear a child when I am old?’ 14#Jer 32:17; Zec 8:6; Mt 19:26Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid.
But He said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Sodom and Gomorrah
16Then the men rose up and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to see them on their way. 17#Am 3:7; Ps 25:14Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18#Gal 3:8; Ge 26:4since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19#Dt 4:9–10; 6:6–7I chose him, and he will instruct 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 promised him.”
20#Ge 19:13; 4:10Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21#Ge 11:5; Ex 3:8I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has come to Me. If not, I will know.”
22#Ge 19:1; Ps 106:23The men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23#Nu 16:22; 2Sa 24:17Then Abraham drew near and said, “Shall You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24#Jer 5:1What if there are fifty righteous in the city? Shall You also destroy, and not spare the place, for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25#Job 8:3; 8:20Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be treated like the wicked; far be it from You. Should not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26#Jer 5:1; Isa 65:8So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the entire place for their sakes.”
27#Ge 3:19; Isa 6:5Then Abraham answered and said, “I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord. 28Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous. Will You destroy all the city for lack of five?”
And He said, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy it.”
29And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there will be forty found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
30Then he said to Him, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose there will be thirty found there?”
Again He said, “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 said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32#Jdg 6:39Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak only once more. Suppose ten will be found there?”
Then He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”
33So the Lord went His way as soon as He had stopped speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
18
The Three Visitors
1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the oak trees of Mamre. It was the hottest part of the day, and Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent. 2He looked up and saw three men standing in front of him. When he saw the men, he ran to them and bowed before them. 3Abraham said, “Sirs,#18:3 Sirs This Hebrew word can mean “sirs” or “Lord.” This might show that these were not ordinary men. please stay a while with me, your servant. 4I will bring some water to wash your feet. You can rest under the trees. 5I will get some food for you, and you can eat as much as you want. Then you can continue your journey.”
The three men said, “Do as you wish.”
6Abraham hurried to the tent. He said to Sarah, “Quickly, prepare enough flour for three loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his cattle. He took his best young calf and gave it to the servant there. He told the servant to quickly kill the calf and prepare it for food. 8Abraham brought the meat and some milk and cheese and set them down in front of the three men. Then he stood near the men, ready to serve them while they sat under the tree and ate.
9Then the men said to Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
Abraham said, “She is there, in the tent.”
10Then one of them said, “I will come again in the spring. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening in the tent and heard these things. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old. Sarah was past the right age for women to have children. 12So she laughed to herself and said, “I am old, and my husband is old. I am too old to have a baby.”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Sarah laughed and said she was too old to have a baby. 14But is anything too hard for the Lord? I will come again in the spring, just as I said I would, and your wife Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah said, “I didn’t laugh!” (She said this because she was afraid.)
Then the Lord said, “No, I know that is not true. You did laugh!”
16Then the men got up to leave. They looked toward Sodom and began walking in that direction. Abraham walked with them to send them on their way.
Abraham’s Bargain With God
17The Lord said to himself, “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do now? 18Abraham will become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on earth will be blessed because of him. 19I have made a special agreement with him. I did this so that he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to. I did this so that they would live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, can give him what I promised.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many times that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are very evil. 21I will go and see if they are as bad as I have heard. Then I will know for sure.”
22So the men turned and started walking toward Sodom while Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Will you destroy the good people while you are destroying those who are evil? 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 would not destroy the city. You would not destroy fifty good people to kill those who are evil. If that happened, those who are good would be the same as those who are evil—both would be punished. As the judge of the whole world, surely you would do the right thing!”
26Then the Lord said, “If I find fifty good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city.”
27Then Abraham said, “Compared to you, Lord, I am only dust and ashes. But let me bother you again and ask you this question. 28What if there are five less than fifty? Will you destroy a whole city because of just five people?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Abraham spoke again. He said, “And if you find only forty good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty good people, I will not destroy the city.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If only thirty good people are in the city, will you destroy it?”
The Lord said, “If I find thirty good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
31Then Abraham said, “Lord, may I bother you again and ask, what if there are twenty good people?”
The Lord answered, “If I find twenty good people, 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. If you find ten good people there, what will you do?”
The Lord said, “If I find ten good people in the city, I will not destroy it.”
33The Lord finished speaking to Abraham and left. Then Abraham went back home.