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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 Lord Promises Abraham a Son
1One hot summer afternoon while Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, the Lord appeared to him. 2#He 13.2. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground, 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 a tree. 5Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honored to serve you.”
“Thank you very much,” they answered. “We accept your offer.”
6Abraham went quickly 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 yogurt and milk together with the meat.
While they were eating, he stood near them under the tree, 9and they asked, “Where's your wife Sarah?”
“She is right there in the tent,” Abraham answered.
10 # Ro 9.9. One 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.”
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. 12#1 P 3.6. So 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.
13The Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Does she doubt that she can have a child in her old age? 14#Lk 1.37. I 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.”
15Sarah was so frightened that she lied and said, “I didn't laugh.”
“Yes, you did!” he answered.
Abraham Prays for Sodom
16When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down toward 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 the 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 forever and to do what is right and fair. If they do, 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 would like to know.”
22The men turned and started toward Sodom. But the Lord stayed with Abraham. 23And Abraham asked him, “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 50 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 50 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 45 good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?”
“If I find 45 good people,” the Lord replied, “I won't destroy the city.”
29“Suppose there are just 40 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 30 good people in the city.”
“If I find 30,” 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 20?”
“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 10 good people there.”
“For the sake of 10 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.