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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 great trees of Mamre. At that time Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent. It was during the hottest part of the day. 2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When Abraham saw them, he ran from his tent to meet them. He bowed facedown on the ground before them. 3Abraham said, “Sir, if you think well of me, please stay awhile with me, your servant. 4I will bring some water so all of you can wash your feet. You may rest under the tree. 5I will get some bread for you, so you can regain your strength. Then you may continue your journey.”
The three men said, “That is fine. Do as you said.”
6Abraham hurried to the tent where Sarah was. He said to her, “Hurry, prepare 20 quarts of fine flour. Make it into loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his cattle. He took one of his best calves and gave it to a servant. The servant hurried to kill the calf and to prepare it for food. 8Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been cooked. He also gave them milk curds and milk. While the three men ate, he stood under the tree near them.
9The men asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
“There, in the tent,” said Abraham.
10Then the Lord said, “I will certainly return to you about this time a year from now. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old. Sarah was past the age when women normally have children. 12So she laughed to herself, “My husband and I are too old to have a baby.”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘I am too old to have a baby’? 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? No! I will return to you at the right time a year from now. And Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid. So she lied and said, “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord said, “No. You did laugh.”
16Then the men got up to leave and started out toward Sodom. Abraham walked along with them a short time to send them on their way.
Abraham’s Bargain with God
17The Lord said, “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do now? 18Abraham’s children will certainly become a great and powerful nation. And all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19I have chosen him so he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to. I did this so they would live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, will give Abraham what I promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many things against the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They are very evil. 21So I will go down and see if they are as bad as I have heard.”
22So the men turned and went toward Sodom. But Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached the Lord. Abraham asked, “Lord, do you plan to destroy the good persons along with the evil persons? 24What if there are 50 good people in that city? Will you still destroy it? Surely you will save the city for the 50 good people living there. 25Surely you will not destroy the good people along with the evil people. Then the good people and the evil people would be treated the same. You are the judge of all the earth. Won’t you do what is right?”
26Then the Lord said, “If I find 50 good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city because of them.”
27Then Abraham said, “I am only dust and ashes. Yet I have been brave to speak to the Lord. 28What if there are only 45 good people in the city? Will you destroy the whole city for the lack of 5 good people?”
The Lord said, “If I find 45 good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Again Abraham said to the Lord, “If you find only 40 good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find 40 good people, I will not destroy the city.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me. Let me ask you this. If you find only 30 good people in the city, will you destroy it?”
The Lord said, “If I find 30 good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
31Then Abraham said, “I have been brave to speak to the Lord. But what if there are 20 good people in the city?”
The Lord answered, “If I find 20 good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
32Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me. Let me bother you this one last time. What if you find 10 good people there?”
The Lord said, “If I find 10 good people there, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord finished speaking to Abraham, he left. And Abraham returned home.