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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
1-2God appeared to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. It was the hottest part of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing. He ran from his tent to greet them and bowed before them.
3-5He said, “Master, if it please you, stop for a while with your servant. I’ll get some water so you can wash your feet. Rest under this tree. I’ll get some food to refresh you on your way, since your travels have brought you across my path.”
They said, “Certainly. Go ahead.”
6Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. He said, “Hurry. Get three cups of our best flour; knead it and make bread.”
7-8Then Abraham ran to the cattle pen and picked out a nice plump calf and gave it to the servant who lost no time getting it ready. Then he got curds and milk, brought them with the calf that had been roasted, set the meal before the men, and stood there under the tree while they ate.
9The men said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
He said, “In the tent.”
10One of them said, “I’m coming back about this time next year. When I arrive, your wife Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was listening at the tent opening, just behind the man.
11-12Abraham and Sarah were old by this time, very old. Sarah was far past the age for having babies. Sarah laughed within herself, “An old woman like me? Get pregnant? With this old man of a husband?”
13-14God said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh saying, ‘Me? Have a baby? An old woman like me?’ Is anything too hard for God? I’ll be back about this time next year and Sarah will have a baby.”
15Sarah lied. She said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was afraid.
But he said, “Yes you did; you laughed.”
16When the men got up to leave, they set off for Sodom. Abraham walked with them to say good-bye.
17-19Then God said, “Shall I keep back from Abraham what I’m about to do? Abraham is going to become a large and strong nation; all the nations of the world are going to find themselves blessed through him. Yes, I’ve settled on him as the one to train his children and future family to observe God’s way of life, live kindly and generously and fairly, so that God can complete in Abraham what he promised him.”
20-21God continued, “The cries of the victims in Sodom and Gomorrah are deafening; the sin of those cities is immense. I’m going down to see for myself, see if what they’re doing is as bad as it sounds. Then I’ll know.”
22The men set out for Sodom, but Abraham stood in God’s path, blocking his way.
23-25Abraham confronted him, “Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents? I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?”
26God said, “If I find fifty decent people in the city of Sodom, I’ll spare the place just for them.”
27-28Abraham came back, “Do I, a mere mortal made from a handful of dirt, dare open my mouth again to my Master? What if the fifty fall short by five—would you destroy the city because of those missing five?”
He said, “I won’t destroy it if there are forty-five.”
29Abraham spoke up again, “What if you only find forty?”
“Neither will I destroy it if for forty.”
30He said, “Master, don’t be irritated with me, but what if only thirty are found?”
“No, I won’t do it if I find thirty.”
31He pushed on, “I know I’m trying your patience, Master, but how about for twenty?”
“I won’t destroy it for twenty.”
32He wouldn’t quit, “Don’t get angry, Master—this is the last time. What if you only come up with ten?”
“For the sake of only ten, I won’t destroy the city.”
33When God finished talking with Abraham, he left. And Abraham went home.