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Genesis 18

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.
18
1 NOW THE Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks or terebinths of Mamre; as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day,
2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood at a little distance from him. He ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the ground
3 And said, My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant, I beg of you.
4 Let a little water be brought, and you may wash your feet and recline and rest yourselves under the tree.
5 And I will bring a morsel (mouthful) of bread to refresh and sustain your hearts before you go on further–for that is why you have come to your servant. And they replied, Do as you have said.
6 So Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, Quickly get ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and bake cakes.
7 And Abraham ran to the herd and brought a calf tender and good and gave it to the young man [to butcher]; then he [Abraham] hastened to prepare it.
8 And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before [the men]; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, [She is here] in the tent.
10 [The Lord] said, I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was listening and heard it at the tent door which was behind Him. [Rom. 9:9-12.]
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; it had ceased to be with Sarah as with [young] women. [She was past the age of childbearing].
12 Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband), being old also? [I Pet. 3:6.]
13 And the Lord asked Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really bear a child when I am so old?
14 Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son. [Matt. 19:26.]
15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.
16 The men rose up from there and faced toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, [Gal. 3:8.]
18 Since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed through him and shall bless themselves by him? [Gen. 12:2-3.]
19 For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him.
20 And the Lord said, Because the shriek [of the sins] of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is exceedingly grievous,
21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether [as vilely and wickedly] as is the cry of it which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.
22 Now the [two] men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.
23 And Abraham came close and said, Will You destroy the righteous (those upright and in right standing with God) together with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are in the city fifty righteous; will You destroy the place and not spare it for [the sake of] the fifty righteous in it?
25 Far be it from You to do such a thing–to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked! Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously?
26 And the Lord said, If I find in the city of Sodom fifty righteous (upright and in right standing with God), I will spare the whole place for their sake.
27 Abraham answered, Behold now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord.
28 If five of the fifty righteous should be lacking–will You destroy the whole city for lack of five? He said, If I find forty-five, I will not destroy it.
29 And [Abraham] spoke to Him yet again, and said, Suppose [only] forty shall be found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty's sake.
30 Then [Abraham] said to Him, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak [again]. Suppose [only] thirty shall be found there. And He answered, I will not do it if I find thirty there.
31 And [Abraham] said, Behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak [again] to the Lord. Suppose [only] twenty shall be found there. And [the Lord] replied, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.
32 And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once. Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there. And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
33 And the Lord went His way when He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.