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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
Yahweh Appears to Abraham as a Man
1And Yahweh appeared to him#Abraham by the oaks of Mamre. And he was sitting in the doorway of the tent at the heat of the day. 2And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, three men were standing near#Or “by”; the context requires some distance for Abraham to run to them him. And he saw them and ran from the doorway of the tent to meet them. And he bowed down to the ground. 3And he said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your eyes do not pass by your servant. 4Let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest under the tree. 5And let me bring a piece of bread, then#Or “and” refresh yourselves.#Literally “your heart” Afterward you can pass on, once#Literally “for therefore” you have passed by with your servant.” Then they said, “Do so as you have said.” 6Then#Or “And” Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and he said, “Quickly—make three seahs of fine flour for kneading and make bread cakes!” 7And Abraham ran to the cattle and took a calf,#Literally “a son of cattle” tender and good, and gave it to the servant, and he made haste to prepare it. 8Then he took curds and milk, and the calf which he prepared, and set it before them. And he was standing by them under the tree while#Or “and” they ate. 9And they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “Here, in the tent.” 10And he#Yahweh said, “I will certainly return to you in the spring,#Literally “at the time of life” and look, Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the doorway of the tent, and which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age;#Literally “going in the days” the way of women#Literally “the road according to women” had ceased to be for Sarah. 12So#Or “And” Sarah laughed to herself saying, “After I am worn out and my husband is old, shall this pleasure be to me?” 13Then Yahweh said to Abraham, “What is this that Sarah laughed, saying, ‘Is it indeed true that I will bear a child, now that I have grown old?’ 14Is anything too difficult for Yahweh? At the appointed time I will return to you in the spring#Literally “at the time of life” and Sarah shall have a son.” 15But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. He#Yahweh said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down upon Sodom. And Abraham went with them to send them on their way.#Literally “to send them away” 17Then Yahweh said, “Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and strong nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed on account of him. 19For I have chosen#Or “have known” him, that he will command his children and his household after him that they will keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice, so that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham that which he said to him.” 20Then Yahweh said, “Because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and because their sin is very serious,#Literally “heavy” 21I will go down and I will see. Have they done altogether according to its cry of distress which has come to me? If not, I will know.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
22And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom. And Abraham was still standing before Yahweh. 23And Abraham drew near to Yahweh and said, “Will you also sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24If perhaps there are fifty righteous in the midst of the city, will you also sweep them away and not forgive the place on account of the fifty righteous in her midst? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing as this, to kill the righteous with the wicked, that#Or “and” the righteous would be as the wicked! Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do justice?” 26And Yahweh said, “If I find fifty righteous in Sodom, in the midst of the city, then I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” 27Then Abraham answered and said, “Look, please, I was bold to speak to my Lord, but I am dust and ashes. 28Perhaps the fifty righteous are lacking five—will you destroy the whole city on account of the five?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29And once again he spoke#Literally “And he added again to speak” to him and said, “What if#Or “Perhaps” forty are found there?” And he answered, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30And he said, “Please, let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if#Or “Perhaps” thirty be found there?” And he answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31And he said, “Please, now, I was bold to speak to my Lord. What if#Or “Perhaps” twenty be found there?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” 32And he said, “Please, let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak only once more. What if#Or “Perhaps” ten are found there?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” 33Then Yahweh left,#Or “went” as he finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.