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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.

Genesis 18

18
Yahweh Appears to Abraham
1Then Yahweh appeared to him by the #18.1: Or terebinthsoaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day.
2And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing nearby; he saw, and he ran from the tent door to meet them, and he bowed himself to the earth,
3and he said, “#18.3: Or O LordMy Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not #18.3: Lit pass away from Your servantpass Your servant by.
4“Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and #18.4: Lit supportrest yourselves under the tree;
5and let me #18.5: Lit takebring a piece of bread, that you may #18.5: Lit sustain your heartrefresh your hearts; after that you may pass on, since in such a manner you have passed by your servant.” And they said, “So you shall do, as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “#18.6: Lit Hasten 3 measuresHurry, prepare #18.6: Approx. 21 qt. or 23 l, a seah was approx. 7 qt. or 7.7 lthree seahs of fine flour, knead it, and make bread cakes.”
7Abraham also ran to the herd and took a tender and #18.7: Lit goodchoice calf and gave it to his young man, and he hurried to prepare it.
8Then he took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree, and they ate.
9¶Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.”
10And He said, “I will surely return to you #18.10: Lit when the time revivesat this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door which was behind him.
11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past #18.11: Lit the manner of womenchildbearing.
12And Sarah laughed #18.12: Lit withinto herself, saying, “After I am worn out, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”
13And Yahweh said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed #18.13: Lit surely bearbear a son, when I am so old?’
14“Is anything too #18.14: Or marvelousdifficult for Yahweh? At the appointed time I will return to you, #18.14: Lit when the time revivesat this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Then Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Yahweh and Abraham Speak About Sodom
16¶Then the men rose up from there and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off.
17Now Yahweh said, “Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am about to do,
18since Abraham will surely become a great and #18.18: Or populousmighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
19“For I have #18.19: Or chosenknown him, so that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of Yahweh to do righteousness and justice, so that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
20So Yahweh said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.
21“I will go down now and see whether they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
22¶Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before Yahweh.
23Then Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24“Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not #18.24: Or forgivespare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
25“Far be it from You to do #18.25: Lit after this mannersuch a thing, to put to death the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do justice?”
26So Yahweh said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will #18.26: Or forgivespare the whole place on their account.”
27And Abraham answered and said, “Now behold, I have #18.27: Lit undertakenventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes.
28“Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29Then he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.”
30Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31And he said, “Now behold, I have #18.31: Lit undertakenventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.”
32Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.”
33And as soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham, Yahweh departed, and Abraham returned to his place.