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Genesis 18

18
Birth of Isaac Promised
1Now the Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinth trees of Mamre [in Hebron], while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. 2When he raised his eyes and looked up, behold, three men were standing [a little distance] from him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed down [with his face] to the ground, 3and Abraham said, “My #At some point during this encounter, Abraham understood that one of the three men was actually God appearing as a man (or as an angel; cf note 16:7), and he addressed Him as such in v 14. Verse 13 confirms that it was the Lord who spoke to him. The other two men were angels.lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass by your servant [without stopping to visit]. 4Please let a little water be brought [by one of my servants] and [you may] wash your feet, and recline and rest comfortably under the tree. 5And I will bring a piece of bread to refresh and sustain #Lit your heart.you; after that you may go on, since you have come to your servant.” And they replied, “Do as you have said.” 6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, get ready three #Heb seim, plural of seah; since one seah equals about nine quarts, this was a large quantity. However, Abraham was asking Sarah to make cakes of bread which actually could be baked quickly because they were similar to pizza dough, that is, large, round, and flat. Together with the other food that Abraham provided (vv 7, 8), his promise of “a piece of bread” in v 5 was greatly understated, and the generous meal reflected the respect that he held for his special visitors.measures of fine meal, knead it and bake cakes.” 7Abraham also ran to the herd and brought a calf, tender and choice, and he gave it to the servant [to butcher], and he hurried to prepare it. 8Then he took #Or sour milk, or perhaps butter. It may have served as a kind of condiment for the bread.curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before the men; and he stood beside them under the tree while they ate.
9Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10He said, “I will surely return to you at this #Lit when the time revives.#Lit when the time revives. Some regard this as a reference to springtime. Others think it means “the time when the life is ready.”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, well advanced in years; she was past [the age of] childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself [when she heard the Lords words], saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband) being also old?” 13And the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh [to herself], saying, ‘Shall I really give birth [to a child] when I am so old?’ 14Is anything too difficult or too wonderful for the #The divine Hebrew name YHWH (Yahweh), usually represented by “Lord,” occurs more than 5,000 times in the Bible.Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes, I will return to you and Sarah will have a son.” 15Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh”; because she was afraid. And He (the Lord) said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men got up from there, and looked toward Sodom; and Abraham walked with them to send them on the way. 17The Lord said, “Shall I keep secret from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, 18since Abraham #Lit will surely.is destined to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him? 19For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and [the sons of] his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is righteous and just, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has promised him.” 20And the Lord said, “The outcry [of the sin] of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21I will go down now, and see whether they have acted [as vilely and wickedly] as the outcry which has come to Me [indicates]; and if not, I will know.”
22Now the [two] men (angelic beings) turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23Abraham approached [the Lord] and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous (those who do right) with the wicked (those who do evil)? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous [people] within the city; will You really sweep it away and not spare it for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from You to do #Lit according to this word.such a thing—to strike 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 right [by executing just and righteous judgment]?” 26So the Lord said, “If I find within the city of Sodom fifty righteous [people], then I will spare the entire place for their sake.” 27Abraham answered, “Now behold, I who am but dust [in origin] and ashes have decided to speak to the Lord. 28If five of the fifty righteous are lacking, will You destroy the entire city for lack of five?” And He said, “If I find [at least] forty-five [righteous people] there, I will not destroy it.” 29Abraham spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose [only] forty are found there.” And He said, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty [who are righteous].” 30Then Abraham said [to Him], “Oh, may the Lord not be angry, and I will speak; suppose thirty [righteous people] are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31And he said, “Now behold, I have decided to speak to the Lord [again]. Suppose [only] twenty [righteous people] are found there?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” 32Then Abraham said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry [with me], and I will speak only this once; suppose ten [righteous people] are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” 33As soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his own place.
18
Abraham’s Three Visitors
1The Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre#Gn 13:18; 14:13; 23:17–19 while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. 2He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him.#Gn 18:16,22; 19:1; 32:24; Jos 5:13; Jdg 13:6–11; Heb 13:2 When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, bowed to the ground, 3and said, “My lord, if I have found favor with you, please do not go on past your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant’s way. Later, you can continue on.”
“Yes,” they replied, “do as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Knead three measures#18:6 Lit three seahs; about 21 quarts of fine flour and make bread.”#18:6 A round, thin, unleavened bread 7Abraham ran to the herd and got a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man, who hurried to prepare it. 8Then Abraham took curds#18:8 Or butter and milk, as well as the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served#18:8 Lit was standing by them as they ate under the tree.
Sarah Laughs
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he answered.
10The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” #Gn 17:10; 21:1; Rm 9:9 Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
11Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years.#18:11 Lit days Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.#Gn 17:17; Rm 4:19; Heb 11:11–12 12So she laughed to herself: “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I have delight?” #Gn 17:17; Lk 1:18; 1Pt 3:6
13But the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Can I really have a baby when I’m old?’ 14Is anything impossible for the Lord?#Jb 34:10; Jr 32:17,27; Mt 19:26; Mk 10:27; Lk 1:37; 18:27; Heb 6:18 At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.”
15Sarah denied it. “I did not laugh,” she said, because she was afraid.
But he replied, “No, you did laugh.”
Abraham’s Plea for Sodom
16The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off. 17Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham?#Am 3:7 18Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.#Gn 12:3; 26:4; Gl 3:8 19For I have chosen#18:19 Lit known him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what he promised him.” 20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. 21I will go down#Gn 11:5; Ex 3:8; Ps 14:2 to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to me. If not, I will find out.”
22The men turned from there and went toward Sodom#Gn 19:1 while Abraham remained standing before the Lord.#18:22 Alt Hb tradition reads while the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?#Ex 23:7; Nm 16:22; 2Sm 24:17; Ps 11:4–7 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people who are in it? 25You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of the whole earth do what is just?” #Dt 1:16–17; 32:4; Jb 8:3,20; Ps 58:11; 94:2; Is 3:10–11; Rm 3:5–6
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”#Jr 5:1
27Then Abraham answered, “Since I have ventured to speak to my lord — even though I am dust and ashes —  28suppose the fifty righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”
He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29Then he spoke to him again, “Suppose forty are found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it on account of forty.”
30Then he said, “Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Then he said, “Since I have ventured to speak to my lord, suppose twenty are found there?”
He replied, “I will not destroy it on account of twenty.”
32Then he said, “Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time.#Jdg 6:39 Suppose ten are found there?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it on account of ten.” 33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he departed, and Abraham returned to his place.