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Genesis 18

18
Chapter 18
God promises a son to Abraham
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the special oak trees of Mamre. It was the hot time of day and Abraham was sitting by the door of his tent. 2Abraham looked up and he saw three men. He ran in a hurry to meet them. He bent down to the ground to respect them. #18:2 This was a visit from the Lord God himself, but Abraham did not know that until later in their meeting.
3Abraham said, ‘Please sir, stop here and let me serve you. That would make me very happy. 4Let us bring some water so that you can all wash your feet. Then you can rest under this tree. 5Let me also bring some food for you to eat. Now that you have come to my home, you should rest and become strong again. Then you will be ready to continue with your journey.’ The men replied, ‘That is good. Please do what you have said.’
6Abraham went quickly to the tent. He said to Sarah, ‘Be quick! Get plenty of good flour and make bread with it.’ 7Then Abraham ran to his cows. He chose a very nice young cow. He gave it to his servant. The servant quickly prepared it for the men to eat. 8Then Abraham also brought some cream and some milk, as well as the meat from the cow. He put all the food in front of the men. While they ate it, Abraham stood near them, under a tree.
9Then the men asked Abraham ‘Where is Sarah, your wife?’ Abraham replied, ‘She is there in the tent.’
10Then one of the men said, ‘I will certainly return to you at about this time next year. At that time Sarah, your wife, will have a son!’
Sarah was listening to all this. She was at the door of the tent, near to where they were talking. 11Abraham and Sarah were now very old. Sarah was past the age when she could give birth to a child. 12So Sarah laughed to herself. She thought, ‘I have become old and weak. My husband is also old. I will never have a baby and be happy like that.’
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh like that? She said, “I am too old to have a child.” 14But surely, nothing is too difficult for the Lord to do. At this time next year, I will return to you and Sarah will have a son.’
15Then Sarah was afraid. So she told a lie. She said, ‘I did not laugh.’ But the Lord said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’
God decides to punish the people in Sodom
16Then Abraham's visitors started to leave. They looked down in the valley towards Sodom. Abraham was walking with them to say ‘goodbye’ to them. 17Then the Lord said to himself, ‘I should tell Abraham what I am going to do. 18Abraham's descendants will become a great nation of people. They will be very powerful. Through him, I will bless all the nations of the earth. #18:18 See Genesis 12:2-3. 19I have chosen him so that he will teach my message to his children and their families. He will teach them to do what is right and what is fair. Then I, the Lord, will do for Abraham everything that I have promised to him.’
20So the Lord said to Abraham, ‘I have heard how bad the people in Sodom and Gomorrah are. Everybody says that their sins are very bad. 21So I must go down there to see if it is really true. I will see if those people are as bad as everybody says they are. Then I will know what is true.’
22The other two men then turned away and they went towards Sodom. But Abraham stayed there to talk with the Lord.
23Then Abraham went near to the Lord and he asked, ‘Will you destroy the good people as well as the bad people? 24There might be 50 people in the city who live in a good way. Will you still destroy the whole city? Or will you leave it there, because there are 50 good people in it? 25Will you kill them all, the good people and the bad people? Surely you would not do anything like that! You would not punish good people in the same way as bad people. You are the great judge of everyone on the earth. You will surely do what is right!’
26The Lord replied, ‘If I see that there are 50 good people in the city of Sodom, I will not destroy that place. Because of those 50 good people, I will leave the city there.’
27Then Abraham spoke again. He said, ‘I have been brave enough to speak to the Lord. I know that I am nothing more than dust and ashes. #18:27 Abraham is saying that he is not important enough to argue with the Lord God. He is only a human that God himself has made. 28But let me ask you this. What will you do if there are 45 good people in the city? Will you destroy the city, because there are only 5 fewer good people there?’ The Lord replied, ‘If I see that there are 45 good people in the city, I will not destroy it.’
29Abraham spoke to God again. He said, ‘What will you do if only 40 good people are there?’ The Lord said, ‘Because of 40 good people, I will not destroy the city.’
30Then Abraham said, ‘Please do not be angry, Lord. Let me speak again. What will you do if there are only 30 good people there?’ The Lord answered, ‘I will not destroy the city if I find 30 good people there.’
31Abraham said, ‘I have been brave to speak to you, Lord. What will you do if only 20 good people are there?’ The Lord said, ‘Because of 20 good people, I will not destroy the city.’
32After all that, Abraham said, ‘Please do not be angry, Lord. Let me speak just one more time. If there are only 10 good people there, what will you do?’ The Lord replied, ‘Because of 10 good people, I will not destroy the city.’ #18:32 Abraham's nephew, Lot, is living in Sodom. Abraham does not want God to kill Lot and his family. That is why Abraham asks God not to kill everyone in the city.
33The Lord had finished speaking with Abraham. So he continued on his journey. Abraham returned home.
18
1And Jehovah appeareth unto him among the oaks of Mamre, and he is sitting at the opening of the tent, about the heat of the day;
2and he lifteth up his eyes and looketh, and lo, three men standing by him, and he seeth, and runneth to meet them from the opening of the tent, and boweth himself towards the earth,
3And he saith, ‘My Lord, if, I pray thee, I have found grace in thine eyes, do not, I pray thee, pass on from thy servant;
4let, I pray thee, a little water be accepted, and wash your feet, and recline under the tree;
5and I bring a piece of bread, and support ye your heart; afterwards pass on, for therefore have ye passed over unto your servant;’ and they say, ‘So mayest thou do as thou has spoken.’
6And Abraham hasteth towards the tent, unto Sarah, and saith, ‘Hasten three measures of flour-meal, knead, and make cakes;’
7and Abraham ran unto the herd, and taketh a son of the herd, tender and good, and giveth unto the young man, and he hasteth to prepare it;
8and he taketh butter and milk, and the son of the herd which he hath prepared, and setteth before them; and he is standing by them under the tree, and they do eat.
9And they say unto him, ‘Where [is] Sarah thy wife?’ and he saith, ‘Lo — in the tent;’
10and he saith, ‘returning I return unto thee, about the time of life, and lo, to Sarah thy wife a son.’
11And Sarah is hearkening at the opening of the tent, which is behind him;
12and Abraham and Sarah [are] aged, entering into days — the way of women hath ceased to be to Sarah;
13and Sarah laugheth in her heart, saying, ‘After I have waxed old I have had pleasure! — my lord also [is] old!’
14And Jehovah saith unto Abraham, ‘Why [is] this? Sarah hath laughed, saying, Is it true really — I bear — and I am aged? Is any thing too wonderful for Jehovah? at the appointed time I return unto thee, about the time of life, and Sarah hath a son.’
15And Sarah denieth, saying, ‘I did not laugh;’ for she hath been afraid; and He saith, ‘Nay, but thou didst laugh.’
16And the men rise from thence, and look on the face of Sodom, and Abraham is going with them to send them away;
17and Jehovah said, ‘Am I concealing from Abraham that which I am doing,
18and Abraham certainly becometh a nation great and mighty, and blessed in him have been all nations of the earth?
19for I have known him, that he commandeth his children, and his house after him (and they have kept the way of Jehovah), to do righteousness and judgment, that Jehovah may bring on Abraham that which He hath spoken concerning him.’
20And Jehovah saith, ‘The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah — because great; and their sin — because exceeding grievous:
21I go down now, and see whether according to its cry which is coming unto Me they have done completely — and if not — I know;’
22and the men turn from thence, and go towards Sodom; and Abraham is yet standing before Jehovah.
23And Abraham draweth nigh and saith, ‘Dost Thou also consume righteous with wicked?
24peradventure there are fifty righteous in the midst of the city; dost Thou also consume, and not bear with the place for the sake of the fifty — the righteous who [are] in its midst?
25Far be it from Thee to do according to this thing, to put to death the righteous with the wicked; that it hath been — as the righteous so the wicked — far be it from Thee; doth the Judge of all the earth not do justice?’
26And Jehovah saith, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous in the midst of the city, then have I borne with all the place for their sake.’
27And Abraham answereth and saith, ‘Lo, I pray thee, I have willed to speak unto the Lord, and I — dust and ashes;
28peradventure there are lacking five of the fifty righteous — dost Thou destroy for five the whole of the city?’ and He saith, ‘I destroy [it] not, if I find there forty and five.’
29And he addeth again to speak unto Him and saith, ‘Peradventure there are found there forty?’ and He saith, ‘I do [it] not, because of the forty.’
30And he saith, ‘Let it not be, I Pray thee, displeasing to the Lord, and I speak: peradventure there are found there thirty?’ and He saith, ‘I do [it] not, if I find there thirty.’
31And he saith, ‘Lo, I pray thee, I have willed to speak unto the Lord: peradventure there are found there twenty?’ and He saith, ‘I do not destroy [it], because of the twenty.’
32And he saith, ‘Let it not be, I pray Thee, displeasing to the Lord, and I speak only this time: peradventure there are found there ten?’ and He saith, ‘I do not destroy [it], because of the ten.’
33And Jehovah goeth on, when He hath finished speaking unto Abraham, and Abraham hath turned back to his place.