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Genesis 18

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CHAPTER 18
1Forsooth in the valley of Mamre the Lord appeared to Abraham, sitting in the door of his tabernacle, in that heat of the day.
2And when Abraham had raised up his eyes, three men appeared to him, and stood nigh [to] him. And when he had seen them, he ran from the door of his tabernacle into the meeting of them, and he worshipped on [the] earth,
3and said, Lord, if I have found grace in thine eyes, pass thou not thy servant,
4but I shall bring a little water, and your feet be washed, and rest ye under the tree;
5and I shall set before you a morsel of bread, and your heart be comforted; afterward ye shall pass [forth]; for therefore be ye bowed aside to your servant. Which said, Do thou as thou hast spoken.
6Abraham hasted into the tabernacle, to Sarah, and said to her, Haste thou, mix three half bushels of clean flour; and make thou loaves baken under ashes.
7Forsooth he ran to the drove of beasts, and took thereof a calf most tender and best, and gave to a servant, which hasted, and seethed the calf;
8and he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had sodden, and set before them; forsooth Abraham stood beside them under the tree. And when they had eaten,
9they said to him, Where is Sarah thy wife? He answered, Lo! she is in the tabernacle.
10To whom the Lord said, I shall turn again, and I shall come to thee in this time, if I live; and Sarah, thy wife, shall have a son. When this was heard, Sarah laughed behind the door of the tabernacle.
11Forsooth both were old, and of great age, and woman’s terms ceased to be made to Sarah.
12And she laughed, saying privily, After that I waxed eld [or old], and my lord is eld [or old], shall I give diligence [or busyness] to lust?
13Forsooth the Lord said to Abraham, Why laughed Sarah, thy wife, saying, Whether I an eld [or old] woman shall bear a child verily?
14whether anything is hard to God? By the promise I shall turn again to thee in this same time, if I live; and Sarah shall have a son.
15Sarah was afeared for dread, and denied, saying, I laughed not. Forsooth the Lord said, It is not so, but thou laughedest.
16Therefore when the men had risen from thence, they dressed the eyes against Sodom; and Abraham went together, leading them forth.
17And the Lord said, Whether I may cover from Abraham what things I shall do,
18since he shall be into a great folk and most strong, and all nations of [the] earth shall be blessed in him?
19For I know that Abraham shall command his children, and his house after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, and that they do rightfulness [or rightwiseness] and doom, that the Lord bring for Abraham all things which he spake to Abraham.
20And so the Lord said, The cry of men of Sodom and of men of Gomorrah is multiplied, and their sin is egregious greatly;
21I shall come down, and see whether they have [ful] filled in work the cry that came to me, that I know whether it is not so.
22And they turned them[selves] from thence, and went to Sodom. Abraham soothly stood yet before the Lord,
23and nighed, and said, Whether thou shalt lose a just man [or the rightwise] with the wicked?
24if fifty just [or rightwise] men be in the city, shall they perish altogether, and shalt thou not spare that place for fifty just [or rightwise] men, if they be therein?
25Far be it from thee that thou do this thing, and slay the just [or rightwise] with the wicked, and that a just [or rightwise] man be made as a wicked man; this is not thine that deemest all [the] earth; thou shalt not make this doom.
26And the Lord said to him, If I shall find in Sodom fifty just [or rightwise] men in the midst of the city, I shall forgive to all the place for them.
27Abraham answered and said, For I began once, I shall speak to my Lord, since I am dust and ashes;
28what if less than fifty just [or rightwise] men by five be, shalt thou do away all the city for five and forty? And the Lord said, I shall not do away, if I shall find five and forty there.
29And again Abraham said to him, But if forty be there, what shalt thou do? The Lord said, I shall not smite for forty.
30Abraham said, Lord, I beseech, take thou not into indignation, if I speak; what if thirty be found there? The Lord answered, I shall not do, if I shall find thirty there.
31Abraham said, For I began once, I shall speak to my Lord; what if twenty be found there? The Lord said, I shall not slay for twenty.
32Abraham said, Lord, I beseech, be thou not wroth, if I speak yet once more; what if ten be found there? The Lord said, I shall not do away for ten.
33The Lord went forth, after that he [had] ceased to speak to Abraham, and Abraham turned again into his place.
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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.