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Genesis 18

18
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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The Three Visitors
1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent 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 3and 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, 5and I 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 and said to her, “Hurry, prepare twenty quarts of fine flour, and make it into loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his herd and took one of his best calves. He gave it to a servant, who hurried to kill it and to prepare it for food. 8Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been cooked and milk curds and milk. While they 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. Since Sarah was past the age when women normally have children, 12she 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, to live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, will give Abraham what I promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many complaints against the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They are very evil. 21I will go down and see if they are as bad as I have heard. If not, I will know.”
22So the men turned and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Do you plan to destroy the good people along with the evil ones? 24What if there are fifty good people in that city? Will you still destroy it? Surely you will save the city for the fifty good people living there. 25Surely you will not destroy the good people along with the evil ones; then they would be treated the same. You are the judge of all the earth. Won’t you do what is right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city because of them.”
27Then Abraham said, “Though I am only dust and ashes, I have been brave to speak to the Lord. 28What if there are only forty-five good people in the city? Will you destroy the whole city for the lack of five good people?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Again Abraham said to him, “If you find only forty good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty, I will not destroy it.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If you find only thirty good people in the city, will you destroy it?”
He said, “If I find thirty 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 twenty good people in the city?”
He answered, “If I find twenty there, I will not destroy the city.”
32Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me bother you this one last time. What if you find ten there?”
He said, “If I find ten there, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord finished speaking to Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.