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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
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,#18:3 Or eyes, Lord do not pass your servant by. 4Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs#18:6 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
16When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.#18:18 Or will use his name in blessings (see 48:20) 19For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.#18:22 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition but the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare#18:24 Or forgive; also in verse 26 the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.