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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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1-2God appeared to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. It was the hottest part of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing. He ran from his tent to greet them and bowed before them.
3-5He said, “Master, if it please you, stop for a while with your servant. I’ll get some water so you can wash your feet. Rest under this tree. I’ll get some food to refresh you on your way, since your travels have brought you across my path.”
They said, “Certainly. Go ahead.”
6Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. He said, “Hurry. Get three cups of our best flour; knead it and make bread.”
7-8Then Abraham ran to the cattle pen and picked out a nice plump calf and gave it to the servant who lost no time getting it ready. Then he got curds and milk, brought them with the calf that had been roasted, set the meal before the men, and stood there under the tree while they ate.
9The men said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
He said, “In the tent.”
10One of them said, “I’m coming back about this time next year. When I arrive, your wife Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was listening at the tent opening, just behind the man.
11-12Abraham and Sarah were old by this time, very old. Sarah was far past the age for having babies. Sarah laughed within herself, “An old woman like me? Get pregnant? With this old man of a husband?”
13-14God said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh saying, ‘Me? Have a baby? An old woman like me?’ Is anything too hard for God? I’ll be back about this time next year and Sarah will have a baby.”
15Sarah lied. She said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was afraid.
But he said, “Yes you did; you laughed.”
16When the men got up to leave, they set off for Sodom. Abraham walked with them to say good-bye.
17-19Then God said, “Shall I keep back from Abraham what I’m about to do? Abraham is going to become a large and strong nation; all the nations of the world are going to find themselves blessed through him. Yes, I’ve settled on him as the one to train his children and future family to observe God’s way of life, live kindly and generously and fairly, so that God can complete in Abraham what he promised him.”
20-21God continued, “The cries of the victims in Sodom and Gomorrah are deafening; the sin of those cities is immense. I’m going down to see for myself, see if what they’re doing is as bad as it sounds. Then I’ll know.”
22The men set out for Sodom, but Abraham stood in God’s path, blocking his way.
23-25Abraham confronted him, “Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents? I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?”
26God said, “If I find fifty decent people in the city of Sodom, I’ll spare the place just for them.”
27-28Abraham came back, “Do I, a mere mortal made from a handful of dirt, dare open my mouth again to my Master? What if the fifty fall short by five—would you destroy the city because of those missing five?”
He said, “I won’t destroy it if there are forty-five.”
29Abraham spoke up again, “What if you only find forty?”
“Neither will I destroy it if for forty.”
30He said, “Master, don’t be irritated with me, but what if only thirty are found?”
“No, I won’t do it if I find thirty.”
31He pushed on, “I know I’m trying your patience, Master, but how about for twenty?”
“I won’t destroy it for twenty.”
32He wouldn’t quit, “Don’t get angry, Master—this is the last time. What if you only come up with ten?”
“For the sake of only ten, I won’t destroy the city.”
33When God finished talking with Abraham, he left. And Abraham went home.