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Genesis 18

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Birth of Isaac Promised
1Now the Lord appeared to #Lit himAbraham by the #Or terebinthsoaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. 2When he raised his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed down to the ground, 3and said, “#Or O LordMy Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not #Lit pass away from Your servantpass Your servant by. 4Please let a little water be brought and wash #I.e., referring to the three visitorsyour feet, and make yourselves comfortable under the tree; 5and I will #Lit takebring a piece of bread, so that you may #Lit sustain your heartrefresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have #Lit come tovisited your servant.” And they said, “So do as you have said.” 6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “#Lit Hasten three measuresQuickly, prepare three #Heb seah; one seah is about 7 qt. or 7.7 litersmeasures of fine flour, knead it, and make bread cakes.” 7Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and #Lit goodchoice calf and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it. 8He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree #Lit andas they ate.
9Then they said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10He said, “I will certainly return to you #Lit when the time revivesat this time next year; and behold, your wife Sarah will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past #Lit the way of womenchildbearing. 12So Sarah laughed #Lit withinto herself, saying, “After I have become old, am I to have pleasure, my lord being old also?” 13But the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I actually give birth to a child, when I am so old?’ 14Is anything too #Or wonderfuldifficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, #Lit when the time revivesat this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 15Sarah denied it, however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. 17The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18since Abraham will certainly become a great and #Or populousmighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? 19For I have #Lit knownchosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” 20And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21I will go down now and see whether they have done entirely as the outcry, which has come to Me indicates; and if not, I will know.”
Abraham Appeals for Sodom
22Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23Abraham approached and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous people within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not #Or forgivespare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from You to do #Lit like this thingsuch a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth #Lit do justicedeal justly?” 26So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will #Or forgivespare the entire place on their account.” 27And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have #Or resolvedventured to speak to the Lord, although I am only dust and ashes. 28Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the entire city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31And he said, “Now behold, I have #Or resolvedventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” 32Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once: suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” 33As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to 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.