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Genesis 18

18
The LORD promises Abraham a son
1One hot summer afternoon Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, when the LORD appeared to him. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground,#He 13.2. 3and said, “Please come to my home where I can serve you. 4I'll have some water brought, so you can wash your feet, then you can rest under the tree. 5Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honoured to serve you.”
“Thank you very much,” they answered. “We accept your offer.”
6Abraham quickly went to his tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get a large sack of flour and make some bread.” 7After saying this, he rushed off to his herd of cattle and picked out one of the best calves, which his servant quickly prepared. 8He then served his guests some yoghurt and milk together with the meat.
While they were eating, he stood near them under the trees, 9and they asked, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
“She is there in the tent,” Abraham answered.
10One of the guests was the LORD, and he said, “I'll come back about this time next year, and when I do, Sarah will already have a son.”#Ro 9.9.
Sarah was behind Abraham, listening at the entrance to the tent. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was well past the age for having children. 12So she laughed and said to herself, “Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, will I really know such happiness?”#18.12 know such happiness: Either the joy of making love or the joy of having children.#1 P 3.6.
13The LORD asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Does she doubt that she can have a child in her old age? 14I am the LORD! There is nothing too difficult for me. I'll come back next year at the time I promised, and Sarah will already have a son.”#Lk 1.37.
15Sarah was so frightened that she lied and said, “I didn't laugh.”
“Yes, you did!” he answered.
Abraham, Lot, Sodom, and Gomorrah
Abraham prays for Sodom
16When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down towards Sodom, and Abraham walked part of the way with them.
17The LORD said to himself, “I should tell Abraham what I am going to do, 18since his family will become a great and powerful nation that will be a blessing to all other nations on earth.#18.18 that will be…on earth: Or “and all other nations on earth will ask me to bless them as I have blessed his family.” 19I have chosen him to teach his family to obey me for ever and to do what is right and fair. Then I will give Abraham many descendants, just as I promised.”
20The LORD said, “Abraham, I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are doing all kinds of evil things. 21Now I am going down to see for myself if those people really are that bad. If they aren't, I want to know about it.”
22The men turned and started towards Sodom. But the LORD stayed with Abraham, 23who asked, “LORD, when you destroy the evil people, are you also going to destroy those who are good? 24Wouldn't you spare the city if there are only fifty good people in it? 25You surely wouldn't let them be killed when you destroy the evil ones. You are the judge of all the earth, and you do what is right.”
26The LORD replied, “If I find fifty good people in Sodom, I will save the city to keep them from being killed.”
27Abraham answered, “I am nothing more than the dust of the earth. Please forgive me, LORD, for daring to speak to you like this. 28But suppose there are only forty-five good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?”
“If I find forty-five good people,” the LORD replied, “I won't destroy the city.”
29“Suppose there are just forty good people?” Abraham asked.
“Even for them,” the LORD replied, “I won't destroy the city.”
30Abraham said, “Please don't be angry, LORD, if I ask you what you will do if there are only thirty good people in the city.”
“If I find thirty,” the LORD replied, “I still won't destroy it.”
31Then Abraham said, “I don't have any right to ask you, LORD, but what would you do if you find only twenty?”
“Because of them, I won't destroy the city,” was the LORD's answer.
32Finally, Abraham said, “Please don't get angry, LORD, if I speak just once more. Suppose you find only ten good people there.”
“For the sake of ten good people,” the LORD told him, “I still won't destroy the city.”
33After speaking with Abraham, the LORD left, and Abraham went back home.
18
1 NOW THE Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks or terebinths of Mamre; as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day,
2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood at a little distance from him. He ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the ground
3 And said, My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant, I beg of you.
4 Let a little water be brought, and you may wash your feet and recline and rest yourselves under the tree.
5 And I will bring a morsel (mouthful) of bread to refresh and sustain your hearts before you go on further–for that is why you have come to your servant. And they replied, Do as you have said.
6 So Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, Quickly get ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and bake cakes.
7 And Abraham ran to the herd and brought a calf tender and good and gave it to the young man [to butcher]; then he [Abraham] hastened to prepare it.
8 And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before [the men]; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, [She is here] in the tent.
10 [The Lord] said, I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was listening and heard it at the tent door which was behind Him. [Rom. 9:9-12.]
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; it had ceased to be with Sarah as with [young] women. [She was past the age of childbearing].
12 Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband), being old also? [I Pet. 3:6.]
13 And the Lord asked Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really bear a child when I am so old?
14 Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son. [Matt. 19:26.]
15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.
16 The men rose up from there and faced toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, [Gal. 3:8.]
18 Since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed through him and shall bless themselves by him? [Gen. 12:2-3.]
19 For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him.
20 And the Lord said, Because the shriek [of the sins] of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is exceedingly grievous,
21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether [as vilely and wickedly] as is the cry of it which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.
22 Now the [two] men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.
23 And Abraham came close and said, Will You destroy the righteous (those upright and in right standing with God) together with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are in the city fifty righteous; will You destroy the place and not spare it for [the sake of] the fifty righteous in it?
25 Far be it from You to do such a thing–to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked! Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously?
26 And the Lord said, If I find in the city of Sodom fifty righteous (upright and in right standing with God), I will spare the whole place for their sake.
27 Abraham answered, Behold now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord.
28 If five of the fifty righteous should be lacking–will You destroy the whole city for lack of five? He said, If I find forty-five, I will not destroy it.
29 And [Abraham] spoke to Him yet again, and said, Suppose [only] forty shall be found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty's sake.
30 Then [Abraham] said to Him, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak [again]. Suppose [only] thirty shall be found there. And He answered, I will not do it if I find thirty there.
31 And [Abraham] said, Behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak [again] to the Lord. Suppose [only] twenty shall be found there. And [the Lord] replied, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.
32 And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once. Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there. And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
33 And the Lord went His way when He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.