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Genesis 18

18
The Three Visitors
1Then the Lord appeared to Abraham by the Oaks #18:1 Or Terebinths or Great Trees of Mamre in the heat of the day, while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. 2And Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3“My lord,” said Abraham, “if I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by. 4Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5And I will bring a bit of bread so that you may refresh yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant’s way. After that, you may continue on your way.”
“Yes,” they replied, “you may do as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Prepare three seahs of fine flour,#18:6 3 seahs is approximately 19.8 dry quarts or 21.9 liters (probably about 24.5 pounds or 11.1 kilograms of flour). knead it, and bake some bread.”
7Meanwhile, Abraham ran to the herd, selected a tender and choice calf, and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8Then Abraham brought curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and he set them before the men and stood by them under the tree as they ate.
Sarah Laughs at the Promise
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked.
“There, in the tent,” he replied.
10Then the Lord said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year, and your wife Sarah will have a son!”
Now Sarah was behind him, listening at the entrance to the tent. 11And Abraham and Sarah were already old and well along in years; Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12So she laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13And the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Can I really bear a child when I am old?’ 14Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you—in about a year—and Sarah will have a son.”#18:14 Cited in Romans 9:9
15But Sarah was afraid, so she denied it and said, “I did not laugh.”
“No,” replied the Lord, “but you did laugh.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
16When the men got up to leave, they looked out over Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them off.
17And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 19For I have chosen him, so that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, in order that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has promised.”
20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great. Because their sin is so grievous, 21I will go down to see if their actions fully justify the outcry that has reached Me. If not, I will find out.”
22And the two men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.
23Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous ones in the city? Will You really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous ones who are there? 25Far be it from You to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Will not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”
26So the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous ones within the city of Sodom, on their account I will spare the whole place.”
27Then Abraham answered, “Now that I have ventured to speak to the Lord—though I am but dust and ashes— 28suppose the fifty righteous ones lack five. Will You destroy the whole city for the lack of five?”
He replied, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy it.”
29Once again Abraham spoke to the Lord, “Suppose forty are found there?”
He answered, “On account of the forty, I will not do it.”
30Then Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?”
He replied, “If I find thirty there, I will not do it.”
31And Abraham said, “Now that I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose twenty are found there?”
He answered, “On account of the twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32Finally, Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak once more. Suppose ten are found there?”
And He answered, “On account of the ten, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, He departed, and Abraham returned home.

Genesis 18

18
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.