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Berĕshith (Genesis) 18

18
1And יהוה appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ, while he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.
2So he lifted his eyes and looked, and saw three men standing opposite him. And when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground,
3and said, “יהוה, if I have now found favour in Your eyes, please do not pass Your servant by.
4“Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
5“And let me bring a piece of bread and refresh your hearts, and then go on, for this is why you have come to your servant.” And they said, “Do as you have said.”
6So Aḇraham ran into the tent to Sarah and said, “Hurry, make ready three measures of fine flour, knead it and make cakes.”
7And Aḇraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hurried to prepare it.
8And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them, and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.
9And they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “See, in the tent.”
10And He said, “I shall certainly return to you according to the time of life, and see, Sarah your wife is to have a son!” And Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.
11Now Aḇraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age, and Sarah was past the way of women.
12And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my master being old too?”
13And יהוה said to Aḇraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I truly have a child, since I am old?’
14Is any matter too hard for יהוה? At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah is to have a son.
15But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”
16And the men rose up from there and looked toward Seḏom, and Aḇraham went with them to send them away.
17And יהוה said, “Shall I hide from Aḇraham what I am doing,
18since Aḇraham is certainly going to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19“For I have known him, so that he commands his children and his household after him, to guard the way of יהוה, to do righteousness and right-ruling, so that יהוה brings to Aḇraham what He has spoken to him.
20And יהוה said, “Because the outcry against Seḏom and Amorah is great, and because their sin is very heavy,
21“I am going down now to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me, and if not, I know.
22So the men turned away from there and went toward Seḏom, but יהוה still stood before Aḇraham.
23And Aḇraham drew near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wrong?
24“Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city, would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?
25“Far be it from You to act in this way, to slay the righteous with the wrong, so that the righteous should be as the wrong. Far be it from You! Does the Judge of all the earth not do right?”
26And יהוה said, “If I find in Seḏom fifty righteous within the city, then I shall spare all the place for their sakes.”
27And Aḇraham answered and said, “Look, please, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to יהוה,
28Suppose there are five less than the fifty righteous, would You destroy all of the city for lack of five? And He said, “If I find there forty-five, I do not destroy it.”
29And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there are found forty?” And He said, “I would not do it for the sake of forty.”
30And he said, “Let not יהוה be displeased, and let me speak: Suppose there are found thirty?” And He said, “I would not do it if I find thirty there.”
31And he said, “Look, please, I have taken it upon myself to speak to יהוה: Suppose there are found twenty?” And He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32And he said, “Let not יהוה be displeased, and let me speak only this time: Suppose there are found ten?” And He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of ten.”
33Then יהוה went away as soon as He had ended speaking to Aḇraham. And Aḇraham returned to his place.
18
The Three Visitors
1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the oak trees of Mamre. It was the hottest part of the day, and Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent. 2He looked up and saw three men standing in front of him. When he saw the men, he ran to them and bowed before them. 3Abraham said, “Sirs,#18:3 Sirs This Hebrew word can mean “sirs” or “Lord.” This might show that these were not ordinary men. please stay a while with me, your servant. 4I will bring some water to wash your feet. You can rest under the trees. 5I will get some food for you, and you can eat as much as you want. Then you can continue your journey.”
The three men said, “Do as you wish.”
6Abraham hurried to the tent. He said to Sarah, “Quickly, prepare enough flour for three loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his cattle. He took his best young calf and gave it to the servant there. He told the servant to quickly kill the calf and prepare it for food. 8Abraham brought the meat and some milk and cheese and set them down in front of the three men. Then he stood near the men, ready to serve them while they sat under the tree and ate.
9Then the men said to Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
Abraham said, “She is there, in the tent.”
10Then one of them said, “I will come again in the spring. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening in the tent and heard these things. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old. Sarah was past the right age for women to have children. 12So she laughed to herself and said, “I am old, and my husband is old. I am too old to have a baby.”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Sarah laughed and said she was too old to have a baby. 14But is anything too hard for the Lord? I will come again in the spring, just as I said I would, and your wife Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah said, “I didn’t laugh!” (She said this because she was afraid.)
Then the Lord said, “No, I know that is not true. You did laugh!”
16Then the men got up to leave. They looked toward Sodom and began walking in that direction. Abraham walked with them to send them on their way.
Abraham’s Bargain With God
17The Lord said to himself, “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do now? 18Abraham will become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on earth will be blessed because of him. 19I have made a special agreement with him. I did this so that he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to. I did this so that they would live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, can give him what I promised.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many times that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are very evil. 21I will go and see if they are as bad as I have heard. Then I will know for sure.”
22So the men turned and started walking toward Sodom while Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Will you destroy the good people while you are destroying those who are evil? 24What if there are fifty good people in that city? Will you still destroy it? Surely you will save the city for the fifty good people living there. 25Surely you would not destroy the city. You would not destroy fifty good people to kill those who are evil. If that happened, those who are good would be the same as those who are evil—both would be punished. As the judge of the whole world, surely you would do the right thing!”
26Then the Lord said, “If I find fifty good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city.”
27Then Abraham said, “Compared to you, Lord, I am only dust and ashes. But let me bother you again and ask you this question. 28What if there are five less than fifty? Will you destroy a whole city because of just five people?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Abraham spoke again. He said, “And if you find only forty good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty good people, I will not destroy the city.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If only thirty good people are in the city, will you destroy it?”
The Lord said, “If I find thirty good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
31Then Abraham said, “Lord, may I bother you again and ask, what if there are twenty good people?”
The Lord answered, “If I find twenty good people, I will not destroy the city.”
32Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me bother you this one last time. If you find ten good people there, what will you do?”
The Lord said, “If I find ten good people in the city, I will not destroy it.”
33The Lord finished speaking to Abraham and left. Then Abraham went back home.