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Genesis 18

18
The Lord Promises Abraham a Son
1One hot summer afternoon while Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, the Lord appeared to him. 2#He 13.2. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground, 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 a tree. 5Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honored to serve you.”
“Thank you very much,” they answered. “We accept your offer.”
6Abraham went quickly 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 yogurt and milk together with the meat.
While they were eating, he stood near them under the tree, 9and they asked, “Where's your wife Sarah?”
“She is right there in the tent,” Abraham answered.
10 # Ro 9.9. One 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.”
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. 12#1 P 3.6. So 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.
13The Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Does she doubt that she can have a child in her old age? 14#Lk 1.37. I 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.”
15Sarah was so frightened that she lied and said, “I didn't laugh.”
“Yes, you did!” he answered.
Abraham Prays for Sodom
16When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down toward 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 the 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 forever and to do what is right and fair. If they do, 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 would like to know.”
22The men turned and started toward Sodom. But the Lord stayed with Abraham. 23And Abraham asked him, “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 50 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 50 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 45 good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?”
“If I find 45 good people,” the Lord replied, “I won't destroy the city.”
29“Suppose there are just 40 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 30 good people in the city.”
“If I find 30,” 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 20?”
“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 10 good people there.”
“For the sake of 10 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
1And the Lord appeared to him by the #ch. 13:18; 14:13oaks#18:1 Or terebinths of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. #ch. 19:1; [Heb. 13:2]When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3and said, “O Lord,#18:3 Or My lord if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4Let a #ch. 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; [Luke 7:44; John 13:14]little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5while I bring a morsel of bread, that #Judg. 19:5; [Ps. 104:15] you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—#ch. 19:8; 33:10since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs#18:6 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is #ch. 24:67in the tent.” 10The Lord said, “I will surely return to you #ver. 14; 2 Kgs. 4:16 about this time next year, and #ch. 17:19, 21; 21:2; Cited Rom. 9:9Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11Now #ch. 17:17; Rom. 4:19; Heb. 11:11, 12Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12#[ch. 17:17] So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, #[Luke 1:18] “After I am worn out, and #1 Pet. 3:6my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14#Job 42:2; Jer. 32:17, 27; Zech. 8:6; Matt. 19:26; Luke 1:37 Is anything too hard#18:14 Or wonderful for the Lord? #ver. 10At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15But Sarah denied it,#18:15 Or acted falsely saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The Lord said, #[Ps. 25:14; Amos 3:7; John 15:15]“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be #ch. 12:3; 22:18; 26:4; Acts 3:25; Gal. 3:8blessed in him? 19For I have #[Amos 3:2]chosen#18:19 Hebrew known him, 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 to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20Then the Lord said, “Because #ch. 4:10; 19:13; [Isa. 3:9; Ezek. 16:49, 50; James 5:4]the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21#ch. 11:5, 7; Ex. 3:8 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether#18:21 Or they deserve destruction; Hebrew they have made a complete end according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, #Josh. 22:22I will know.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
22 # ver. 16; ch. 19:1 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham #ver. 1; [Ps. 106:23; Jer. 18:20]still stood before the Lord. 23Then Abraham drew near and said, #ch. 20:4; Num. 16:22; 2 Sam. 24:17“Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, #[Job 8:20] so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! #Deut. 32:4; Job 8:3; 34:10; Rom. 3:5, 6Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the Lord said, #Jer. 5:1; Ezek. 22:30; [Isa. 65:8]“If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Abraham answered and said, #[Luke 18:1]“Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32Then he said, #Judg. 6:39“Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.