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Genesis 18

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.
18
The Son of Promise
1Then the Lord appeared to him by the #Gen. 13:18; 14:13terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2#Gen. 18:16, 22; 32:24; Josh. 5:13; Judg. 13:6–11; Heb. 13:2So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; #Gen. 19:1; 1 Pet. 4:9and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. 4Please let #Gen. 19:2; 24:32; 43:24a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5And #Judg. 6:18, 19; 13:15, 16I will bring a morsel of bread, that #Judg. 19:5; Ps. 104:15you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, #Gen. 19:8; 33:10inasmuch as you have come to your servant.”
They said, “Do as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” 7And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. 8So #Gen. 19:3he took butter 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.
9Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
So he said, “Here, #Gen. 24:67in the tent.”
10And He said, “I will certainly return to you #2 Kin. 4:16according to the time of life, and behold, #Gen. 17:19, 21; 21:2; Rom. 9:9Sarah your wife shall have a son.”
(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11Now #Gen. 17:17; Luke 1:18; Rom. 4:19; Heb. 11:11, 12, 19Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah #Gen. 31:35had passed the age of childbearing. 12Therefore Sarah #Gen. 17:17laughed within herself, saying, #Luke 1:18“After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my #1 Pet. 3:6lord being old also?”
13And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14#Num. 11:23; Jer. 32:17; Zech. 8:6; Matt. 3:9; 19:26; Luke 1:37; Rom. 4:21Is anything too hard for the Lord? #Gen. 17:21; 18:10; 2 Kin. 4:16At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
15But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid.
And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
16Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them #Acts 15:3; Rom. 15:24to send them on the way. 17And the Lord said, #Gen. 18:22, 26, 33; Ps. 25:14; Amos 3:7; (John 15:15)“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be #(Gen. 12:3; 22:18); Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:34; (Acts 3:25, 26; Gal. 3:8)blessed in him? 19For I have known him, in order #(Deut. 4:9, 10; 6:6, 7)that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20And the Lord said, “Because #Gen. 4:10; 19:13; Ezek. 16:49, 50the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their #Gen. 13:13sin is very grave, 21#Gen. 11:5; Ex. 3:8; Ps. 14:2I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, #Deut. 8:2; 13:3; Josh. 22:22; Luke 16:15; 2 Cor. 11:11I will know.”
22Then the men turned away from there #Gen. 18:16; 19:1and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23And Abraham #(Heb. 10:22)came near and said, #Ex. 23:7; Num. 16:22; 2 Sam. 24:17; Ps. 11:4–7“Would You also #Job 9:22destroy the #Gen. 20:4righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that #Job 8:20; Is. 3:10, 11the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! #Deut. 1:16, 17; 32:4; Job 8:3, 20; 34:17; Ps. 58:11; 94:2; Is. 3:10, 11; Rom. 3:5, 6Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26So the Lord said, #Jer. 5:1; Ezek. 22:30“If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”
27Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am #(Gen. 3:19); Job 4:19; 30:19; 42:6; (1 Cor. 15:47, 48)but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?”
So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.
29And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
30Then he said, #Judg. 6:39“Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”
#James 5:16And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” 33So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.