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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 Promise of a Son
1Then Adonai appeared to him at Mamre’s large trees while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day.
2When he lifted up his eyes to see, suddenly, three men were standing right by him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed down to the ground.
3Then he said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in your eyes, please do not pass by your servant.
4Please let a little water be brought so you can wash your feet, and make yourselves comfortable under the tree.
5And let me bring a bit of bread so that you can refresh yourselves—then you can pass on—since you have passed by your servant. They said, “Do just as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Knead three measures of fine flour and prepare bread loaves!”
7Then to the herd Abraham ran and took a young ox, tender and good, and he gave it to the servant, who prepared it quickly.
8Then he took butter and milk and the young ox that he had prepared and set it before them. While he was standing by them under the tree, they ate.
9Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” “There, in the tent,” he said.
10Then He said, “I will most surely return to you in about a year’s time, surprisingly, Sarah your wife will have a son.” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind Him.
11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years—Sarah had stopped having the way of women.
12So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I’ve grown decrepit, can I have desire—and my lord so old?”
13Then Adonai said to Abraham, “Why is it that Sarah laughed, saying, ‘Can I really give birth when I am so old?’
14Is anything too difficult for Adonai? At the appointed time I will return to you—in about a year—and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah denied it saying, “I didn’t laugh!” For she was afraid. But He said, “No—for you did laugh.”
Abraham intercedes
16Then the men got up from there and looked down over Sodom. Abraham was walking with them to send them off,
17when Adonai said, “Should I keep secret from Abraham what I am about to do,
18seeing that Abraham will most certainly become a great and mighty nation and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
19For I have made myself known to him so that he will command his sons and his household after him to keep the way of Adonai by doing righteousness and justice, so that Adonai may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
20Then Adonai said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great indeed, and their sin is very grievous indeed.
21I want to go down now, and see if they deserve destruction, as its outcry has come to Me. And if not, I will know.”
22Then the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before Adonai.
23Abraham drew near and said, “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you really sweep away and not spare the place for the sake of fifty righteous who are in it?
25Far be it from You to do such a thing—to cause the righteous to die with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked share the same fate! Far be it from You! Shall the Judge of the whole world not exercise justice?”
26Then Adonai said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous people within the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Then Abraham answered and said, “Look, pray, I have decided to speak to my Lord, though I am dust and ashes.
28Suppose the fifty righteous people are lacking five. Will You destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29So he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Perhaps forty will be found there?” And He said, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”
30Then he said, “Please, let my Lord not be angry, so I may speak. Perhaps thirty will be found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Then he said, “Look, pray, I have decided to speak to my Lord: Perhaps twenty will be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
32Then he said, “Please, let not my Lord be angry, so I may speak once more. Perhaps ten will be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
33Now when He had finished speaking to Abraham, Adonai left, and Abraham returned to his place.