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Genesis 18

18
1 Then the Lord appeared to him, in the steep valley of Mamre, when he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.
2 And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men, standing near him. When he had seen them, he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and he reverenced them on the ground.
3 And he said: "If I, O lord, have found grace in your eyes, do not pass by your servant.
4 But I will bring a little water, and you may wash your feet and rest under the tree.
5 And I will set out a meal of bread, so that you may strengthen your heart; after this you will pass on. It is for this reason that you have turned aside to your servant." And they said, "Do as you have spoken."
6 Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and he said to her, "Quickly, mix together three measures of the finest wheat flour and make loaves baked under the ashes."
7 In truth, he himself ran to the herd, and he took a calf from there, very tender and very good, and he gave it to a servant, who hurried and boiled it.
8 Likewise, he took butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled, and he placed it before them. Yet truly, he himself stood near them under the tree.
9 And when they had eaten, they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" He answered, "Behold, she is in the tent."
10 And he said to him, "When returning, I will come to you at this time, with life as a companion, and your wife Sarah will have a son." Hearing this, Sarah laughed behind the door of the tent.
11 Now they were both old, and in an advanced state of life, and it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 And she laughed secretly, saying, "After I have grown old, and my lord is elderly, shall I give myself to the work of delight?"
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham: "Why did Sarah laugh, saying: 'How can I, an old woman, actually give birth?'
14 Is anything difficult for God? According to the announcement, he will return to you at this same time, with life as a companion, and Sarah will have a son."
15 Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh." For she was terribly afraid. But the Lord said, "It is not so; for you did laugh."
16 Therefore, when the men had risen up from there, they directed their eyes against Sodom. And Abraham traveled with them, leading them.
17 And the Lord said: "How could I hide what I am about to do from Abraham,
18 since he will become a great and very robust nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
19 For I know that he will instruct his sons, and his household after him, to keep to the way of the Lord, and to act with judgment and justice, so that, for the sake of Abraham, the Lord may bring about all the things that he has spoken to him."
20 And so the Lord said, "The outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah has been multiplied, and their sin has become exceedingly grievous.
21 I will descend and see whether they have fulfilled the work of the outcry that has reached me, or whether it is not so, in order that I may know."
22 And they turned themselves from there, and they went toward Sodom. Yet in truth, Abraham still stood in the sight of the Lord.
23 And as they drew near, he said: "Will you destroy the just with the impious?
24 If there were fifty of the just in the city, will they perish with the rest? And will you not spare that place for the sake of fifty of the just, if they were in it?
25 Far be it from you to do this thing, and to kill the just with the impious, and for the just to be treated like the impious. No, this is not like you. You judge all the earth; you would never make such a judgment."
26 And the Lord said to him, "If I find in Sodom fifty of the just in the midst of the city, I will release the entire place because of them."
27 And Abraham responded by saying: "Since now I have begun, I will speak to my Lord, though I am dust and ashes.
28 What if there were five less than fifty of the just? Would you, despite the forty-five, eliminate the entire city?" And he said, "I will not eliminate it, if I find forty-five there."
29 And again he said to him, "But if forty were found there, what would you do?" He said, "I will not strike, for the sake of the forty."
30 "I ask you," he said, "not to be angry, Lord, if I speak. What if thirty were found there?" He responded, "I will not act, if I find thirty there."
31 "Since now I have begun," he said, "I will speak to my Lord. What if twenty were found there?" He said, "I will not put to death, for the sake of the twenty."
32 "I beg you," he said, "not to be angry, Lord, if I speak yet once more. What if ten were found there?" And he said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten."
33 And the Lord departed, after he had ceased speaking to Abraham, who then returned to his place.
18
The Three Visitors
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,#18:3 Or eyes, Lord do not pass your servant by. 4Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs#18:6 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
16When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.#18:18 Or will use his name in blessings (see 48:20) 19For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.#18:22 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition but the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare#18:24 Or forgive; also in verse 26 the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.