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Genesis 18

18
1And Jehovah appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre. And he sat at the tent-door in the heat of the day. 2And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, three men standing near him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent-door, and bowed himself to the earth, 3and said, Lord, if now I have found favour in thine eyes, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. 4Let now a little water be fetched, that ye may wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5And I will fetch a morsel of bread; and refresh yourselves; after that ye shall pass on; for therefore have ye passed on towards your servant. And they said, So do as thou hast said. 6And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, Knead quickly three seahs of wheaten flour, and make cakes. 7And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf tender and good, and gave it to the attendant; and he hasted to dress it. 8And he took thick and sweet milk, and the calf that he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood before them under the tree, and they ate.
9And they said to him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. 10And he said, I will certainly return to thee at this time of the year, and behold, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah was listening at the tent-door, which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old and advanced in age: it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am become old, shall I have pleasure, and my lord old? 13And Jehovah said to Abraham, Why is this, that Sarah laughs, saying, Shall I indeed bear, when I am become old? 14Is any matter too wonderful for Jehovah? At the time appointed I will return to thee, at this time of the year, and Sarah shall have a son. 15And Sarah denied, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And he said, No; but thou didst laugh.
16And the men rose up thence, and looked toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to conduct them. 17And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing? 18Since Abraham shall indeed become a great and mighty nation; and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. 19For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice, in order that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham what he hath spoken of him. 20And Jehovah said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grievous, 21I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come to me; and if not, I will know it. 22And the men turned thence, and went towards Sodom; and Abraham remained yet standing before Jehovah.
23And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also cause the righteous to perish with the wicked? 24There are perhaps fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not forgive the place for the sake of the fifty righteous that are therein? 25Far be it from thee to do so, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that the righteous should be as the wicked — far be it from thee! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? 26And Jehovah said, If I find at Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will forgive all the place for their sakes. 27And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have ventured to speak unto the Lord; I, who am dust and ashes. 28Perhaps there may want five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city on account of the five? And he said, If I shall find forty-five there, I will not destroy it. 29And he continued yet to speak with him, and said, Perhaps there may be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for the forty's sake. 30And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry that I speak! Perhaps there may be thirty found there. And he said, I will not do it if I find thirty there. 31And he said, Behold now, I have ventured to speak with the Lord. Perhaps there may be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for the twenty's sake. 32And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, that I speak yet but this time! Perhaps there may be ten found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for the ten's sake. 33And Jehovah went away when he had ended speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
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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.