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Genesis 18

18
1And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.
2And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground.
3And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant:
4But I will fetch a little water; and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree.
5And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen ye your heart, afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as thou hast spoken.
6Abraham made haste into the tent to Sara, and said to her: Make haste, temper together three measures of flour, and make cakes upon the hearth.
7And he himself ran to the herd, and took from thence a calf very tender and very good: and gave it to a young man, who made haste and boiled it.
8He took also butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled; and set before them. But he stood by them under the tree.
9And when they had eaten, they said to him: Where is Sara thy wife? He answered: Lo, she is in the tent.
10And he said to him: I will return and come to thee at this time, life accompanying; and Sara thy wife shall have a son. Which when Sara heard, she laughed behind the door of the tent.
11Now they were both old, and far advanced in years, and it had ceased to be with Sara after the manner of women.
12And she laughed secretly, saying: After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?
13And the Lord said to Abraham: Why did Sara laugh, saying: Shall I who am an old woman bear a child indeed?
14Is there any thing hard to God? According to appointment, I will return to thee at this same time, life accompanying; and Sara shall have a son.
15Sara denied, saying: I did not laugh. For she was afraid. But the Lord said: Nay; but thou didst laugh:
16And when the men rose up from thence, they turned their eyes towards Sodom: and Abraham walked with them, bringing them on the way.
17And the Lord said: Can I hide from Abraham what I am about to do:
18Seeing he shall become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth shall be blessed?
19For I know that he will command his children, and his household after him, to keep the way of the Lord, and do judgment and justice: that for Abraham's sake the Lord may bring to effect all the things he hath spoken unto him.
20And the Lord said: The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous.
21I will go down and see whether they have done according to the cry that is come to me: or whether it be not so, that I may know.
22And they turned themselves from thence, and went their way to Sodom: but Abraham as yet stood before the Lord.
23And drawing nigh, he said: Wilt thou destroy the just with the wicked?
24If there be fifty just men in the city, shall they perish withal? And wilt thou not spare that place for the sake of the fifty just, if they be therein?
25Far be it from thee to do this thing, and to slay the just with the wicked, and for the just to be in like case as the wicked. This is not beseeming thee, thou who judgest all the earth, wilt not make this judgment.
26And the Lord said to him: If I And in Sodom fifty just within the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.
27And Abraham answered, and said: Seeing I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord, whereas I am dust and ashes.
28What if there be five less than fifty just persons? Wilt thou for five and forty destroy the whole city? And he said: I will not destroy it, if I find five and forty.
29And again he said to him: But if forty be found there, what wilt thou do? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of forty.
30Lord, saith he, be not angry, I beseech thee, if I speak: What if thirty shall be found there? He answered: I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
31Seeing, saith he, I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord. What if twenty be found there? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.
32I beseech thee, saith he, be not angry, Lord, if I speak yet once more: What if ten should be found there? And he said: I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.
33And the Lord departed, after he had left speaking to Abraham: and Abraham 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.