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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
A Son Is Promised to Sarah
1The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.
3“My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while. 4Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. 5And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.”
“All right,” they said. “Do as you have said.”
6So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get three large measures#18:6 Hebrew 3 seahs, about half a bushel or 22 liters. of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.” 7Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it. 8When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.
9“Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked.
“She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.
10Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”
Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. 11Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. 12So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
16Then the men got up from their meal and looked out toward Sodom. As they left, Abraham went with them to send them on their way.
17“Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the Lord asked. 18“For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. 19I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.”
20So the Lord told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. 21I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”
22The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham. 23Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? 24Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? 25Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”
26And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.”
27Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”
And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”
29Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?”
And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.”
30“Please don’t be angry, my Lord,” Abraham pleaded. “Let me speak—suppose only thirty righteous people are found?”
And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it if I find thirty.”
31Then Abraham said, “Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue—suppose there are only twenty?”
And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
32Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?”
And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
33When the Lord had finished his conversation with Abraham, he went on his way, and Abraham returned to his tent.