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Genesis 18

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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.
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Chapter 18
God promises a son to Abraham
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the special oak trees of Mamre. It was the hot time of day and Abraham was sitting by the door of his tent. 2Abraham looked up and he saw three men. He ran in a hurry to meet them. He bent down to the ground to respect them. #18:2 This was a visit from the Lord God himself, but Abraham did not know that until later in their meeting.
3Abraham said, ‘Please sir, stop here and let me serve you. That would make me very happy. 4Let us bring some water so that you can all wash your feet. Then you can rest under this tree. 5Let me also bring some food for you to eat. Now that you have come to my home, you should rest and become strong again. Then you will be ready to continue with your journey.’ The men replied, ‘That is good. Please do what you have said.’
6Abraham went quickly to the tent. He said to Sarah, ‘Be quick! Get plenty of good flour and make bread with it.’ 7Then Abraham ran to his cows. He chose a very nice young cow. He gave it to his servant. The servant quickly prepared it for the men to eat. 8Then Abraham also brought some cream and some milk, as well as the meat from the cow. He put all the food in front of the men. While they ate it, Abraham stood near them, under a tree.
9Then the men asked Abraham ‘Where is Sarah, your wife?’ Abraham replied, ‘She is there in the tent.’
10Then one of the men said, ‘I will certainly return to you at about this time next year. At that time Sarah, your wife, will have a son!’
Sarah was listening to all this. She was at the door of the tent, near to where they were talking. 11Abraham and Sarah were now very old. Sarah was past the age when she could give birth to a child. 12So Sarah laughed to herself. She thought, ‘I have become old and weak. My husband is also old. I will never have a baby and be happy like that.’
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh like that? She said, “I am too old to have a child.” 14But surely, nothing is too difficult for the Lord to do. At this time next year, I will return to you and Sarah will have a son.’
15Then Sarah was afraid. So she told a lie. She said, ‘I did not laugh.’ But the Lord said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’
God decides to punish the people in Sodom
16Then Abraham's visitors started to leave. They looked down in the valley towards Sodom. Abraham was walking with them to say ‘goodbye’ to them. 17Then the Lord said to himself, ‘I should tell Abraham what I am going to do. 18Abraham's descendants will become a great nation of people. They will be very powerful. Through him, I will bless all the nations of the earth. #18:18 See Genesis 12:2-3. 19I have chosen him so that he will teach my message to his children and their families. He will teach them to do what is right and what is fair. Then I, the Lord, will do for Abraham everything that I have promised to him.’
20So the Lord said to Abraham, ‘I have heard how bad the people in Sodom and Gomorrah are. Everybody says that their sins are very bad. 21So I must go down there to see if it is really true. I will see if those people are as bad as everybody says they are. Then I will know what is true.’
22The other two men then turned away and they went towards Sodom. But Abraham stayed there to talk with the Lord.
23Then Abraham went near to the Lord and he asked, ‘Will you destroy the good people as well as the bad people? 24There might be 50 people in the city who live in a good way. Will you still destroy the whole city? Or will you leave it there, because there are 50 good people in it? 25Will you kill them all, the good people and the bad people? Surely you would not do anything like that! You would not punish good people in the same way as bad people. You are the great judge of everyone on the earth. You will surely do what is right!’
26The Lord replied, ‘If I see that there are 50 good people in the city of Sodom, I will not destroy that place. Because of those 50 good people, I will leave the city there.’
27Then Abraham spoke again. He said, ‘I have been brave enough to speak to the Lord. I know that I am nothing more than dust and ashes. #18:27 Abraham is saying that he is not important enough to argue with the Lord God. He is only a human that God himself has made. 28But let me ask you this. What will you do if there are 45 good people in the city? Will you destroy the city, because there are only 5 fewer good people there?’ The Lord replied, ‘If I see that there are 45 good people in the city, I will not destroy it.’
29Abraham spoke to God again. He said, ‘What will you do if only 40 good people are there?’ The Lord said, ‘Because of 40 good people, I will not destroy the city.’
30Then Abraham said, ‘Please do not be angry, Lord. Let me speak again. What will you do if there are only 30 good people there?’ The Lord answered, ‘I will not destroy the city if I find 30 good people there.’
31Abraham said, ‘I have been brave to speak to you, Lord. What will you do if only 20 good people are there?’ The Lord said, ‘Because of 20 good people, I will not destroy the city.’
32After all that, Abraham said, ‘Please do not be angry, Lord. Let me speak just one more time. If there are only 10 good people there, what will you do?’ The Lord replied, ‘Because of 10 good people, I will not destroy the city.’ #18:32 Abraham's nephew, Lot, is living in Sodom. Abraham does not want God to kill Lot and his family. That is why Abraham asks God not to kill everyone in the city.
33The Lord had finished speaking with Abraham. So he continued on his journey. Abraham returned home.