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Genesis 18

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1And the Lord appeared to him by the #ch. 13:18; 14:13oaks#18:1 Or terebinths of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. #ch. 19:1; [Heb. 13:2]When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3and said, “O Lord,#18:3 Or My lord if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4Let a #ch. 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; [Luke 7:44; John 13:14]little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5while I bring a morsel of bread, that #Judg. 19:5; [Ps. 104:15] you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—#ch. 19:8; 33:10since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs#18:6 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is #ch. 24:67in the tent.” 10The Lord said, “I will surely return to you #ver. 14; 2 Kgs. 4:16 about this time next year, and #ch. 17:19, 21; 21:2; Cited Rom. 9:9Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11Now #ch. 17:17; Rom. 4:19; Heb. 11:11, 12Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12#[ch. 17:17] So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, #[Luke 1:18] “After I am worn out, and #1 Pet. 3:6my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14#Job 42:2; Jer. 32:17, 27; Zech. 8:6; Matt. 19:26; Luke 1:37 Is anything too hard#18:14 Or wonderful for the Lord? #ver. 10At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15But Sarah denied it,#18:15 Or acted falsely saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The Lord said, #[Ps. 25:14; Amos 3:7; John 15:15]“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be #ch. 12:3; 22:18; 26:4; Acts 3:25; Gal. 3:8blessed in him? 19For I have #[Amos 3:2]chosen#18:19 Hebrew known him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20Then the Lord said, “Because #ch. 4:10; 19:13; [Isa. 3:9; Ezek. 16:49, 50; James 5:4]the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21#ch. 11:5, 7; Ex. 3:8 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether#18:21 Or they deserve destruction; Hebrew they have made a complete end according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, #Josh. 22:22I will know.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
22 # ver. 16; ch. 19:1 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham #ver. 1; [Ps. 106:23; Jer. 18:20]still stood before the Lord. 23Then Abraham drew near and said, #ch. 20:4; Num. 16:22; 2 Sam. 24:17“Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, #[Job 8:20] so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! #Deut. 32:4; Job 8:3; 34:10; Rom. 3:5, 6Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the Lord said, #Jer. 5:1; Ezek. 22:30; [Isa. 65:8]“If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Abraham answered and said, #[Luke 18:1]“Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32Then he said, #Judg. 6:39“Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33And the Lord went his way, when he had finished 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.