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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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The Three Visitors
1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the oak trees of Mamre. It was the hottest part of the day, and Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent. 2He looked up and saw three men standing in front of him. When he saw the men, he ran to them and bowed before them. 3Abraham said, “Sirs,#18:3 Sirs This Hebrew word can mean “sirs” or “Lord.” This might show that these were not ordinary men. please stay a while with me, your servant. 4I will bring some water to wash your feet. You can rest under the trees. 5I will get some food for you, and you can eat as much as you want. Then you can continue your journey.”
The three men said, “Do as you wish.”
6Abraham hurried to the tent. He said to Sarah, “Quickly, prepare enough flour for three loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his cattle. He took his best young calf and gave it to the servant there. He told the servant to quickly kill the calf and prepare it for food. 8Abraham brought the meat and some milk and cheese and set them down in front of the three men. Then he stood near the men, ready to serve them while they sat under the tree and ate.
9Then the men said to Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
Abraham said, “She is there, in the tent.”
10Then one of them said, “I will come again in the spring. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening in the tent and heard these things. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old. Sarah was past the right age for women to have children. 12So she laughed to herself and said, “I am old, and my husband is old. I am too old to have a baby.”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Sarah laughed and said she was too old to have a baby. 14But is anything too hard for the Lord? I will come again in the spring, just as I said I would, and your wife Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah said, “I didn’t laugh!” (She said this because she was afraid.)
Then the Lord said, “No, I know that is not true. You did laugh!”
16Then the men got up to leave. They looked toward Sodom and began walking in that direction. Abraham walked with them to send them on their way.
Abraham’s Bargain With God
17The Lord said to himself, “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do now? 18Abraham will become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on earth will be blessed because of him. 19I have made a special agreement with him. I did this so that he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to. I did this so that they would live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, can give him what I promised.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many times that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are very evil. 21I will go and see if they are as bad as I have heard. Then I will know for sure.”
22So the men turned and started walking toward Sodom while Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Will you destroy the good people while you are destroying those who are evil? 24What if there are fifty good people in that city? Will you still destroy it? Surely you will save the city for the fifty good people living there. 25Surely you would not destroy the city. You would not destroy fifty good people to kill those who are evil. If that happened, those who are good would be the same as those who are evil—both would be punished. As the judge of the whole world, surely you would do the right thing!”
26Then the Lord said, “If I find fifty good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city.”
27Then Abraham said, “Compared to you, Lord, I am only dust and ashes. But let me bother you again and ask you this question. 28What if there are five less than fifty? Will you destroy a whole city because of just five people?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Abraham spoke again. He said, “And if you find only forty good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty good people, I will not destroy the city.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If only thirty good people are in the city, will you destroy it?”
The Lord said, “If I find thirty good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
31Then Abraham said, “Lord, may I bother you again and ask, what if there are twenty good people?”
The Lord answered, “If I find twenty good people, I will not destroy the city.”
32Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me bother you this one last time. If you find ten good people there, what will you do?”
The Lord said, “If I find ten good people in the city, I will not destroy it.”
33The Lord finished speaking to Abraham and left. Then Abraham went back home.