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Genesis 18

18
The LORD’s Sixth Promise to Abraham
1The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oak trees belonging to Mamre as he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2Abraham looked up, and suddenly he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them, and he bowed with his face touching the ground.
3“Please, sir,” Abraham said, “stop by to visit me for a while. 4Why don’t we let someone bring a little water? After you wash your feet, you can stretch out and rest under the tree. 5Let me bring some bread so that you can regain your strength. After that you can leave, since this is why you stopped by to visit me.”
They answered, “That’s fine. Do as you say.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to find Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three measures of flour, knead it, and make bread.”
7Then Abraham ran to the herd and took one of his best calves. He gave it to his servant, who prepared it quickly. 8Abraham took cheese and milk, as well as the meat, and set these in front of them. Then he stood by them under the tree as they ate.
9They asked him, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
He answered, “Over there, in the tent.”
10The Lord said, “I promise I’ll come back to you next year at this time, and your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah happened to be listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were old. Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12And so Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, “Now that I’ve become old, will I enjoy myself again? What’s more, my husband is old!”
13The Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Can I really have a child now that I’m old?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will come back to you next year at this time, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Because she was afraid, Sarah denied that she had laughed.
But the Lord said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
The LORD Tells Abraham about His Plan
16Then the men got up to leave. As Abraham was walking with them to see them off, they looked toward Sodom. 17The Lord said, “I shouldn’t hide what I am going to do from Abraham. 18After all, Abraham is going to become a great and mighty nation and through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 19I have chosen him so that he will direct his children and his family after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. In this way I, the Lord, will do what I have promised Abraham.”
20The Lord also said, “Sodom and Gomorrah have many complaints against them, and their sin is very serious. 21I must go down and see whether these complaints are true. If not, I will know it.”
22From there the men turned and went on toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing in front of the Lord. 23Abraham came closer and asked, “Are you really going to sweep away the innocent with the guilty? 24What if there are 50 innocent people in the city? Are you really going to sweep them away? Won’t you spare that place for the sake of the 50 innocent people who are in it? 25It would be unthinkable for you to do such a thing, to treat the innocent and the guilty alike and to kill the innocent with the guilty. That would be unthinkable! Won’t the judge of the whole earth do what is fair?”
26The Lord said, “If I find 50 innocent people inside the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Abraham asked, “Consider now, if I may be so bold as to ask you, although I’m ⌞only⌟ dust and ashes, 28what if there are 45 innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of 5 fewer people?”
The Lord answered, “I will not destroy it if I find 45 there.”
29Abraham asked him again, “What if 40 are found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of the 40 I will not do it.”
30“Please don’t be angry if I speak again,” Abraham said. “What if 30 are found there?”
He answered, “If I find 30 there, I will not do it.”
31“Look now, if I may be so bold as to ask you,” Abraham said. “What if 20 are found there?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the 20.”
32“Please don’t be angry if I speak only one more time,” Abraham said. “What if 10 are found there?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the 10.” 33When the Lord finished speaking to Abraham, he left. Abraham returned home.
18
The Son of Promise
1Then the Lord appeared to him by the #Gen. 13:18; 14:13terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2#Gen. 18:16, 22; 32:24; Josh. 5:13; Judg. 13:6–11; Heb. 13:2So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; #Gen. 19:1; 1 Pet. 4:9and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. 4Please let #Gen. 19:2; 24:32; 43:24a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5And #Judg. 6:18, 19; 13:15, 16I will bring a morsel of bread, that #Judg. 19:5; Ps. 104:15you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, #Gen. 19:8; 33:10inasmuch as you have come to your servant.”
They said, “Do as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” 7And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. 8So #Gen. 19:3he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.
9Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
So he said, “Here, #Gen. 24:67in the tent.”
10And He said, “I will certainly return to you #2 Kin. 4:16according to the time of life, and behold, #Gen. 17:19, 21; 21:2; Rom. 9:9Sarah your wife shall have a son.”
(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11Now #Gen. 17:17; Luke 1:18; Rom. 4:19; Heb. 11:11, 12, 19Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah #Gen. 31:35had passed the age of childbearing. 12Therefore Sarah #Gen. 17:17laughed within herself, saying, #Luke 1:18“After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my #1 Pet. 3:6lord being old also?”
13And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14#Num. 11:23; Jer. 32:17; Zech. 8:6; Matt. 3:9; 19:26; Luke 1:37; Rom. 4:21Is anything too hard for the Lord? #Gen. 17:21; 18:10; 2 Kin. 4:16At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
15But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid.
And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
16Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them #Acts 15:3; Rom. 15:24to send them on the way. 17And the Lord said, #Gen. 18:22, 26, 33; Ps. 25:14; Amos 3:7; (John 15:15)“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be #(Gen. 12:3; 22:18); Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:34; (Acts 3:25, 26; Gal. 3:8)blessed in him? 19For I have known him, in order #(Deut. 4:9, 10; 6:6, 7)that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20And the Lord said, “Because #Gen. 4:10; 19:13; Ezek. 16:49, 50the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their #Gen. 13:13sin is very grave, 21#Gen. 11:5; Ex. 3:8; Ps. 14:2I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, #Deut. 8:2; 13:3; Josh. 22:22; Luke 16:15; 2 Cor. 11:11I will know.”
22Then the men turned away from there #Gen. 18:16; 19:1and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23And Abraham #(Heb. 10:22)came near and said, #Ex. 23:7; Num. 16:22; 2 Sam. 24:17; Ps. 11:4–7“Would You also #Job 9:22destroy the #Gen. 20:4righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that #Job 8:20; Is. 3:10, 11the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! #Deut. 1:16, 17; 32:4; Job 8:3, 20; 34:17; Ps. 58:11; 94:2; Is. 3:10, 11; Rom. 3:5, 6Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26So the Lord said, #Jer. 5:1; Ezek. 22:30“If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”
27Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am #(Gen. 3:19); Job 4:19; 30:19; 42:6; (1 Cor. 15:47, 48)but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?”
So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.
29And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
30Then he said, #Judg. 6:39“Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”
#James 5:16And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” 33So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.