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Genesis 18

18
Abraham’s Three Visitors
1Then the Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre # Gn 13:18; 14:13; 23:17-19 while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. 2He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him. # Gn 18:16,22; 19:1; 32:24; Jos 5:13; Jdg 13:6-11; Heb 13:2 When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed to the ground. 3Then he said, “My lord, # Or My Lord, or The Lord if I have found favor in your sight, please do not go on past your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves. # Lit may sustain your heart This is why you have passed your servant’s way. Later, you can continue on.”
“Yes,” they replied, “do as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Knead three measures # Lit three seahs ; about 21 quarts of fine flour and make bread.” # A round, thin, unleavened bread 7Meanwhile, Abraham ran to the herd and got a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man, who hurried to prepare it. 8Then Abraham took curds # Or butter and milk, and the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served # Lit was standing by them as they ate under the tree.
Sarah Laughs
9“Where is your wife Sarah? ” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he answered.
10The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son! ” # Gn 17:10; 21:1; Rm 9:9 Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
11Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years. # Lit days Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. # Lit The way of women had ceased for Sarah # Gn 17:17; Rm 4:19; Heb 11:11-12 12So she laughed to herself: “After I have become shriveled up and my lord is old, will I have delight? ” # Gn 17:17; Lk 1:18; 1Pt 3:6
13But the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Can I really have a baby when I’m old? ’ 14Is anything impossible for the Lord? # Jb 34:10; Jr 32:17,27; Mt 19:26; Mk 10:27; Lk 1:37; 18:27; Heb 6:18 At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.”
15Sarah denied it. “I did not laugh,” she said, because she was afraid.
But He replied, “No, you did laugh.”
Abraham’s Plea for Sodom
16The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off. 17Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham? # Am 3:7 18Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. # Gn 12:3; 26:4; Gl 3:8 19For I have chosen # Lit known him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what He promised him.” 20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. 21I will go down # Gn 11:5; Ex 3:8; Ps 14:2 to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to Me. If not, I will find out.”
22The men turned from there and went toward Sodom # Gn 19:1 while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. # Ancient Jewish tradition reads while the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? # Ex 23:7; Nm 16:22; 2Sm 24:17; Ps 11:4-7 24What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people who are in it? 25You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of all the earth do what is just? ” # Dt 1:16-17; 32:4; Jb 8:3,20; Ps 58:11; 94:2; Is 3:10-11; Rm 3:5-6
26The Lord said, “If I find 50 righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” # Jr 5:1
27Then Abraham answered, “Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord — even though I am dust and ashes — 28suppose the 50 righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five? ”
He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find 45 there.”
29Then he spoke to Him again, “Suppose 40 are found there? ”
He answered, “I will not do it on account of 40.”
30Then he said, “Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose 30 are found there? ”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find 30 there.”
31Then he said, “Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose 20 are found there? ”
He replied, “I will not destroy it on account of 20.”
32Then he said, “Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time. # Jdg 6:39 Suppose 10 are found there? ”
He answered, “I will not destroy it on account of 10.” 33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, He departed, and Abraham returned to his place.
18
The Three Visitors
1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When Abraham saw them, he ran from his tent to meet them. He bowed facedown on the ground before them 3and said, “Sir, if you think well of me, please stay awhile with me, your servant. 4I will bring some water so all of you can wash your feet. You may rest under the tree, 5and I will get some bread for you so you can regain your strength. Then you may continue your journey.”
The three men said, “That is fine. Do as you said.”
6Abraham hurried to the tent where Sarah was and said to her, “Hurry, prepare twenty quarts of fine flour, and make it into loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his herd and took one of his best calves. He gave it to a servant, who hurried to kill it and to prepare it for food. 8Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been cooked and milk curds and milk. While they ate, he stood under the tree near them.
9The men asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
“There, in the tent,” said Abraham.
10Then the Lord said, “I will certainly return to you about this time a year from now. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old. Since Sarah was past the age when women normally have children, 12she laughed to herself, “My husband and I are too old to have a baby.”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘I am too old to have a baby’? 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? No! I will return to you at the right time a year from now, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord said, “No. You did laugh.”
16Then the men got up to leave and started out toward Sodom. Abraham walked along with them a short time to send them on their way.
Abraham’s Bargain with God
17The Lord said, “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do now? 18Abraham’s children will certainly become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19I have chosen him so he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to, to live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, will give Abraham what I promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many complaints against the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They are very evil. 21I will go down and see if they are as bad as I have heard. If not, I will know.”
22So the men turned and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Do you plan to destroy the good people along with the evil ones? 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 will not destroy the good people along with the evil ones; then they would be treated the same. You are the judge of all the earth. Won’t you do what is right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city because of them.”
27Then Abraham said, “Though I am only dust and ashes, I have been brave to speak to the Lord. 28What if there are only forty-five good people in the city? Will you destroy the whole city for the lack of five good people?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Again Abraham said to him, “If you find only forty good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty, I will not destroy it.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If you find only thirty good people in the city, will you destroy it?”
He said, “If I find thirty good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
31Then Abraham said, “I have been brave to speak to the Lord. But what if there are twenty good people in the city?”
He answered, “If I find twenty there, 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. What if you find ten there?”
He said, “If I find ten there, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord finished speaking to Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.