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Genesis 18

18
1 NOW THE Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks or terebinths of Mamre; as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day,
2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood at a little distance from him. He ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the ground
3 And said, My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant, I beg of you.
4 Let a little water be brought, and you may wash your feet and recline and rest yourselves under the tree.
5 And I will bring a morsel (mouthful) of bread to refresh and sustain your hearts before you go on further–for that is why you have come to your servant. And they replied, Do as you have said.
6 So Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, Quickly get ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and bake cakes.
7 And Abraham ran to the herd and brought a calf tender and good and gave it to the young man [to butcher]; then he [Abraham] hastened to prepare it.
8 And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before [the men]; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, [She is here] in the tent.
10 [The Lord] said, I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was listening and heard it at the tent door which was behind Him. [Rom. 9:9-12.]
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; it had ceased to be with Sarah as with [young] women. [She was past the age of childbearing].
12 Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband), being old also? [I Pet. 3:6.]
13 And the Lord asked Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really bear a child when I am so old?
14 Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son. [Matt. 19:26.]
15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.
16 The men rose up from there and faced toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, [Gal. 3:8.]
18 Since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed through him and shall bless themselves by him? [Gen. 12:2-3.]
19 For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him.
20 And the Lord said, Because the shriek [of the sins] of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is exceedingly grievous,
21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether [as vilely and wickedly] as is the cry of it which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.
22 Now the [two] men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.
23 And Abraham came close and said, Will You destroy the righteous (those upright and in right standing with God) together with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are in the city fifty righteous; will You destroy the place and not spare it for [the sake of] the fifty righteous in it?
25 Far be it from You to do such a thing–to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked! Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously?
26 And the Lord said, If I find in the city of Sodom fifty righteous (upright and in right standing with God), I will spare the whole place for their sake.
27 Abraham answered, Behold now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord.
28 If five of the fifty righteous should be lacking–will You destroy the whole city for lack of five? He said, If I find forty-five, I will not destroy it.
29 And [Abraham] spoke to Him yet again, and said, Suppose [only] forty shall be found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty's sake.
30 Then [Abraham] said to Him, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak [again]. Suppose [only] thirty shall be found there. And He answered, I will not do it if I find thirty there.
31 And [Abraham] said, Behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak [again] to the Lord. Suppose [only] twenty shall be found there. And [the Lord] replied, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.
32 And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once. Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there. And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
33 And the Lord went His way when He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
18
1-2God appeared to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. It was the hottest part of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing. He ran from his tent to greet them and bowed before them.
3-5He said, “Master, if it please you, stop for a while with your servant. I’ll get some water so you can wash your feet. Rest under this tree. I’ll get some food to refresh you on your way, since your travels have brought you across my path.”
They said, “Certainly. Go ahead.”
6Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. He said, “Hurry. Get three cups of our best flour; knead it and make bread.”
7-8Then Abraham ran to the cattle pen and picked out a nice plump calf and gave it to the servant who lost no time getting it ready. Then he got curds and milk, brought them with the calf that had been roasted, set the meal before the men, and stood there under the tree while they ate.
9The men said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
He said, “In the tent.”
10One of them said, “I’m coming back about this time next year. When I arrive, your wife Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was listening at the tent opening, just behind the man.
11-12Abraham and Sarah were old by this time, very old. Sarah was far past the age for having babies. Sarah laughed within herself, “An old woman like me? Get pregnant? With this old man of a husband?”
13-14God said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh saying, ‘Me? Have a baby? An old woman like me?’ Is anything too hard for God? I’ll be back about this time next year and Sarah will have a baby.”
15Sarah lied. She said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was afraid.
But he said, “Yes you did; you laughed.”
16When the men got up to leave, they set off for Sodom. Abraham walked with them to say good-bye.
17-19Then God said, “Shall I keep back from Abraham what I’m about to do? Abraham is going to become a large and strong nation; all the nations of the world are going to find themselves blessed through him. Yes, I’ve settled on him as the one to train his children and future family to observe God’s way of life, live kindly and generously and fairly, so that God can complete in Abraham what he promised him.”
20-21God continued, “The cries of the victims in Sodom and Gomorrah are deafening; the sin of those cities is immense. I’m going down to see for myself, see if what they’re doing is as bad as it sounds. Then I’ll know.”
22The men set out for Sodom, but Abraham stood in God’s path, blocking his way.
23-25Abraham confronted him, “Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents? I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?”
26God said, “If I find fifty decent people in the city of Sodom, I’ll spare the place just for them.”
27-28Abraham came back, “Do I, a mere mortal made from a handful of dirt, dare open my mouth again to my Master? What if the fifty fall short by five—would you destroy the city because of those missing five?”
He said, “I won’t destroy it if there are forty-five.”
29Abraham spoke up again, “What if you only find forty?”
“Neither will I destroy it if for forty.”
30He said, “Master, don’t be irritated with me, but what if only thirty are found?”
“No, I won’t do it if I find thirty.”
31He pushed on, “I know I’m trying your patience, Master, but how about for twenty?”
“I won’t destroy it for twenty.”
32He wouldn’t quit, “Don’t get angry, Master—this is the last time. What if you only come up with ten?”
“For the sake of only ten, I won’t destroy the city.”
33When God finished talking with Abraham, he left. And Abraham went home.