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Genesis 18

18
1And Jehovah appeareth unto him among the oaks of Mamre, and he is sitting at the opening of the tent, about the heat of the day;
2and he lifteth up his eyes and looketh, and lo, three men standing by him, and he seeth, and runneth to meet them from the opening of the tent, and boweth himself towards the earth,
3And he saith, ‘My Lord, if, I pray thee, I have found grace in thine eyes, do not, I pray thee, pass on from thy servant;
4let, I pray thee, a little water be accepted, and wash your feet, and recline under the tree;
5and I bring a piece of bread, and support ye your heart; afterwards pass on, for therefore have ye passed over unto your servant;’ and they say, ‘So mayest thou do as thou has spoken.’
6And Abraham hasteth towards the tent, unto Sarah, and saith, ‘Hasten three measures of flour-meal, knead, and make cakes;’
7and Abraham ran unto the herd, and taketh a son of the herd, tender and good, and giveth unto the young man, and he hasteth to prepare it;
8and he taketh butter and milk, and the son of the herd which he hath prepared, and setteth before them; and he is standing by them under the tree, and they do eat.
9And they say unto him, ‘Where [is] Sarah thy wife?’ and he saith, ‘Lo — in the tent;’
10and he saith, ‘returning I return unto thee, about the time of life, and lo, to Sarah thy wife a son.’
11And Sarah is hearkening at the opening of the tent, which is behind him;
12and Abraham and Sarah [are] aged, entering into days — the way of women hath ceased to be to Sarah;
13and Sarah laugheth in her heart, saying, ‘After I have waxed old I have had pleasure! — my lord also [is] old!’
14And Jehovah saith unto Abraham, ‘Why [is] this? Sarah hath laughed, saying, Is it true really — I bear — and I am aged? Is any thing too wonderful for Jehovah? at the appointed time I return unto thee, about the time of life, and Sarah hath a son.’
15And Sarah denieth, saying, ‘I did not laugh;’ for she hath been afraid; and He saith, ‘Nay, but thou didst laugh.’
16And the men rise from thence, and look on the face of Sodom, and Abraham is going with them to send them away;
17and Jehovah said, ‘Am I concealing from Abraham that which I am doing,
18and Abraham certainly becometh a nation great and mighty, and blessed in him have been all nations of the earth?
19for I have known him, that he commandeth his children, and his house after him (and they have kept the way of Jehovah), to do righteousness and judgment, that Jehovah may bring on Abraham that which He hath spoken concerning him.’
20And Jehovah saith, ‘The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah — because great; and their sin — because exceeding grievous:
21I go down now, and see whether according to its cry which is coming unto Me they have done completely — and if not — I know;’
22and the men turn from thence, and go towards Sodom; and Abraham is yet standing before Jehovah.
23And Abraham draweth nigh and saith, ‘Dost Thou also consume righteous with wicked?
24peradventure there are fifty righteous in the midst of the city; dost Thou also consume, and not bear with the place for the sake of the fifty — the righteous who [are] in its midst?
25Far be it from Thee to do according to this thing, to put to death the righteous with the wicked; that it hath been — as the righteous so the wicked — far be it from Thee; doth the Judge of all the earth not do justice?’
26And Jehovah saith, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous in the midst of the city, then have I borne with all the place for their sake.’
27And Abraham answereth and saith, ‘Lo, I pray thee, I have willed to speak unto the Lord, and I — dust and ashes;
28peradventure there are lacking five of the fifty righteous — dost Thou destroy for five the whole of the city?’ and He saith, ‘I destroy [it] not, if I find there forty and five.’
29And he addeth again to speak unto Him and saith, ‘Peradventure there are found there forty?’ and He saith, ‘I do [it] not, because of the forty.’
30And he saith, ‘Let it not be, I Pray thee, displeasing to the Lord, and I speak: peradventure there are found there thirty?’ and He saith, ‘I do [it] not, if I find there thirty.’
31And he saith, ‘Lo, I pray thee, I have willed to speak unto the Lord: peradventure there are found there twenty?’ and He saith, ‘I do not destroy [it], because of the twenty.’
32And he saith, ‘Let it not be, I pray Thee, displeasing to the Lord, and I speak only this time: peradventure there are found there ten?’ and He saith, ‘I do not destroy [it], because of the ten.’
33And Jehovah goeth on, when He hath finished speaking unto Abraham, and Abraham hath turned back to his place.

Genesis 18

18
Abraham’s Visitors. 1#Chapters 18 and 19 combined form a continuous narrative, concluding the story of Abraham and his nephew Lot that began in 13:2–18. The mysterious men visit Abraham in Mamre to promise him and Sarah a child the following year (18:1–15) and then visit Lot in Sodom to investigate and then to punish the corrupt city (19:1–29). Between the two visits, Abraham questions God about the justice of punishing Sodom (18:16–33). At the end of the destruction of Sodom, there is a short narrative about Lot as the ancestor of Moab and the Ammonites (19:30–38). The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oak of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. 2Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground,#Heb 13:1–2. 3he said: “Sir,#Abraham addresses the leader of the group, whom he does not yet recognize as the Lord; in the next two verses he speaks to all three men. The other two are later (Gn 19:1) identified as angels. The shifting numbers and identification of the visitors are a narrative way of expressing the mysterious presence of God. if it please you, do not go on past your servant. 4Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest under the tree. 5Now that you have come to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way.” “Very well,” they replied, “do as you have said.”
6Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick, three measures#Three measures: Hebrew seah; three seahs equal one ephah, about half a bushel. of bran flour! Knead it and make bread.” 7He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice calf, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. 8Then he got some curds#Curds: a type of soft cheese or yogurt. and milk, as well as the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them, waiting on them under the tree while they ate.
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There in the tent,” he replied. 10One of them#One of them: i.e., the Lord. said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, just behind him.#Gn 17:19; 21:1; 2 Kgs 4:16; Rom 9:9. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years, and Sarah had stopped having her menstrual periods.#Gn 17:17; Rom 4:19; Heb 11:11–12. 12So Sarah laughed#Sarah laughed: a play on the verb “laugh,” which prefigures the name of Isaac; see note on 17:17. to herself and said, “Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, am I still to have sexual pleasure?” 13But the Lord said to Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really bear a child, old as I am?’ 14Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.”#Mt 19:26; Mk 10:27; Lk 1:37; 18:27; Rom 4:21. 15Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But he said, “Yes, you did.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom. 16With Abraham walking with them to see them on their way, the men set out from there and looked down toward Sodom. 17The Lord considered: Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18now that he is to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth are to find blessing in him?#Lk 1:55. 19Indeed, I have singled him out that he may direct his children and his household in the future to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord may put into effect for Abraham the promises he made about him. 20#Gn 19:13; Is 3:9; Lk 17:28; Jude 7. So the Lord said: The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave,#The immorality of the cities was already hinted at in 13:13, when Lot made his choice to live there. The “outcry” comes from the victims of the injustice and violence rampant in the city, which will shortly be illustrated in the treatment of the visitors. The outcry of the Hebrews under the harsh treatment of Pharaoh (Ex 3:7) came up to God who reacts in anger at mistreatment of the poor (cf. Ex 22:21–23; Is 5:7). Sodom and Gomorrah became types of sinful cities in biblical literature. Is 1:9–10; 3:9 sees their sin as lack of social justice, Ez 16:46–51, as disregard for the poor, and Jer 23:14, as general immorality. In the Genesis story, the sin is violation of the sacred duty of hospitality by the threatened rape of Lot’s guests. 21that I must go down to see whether or not their actions are as bad as the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.
22As the men turned and walked on toward Sodom, Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23Then Abraham drew near and said: “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there were fifty righteous people in the city; would you really sweep away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people within it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike! Far be it from you! Should not the judge of all the world do what is just?”#Dt 32:4; Jb 8:3, 20; Wis 12:15. 26The Lord replied: If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake. 27Abraham spoke up again: “See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am only dust and ashes!#Sir 10:9; 17:27. 28What if there are five less than fifty righteous people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?” I will not destroy it, he answered, if I find forty-five there. 29But Abraham persisted, saying, “What if only forty are found there?” He replied: I will refrain from doing it for the sake of the forty. 30Then he said, “Do not let my Lord be angry if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?” He replied: I will refrain from doing it if I can find thirty there. 31Abraham went on, “Since I have thus presumed to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?” I will not destroy it, he answered, for the sake of the twenty. 32But he persisted: “Please, do not let my Lord be angry if I speak up this last time. What if ten are found there?” For the sake of the ten, he replied, I will not destroy it.#Jer 5:1; Ez 22:30.
33The Lord departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned home.