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Genesis 18

18
Yahweh Appears to Abraham as a Man
1And Yahweh appeared to him#Abraham by the oaks of Mamre. And he was sitting in the doorway of the tent at the heat of the day. 2And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, three men were standing near#Or “by”; the context requires some distance for Abraham to run to them him. And he saw them and ran from the doorway of the tent to meet them. And he bowed down to the ground. 3And he said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your eyes do not pass by your servant. 4Let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest under the tree. 5And let me bring a piece of bread, then#Or “and” refresh yourselves.#Literally “your heart” Afterward you can pass on, once#Literally “for therefore” you have passed by with your servant.” Then they said, “Do so as you have said.” 6Then#Or “And” Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and he said, “Quickly—make three seahs of fine flour for kneading and make bread cakes!” 7And Abraham ran to the cattle and took a calf,#Literally “a son of cattle” tender and good, and gave it to the servant, and he made haste to prepare it. 8Then he took curds and milk, and the calf which he prepared, and set it before them. And he was standing by them under the tree while#Or “and” they ate. 9And they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “Here, in the tent.” 10And he#Yahweh said, “I will certainly return to you in the spring,#Literally “at the time of life” and look, Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the doorway of the tent, and which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age;#Literally “going in the days” the way of women#Literally “the road according to women” had ceased to be for Sarah. 12So#Or “And” Sarah laughed to herself saying, “After I am worn out and my husband is old, shall this pleasure be to me?” 13Then Yahweh said to Abraham, “What is this that Sarah laughed, saying, ‘Is it indeed true that I will bear a child, now that I have grown old?’ 14Is anything too difficult for Yahweh? At the appointed time I will return to you in the spring#Literally “at the time of life” and Sarah shall have a son.” 15But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. He#Yahweh said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down upon Sodom. And Abraham went with them to send them on their way.#Literally “to send them away” 17Then Yahweh said, “Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and strong nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed on account of him. 19For I have chosen#Or “have known” him, that he will command his children and his household after him that they will keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice, so that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham that which he said to him.” 20Then Yahweh said, “Because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and because their sin is very serious,#Literally “heavy” 21I will go down and I will see. Have they done altogether according to its cry of distress which has come to me? If not, I will know.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
22And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom. And Abraham was still standing before Yahweh. 23And Abraham drew near to Yahweh and said, “Will you also sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24If perhaps there are fifty righteous in the midst of the city, will you also sweep them away and not forgive the place on account of the fifty righteous in her midst? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing as this, to kill the righteous with the wicked, that#Or “and” the righteous would be as the wicked! Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do justice?” 26And Yahweh said, “If I find fifty righteous in Sodom, in the midst of the city, then I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” 27Then Abraham answered and said, “Look, please, I was bold to speak to my Lord, but I am dust and ashes. 28Perhaps the fifty righteous are lacking five—will you destroy the whole city on account of the five?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29And once again he spoke#Literally “And he added again to speak” to him and said, “What if#Or “Perhaps” forty are found there?” And he answered, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30And he said, “Please, let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if#Or “Perhaps” thirty be found there?” And he answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31And he said, “Please, now, I was bold to speak to my Lord. What if#Or “Perhaps” twenty be found there?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” 32And he said, “Please, let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak only once more. What if#Or “Perhaps” ten are found there?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” 33Then Yahweh left,#Or “went” as he finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
18
The Three Visitors
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,#18:3 Or eyes, Lord do not pass your servant by. 4Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs#18:6 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
16When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.#18:18 Or will use his name in blessings (see 48:20) 19For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.#18:22 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition but the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare#18:24 Or forgive; also in verse 26 the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.