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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
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.