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Genesis 18

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.
18
The Promise of a Son
1Then Adonai appeared to him at Mamre’s large trees while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day.
2When he lifted up his eyes to see, suddenly, three men were standing right by him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed down to the ground.
3Then he said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in your eyes, please do not pass by your servant.
4Please let a little water be brought so you can wash your feet, and make yourselves comfortable under the tree.
5And let me bring a bit of bread so that you can refresh yourselves—then you can pass on—since you have passed by your servant. They said, “Do just as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Knead three measures of fine flour and prepare bread loaves!”
7Then to the herd Abraham ran and took a young ox, tender and good, and he gave it to the servant, who prepared it quickly.
8Then he took butter and milk and the young ox that he had prepared and set it before them. While he was standing by them under the tree, they ate.
9Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” “There, in the tent,” he said.
10Then He said, “I will most surely return to you in about a year’s time, surprisingly, Sarah your wife will have a son.” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind Him.
11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years—Sarah had stopped having the way of women.
12So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I’ve grown decrepit, can I have desire—and my lord so old?”
13Then Adonai said to Abraham, “Why is it that Sarah laughed, saying, ‘Can I really give birth when I am so old?’
14Is anything too difficult for Adonai? At the appointed time I will return to you—in about a year—and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah denied it saying, “I didn’t laugh!” For she was afraid. But He said, “No—for you did laugh.”
Abraham intercedes
16Then the men got up from there and looked down over Sodom. Abraham was walking with them to send them off,
17when Adonai said, “Should I keep secret from Abraham what I am about to do,
18seeing that Abraham will most certainly become a great and mighty nation and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
19For I have made myself known to him so that he will command his sons and his household after him to keep the way of Adonai by doing righteousness and justice, so that Adonai may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
20Then Adonai said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great indeed, and their sin is very grievous indeed.
21I want to go down now, and see if they deserve destruction, as its outcry has come to Me. And if not, I will know.”
22Then the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before Adonai.
23Abraham drew near and said, “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you really sweep away and not spare the place for the sake of fifty righteous who are in it?
25Far be it from You to do such a thing—to cause the righteous to die with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked share the same fate! Far be it from You! Shall the Judge of the whole world not exercise justice?”
26Then Adonai said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous people within the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Then Abraham answered and said, “Look, pray, I have decided to speak to my Lord, though I am dust and ashes.
28Suppose the fifty righteous people are lacking five. Will You destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29So he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Perhaps forty will be found there?” And He said, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”
30Then he said, “Please, let my Lord not be angry, so I may speak. Perhaps thirty will be found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Then he said, “Look, pray, I have decided to speak to my Lord: Perhaps twenty will be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
32Then he said, “Please, let not my Lord be angry, so I may speak once more. Perhaps ten will be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
33Now when He had finished speaking to Abraham, Adonai left, and Abraham returned to his place.