Bible: Genesis 11-22

The Dispersion of the Nations at Babel

11:1 The whole earth 1  had a common language and a common vocabulary. 2  11:2 When the people 3  moved eastward, 4  they found a plain in Shinar 5  and settled there. 11:3 Then they said to one another, 6 Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” 7  (They had brick instead of stone and tar 8  instead of mortar.) 9  11:4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens 10  so that 11  we may make a name for ourselves. Otherwise 12  we will be scattered 13  across the face of the entire earth.”

11:5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people 14  had started 15  building. 11:6 And the Lord said, “If as one people all sharing a common language 16  they have begun to do this, then 17  nothing they plan to do will be beyond them. 18  11:7 Come, let’s go down and confuse 19  their language so they won’t be able to understand each other.” 20 

11:8 So the Lord scattered them from there across the face of the entire earth, and they stopped building 21  the city. 11:9 That is why its name was called 22  Babel 23 because there the Lord confused the language of the entire world, and from there the Lord scattered them across the face of the entire earth.

The Genealogy of Shem

11:10 This is the account of Shem.

Shem was 100 old when he became the father of Arphaxad, two years after the flood. 11:11 And after becoming the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other 24  sons and daughters.

11:12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. 11:13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other 25  sons and daughters. 26 

11:14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 11:15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other 27  sons and daughters.

11:16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. 11:17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

11:18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. 11:19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

11:20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. 11:21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

11:22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. 11:23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

11:24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 11:25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

11:26 When Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

The Record of Terah

11:27 This is the account of Terah.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 11:28 Haran died in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans, 28  while his father Terah was still alive. 29  11:29 And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, 30  and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; 31  she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no children.

11:31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (the son of Haran), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and with them he set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. When they came to Haran, they settled there. 11:32 The lifetime 32  of Terah was 205 years, and he 33  died in Haran.

The Obedience of Abram

12:1 Now the Lord said 34  to Abram, 35 

“Go out 36  from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household

to the land that I will show you. 37 

12:2 Then I will make you 38  into a great nation, and I will bless you, 39 

and I will make your name great, 40 

so that you will exemplify divine blessing. 41 

12:3 I will bless those who bless you, 42 

but the one who treats you lightly 43  I must curse,

and all the families of the earth will bless one another 44  by your name.”

12:4 So Abram left, 45  just as the Lord had told him to do, 46  and Lot went with him. (Now 47  Abram was 75 years old 48  when he departed from Haran.) 12:5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew 49  Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired 50  in Haran, and they left for 51  the land of Canaan. They entered the land of Canaan.

12:6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the oak tree 52  of Moreh 53  at Shechem. 54  (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) 55  12:7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants 56  I will give this land.” So Abram 57  built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

12:8 Then he moved from there to the hill country east of Bethel 58  and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and worshiped the Lord. 59  12:9 Abram continually journeyed by stages 60  down to the Negev. 61 

The Promised Blessing Jeopardized

12:10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt 62  to stay for a while 63  because the famine was severe. 64  12:11 As he approached 65  Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, 66  I know that you are a beautiful woman. 67  12:12 When the Egyptians see you they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will keep you alive. 68  12:13 So tell them 69  you are my sister 70  so that it may go well 71  for me because of you and my life will be spared 72  on account of you.”

12:14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 12:15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. So Abram’s wife 73  was taken 74  into the household of Pharaoh, 75  12:16 and he did treat Abram well 76  on account of her. Abram received 77  sheep and cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

12:17 But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe diseases 78  because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 12:18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram and said, “What is this 79  you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 12:19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her 80  to be my wife? 81  Here is your wife! 82  Take her and go! 83  12:20 Pharaoh gave his men orders about Abram, 84  and so they expelled him, along with his wife and all his possessions.

Abram’s Solution to the Strife

13:1 So Abram went up from Egypt into the Negev. 85  He took his wife and all his possessions with him, as well as Lot. 86  13:2 (Now Abram was very wealthy 87  in livestock, silver, and gold.) 88 

13:3 And he journeyed from place to place 89  from the Negev as far as Bethel. 90  He returned 91  to the place where he had pitched his tent 92  at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai. 13:4 This was the place where he had first built the altar, 93  and there Abram worshiped the Lord. 94 

13:5 Now Lot, who was traveling 95  with Abram, also had 96  flocks, herds, and tents. 13:6 But the land could 97  not support them while they were living side by side. 98  Because their possessions were so great, they were not able to live 99  alongside one another. 13:7 So there were quarrels 100  between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen. 101  (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at that time.) 102 

13:8 Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no quarreling between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives. 103  13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself now from me. If you go 104  to the left, then I’ll go to the right, but if you go to the right, then I’ll go to the left.”

13:10 Lot looked up and saw 105  the whole region 106  of the Jordan. He noticed 107  that all of it was well-watered (before the Lord obliterated 108  Sodom and Gomorrah) 109  like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, 110  all the way to Zoar. 13:11 Lot chose for himself the whole region of the Jordan and traveled 111  toward the east.

So the relatives separated from each other. 112  13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled among the cities of the Jordan plain 113  and pitched his tents next to Sodom. 13:13 (Now 114  the people 115  of Sodom were extremely wicked rebels against the Lord.) 116 

13:14 After Lot had departed, the Lord said to Abram, 117 Look 118  from the place where you stand to the north, south, east, and west. 13:15 I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants 119  forever. 13:16 And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted. 120  13:17 Get up and 121  walk throughout 122  the land, 123  for I will give it to you.”

13:18 So Abram moved his tents and went to live 124  by the oaks 125  of Mamre in Hebron, and he built an altar to the Lord there.

The Blessing of Victory for God’s People

14:1 At that time 126  Amraphel king of Shinar, 127  Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations 128  14:2 went to war 129  against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 130  14:3 These last five kings 131  joined forces 132  in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 133  14:4 For twelve years 134  they had served Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year 135  they rebelled. 136  14:5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings who were his allies came and defeated 137  the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 14:6 and the Horites in their hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is near the desert. 138  14:7 Then they attacked En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh) again, 139  and they conquered all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.

14:8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and prepared for battle. In the Valley of Siddim they met 140  14:9 Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, 141  Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar. Four kings fought against 142  five. 14:10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits. 143  When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into them, 144  but some survivors 145  fled to the hills. 146  14:11 The four victorious kings 147  took all the possessions and food of Sodom and Gomorrah and left. 14:12 They also took Abram’s nephew 148  Lot and his possessions when 149  they left, for Lot 150  was living in Sodom. 151 

14:13 A fugitive 152  came and told Abram the Hebrew. 153  Now Abram was living by the oaks 154  of Mamre the Amorite, the brother 155  of Eshcol and Aner. (All these were allied by treaty 156  with Abram.) 157  14:14 When Abram heard that his nephew 158  had been taken captive, he mobilized 159  his 318 trained men who had been born in his household, and he pursued the invaders 160  as far as Dan. 161  14:15 Then, during the night, 162  Abram 163  divided his forces 164  against them and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, which is north 165  of Damascus. 14:16 He retrieved all the stolen property. 166  He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the rest of 167  the people.

14:17 After Abram 168  returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram 169  in the Valley of Shaveh (known as the King’s Valley). 170  14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem 171  brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) 172  14:19 He blessed Abram, saying,

Blessed be Abram by 173  the Most High God,

Creator 174  of heaven and earth. 175 

14:20 Worthy of praise is 176  the Most High God,

who delivered 177  your enemies into your hand.”

Abram gave Melchizedek 178  a tenth of everything.

14:21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and take the possessions for yourself.” 14:22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I raise my hand 179  to the Lord, the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth, and vow 180  14:23 that I will take nothing 181  belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal. That way you can never say, ‘It is I 182  who made Abram rich.’ 14:24 I will take nothing 183  except compensation for what the young men have eaten. 184  As for the share of the men who went with me – Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre – let them take their share.”

The Cutting of the Covenant

15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield 185  and the one who will reward you in great abundance.” 186 

15:2 But Abram said, “O sovereign Lord, 187  what will you give me since 188  I continue to be 189  childless, and my heir 190  is 191  Eliezer of Damascus? 192  15:3 Abram added, 193 Since 194  you have not given me a descendant, then look, one born in my house will be my heir! 195 

15:4 But look, 196  the word of the Lord came to him: “This man 197  will not be your heir, 198  but instead 199  a son 200  who comes from your own body will be 201  your heir.” 202  15:5 The Lord 203  took him outside and said, “Gaze into the sky and count the stars – if you are able to count them!” Then he said to him, “So will your descendants be.”

15:6 Abram believed 204  the Lord, and the Lord 205  considered his response of faith 206  as proof of genuine loyalty. 207 

15:7 The Lord said 208  to him, “I am the Lord 209  who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans 210  to give you this land to possess.” 15:8 But 211  Abram 212  said, “O sovereign Lord, 213  by what 214  can I know that I am to possess it?

15:9 The Lord 215  said to him, “Take for me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 15:10 So Abram 216  took all these for him and then cut them in two 217  and placed each half opposite the other, 218  but he did not cut the birds in half. 15:11 When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

15:12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, 219  and great terror overwhelmed him. 220  15:13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain 221  that your descendants will be strangers 222  in a foreign country. 223  They will be enslaved and oppressed 224  for four hundred years. 15:14 But I will execute judgment on the nation that they will serve. 225  Afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15:15 But as for you, 226  you will go to your ancestors 227  in peace and be buried at a good old age. 228  15:16 In the fourth generation 229  your descendants 230  will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.” 231 

15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking firepot with a flaming torch 232  passed between the animal parts. 233  15:18 That day the Lord made a covenant 234  with Abram: “To your descendants I give 235  this land, from the river of Egypt 236  to the great river, the Euphrates River 15:19 the land 237  of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 15:20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 15:21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.” 238 

The Birth of Ishmael

16:1 Now Sarai, 239  Abram’s wife, had not given birth to any children, 240  but she had an Egyptian servant 241  named Hagar. 242  16:2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Since 243  the Lord has prevented me from having children, have sexual relations with 244  my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her.” 245  Abram did what 246  Sarai told him.

16:3 So after Abram had lived 247  in Canaan for ten years, Sarai, Abram’s wife, gave Hagar, her Egyptian servant, 248  to her husband to be his wife. 249  16:4 He had sexual relations with 250  Hagar, and she became pregnant. 251  Once Hagar realized she was pregnant, she despised Sarai. 252  16:5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! 253  I allowed my servant to have sexual relations with you, 254  but when she realized 255  that she was pregnant, she despised me. 256  May the Lord judge between you and me! 257 

16:6 Abram said to Sarai, “Since your 258  servant is under your authority, 259  do to her whatever you think best.” 260  Then Sarai treated Hagar 261  harshly, 262  so she ran away from Sarai. 263 

16:7 The Lord’s angel 264  found Hagar near a spring of water in the desert – the spring that is along the road to Shur. 265  16:8 He said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I’m running away from 266  my mistress, Sarai.”

16:9 Then the Lord’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit 267  to her authority. 16:10 I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the Lord’s angel added, 268  “so that they will be too numerous to count.” 269  16:11 Then the Lord’s angel said to her,

“You are now 270  pregnant

and are about to give birth 271  to a son.

You are to name him Ishmael, 272 

for the Lord has heard your painful groans. 273 

16:12 He will be a wild donkey 274  of a man.

He will be hostile to everyone, 275 

and everyone will be hostile to him. 276 

He will live away from 277  his brothers.”

16:13 So Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me,” 278  for she said, “Here I have seen one who sees me! 279  16:14 That is why the well was called 280  Beer Lahai Roi. 281  (It is located 282  between Kadesh and Bered.)

16:15 So Hagar gave birth to Abram’s son, whom Abram named Ishmael. 283  16:16 (Now 284  Abram was 86 years old 285  when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.) 286 

The Sign of the Covenant

17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, 287  the Lord appeared to him and said, 288 I am the sovereign God. 289  Walk 290  before me 291  and be blameless. 292  17:2 Then I will confirm my covenant 293  between me and you, and I will give you a multitude of descendants.” 294 

17:3 Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, 295  and God said to him, 296  17:4 As for me, 297  this 298  is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 17:5 No longer will your name be 299  Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham 300  because I will make you 301  the father of a multitude of nations. 17:6 I will make you 302  extremely 303  fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. 304  17:7 I will confirm 305  my covenant as a perpetual 306  covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 307  17:8 I will give the whole land of Canaan – the land where you are now residing 308 to you and your descendants after you as a permanent 309  possession. I will be their God.”

17:9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep 310  the covenantal requirement 311  I am imposing on you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 17:10 This is my requirement that you and your descendants after you must keep: 312  Every male among you must be circumcised. 313  17:11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins. This will be a reminder 314  of the covenant between me and you. 17:12 Throughout your generations every male among you who is eight days old 315  must be circumcised, whether born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not one of your descendants. 17:13 They must indeed be circumcised, 316  whether born in your house or bought with money. The sign of my covenant 317  will be visible in your flesh as a permanent 318  reminder. 17:14 Any uncircumcised male 319  who has not been circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin will be cut off 320  from his people – he has failed to carry out my requirement.” 321 

17:15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for your wife, you must no longer call her Sarai; 322  Sarah 323  will be her name. 17:16 I will bless her and will give you a son through her. I will bless her and she will become a mother of nations. 324  Kings of countries 325  will come from her!

17:17 Then Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground and laughed 326  as he said to himself, 327  “Can 328  a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old? 329  Can Sarah 330  bear a child at the age of ninety? 331  17:18 Abraham said to God, “O that 332  Ishmael might live before you! 333 

17:19 God said, “No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. 334  I will confirm my covenant with him as a perpetual 335  covenant for his descendants after him. 17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. 336  I will indeed bless him, make him fruitful, and give him a multitude of descendants. 337  He will become the father of twelve princes; 338  I will make him into a great nation. 17:21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.” 17:22 When he finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. 339 

17:23 Abraham took his son Ishmael and every male in his household (whether born in his house or bought with money) 340  and circumcised them 341  on that very same day, just as God had told him to do. 17:24 Now Abraham was 99 years old 342  when he was circumcised; 343  17:25 his son Ishmael was thirteen years old 344  when he was circumcised. 17:26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the very same day. 17:27 All the men of his household, whether born in his household or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

Three Special Visitors

18:1 The Lord appeared to Abraham 345  by the oaks 346  of Mamre while 347  he was sitting at the entrance 348  to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 18:2 Abraham 349  looked up 350  and saw 351  three men standing across 352  from him. When he saw them 353  he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low 354  to the ground. 355 

18:3 He said, “My lord, 356  if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 357  18:4 Let a little water be brought so that 358  you may all 359  wash your feet and rest under the tree. 18:5 And let me get 360  a bit of food 361  so that you may refresh yourselves 362  since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” 363 All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”

18:6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take 364  three measures 365  of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 366  18:7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, 367  who quickly prepared it. 368  18:8 Abraham 369  then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food 370  before them. They ate while 371  he was standing near them under a tree.

18:9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, 372  in the tent.” 18:10 One of them 373  said, “I will surely return 374  to you when the season comes round again, 375  and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 376  (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 377  18:11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; 378  Sarah had long since passed menopause.) 379  18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 380 After I am worn out will I have pleasure, 381  especially when my husband is old too? 382 

18:13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why 383  did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really 384  have a child when I am old?’ 18:14 Is anything impossible 385  for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.” 386  18:15 Then Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But the Lord said, “No! You did laugh.” 387 

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

18:16 When the men got up to leave, 388  they looked out over 389  Sodom. (Now 390  Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 391  18:17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 392  18:18 After all, Abraham 393  will surely become 394  a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 395  using his name. 18:19 I have chosen him 396  so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep 397  the way of the Lord by doing 398  what is right and just. Then the Lord will give 399  to Abraham what he promised 400  him.”

18:20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against 401  Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 402  18:21 that I must go down 403  and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. 404  If not, 405  I want to know.”

18:22 The two men turned 406  and headed 407  toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 408  18:23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 18:24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare 409  the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? 18:25 Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge 410  of the whole earth do what is right? 411 

18:26 So the Lord replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

18:27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord 412  (although I am but dust and ashes), 413  18:28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy 414  the whole city because five are lacking?” 415  He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

18:29 Abraham 416  spoke to him again, 417 What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”

18:30 Then Abraham 418  said, “May the Lord not be angry 419  so that I may speak! 420  What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

18:31 Abraham 421  said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

18:32 Finally Abraham 422  said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”

18:33 The Lord went on his way 423  when he had finished speaking 424  to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home. 425 

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening while 426  Lot was sitting in the city’s gateway. 427  When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face toward the ground.

19:2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night 428  and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 429  “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 430 

19:3 But he urged 431  them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. 19:4 Before they could lie down to sleep, 432  all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 433  19:5 They shouted to Lot, 434 Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex 435  with them!

19:6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 19:7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! 436  19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with 437  a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. 438  Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection 439  of my roof.” 440 

19:9Out of our way!” 441  they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, 442  and now he dares to judge us! 443  We’ll do more harm 444  to you than to them!” They kept 445  pressing in on Lot until they were close enough 446  to break down the door.

19:10 So the men inside 447  reached out 448  and pulled Lot back into the house 449  as they shut the door. 19:11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest, 450  with blindness. The men outside 451  wore themselves out trying to find the door. 19:12 Then the two visitors 452  said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? 453  Do you have 454  any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? 455  Get them out of this 456  place 19:13 because we are about to destroy 457  it. The outcry against this place 458  is so great before the Lord that he 459  has sent us to destroy it.”

19:14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters. 460  He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy 461  the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them. 462 

19:15 At dawn 463  the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 464  or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged! 465  19:16 When Lot 466  hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them. 467  They led them away and placed them 468  outside the city. 19:17 When they had brought them outside, they 469  said, “Run 470  for your lives! Don’t look 471  behind you or stop anywhere in the valley! 472  Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!

19:18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 473  19:19 Your 474  servant has found favor with you, 475  and you have shown me great 476  kindness 477  by sparing 478  my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 479  this disaster will overtake 480  me and I’ll die. 481  19:20 Look, this town 482  over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 483  Let me go there. 484  It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 485  Then I’ll survive.” 486 

19:21Very well,” he replied, 487 I will grant this request too 488  and will not overthrow 489  the town you mentioned. 19:22 Run there quickly, 490  for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 491 

19:23 The sun had just risen 492  over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 493  19:24 Then the Lord rained down 494  sulfur and fire 495  on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord. 496  19:25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region, 497  including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew 498  from the ground. 19:26 But Lot’s 499  wife looked back longingly 500  and was turned into a pillar of salt.

19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 501  to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 19:28 He looked out toward 502  Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region. 503  As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace. 504 

19:29 So when God destroyed 505  the cities of the region, 506  God honored 507  Abraham’s request. He removed Lot 508  from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed 509  the cities Lot had lived in.

19:30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 19:31 Later the older daughter said 510  to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby 511  to have sexual relations with us, 512  according to the way of all the world. 19:32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine 513  so we can have sexual relations 514  with him and preserve 515  our family line through our father.” 516 

19:33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, 517  and the older daughter 518  came and had sexual relations with her father. 519  But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 520  19:34 So in the morning the older daughter 521  said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. 522  Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 523  19:35 So they made their father drunk 524  that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. 525  But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 526 

19:36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 19:37 The older daughter 527  gave birth to a son and named him Moab. 528  He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 19:38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-Ammi. 529  He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.

Abraham and Abimelech

20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev 530  region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident 531  in Gerar, 20:2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.

20:3 But God appeared 532  to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead 533  because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 534 

20:4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, 535  would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 536  20:5 Did Abraham 537  not say to me, ‘She is my sister? And she herself said, 538 He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience 539  and with innocent hands!

20:6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. 540  That is why I have kept you 541  from sinning against me and why 542  I did not allow you to touch her. 20:7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed 543  he is a prophet 544  and he will pray for you; thus you will live. 545  But if you don’t give her back, 546  know that you will surely die 547  along with all who belong to you.”

20:8 Early in the morning 548  Abimelech summoned 549  all his servants. When he told them about all these things, 550  they 551  were terrified. 20:9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? 552  You have done things to me that should not be done! 553  20:10 Then Abimelech asked 554  Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing? 555 

20:11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 556 Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 557  my wife.’ 20:12 What’s more, 558  she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 20:13 When God made me wander 559  from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: 560  Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’

20:14 So Abimelech gave 561  sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 20:15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 562 

20:16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver 563  to your ‘brother.’ 564  This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.” 565 

20:17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 20:18 For the Lord 566  had caused infertility to strike every woman 567  in the household of Abimelech because he took 568  Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

The Birth of Isaac

21:1 The Lord visited 569  Sarah just as he had said he would and did 570  for Sarah what he had promised. 571  21:2 So Sarah became pregnant 572  and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. 21:3 Abraham named his son – whom Sarah bore to him – Isaac. 573  21:4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, 574  Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded him to do. 575  21:5 (Now Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.) 576 

21:6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. 577  Everyone who hears about this 578  will laugh 579  with me.” 21:7 She went on to say, 580  “Who would 581  have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!

21:8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared 582  a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 583  21:9 But Sarah noticed 584  the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 585  21:10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish 586  that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!

21:11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son. 587  21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset 588  about the boy or your slave wife. Do 589  all that Sarah is telling 590  you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 591  21:13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation, for he is your descendant too.”

21:14 Early in the morning Abraham took 592  some food 593  and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, 594  and sent her away. So she went wandering 595  aimlessly through the wilderness 596  of Beer Sheba. 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved 597  the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot 598  away; for she thought, 599 I refuse to watch the child die.” 600  So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably. 601 

21:17 But God heard the boy’s voice. 602  The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter, 603  Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard 604  the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 21:18 Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 21:19 Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water. 605  She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.

21:20 God was with the boy as he grew. He lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. 606  His mother found a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 607 

21:22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you 608  in all that you do. 21:23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name 609  that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. 610  Show me, and the land 611  where you are staying, 612  the same loyalty 613  that I have shown you.” 614 

21:24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 615  21:25 But Abraham lodged a complaint 616  against Abimelech concerning a well 617  that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 618  21:26 I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, 619  you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”

21:27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. 620  21:28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 21:29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these 621  seven ewe lambs that you have set apart? 21:30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof 622  that I dug this well.” 623  21:31 That is why he named that place 624  Beer Sheba, 625  because the two of them swore 626  an oath there.

21:32 So they made a treaty 627  at Beer Sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned 628  to the land of the Philistines. 629  21:33 Abraham 630  planted a tamarisk tree 631  in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord, 632  the eternal God. 21:34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time. 633 

The Sacrifice of Isaac

22:1 Some time after these things God tested 634  Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham 635  replied. 22:2 God 636  said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac 637 and go to the land of Moriah! 638  Offer him up there as a burnt offering 639  on one of the mountains which I will indicate to 640  you.”

22:3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. 641  He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out 642  for the place God had spoken to him about.

22:4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of 643  the place in the distance. 22:5 So he 644  said to his servants, “You two stay 645  here with the donkey while 646  the boy and I go up there. We will worship 647  and then return to you.” 648 

22:6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand, 649  and the two of them walked on together. 22:7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, 650 My father?” “What is it, 651  my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, 652 but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? 22:8 God will provide 653  for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.

22:9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there 654  and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up 655  his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter 656  his son. 22:11 But the Lord’s angel 657  called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 22:12 Do not harm the boy!” 658  the angel said. 659 Do not do anything to him, for now I know 660  that you fear 661  God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”

22:13 Abraham looked up 662  and saw 663  behind him 664  a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he 665  went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.” 666  It is said to this day, 667 In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.” 668 

22:15 The Lord’s angel called to Abraham a second time from heaven 22:16 and said, “‘I solemnly swear by my own name,’ 669  decrees the Lord, 670  ‘that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 22:17 I will indeed bless you, 671  and I will greatly multiply 672  your descendants 673  so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession 674  of the strongholds 675  of their enemies. 22:18 Because you have obeyed me, 676  all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 677  using the name of your descendants.’

22:19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set out together 678  for Beer Sheba where Abraham stayed. 679 

22:20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah 680  also has borne children to your brother Nahor 22:21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 681  22:22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 22:23 (Now 682  Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 22:24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children – Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

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