Bible: Genesis 18

Three Special Visitors

18:1 The Lord appeared to Abraham 1  by the oaks 2  of Mamre while 3  he was sitting at the entrance 4  to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 18:2 Abraham 5  looked up 6  and saw 7  three men standing across 8  from him. When he saw them 9  he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low 10  to the ground. 11 

18:3 He said, “My lord, 12  if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 13  18:4 Let a little water be brought so that 14  you may all 15  wash your feet and rest under the tree. 18:5 And let me get 16  a bit of food 17  so that you may refresh yourselves 18  since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” 19 All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”

18:6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take 20  three measures 21  of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 22  18:7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, 23  who quickly prepared it. 24  18:8 Abraham 25  then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food 26  before them. They ate while 27  he was standing near them under a tree.

18:9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, 28  in the tent.” 18:10 One of them 29  said, “I will surely return 30  to you when the season comes round again, 31  and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 32  (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 33  18:11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; 34  Sarah had long since passed menopause.) 35  18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 36 After I am worn out will I have pleasure, 37  especially when my husband is old too? 38 

18:13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why 39  did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really 40  have a child when I am old?’ 18:14 Is anything impossible 41  for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.” 42  18:15 Then Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But the Lord said, “No! You did laugh.” 43 

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

18:16 When the men got up to leave, 44  they looked out over 45  Sodom. (Now 46  Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 47  18:17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 48  18:18 After all, Abraham 49  will surely become 50  a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 51  using his name. 18:19 I have chosen him 52  so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep 53  the way of the Lord by doing 54  what is right and just. Then the Lord will give 55  to Abraham what he promised 56  him.”

18:20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against 57  Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 58  18:21 that I must go down 59  and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. 60  If not, 61  I want to know.”

18:22 The two men turned 62  and headed 63  toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 64  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 65  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 66  of the whole earth do what is right? 67 

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 68  (although I am but dust and ashes), 69  18:28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy 70  the whole city because five are lacking?” 71  He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

18:29 Abraham 72  spoke to him again, 73 What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”

18:30 Then Abraham 74  said, “May the Lord not be angry 75  so that I may speak! 76  What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

18:31 Abraham 77  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 78  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 79  when he had finished speaking 80  to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home. 81 

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