Bible: Genesis 18-19

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 

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening while 82  Lot was sitting in the city’s gateway. 83  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 84  and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 85  “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 86 

19:3 But he urged 87  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, 88  all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 89  19:5 They shouted to Lot, 90 Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex 91  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! 92  19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with 93  a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. 94  Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection 95  of my roof.” 96 

19:9Out of our way!” 97  they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, 98  and now he dares to judge us! 99  We’ll do more harm 100  to you than to them!” They kept 101  pressing in on Lot until they were close enough 102  to break down the door.

19:10 So the men inside 103  reached out 104  and pulled Lot back into the house 105  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, 106  with blindness. The men outside 107  wore themselves out trying to find the door. 19:12 Then the two visitors 108  said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? 109  Do you have 110  any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? 111  Get them out of this 112  place 19:13 because we are about to destroy 113  it. The outcry against this place 114  is so great before the Lord that he 115  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. 116  He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy 117  the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them. 118 

19:15 At dawn 119  the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 120  or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged! 121  19:16 When Lot 122  hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them. 123  They led them away and placed them 124  outside the city. 19:17 When they had brought them outside, they 125  said, “Run 126  for your lives! Don’t look 127  behind you or stop anywhere in the valley! 128  Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!

19:18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 129  19:19 Your 130  servant has found favor with you, 131  and you have shown me great 132  kindness 133  by sparing 134  my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 135  this disaster will overtake 136  me and I’ll die. 137  19:20 Look, this town 138  over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 139  Let me go there. 140  It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 141  Then I’ll survive.” 142 

19:21Very well,” he replied, 143 I will grant this request too 144  and will not overthrow 145  the town you mentioned. 19:22 Run there quickly, 146  for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 147 

19:23 The sun had just risen 148  over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 149  19:24 Then the Lord rained down 150  sulfur and fire 151  on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord. 152  19:25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region, 153  including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew 154  from the ground. 19:26 But Lot’s 155  wife looked back longingly 156  and was turned into a pillar of salt.

19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 157  to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 19:28 He looked out toward 158  Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region. 159  As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace. 160 

19:29 So when God destroyed 161  the cities of the region, 162  God honored 163  Abraham’s request. He removed Lot 164  from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed 165  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 166  to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby 167  to have sexual relations with us, 168  according to the way of all the world. 19:32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine 169  so we can have sexual relations 170  with him and preserve 171  our family line through our father.” 172 

19:33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, 173  and the older daughter 174  came and had sexual relations with her father. 175  But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 176  19:34 So in the morning the older daughter 177  said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. 178  Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 179  19:35 So they made their father drunk 180  that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. 181  But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 182 

19:36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 19:37 The older daughter 183  gave birth to a son and named him Moab. 184  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. 185  He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.

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