The Three Visitors
1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When Abraham saw them, he ran from his tent to meet them. He bowed facedown on the ground before them 3and said, “Sir, if you think well of me, please stay awhile with me, your servant. 4I will bring some water so all of you can wash your feet. You may rest under the tree, 5and I will get some bread for you so you can regain your strength. Then you may continue your journey.”
The three men said, “That is fine. Do as you said.”
6Abraham hurried to the tent where Sarah was and said to her, “Hurry, prepare twenty quarts of fine flour, and make it into loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his herd and took one of his best calves. He gave it to a servant, who hurried to kill it and to prepare it for food. 8Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been cooked and milk curds and milk. While they ate, he stood under the tree near them.
9The men asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
“There, in the tent,” said Abraham.
10Then the Lord said, “I will certainly return to you about this time a year from now. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old. Since Sarah was past the age when women normally have children, 12she laughed to herself, “My husband and I are too old to have a baby.”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘I am too old to have a baby’? 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? No! I will return to you at the right time a year from now, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord said, “No. You did laugh.”
16Then the men got up to leave and started out toward Sodom. Abraham walked along with them a short time to send them on their way.
Abraham’s Bargain with God
17The Lord said, “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do now? 18Abraham’s children will certainly become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19I have chosen him so he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to, to live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, will give Abraham what I promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many complaints against the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They are very evil. 21I will go down and see if they are as bad as I have heard. If not, I will know.”
22So the men turned and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Do you plan to destroy the good people along with the evil ones? 24What if there are fifty good people in that city? Will you still destroy it? Surely you will save the city for the fifty good people living there. 25Surely you will not destroy the good people along with the evil ones; then they would be treated the same. You are the judge of all the earth. Won’t you do what is right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city because of them.”
27Then Abraham said, “Though I am only dust and ashes, I have been brave to speak to the Lord. 28What if there are only forty-five good people in the city? Will you destroy the whole city for the lack of five good people?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Again Abraham said to him, “If you find only forty good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty, I will not destroy it.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If you find only thirty good people in the city, will you destroy it?”
He said, “If I find thirty good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
31Then Abraham said, “I have been brave to speak to the Lord. But what if there are twenty good people in the city?”
He answered, “If I find twenty there, I will not destroy the city.”
32Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me bother you this one last time. What if you find ten there?”
He said, “If I find ten there, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord finished speaking to Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
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Birth of Isaac Promised
1Now the Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinth trees of Mamre [in Hebron], while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. 2When he raised his eyes and looked up, behold, three men were standing [a little distance] from him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed down [with his face] to the ground, 3and Abraham said, “My #At some point during this encounter, Abraham understood that one of the three men was actually God appearing as a man (or as an angel; cf note 16:7), and he addressed Him as such in v 14. Verse 13 confirms that it was the Lord who spoke to him. The other two men were angels.lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass by your servant [without stopping to visit]. 4Please let a little water be brought [by one of my servants] and [you may] wash your feet, and recline and rest comfortably under the tree. 5And I will bring a piece of bread to refresh and sustain #Lit your heart.you; after that you may go on, since you have come to your servant.” And they replied, “Do as you have said.” 6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, get ready three #Heb seim, plural of seah; since one seah equals about nine quarts, this was a large quantity. However, Abraham was asking Sarah to make cakes of bread which actually could be baked quickly because they were similar to pizza dough, that is, large, round, and flat. Together with the other food that Abraham provided (vv 7, 8), his promise of “a piece of bread” in v 5 was greatly understated, and the generous meal reflected the respect that he held for his special visitors.measures of fine meal, knead it and bake cakes.” 7Abraham also ran to the herd and brought a calf, tender and choice, and he gave it to the servant [to butcher], and he hurried to prepare it. 8Then he took #Or sour milk, or perhaps butter. It may have served as a kind of condiment for the bread.curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before the men; and he stood beside them under the tree while they ate.
9Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10He said, “I will surely return to you at this #Lit when the time revives.#Lit when the time revives. Some regard this as a reference to springtime. Others think it means “the time when the life is ready.”time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; she was past [the age of] childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself [when she heard the Lord’s words], saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband) being also old?” 13And the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh [to herself], saying, ‘Shall I really give birth [to a child] when I am so old?’ 14Is anything too difficult or too wonderful for the #The divine Hebrew name YHWH (Yahweh), usually represented by “Lord,” occurs more than 5,000 times in the Bible.Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes, I will return to you and Sarah will have a son.” 15Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh”; because she was afraid. And He (the Lord) said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16Then the men got up from there, and looked toward Sodom; and Abraham walked with them to send them on the way. 17The Lord said, “Shall I keep secret from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, 18since Abraham #Lit will surely.is destined to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him? 19For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and [the sons of] his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is righteous and just, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has promised him.” 20And the Lord said, “The outcry [of the sin] of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21I will go down now, and see whether they have acted [as vilely and wickedly] as the outcry which has come to Me [indicates]; and if not, I will know.”
22Now the [two] men (angelic beings) turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23Abraham approached [the Lord] and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous (those who do right) with the wicked (those who do evil)? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous [people] within the city; will You really sweep it away and not spare it for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from You to do #Lit according to this word.such a thing—to strike the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right [by executing just and righteous judgment]?” 26So the Lord said, “If I find within the city of Sodom fifty righteous [people], then I will spare the entire place for their sake.” 27Abraham answered, “Now behold, I who am but dust [in origin] and ashes have decided to speak to the Lord. 28If five of the fifty righteous are lacking, will You destroy the entire city for lack of five?” And He said, “If I find [at least] forty-five [righteous people] there, I will not destroy it.” 29Abraham spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose [only] forty are found there.” And He said, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty [who are righteous].” 30Then Abraham said [to Him], “Oh, may the Lord not be angry, and I will speak; suppose thirty [righteous people] are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31And he said, “Now behold, I have decided to speak to the Lord [again]. Suppose [only] twenty [righteous people] are found there?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” 32Then Abraham said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry [with me], and I will speak only this once; suppose ten [righteous people] are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” 33As soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his own place.
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