Isaac’s Birth Foretold
1#Ge 13:18; 14:13The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great oak trees of Mamre while he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2#Heb 13:2; Ge 18:22; 19:1Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked and saw three men standing across from him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself toward the ground.
3He said, “My Lord, if I have found favor in Your sight, do not pass by Your servant. 4#Ge 19:2; 43:24Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5#Jdg 13:15; Ge 19:8I will bring a piece of bread so that you may refresh yourselves. After that you may pass on, now that you have come to your servant.”
And they said, “So do, as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly prepare three measures#Likely about 36 pounds, or 16 kilograms. of fine flour, knead it, and make cakes.”
7Then Abraham ran to the herd and took a choice and tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8#Ge 19:3He then brought butter and milk and the calf that he had prepared and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9#Ge 24:67They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
And he said, “There, in the tent.”
10#Ge 21:2; 17:21; 17:19One of them said, “I will certainly return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11#Ge 17:17; Heb 11:11–12Now Abraham and Sarah were old and very advanced in age, and Sarah was well past childbearing. 12#Ge 17:17; 1Pe 3:6Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am so old and my lord is old also, shall I have pleasure?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I surely bear a child when I am old?’ 14#Jer 32:17; Zec 8:6; Mt 19:26Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid.
But He said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Sodom and Gomorrah
16Then the men rose up and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to see them on their way. 17#Am 3:7; Ps 25:14Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18#Gal 3:8; Ge 26:4since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19#Dt 4:9–10; 6:6–7I chose him, and he will instruct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He promised him.”
20#Ge 19:13; 4:10Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21#Ge 11:5; Ex 3:8I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has come to Me. If not, I will know.”
22#Ge 19:1; Ps 106:23The men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23#Nu 16:22; 2Sa 24:17Then Abraham drew near and said, “Shall You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24#Jer 5:1What if there are fifty righteous in the city? Shall You also destroy, and not spare the place, for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25#Job 8:3; 8:20Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be treated like the wicked; far be it from You. Should not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26#Jer 5:1; Isa 65:8So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the entire place for their sakes.”
27#Ge 3:19; Isa 6:5Then Abraham answered and said, “I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord. 28Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous. Will You destroy all the city for lack of five?”
And He said, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy it.”
29And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there will be forty found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
30Then he said to Him, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose there will be thirty found there?”
Again He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there?”
He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32#Jdg 6:39Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak only once more. Suppose ten will be found there?”
Then He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”
33So the Lord went His way as soon as He had stopped speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
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A Son Is Promised to Sarah
1The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.
3“My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while. 4Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. 5And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.”
“All right,” they said. “Do as you have said.”
6So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get three large measures#18:6 Hebrew 3 seahs, about half a bushel or 22 liters. of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.” 7Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it. 8When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.
9“Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked.
“She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.
10Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”
Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. 11Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. 12So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
16Then the men got up from their meal and looked out toward Sodom. As they left, Abraham went with them to send them on their way.
17“Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the Lord asked. 18“For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. 19I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.”
20So the Lord told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. 21I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”
22The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham. 23Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? 24Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? 25Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”
26And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.”
27Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”
And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”
29Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?”
And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.”
30“Please don’t be angry, my Lord,” Abraham pleaded. “Let me speak—suppose only thirty righteous people are found?”
And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it if I find thirty.”
31Then Abraham said, “Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue—suppose there are only twenty?”
And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
32Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?”
And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
33When the Lord had finished his conversation with Abraham, he went on his way, and Abraham returned to his tent.
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