1And the LORD appeared unto him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2and he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood over against him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth, 3and said, My lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4let now a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your heart; after that ye shall pass on: forasmuch as ye are come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. 6And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes. 7And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto the servant; and he hasted to dress it. 8And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
9And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. 10And he said, I will certainly return unto thee when the season cometh round; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, and well stricken in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? 13And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 14Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the set time I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son. 15Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
16And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 17And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that which I do; 18seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgement; to the end that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. 20And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. 22And the men turned from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
23And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou consume the righteous with the wicked? 24Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from thee: shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? 26And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sake. 27And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: 28peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, I will not destroy it, if I find there forty and five. 29And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for the forty's sake. 30And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. 31And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for the twenty's sake. 32And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for the ten's sake. 33And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
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The three visitors
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3He said, ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord,#18:3 Or eyes, Lord do not pass your servant by. 4Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way – now that you have come to your servant.’
‘Very well,’ they answered, ‘do as you say.’
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ‘Quick,’ he said, ‘get three seahs#18:6 That is, probably about 16 kilograms of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.’
7Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him.
‘There, in the tent,’ he said.
10Then one of them said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?’
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, “Will I really have a child, now that I am old?” 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.’
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, ‘I did not laugh.’
But he said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’
Abraham pleads for Sodom
16When the men got up to leave, they looked down towards Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17Then the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.#18:18 Or will use his name in blessings (see 48:20) 19For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.’
20Then the Lord said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.’
22The men turned away and went towards Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.#18:22 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition but the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Then Abraham approached him and said: ‘Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare#18:24 Or forgive; also in verse 26 the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?’
26The Lord said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.’
27Then Abraham spoke up again: ‘Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?’
‘If I find forty-five there,’ he said, ‘I will not destroy it.’
29Once again he spoke to him, ‘What if only forty are found there?’
He said, ‘For the sake of forty, I will not do it.’
30Then he said, ‘May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?’
He answered, ‘I will not do it if I find thirty there.’
31Abraham said, ‘Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?’
He said, ‘For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.’
32Then he said, ‘May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?’
He answered, ‘For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.’
33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
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