God promises a son to Abraham
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the special oak trees of Mamre. It was the hot time of day and Abraham was sitting by the door of his tent. 2Abraham looked up and he saw three men. He ran in a hurry to meet them. He bent down to the ground to respect them. #18:2 This was a visit from the Lord God himself, but Abraham did not know that until later in their meeting.
3Abraham said, ‘Please sir, stop here and let me serve you. That would make me very happy. 4Let us bring some water so that you can all wash your feet. Then you can rest under this tree. 5Let me also bring some food for you to eat. Now that you have come to my home, you should rest and become strong again. Then you will be ready to continue with your journey.’ The men replied, ‘That is good. Please do what you have said.’
6Abraham went quickly to the tent. He said to Sarah, ‘Be quick! Get plenty of good flour and make bread with it.’ 7Then Abraham ran to his cows. He chose a very nice young cow. He gave it to his servant. The servant quickly prepared it for the men to eat. 8Then Abraham also brought some cream and some milk, as well as the meat from the cow. He put all the food in front of the men. While they ate it, Abraham stood near them, under a tree.
9Then the men asked Abraham, ‘Where is Sarah, your wife?’ Abraham replied, ‘She is there in the tent.’
10Then one of the men said, ‘I will certainly return to you at about this time next year. At that time Sarah, your wife, will have a son!’
Sarah was listening to all this. She was at the door of the tent, near to where they were talking. 11Abraham and Sarah were now very old. Sarah was past the age when she could give birth to a child. 12So Sarah laughed to herself. She thought, ‘I have become old and weak. My husband is also old. I will never have a baby and be happy like that.’
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh like that? She said, “I am too old to have a child.” 14But surely, nothing is too difficult for the Lord to do. At this time next year, I will return to you and Sarah will have a son.’
15Then Sarah was afraid. So she told a lie. She said, ‘I did not laugh.’ But the Lord said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’
God decides to punish the people in Sodom
16Then Abraham's visitors started to leave. They looked down in the valley towards Sodom. Abraham was walking with them to say ‘goodbye’ to them. 17Then the Lord said to himself, ‘I should tell Abraham what I have decided to do. 18Abraham's descendants will become a great nation of people. They will be very powerful. Through him, I will bless all the nations of the earth. #18:18 See Genesis 12:2-3. 19I have chosen him so that he will teach my message to his children and their families. He will teach them to do what is right and what is fair. Then I, the Lord, will do for Abraham everything that I have promised to him.’
20So the Lord said to Abraham, ‘I have heard how bad the people in Sodom and Gomorrah are. Everybody says that their sins are very bad. 21So I must go down there to see if it is really true. I will see if those people are as bad as everybody says they are. Then I will know what is true.’
22The other two men then turned away and they went towards Sodom. But Abraham stayed there to talk with the Lord.
23Then Abraham went near to the Lord and he asked, ‘Will you destroy the good people as well as the bad people? 24There might be 50 people in the city who live in a good way. Will you still destroy the whole city? Or will you leave it there, because there are 50 good people in it? 25Will you kill them all, the good people and the bad people? Surely you would not do anything like that! You would not punish good people in the same way as bad people. You are the great judge of everyone on the earth. You will surely do what is right!’
26The Lord replied, ‘If I see that there are 50 good people in the city of Sodom, I will not destroy that place. Because of those 50 good people, I will leave the city there.’
27Then Abraham spoke again. He said, ‘I have been brave enough to speak to the Lord. I know that I am nothing more than dust and ashes. #18:27 Abraham said that he is not important enough to argue with the Lord God. He was only a human that God himself has made. 28But let me ask you this. What will you do if there are 45 good people in the city? Will you destroy the city, because there are only five fewer good people there?’ The Lord replied, ‘If I see that there are 45 good people in the city, I will not destroy it.’
29Abraham spoke to God again. He said, ‘What will you do if only 40 good people are there?’ The Lord said, ‘Because of 40 good people, I will not destroy the city.’
30Then Abraham said, ‘Please do not be angry, Lord. Let me speak again. What will you do if there are only 30 good people there?’ The Lord answered, ‘I will not destroy the city if I find 30 good people there.’
31Abraham said, ‘I have been brave to speak to you, Lord. What will you do if only 20 good people are there?’ The Lord said, ‘Because of 20 good people, I will not destroy the city.’
32After all that, Abraham said, ‘Please do not be angry, Lord. Let me speak just one more time. If there are only ten good people there, what will you do?’ The Lord replied, ‘Because of ten good people, I will not destroy the city.’ #18:32 Abraham's nephew, Lot, was living in Sodom. Abraham did not want God to kill Lot and his family. This is why Abraham asked God not to kill everyone in the city.
33The Lord had finished speaking with Abraham. So he continued on his journey. Abraham returned home.
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God promised again to give Abraham and Sarah a son
1Abraham camped for some time near the big trees that belonged to a man called Mamreh. One day, God came to Abraham there. It happened like this. Abraham was sitting in the doorway of his tent, at the hottest part of the day, 2and he looked up and saw 3 men standing nearby. He got up quickly, and he ran to meet them, and he got down on his knees and put his face near the ground to show them respect.#Hebrews 13:2 3Abraham said, “Sirs, please come and sit at my place for a while. Let me look after you. 4I will get a work-man to bring water so that you can wash your feet, and then you can rest in the shade of this tree. 5And I will get some food for you, so that you will be strong enough to keep walking to the place where you are going. I really want to do that for you.”
The 3 men said, “All right. We’ll rest here while you do that.”
6Then Abraham went quickly into the tent to tell Sarah, and he said, “Quick, get a big bag of really good flour and make some damper for our visitors.”
7Then he ran to his mob of cows and picked out a really good young cow. He gave it to one of his work-men and said, “Quick, kill this young cow, and cook it for our visitors.” 8Then Abraham gave the men the cooked meat, and some cheese and milk. And Abraham stood near them in the shade of that tree, and he looked after them while they ate that food.
9Then they said to Abraham, “Where is your wife, Sarah?”
Abraham said, “She is right here, in our tent.”
10You know, one of those men was God, but he made himself to be like a man when he talked to Abraham. He said, “I will come back to you at this time next year, and Sarah will have a baby boy.”#Romans 9:9
Sarah was at the doorway of the tent, and she listened to them talking. 11Abraham and Sarah were both very old. She knew she was too old to have a baby, 12so when she heard him say that, she laughed quietly and said to herself, “I am too old and worn out to have a baby, and my good boss, my husband, he is old too. If I had a baby, I would be really happy. But I’m too old for that now.”#1 Peter 3:6
13God said, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say to herself, ‘I can’t have a baby now, I am too old’? 14I’m telling you, nothing is too hard for me. I am God. Just like I said, at this time next year, I will come back, and Sarah will have a baby boy.”#Luke 1:37
15Sarah was frightened, and so she lied and said, “I didn’t laugh.”
But God said, “That’s not true. You did laugh.”
God talked to Abraham about the town called Sodom
16Then the 3 men got up to leave, and Abraham went with them for a little while to say goodbye. They went to a hill where they looked down at the town called Sodom. 17God said, “Maybe I will tell Abraham what I am going to do. 18You know, Abraham’s family will be a big and powerful nation one day, and I will use his family to do good things for all the nations in the world.#Galatians 3:8 19I have picked him out so that he can teach his family to live my way and do what is good and right. Then I will keep my promise to him.”
20So God said, “Abraham, I heard about all the really bad things that people do in those 2 towns down there, called Sodom and Gomorrah. A lot of people are telling me that those people are always doing bad things. 21I will go down and find out if they are really doing those bad things that I heard about.” That’s what the man said, the one that had God in him.
22Then the other 2 men turned and walked towards Sodom. They left Abraham standing in front of God.
23Abraham went up close to God and asked him, “Are you going to kill all the good people, as well as the bad people? 24There might be 50 good people that live the right way down there in that town. Will you still finish up that town? Or will you save that town to save those 50 good people? 25I don’t think you will kill 50 good people. I know that you are the judge of everybody in the world, and you always do what is right. I don’t think you will kill the good people with the bad people.”
26God said, “If I find 50 good people in Sodom, I will not finish up that town. I will save that town so that I can save those 50 good people.”
27Then Abraham said, “Look, I know that I am just a man and you are God, but I’m being brave and I’m talking to you. I want to ask you another question. 28What if you find only 45 good people in that town, will you still finish up that town?”
God said, “If I find 45 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
29Then Abraham asked God again, he said, “What if you find only 40 good people there?”
God said, “If I find 40 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
30Then Abraham said, “God, please don’t get angry with me, but I will say a little bit more. What if you find only 30 good people in that town?”
God said, “If I find 30 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
31Then Abraham said, “I know that I am being brave to talk to God like this, but what if you find only 20 good people in that town?”
God said, “If I find 20 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
32Then Abraham said, “God, please don’t get angry with me, but I will ask one more question. What if you find only 10 good people in that town?”
God said, “If I find 10 good people there, I will not finish up that town.”
33Then they finished talking, and God left Abraham, and Abraham went back to his camp.
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