The Lord Promises Abraham a Son
1One hot summer afternoon while Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, the Lord appeared to him. 2#He 13.2. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground, 3and said, “Please come to my home where I can serve you. 4I'll have some water brought, so you can wash your feet, then you can rest under a tree. 5Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honored to serve you.”
“Thank you very much,” they answered. “We accept your offer.”
6Abraham went quickly to his tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get a large sack of flour and make some bread.” 7After saying this, he rushed off to his herd of cattle and picked out one of the best calves, which his servant quickly prepared. 8He then served his guests some yogurt and milk together with the meat.
While they were eating, he stood near them under the tree, 9and they asked, “Where's your wife Sarah?”
“She is right there in the tent,” Abraham answered.
10 # Ro 9.9. One of the guests was the Lord, and he said, “I'll come back about this time next year, and when I do, Sarah will already have a son.”
Sarah was behind Abraham, listening at the entrance to the tent. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was well past the age for having children. 12#1 P 3.6. So she laughed and said to herself, “Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, will I really know such happiness?”#18.12 know such happiness: Either the joy of making love or the joy of having children.
13The Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Does she doubt that she can have a child in her old age? 14#Lk 1.37. I am the Lord! There is nothing too difficult for me. I'll come back next year at the time I promised, and Sarah will already have a son.”
15Sarah was so frightened that she lied and said, “I didn't laugh.”
“Yes, you did!” he answered.
Abraham Prays for Sodom
16When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked part of the way with them.
17The Lord said to himself, “I should tell Abraham what I am going to do, 18since his family will become a great and powerful nation that will be a blessing to all the other nations on earth.#18.18 that will be … on earth: Or “and all other nations on earth will ask me to bless them as I have blessed his family.” 19I have chosen him to teach his family to obey me forever and to do what is right and fair. If they do, I will give Abraham many descendants, just as I promised.”
20The Lord said, “Abraham, I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are doing all kinds of evil things. 21Now I am going down to see for myself if those people really are that bad. If they aren't, I would like to know.”
22The men turned and started toward Sodom. But the Lord stayed with Abraham. 23And Abraham asked him, “Lord, when you destroy the evil people, are you also going to destroy those who are good? 24Wouldn't you spare the city if there are only 50 good people in it? 25You surely wouldn't let them be killed when you destroy the evil ones. You are the judge of all the earth, and you do what is right.”
26The Lord replied, “If I find 50 good people in Sodom, I will save the city to keep them from being killed.”
27Abraham answered, “I am nothing more than the dust of the earth. Please forgive me, Lord, for daring to speak to you like this. 28But suppose there are only 45 good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?”
“If I find 45 good people,” the Lord replied, “I won't destroy the city.”
29“Suppose there are just 40 good people?” Abraham asked.
“Even for them,” the Lord replied, “I won't destroy the city.”
30Abraham said, “Please don't be angry, Lord, if I ask you what you will do if there are only 30 good people in the city.”
“If I find 30,” the Lord replied, “I still won't destroy it.”
31Then Abraham said, “I don't have any right to ask you, Lord, but what would you do if you find only 20?”
“Because of them, I won't destroy the city,” was the Lord's answer.
32Finally, Abraham said, “Please don't get angry, Lord, if I speak just once more. Suppose you find only 10 good people there.”
“For the sake of 10 good people,” the Lord told him, “I still won't destroy the city.”
33After speaking with Abraham, the Lord left, and Abraham went back home.
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Berĕshith (Genesis) 18
1And יהוה appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ, while he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.
2So he lifted his eyes and looked, and saw three men standing opposite him. And when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground,
3and said, “יהוה, if I have now found favour in Your eyes, please do not pass Your servant by.
4“Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
5“And let me bring a piece of bread and refresh your hearts, and then go on, for this is why you have come to your servant.” And they said, “Do as you have said.”
6So Aḇraham ran into the tent to Sarah and said, “Hurry, make ready three measures of fine flour, knead it and make cakes.”
7And Aḇraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hurried to prepare it.
8And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them, and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.
9And they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “See, in the tent.”
10And He said, “I shall certainly return to you according to the time of life, and see, Sarah your wife is to have a son!” And Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.
11Now Aḇraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age, and Sarah was past the way of women.
12And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my master being old too?”
13And יהוה said to Aḇraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I truly have a child, since I am old?’
14Is any matter too hard for יהוה? At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah is to have a son.
15But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”
16And the men rose up from there and looked toward Seḏom, and Aḇraham went with them to send them away.
17And יהוה said, “Shall I hide from Aḇraham what I am doing,
18since Aḇraham is certainly going to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19“For I have known him, so that he commands his children and his household after him, to guard the way of יהוה, to do righteousness and right-ruling, so that יהוה brings to Aḇraham what He has spoken to him.
20And יהוה said, “Because the outcry against Seḏom and Amorah is great, and because their sin is very heavy,
21“I am going down now to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me, and if not, I know.
22So the men turned away from there and went toward Seḏom, but יהוה still stood before Aḇraham.
23And Aḇraham drew near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wrong?
24“Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city, would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?
25“Far be it from You to act in this way, to slay the righteous with the wrong, so that the righteous should be as the wrong. Far be it from You! Does the Judge of all the earth not do right?”
26And יהוה said, “If I find in Seḏom fifty righteous within the city, then I shall spare all the place for their sakes.”
27And Aḇraham answered and said, “Look, please, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to יהוה,
28Suppose there are five less than the fifty righteous, would You destroy all of the city for lack of five? And He said, “If I find there forty-five, I do not destroy it.”
29And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there are found forty?” And He said, “I would not do it for the sake of forty.”
30And he said, “Let not יהוה be displeased, and let me speak: Suppose there are found thirty?” And He said, “I would not do it if I find thirty there.”
31And he said, “Look, please, I have taken it upon myself to speak to יהוה: Suppose there are found twenty?” And He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32And he said, “Let not יהוה be displeased, and let me speak only this time: Suppose there are found ten?” And He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of ten.”
33Then יהוה went away as soon as He had ended speaking to Aḇraham. And Aḇraham returned to his place.
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