The Three Visitors
1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the oak trees of Mamre. It was the hottest part of the day, and Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent. 2He looked up and saw three men standing in front of him. When he saw the men, he ran to them and bowed before them. 3Abraham said, “Sirs,#18:3 Sirs This Hebrew word can mean “sirs” or “Lord.” This might show that these were not ordinary men. please stay a while with me, your servant. 4I will bring some water to wash your feet. You can rest under the trees. 5I will get some food for you, and you can eat as much as you want. Then you can continue your journey.”
The three men said, “Do as you wish.”
6Abraham hurried to the tent. He said to Sarah, “Quickly, prepare enough flour for three loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his cattle. He took his best young calf and gave it to the servant there. He told the servant to quickly kill the calf and prepare it for food. 8Abraham brought the meat and some milk and cheese and set them down in front of the three men. Then he stood near the men, ready to serve them while they sat under the tree and ate.
9Then the men said to Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
Abraham said, “She is there, in the tent.”
10Then one of them said, “I will come again in the spring. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”
Sarah was listening in the tent and heard these things. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old. Sarah was past the right age for women to have children. 12So she laughed to herself and said, “I am old, and my husband is old. I am too old to have a baby.”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Sarah laughed and said she was too old to have a baby. 14But is anything too hard for the Lord? I will come again in the spring, just as I said I would, and your wife Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah said, “I didn’t laugh!” (She said this because she was afraid.)
Then the Lord said, “No, I know that is not true. You did laugh!”
16Then the men got up to leave. They looked toward Sodom and began walking in that direction. Abraham walked with them to send them on their way.
Abraham’s Bargain With God
17The Lord said to himself, “Should I tell Abraham what I am going to do now? 18Abraham will become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on earth will be blessed because of him. 19I have made a special agreement with him. I did this so that he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to. I did this so that they would live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, can give him what I promised.”
20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many times that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are very evil. 21I will go and see if they are as bad as I have heard. Then I will know for sure.”
22So the men turned and started walking toward Sodom while Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Will you destroy the good people while you are destroying those who are evil? 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 would not destroy the city. You would not destroy fifty good people to kill those who are evil. If that happened, those who are good would be the same as those who are evil—both would be punished. As the judge of the whole world, surely you would do the right thing!”
26Then the Lord said, “If I find fifty good people in the city of Sodom, I will save the whole city.”
27Then Abraham said, “Compared to you, Lord, I am only dust and ashes. But let me bother you again and ask you this question. 28What if there are five less than fifty? Will you destroy a whole city because of just five people?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
29Abraham spoke again. He said, “And if you find only forty good people there, will you destroy the city?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty good people, I will not destroy the city.”
30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If only thirty good people are in the city, will you destroy it?”
The Lord said, “If I find thirty good people there, I will not destroy the city.”
31Then Abraham said, “Lord, may I bother you again and ask, what if there are twenty good people?”
The Lord answered, “If I find twenty good people, 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. If you find ten good people there, what will you do?”
The Lord said, “If I find ten good people in the city, I will not destroy it.”
33The Lord finished speaking to Abraham and left. Then Abraham went back home.
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1Againe the Lord appeared vnto him in the plaine of Mamre, as he sate in his tent doore about the heate of the day. 2And he lift vp his eyes, and looked: and lo, three men stoode by him, and when he sawe them, he ranne to meete them from the tent doore, and bowed himselfe to the grounde. 3And he said, Lord, if I haue now founde fauour in thy sight, goe not, I pray thee, from thy seruant. 4Let a litle water, I pray you, be brought, and wash your feete, and rest your selues vnder the tree. 5And I will bring a morsell of bread, that you may comfort your hearts, afterward ye shall go your wayes: for therefore are ye come to your seruant. And they said, Do euen as thou hast said. 6Then Abraham made haste into the tent vnto Sarah, and saide, Make ready at once three measures of fine meale: kneade it, and make cakes vpon the hearth. 7And Abraham ranne to the beastes, and tooke a tender and good calfe, and gaue it to the seruant, who hasted to make it ready. 8And he tooke butter and milke, and the calfe, which he had prepared, and set before them, and stoode himselfe by them vnder the tree, and they did eate. 9Then they saide to him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he answered, Beholde, she is in the tent. 10And he saide, I will certainely come againe vnto thee according to ye time of life: and loe, Sarah thy wife shall haue a sonne. and Sarah heard in the tent doore, which was behinde him. 11(Nowe Abraham and Sarah were old and striken in age, and it ceased to be with Sarah after the maner of women) 12Therefore Sarah laughed within her selfe, saying, After I am waxed olde, and my lord also, shall I haue lust? 13And ye Lord saide vnto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah thus laugh, saying, Shall I certainely beare a childe, which am olde? 14(Shall any thing be hard to the Lord? at the time appointed will I returne vnto thee, euen according to the time of life, and Sarah shall haue a sonne.) 15But Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not: for she was afraide. And he said, It is not so: for thou laughedst. 16Afterwarde the men did rise vp 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 thing which I doe, 18Seeing that Abraham shalbe in deede a great and a mightie nation, and all the nations of the earth shalbe blessed in him? 19For I knowe him that he will commande his sonnes and his houshold after him, that they keepe the way of the Lord, to doe righteousnesse and iudgement, that the Lord may bring vpon Abraham that he hath spoken vnto him. 20Then the Lord saide, Because the crie of Sodom and Gomorah is great, and because their sinne is exceeding grieuous, 21I will goe downe nowe, and see whether they haue done altogether according to that crie which is come vnto me: and if not, that I may knowe. 22And the men turned thence and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stoode yet before the Lord. 23Then Abraham drewe neere, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24If there be fiftie righteous within the citie, wilt thou destroy and not spare the place for the fiftie righteous that are therein? 25Be it farre from thee from doing this thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be euen as the wicked, be it farre from thee. shall not the Iudge of all the worlde doe right? 26And the Lord answered, If I shall finde in Sodom fiftie righteous within the citie, then will I spare all the place for their sakes. 27Then Abraham answered and said, Behold nowe, I haue begun to speake vnto my Lord, and I am but dust and ashes. 28If there shall lacke fiue of fiftie righteous, wilt thou destroy all the citie for fiue? And he saide, If I finde there fiue and fourtie, I will not destroy it. 29And he yet spake to him againe, and saide, What if there shalbe found fourtie there? Then he answered, I will not doe it for fourties sake. 30Againe he said, Let not my Lord nowe be angry, that I speake, What if thirtie be founde there? Then he saide, I will not doe it, if I finde thirtie there. 31Moreouer he said, Behold, now I haue begonne to speake vnto my Lord, What if twentie be founde there? And he answered, I will not destroy it for twenties sake. 32Then he saide, Let not my Lord be nowe angrie, and I will speake but this once, What if tenne be found there? And he answered, I will not destroy it for tennes sake. 33And the Lord went his way when he had left communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned vnto his place.
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