1And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.
2And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground.
3And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant:
4But I will fetch a little water; and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree.
5And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen ye your heart, afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as thou hast spoken.
6Abraham made haste into the tent to Sara, and said to her: Make haste, temper together three measures of flour, and make cakes upon the hearth.
7And he himself ran to the herd, and took from thence a calf very tender and very good: and gave it to a young man, who made haste and boiled it.
8He took also butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled; and set before them. But he stood by them under the tree.
9And when they had eaten, they said to him: Where is Sara thy wife? He answered: Lo, she is in the tent.
10And he said to him: I will return and come to thee at this time, life accompanying; and Sara thy wife shall have a son. Which when Sara heard, she laughed behind the door of the tent.
11Now they were both old, and far advanced in years, and it had ceased to be with Sara after the manner of women.
12And she laughed secretly, saying: After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?
13And the Lord said to Abraham: Why did Sara laugh, saying: Shall I who am an old woman bear a child indeed?
14Is there any thing hard to God? According to appointment, I will return to thee at this same time, life accompanying; and Sara shall have a son.
15Sara denied, saying: I did not laugh. For she was afraid. But the Lord said: Nay; but thou didst laugh:
16And when the men rose up from thence, they turned their eyes towards Sodom: and Abraham walked with them, bringing them on the way.
17And the Lord said: Can I hide from Abraham what I am about to do:
18Seeing he shall become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth shall be blessed?
19For I know that he will command his children, and his household after him, to keep the way of the Lord, and do judgment and justice: that for Abraham's sake the Lord may bring to effect all the things he hath spoken unto him.
20And the Lord said: The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous.
21I will go down and see whether they have done according to the cry that is come to me: or whether it be not so, that I may know.
22And they turned themselves from thence, and went their way to Sodom: but Abraham as yet stood before the Lord.
23And drawing nigh, he said: Wilt thou destroy the just with the wicked?
24If there be fifty just men in the city, shall they perish withal? And wilt thou not spare that place for the sake of the fifty just, if they be therein?
25Far be it from thee to do this thing, and to slay the just with the wicked, and for the just to be in like case as the wicked. This is not beseeming thee, thou who judgest all the earth, wilt not make this judgment.
26And the Lord said to him: If I And in Sodom fifty just within the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.
27And Abraham answered, and said: Seeing I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord, whereas I am dust and ashes.
28What if there be five less than fifty just persons? Wilt thou for five and forty destroy the whole city? And he said: I will not destroy it, if I find five and forty.
29And again he said to him: But if forty be found there, what wilt thou do? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of forty.
30Lord, saith he, be not angry, I beseech thee, if I speak: What if thirty shall be found there? He answered: I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
31Seeing, saith he, I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord. What if twenty be found there? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.
32I beseech thee, saith he, be not angry, Lord, if I speak yet once more: What if ten should be found there? And he said: I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.
33And the Lord departed, after he had left speaking to Abraham: and Abraham returned to his place.
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Abraham’s Three Visitors
1The Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre#Gn 13:18; 14:13; 23:17–19 while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. 2He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him.#Gn 18:16,22; 19:1; 32:24; Jos 5:13; Jdg 13:6–11; Heb 13:2 When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, bowed to the ground, 3and said, “My lord, if I have found favor with you, please do not go on past your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant’s way. Later, you can continue on.”
“Yes,” they replied, “do as you have said.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Knead three measures#18:6 Lit three seahs; about 21 quarts of fine flour and make bread.”#18:6 A round, thin, unleavened bread 7Abraham ran to the herd and got a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man, who hurried to prepare it. 8Then Abraham took curds#18:8 Or butter and milk, as well as the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served#18:8 Lit was standing by them as they ate under the tree.
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he answered.
10The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” #Gn 17:10; 21:1; Rm 9:9 Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
11Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years.#18:11 Lit days Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.#Gn 17:17; Rm 4:19; Heb 11:11–12 12So she laughed to herself: “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I have delight?” #Gn 17:17; Lk 1:18; 1Pt 3:6
13But the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Can I really have a baby when I’m old?’ 14Is anything impossible for the Lord?#Jb 34:10; Jr 32:17,27; Mt 19:26; Mk 10:27; Lk 1:37; 18:27; Heb 6:18 At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.”
15Sarah denied it. “I did not laugh,” she said, because she was afraid.
But he replied, “No, you did laugh.”
Abraham’s Plea for Sodom
16The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off. 17Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham?#Am 3:7 18Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.#Gn 12:3; 26:4; Gl 3:8 19For I have chosen#18:19 Lit known him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what he promised him.” 20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. 21I will go down#Gn 11:5; Ex 3:8; Ps 14:2 to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to me. If not, I will find out.”
22The men turned from there and went toward Sodom#Gn 19:1 while Abraham remained standing before the Lord.#18:22 Alt Hb tradition reads while the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?#Ex 23:7; Nm 16:22; 2Sm 24:17; Ps 11:4–7 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people who are in it? 25You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of the whole earth do what is just?” #Dt 1:16–17; 32:4; Jb 8:3,20; Ps 58:11; 94:2; Is 3:10–11; Rm 3:5–6
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”#Jr 5:1
27Then Abraham answered, “Since I have ventured to speak to my lord — even though I am dust and ashes — 28suppose the fifty righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”
He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29Then he spoke to him again, “Suppose forty are found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it on account of forty.”
30Then he said, “Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Then he said, “Since I have ventured to speak to my lord, suppose twenty are found there?”
He replied, “I will not destroy it on account of twenty.”
32Then he said, “Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time.#Jdg 6:39 Suppose ten are found there?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it on account of ten.” 33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he departed, and Abraham returned to his place.
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