18 1NOW THE Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks or terebinths of Mamre; as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day, 2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood at a little distance from him. He ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the ground 3And said, My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant, I beg of you. 4Let a little water be brought, and you may wash your feet and recline and rest yourselves under the tree. 5And I will bring a morsel (mouthful) of bread to refresh and sustain your hearts before you go on further--for that is why you have come to your servant. And they replied, Do as you have said. 6So Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, Quickly get ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and bake cakes. 7And Abraham ran to the herd and brought a calf tender and good and gave it to the young man [to butcher]; then he [Abraham] hastened to prepare it. 8And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before [the men]; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate. 9And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, [She is here] in the tent. 10[I][The Lord] said, I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was listening and heard it at the tent door which was behind Him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; it had ceased to be with Sarah as with [young] women. [She was past the age of childbearing]. 12Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband), being old also? 13And the Lord asked Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really bear a child when I am so old? 14Is anything too hard or too wonderful [J]for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son. 15Then Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh. 16The men rose up from there and faced toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 17And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do, 18Since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed through him and shall bless themselves by him? 19For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him. 20And the Lord said, Because the shriek [of the sins] of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is exceedingly grievous, 21I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether [as vilely and wickedly] as is the cry of it which has come to Me; and if not, I will know. 22Now the [two] men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23And Abraham came close and said, Will You destroy the righteous (those upright and in right standing with God) together with the wicked? 24Suppose there are in the city fifty righteous; will You destroy the place and not spare it for [the sake of] the fifty righteous in it? 25Far be it from You to do such a thing--to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked! Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously? 26And the Lord said, If I find in the city of Sodom fifty righteous (upright and in right standing with God), I will spare the whole place for their sake. 27Abraham answered, Behold now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord. 28If five of the fifty righteous should be lacking--will You destroy the whole city for lack of five? He said, If I find forty-five, I will not destroy it. 29And [Abraham] spoke to Him yet again, and said, Suppose [only] forty shall be found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. 30Then [Abraham] said to Him, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak [again]. Suppose [only] thirty shall be found there. And He answered, I will not do it if I find thirty there. 31And [Abraham] said, Behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak [again] to the Lord. Suppose [only] twenty shall be found there. And [the Lord] replied, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. 32And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once. Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there. And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. 33And the Lord went His way when He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
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