Genesis 18

1Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham. Abraham was living near the oak trees of Mamre. One day, at the hottest part of the day, Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing in front of him. When Abraham saw the men, he ran to them and bowed before them. 3Abraham said, “Sirs, please stay awhile 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, “That is fine. We will do as you say.” 6Abraham hurried to the tent. Abraham said to Sarah, “Quickly, prepare enough wheat for three loaves of bread.” 7Then Abraham ran to his cattle. Abraham took his best young calf. Abraham gave the calf to the servant. Abraham told the servant to hurry, 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 Abraham 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 the Lord 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 Sarah ˻did not believe what she heard. 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. 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? No! I will come again in the spring when I said I would. And your wife Sarah will have a son.” 15But Sarah said, “I didn’t laugh!” (She said this because she was afraid.) But 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. 17The Lord said to himself, “Should I tell Abraham the thing that I will now do? 18Abraham will become a great and powerful nation. And all the people on earth will be blessed because of him. 19I have made a special agreement with Abraham. I did this so he would command his children and his descendants to live the way the Lord wants them to. I did this so they would live right and be fair. Then I, the Lord, can give him the things I promised.” 20Then the Lord said, “I have heard many times that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are very evil. 21So I will go and see if things are as bad as I have heard. Then I will know for sure.” 22So the men turned and started walking toward Sodom. But Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23Then Abraham approached the Lord and asked, “Lord, do you plan to destroy the good people while you are destroying the evil people? 24What if there are 50 good people in that city? Will you still destroy the city? Surely you will save the city for the 50 good people living there. 25Surely you would not destroy the city. You would not destroy 50 good people to kill the evil people. If that happened, then good people and evil people would be the same—they would both be punished. You are the judge of all the earth. I know you will do the right thing.” 26Then the Lord said, “If I find 50 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 five good people are missing? What if there are only 45 good people in the city? Will you destroy a whole city for just five people?” The Lord said, “If I find 45 good people there, I will not destroy the city.” 29Abraham spoke again. He said, “And if you find only 40 good people there, will you destroy the city?” The Lord said, “If I find 40 good people, I will not destroy the city.” 30Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me. Let me ask you this: If only 30 good people are in the city, will you destroy the city?” The Lord said, “If I find 30 good people there, I will not destroy the city.” 31Then Abraham said, “May I bother my Lord again and ask, what if there are 20 good people?” The Lord answered, “If I find 20 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 was finished speaking to Abraham, so the Lord left. And Abraham went back to his home.

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