Abraham’s Three Visitors
1The Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre18:1 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.18:2 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 measures18:6 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 curds18:8 Or butter and milk, as well as the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served18:8 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.
11Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years.18:11 Lit days Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.18:11 Gn 17:17; Rm 4:19; Heb 11:11–12
13But the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Can I really have a baby when I’m old?’
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.
18Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.18:18 Gn 12:3; 26:4; Gl 3:8
19For I have chosen18:19 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.
22The men turned from there and went toward Sodom18:22 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?18:23 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?
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.”
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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