Genesis 18 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 ADONAI appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day. 2 He raised his eyes and looked, and there in front of him stood three men. On seeing them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, prostrated himself on the ground, 3 and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please don't leave your servant. 4 Please let me send for some water, so that you can wash your feet; then rest under the tree, 5 and I will bring a piece of bread. Now that you have come to your servant, refresh yourselves before going on.""Very well," they replied, "do what you have said." 6 Avraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quickly, three measures of the best flour! Knead it and make cakes." 7 Avraham ran to the herd, took a good, tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 Then he took curds, milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it all before the men; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate. 9 They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" He said, "There, in the tent." 10 He said, "I will certainly return to you around this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."Sarah heard him from the entrance of the tent, behind him. 11 Avraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, "I am old, and so is my lord; am I to have pleasure again?" 13 ADONAI said to Avraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and ask, 'Am I really going to bear a child when I am so old?' 14 Is anything too hard for ADONAI? At the time set for it, at this season next year, I will return to you; and Sarah will have a son." 15 Sarah denied it, saying, "I didn't either laugh," because she was afraid. He said, "Not so - you did laugh." 16 The men set out from there and looked over toward S'dom, and Avraham went with them to see them on their way. 17 ADONAI said, "Should I hide from Avraham what I am about to do, 18 inasmuch as Avraham is sure to become a great and strong nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed by him? 19 For I have made myself known to him, so that he will give orders to his children and to his household after him to keep the way of ADONAI and to do what is right and just, so that ADONAI may bring about for Avraham what he has promised him." 20 ADONAI said, "The outcry against S'dom and 'Amora is so great and their sin so serious 21 that I will now go down and see whether their deeds warrant the outcry that has reached me; if not, I will know." 22 The men turned away from there and went toward S'dom, but Avraham remained standing before ADONAI. 23 Avraham approached and said, "Will you actually sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Maybe there are fifty righteous people in the city; will you actually sweep the place away, and not forgive it for the sake of the fifty righteous who are there? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing - to kill the righteous along with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike! Far be it from you! Shouldn't the judge of all the earth do what is just?" 26 ADONAI said, "If I find in S'dom fifty who are righteous, then I will forgive the whole place for their sake." 27 Avraham answered, "Here now, I, who am but dust and ashes, have taken it upon myself to speak to Adonai. 28 What if there are five less than fifty righteous?"He said, "I won't destroy it if I find forty-five there." 29 He spoke to him yet again: "What if forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of the forty I won't do it." 30 He said, "I hope Adonai won't be angry if I speak. What if thirty are found there?" He said, "I won't do it if I find thirty there." 31 He said, "Here now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to Adonai. What if twenty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of the twenty I won't destroy it." 32 He said, "I hope Adonai won't be angry if I speak just once more. What if ten are found there?" He said, "For the sake of the ten I won't destroy it." 33 ADONAI went on his way as soon as he had finished speaking to Avraham, and Avraham returned to his place.
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