The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off.
Then the Lord said, "Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?
Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.
For I have chosen 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."
Then the Lord said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious.
I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to Me. If not, I will find out."
The men turned from there and went toward Sodom while Abraham remained standing before the Lord.
Abraham stepped forward and said, "Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people who are in it?
You 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 all the earth do what is just?"
The Lord said, "If at Sodom I find 50 righteous people in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Then Abraham answered, "Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord-even though I am dust and ashes-
suppose the 50 righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?" He replied, "I will not destroy [it] if I find 45 there."
Then he spoke to Him again, "Suppose 40 are found there?" He answered, "I will not do [it] on account of 40."
Then he said, "Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose 30 are found there?" He answered, "I will not do [it] if I find 30 there."
Then he said, "Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose 20 are found there?" He replied, "I will not destroy [it] on account of 20."
Then he said, "Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time. Suppose 10 are found there?" He answered, "I will not destroy [it] on account of 10."
When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, He departed, and Abraham returned to his place.