The two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting near the city gate. When he saw them, he got up and went to them and bowed facedown on the ground.
Lot said, "Sirs, please come to my house and spend the night. There you can wash your feet, and then tomorrow you may continue your journey." The angels answered, "No, we will spend the night in the city's public square."
But Lot begged them to come, so they agreed and went to his house. Then Lot prepared a meal for them. He baked bread without yeast, and they ate it.
Before bedtime, men both young and old and from every part of Sodom surrounded Lot's house.
They called to Lot, "Where are the two men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sexual relations with them."
Lot went outside to them, closing the door behind him.
He said, "No, my brothers! Do not do this evil thing.
Look! I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. I will give them to you, and you may do anything you want with them. But please don't do anything to these men. They have come to my house, and I must protect them."
The men around the house answered, "Move out of the way!" Then they said to each other, "This man Lot came to our city as a stranger, and now he wants to tell us what to do!" They said to Lot, "We will do worse things to you than to them." They started pushing him back and were ready to break down the door.
But the two men staying with Lot opened the door, pulled him back inside the house, and then closed the door.
They struck those outside the door with blindness, so the men, both young and old, could not find the door.
The two men said to Lot, "Do you have any other relatives in this city? Do you have any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or any other relatives? If you do, tell them to leave now,
because we are about to destroy this city. The Lord has heard of all the evil that is here, so he has sent us to destroy it."
So Lot went out and said to his future sons-in-law who were pledged to marry his daughters, "Hurry and leave this city! The Lord is about to destroy it!" But they thought Lot was joking.
At dawn the next morning, the angels begged Lot to hurry. They said, "Go! Take your wife and your two daughters with you so you will not be destroyed when the city is punished."
But Lot delayed. So the two men took the hands of Lot, his wife, and his two daughters and led them safely out of the city. So the Lord was merciful to Lot and his family.
After they brought them out of the city, one of the men said, "Run for your lives! Don't look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Run to the mountains, or you will be destroyed."
But Lot said to one of them, "Sir, please don't force me to go so far!
You have been merciful and kind to me and have saved my life. But I can't run to the mountains. The disaster will catch me, and I will die.
Look, that little town over there is not too far away. Let me run there. It's really just a little town, and I'll be safe there."
The angel said to Lot, "Very well, I will allow you to do this also. I will not destroy that town.
But run there fast, because I cannot destroy Sodom until you are safely in that town." (That town is named Zoar, because it is little.)
The sun had already come up when Lot entered Zoar.
The Lord sent a rain of burning sulfur down from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah
and destroyed those cities. He also destroyed the whole Jordan Valley, everyone living in the cities, and even all the plants.
At that point Lot's wife looked back. When she did, she became a pillar of salt.
Early the next morning, Abraham got up and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord.
He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the Jordan Valley and saw smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
God destroyed the cities in the valley, but he remembered what Abraham had asked. So God saved Lot's life, but he destroyed the city where Lot had lived.
Lot was afraid to continue living in Zoar, so he and his two daughters went to live in the mountains in a cave.
One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old. Everywhere on the earth women and men marry, but there are no men around here for us to marry.
Let's get our father drunk and have sexual relations with him. We can use him to have children and continue our family."
That night the two girls got their father drunk, and the older daughter went and had sexual relations with him. But Lot did not know when she lay down or when she got up.
The next day the older daughter said to the younger, "Last night I had sexual relations with my father. Let's get him drunk again tonight so you can go and have sexual relations with him, too. In this way we can use our father to have children to continue our family."
So that night they got their father drunk again, and the younger daughter went and had sexual relations with him. Again, Lot did not know when she lay down or when she got up.
So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father.
The older daughter gave birth to a son and named him Moab. He is the ancestor of all the Moabite people who are still living today.
The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-Ammi. He is the father of all the Ammonite people who are still living today.
Abraham left Hebron and traveled to south- ern Canaan where he stayed awhile between Kadesh and Shur. When he moved to Gerar,
he told people that his wife Sarah was his sister. Abimelech king of Gerar heard this, so he sent some servants to take her.
But one night God spoke to Abimelech in a dream and said, "You will die. The woman you took is married."
But Abimelech had not gone near Sarah, so he said, "Lord, would you destroy an innocent nation?
Abraham himself told me, 'This woman is my sister,' and she also said, 'He is my brother.' I am innocent. I did not know I was doing anything wrong."
Then God said to Abimelech in the dream, "Yes, I know you did not realize what you were doing. So I did not allow you to sin against me and touch her.
Give Abraham his wife back. He is a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will not die. But if you do not give Sarah back, you and all your family will surely die."
So early the next morning, Abimelech called all his officers and told them everything that had happened in the dream. They were very afraid.
Then Abimelech called Abraham to him and said, "What have you done to us? What wrong did I do against you? Why did you bring this trouble to my kingdom? You should not have done these things to me.
What were you thinking that caused you to do this?"
Then Abraham answered, "I thought no one in this place respected God and that someone would kill me to get Sarah.
And it is true that she is my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but she is not the daughter of my mother.
When God told me to leave my father's house and wander in many different places, I told Sarah, 'You must do a special favor for me. Everywhere we go tell people I am your brother.'"
Then Abimelech gave Abraham some sheep, cattle, and male and female slaves. He also gave Sarah, Abraham's wife, back to him
and said, "Look around you at my land. You may live anywhere you want."
Abimelech said to Sarah, "I gave your brother Abraham twenty-five pounds of silver to make up for any wrong that people may think about you. I want everyone to know that you are innocent."
Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his servant girls so they could have children.
The Lord had kept all the women in Abimelech's house from having children as a punishment on Abimelech for taking Abraham's wife Sarah.
The Lord cared for Sarah as he had said and did for her what he had promised.
Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. Everything happened at the time God had said it would.
Abraham named his son Isaac, the son Sarah gave birth to.
He circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old as God had commanded.
Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born.
And Sarah said, "God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.
No one thought that I would be able to have Abraham's child, but even though Abraham is old I have given him a son."
Isaac grew, and when he became old enough to eat food, Abraham gave a great feast.
But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. (Ishmael was the son of Abraham by Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian slave.)
So Sarah said to Abraham, "Throw out this slave woman and her son. Her son should not inherit anything; my son Isaac should receive it all."
This troubled Abraham very much because Ishmael was also his son.
But God said to Abraham, "Don't be troubled about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you. The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac.
I will also make the descendants of Ishmael into a great nation because he is your son, too."
Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a leather bag full of water. He gave them to Hagar and sent her away. Carrying these things and her son, Hagar went and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
Later, when all the water was gone from the bag, Hagar put her son under a bush.
Then she went away a short distance and sat down. She thought, "My son will die, and I cannot watch this happen." She sat there and began to cry.
God heard the boy crying, and God's angel called to Hagar from heaven. He said, "What is wrong, Hagar? Don't be afraid! God has heard the boy crying there.
Help him up and take him by the hand. I will make his descendants into a great nation."
Then God showed Hagar a well of water. So she went to the well and filled her bag with water and gave the boy a drink.
God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert and became an archer.
He lived in the Desert of Paran, and his mother found a wife for him in Egypt.
Then Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of his army, and said to Abraham, "God is with you in everything you do.
So make a promise to me here before God that you will be fair with me and my children and my descendants. Be kind to me and to this land where you have lived as a stranger -- as kind as I have been to you."
And Abraham said, "I promise."
Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about Abimelech's servants who had seized a well of water.
But Abimelech said, "I don't know who did this. You never told me about this before today."
Then Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle, and they made an agreement.
Abraham also put seven female lambs in front of Abimelech.
Abimelech asked Abraham, "Why did you put these seven female lambs by themselves?"
Abraham answered, "Accept these lambs from me to prove that you believe I dug this well."
So that place was called Beersheban because they made a promise to each other there.
After Abraham and Abimelech made the agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, went back to the land of the Philistines.
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba and prayed to the Lord, the God who lives forever.
And Abraham lived as a stranger in the land of the Philistines for a long time.