The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.
"My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.
They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him
and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.
Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."
"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door.
Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here,
because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."
When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them.
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"
But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, please!
Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die.
Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it--it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."
He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.
But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar.)
By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land.
Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens.
Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land.
But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave.
One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth.
Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father."
That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
The next day the older daughter said to the younger, "Last night I lay with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father."
So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father.
The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today.
The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar,
and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman."
Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, "Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?
Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, 'He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands."
Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.
Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die."
Early the next morning Abimelech summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid.
Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said, "What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done."
And Abimelech asked Abraham, "What was your reason for doing this?"
Abraham replied, "I said to myself, 'There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.'
Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.
And when God had me wander from my father's household, I said to her, 'This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, "He is my brother." ' "
Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him.
And Abimelech said, "My land is before you; live wherever you like."
To Sarah he said, "I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated."
Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again,
for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech's household because of Abraham's wife Sarah.
Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.
Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.
Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."
And she added, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.
But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking,
and she said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac."
The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son.
But God said to him, "Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."
Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.
Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.
Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.
While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, "God is with you in everything you do.
Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you are living as an alien the same kindness I have shown to you."
Abraham said, "I swear it."
Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech's servants had seized.
But Abimelech said, "I don't know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today."
So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a treaty.
Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock,
and Abimelech asked Abraham, "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?"
He replied, "Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well."
So that place was called Beersheba, because the two men swore an oath there.
After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines.
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.
And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.