Genesis 19; Genesis 20; Genesis 21

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Genesis 19

1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening. Lot was sitting near the gate of the city. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed down with his face to the ground.
2 "My lords," he said, "please come to my house. You can wash your feet and spend the night here. Then you can go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered. "We'll spend the night in the street."
3 But Lot wouldn't give up. So they went with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them. He baked bread without using yeast. And they ate.
4 Before Lot and his guests had gone to bed, all of the men came from every part of the city of Sodom. Young and old men alike surrounded the house.
5 They called out to Lot. They said, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us. We want to have sex with them."
6 Lot went outside to meet them. He shut the door behind him.
7 He said, "No, my friends. Don't do such an evil thing.
8 Look, I have two daughters. No man has ever made love to them. I'll bring them out to you now. Then do to them what you want to. But don't do anything to these men. I've brought them inside so they can be safe."
9 "Get out of our way!" the men of Sodom replied. They said, "This fellow came here as an outsider. Now he wants to act like a judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept trying to force Lot to open the door. Then they moved forward to break it down.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house. They shut the door.
11 Then they made the men who were at the door of the house blind. They blinded young and old men alike. So the men couldn't find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here? Do you have sons-in-law, sons or daughters? Does anyone else in the city belong to you? Get them out of here.
13 We are going to destroy this place. There has been a great cry to the LORD against the people of this city. So he has sent us to destroy it."
14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law. They had promised to get married to his daughters. He said, "Hurry up! Get out of this place! The LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 The sun was coming up. So the angels tried to get Lot to leave. They said, "Hurry up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out! If you don't, you will be swept away when the city is punished."
16 Lot didn't move right away. So the men grabbed him by the hand. They also took hold of the hands of his wife and two daughters. They led all of them safely out of the city. The LORD had mercy on them.
17 As soon as the angels had brought them out, one of them spoke. He said, "Run for your lives! Don't look back! Don't stop anywhere in the valley! Run to the mountains! If you don't, you will be swept away!"
18 But Lot said to them, "No, my lords! Please!
19 You have done me a big favor. You have been very kind to me by sparing my life. But I can't run to the mountains. This horrible thing that's going to happen will catch up with me. And then I'll die.
20 "Look, here's a town near enough to run to. It's small. Let me run to it. It's very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."
21 The LORD said to Lot, "All right. I will also give you what you are asking for. I will not destroy the town you are talking about.
22 But run there quickly. I can't do anything until you reach it." The town was named Zoar. Zoar means "small."
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land.
24 Then the LORD sent down burning sulfur. It came down like rain on Sodom and Gomorrah. It came from the LORD out of the sky.
25 He destroyed those cities and the whole valley. All of the people who were living in the cities were wiped out. So were the plants in the land.
26 But Lot's wife looked back. When she did, she became a pillar made out of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up. He returned to the place where he had stood in front of the Lord.
28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole valley. He saw thick smoke rising from the land. It looked like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the valley, he showed concern for Abraham. He brought Lot out safely when he destroyed the cities where Lot had lived.
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar. They went to settle down in the mountains. Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar. So he and his daughters lived in a cave.
31 One day the older daughter spoke to the younger one. She said, "Our father is old. There aren't any other men around here to make love to, as people all over the earth do.
32 So let's get our father to drink wine. Then we can make love to him. We can use our father to continue our family line."
33 That night they got their father to drink wine. Then the older daughter went in and made love to him. He didn't know when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter spoke to the younger one again. She said, "Last night I made love to my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight. Then you go in and make love to him. In that way, we can use our father to continue our family line."
35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also. Then the younger daughter went and made love to him. Again he didn't know when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father.
37 The older daughter had a son. She named him Moab. He's the father of the Moabites of today.
38 The younger daughter also had a son. She named him Ben-Ammi. He's the father of the Ammonites of today.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Genesis 20

1 Abraham moved away from there into the Negev Desert. He lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar.
2 There Abraham said about his wife Sarah, "She's my sister." Then Abimelech sent for Sarah and took her. He was the king of Gerar.
3 God came to Abimelech in a dream one night. He said to him, "You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken. She is already married."
4 But Abimelech hadn't gone near her. So he said, "Lord, will you destroy a nation that hasn't done anything wrong?
5 Didn't Abraham say to me, 'She's my sister'? And didn't she also say, 'He's my brother'? I had no idea I was doing anything wrong. I'm not guilty."
6 Then God spoke to him in the dream. He said, "Yes, I know you had no idea you were doing anything wrong. So I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.
7 "Now return the man's wife to him. He is a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will live. But what if you do not return her? Then you can be sure that you and all of your people will die."
8 Early the next morning Abimelech sent for all of his officials. He told them everything that had happened. They were really afraid.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham in. He said, "What have you done to us? Have I done something wrong to you? Why have you brought so much guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that shouldn't be done."
10 Abimelech also asked Abraham, "Why did you do this?"
11 Abraham replied, "I thought, 'There isn't any respect for God in this place at all. They will kill me because of my wife.'
12 Besides, she really is my sister. She's the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother. And she became my wife.
13 "God had me wander away from my father's house. So I said to her, 'Here is how you can show your love to me. Everywhere we go, say about me, "He's my brother." ' "
14 Then Abimelech gave Abraham sheep and cattle and male and female slaves. He also returned his wife Sarah to him.
15 Abimelech said, "Here is my land. Live anywhere you want to."
16 He said to Sarah, "I'm giving your brother 25 pounds of silver. It will take care of the problem we caused you. And all those who are with you will know that you aren't guilty of doing anything wrong."
17 Then Abraham prayed to God. And God healed Abimelech. He also healed his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again.
18 The LORD had kept the women in Abimelech's house from having children. He had done it because of Abraham's wife Sarah.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Genesis 21

1 The LORD was gracious to Sarah, just as he had said he would be. He did for Sarah what he had promised to do.
2 Sarah became pregnant. She had a son by Abraham when he was old. He was born at the exact time God had promised him.
3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah had by him.
4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him. He did it exactly as God had commanded him.
5 Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, "God has given laughter to me. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."
7 She continued, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? But I've had a son by him when he is old."
8 Isaac grew. The time came for his mother to stop nursing him. On that day Abraham had a big dinner prepared.
9 But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. Ishmael was the son Hagar had by Abraham. Hagar was Sarah's servant from Egypt.
10 Sarah said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman. Get rid of her son. The slave woman's son will never have a share of the family's property with my son Isaac."
11 What Sarah said upset Abraham very much. After all, Ishmael was his son.
12 But God said to him, "Do not be so upset about the boy and your servant Hagar. Listen to what Sarah tells you, because your family line will continue through Isaac.
13 I will make the son of your servant into a nation also. I will do it because he is your child."
14 Early the next morning Abraham got some food and a bottle of water. The bottle was made out of animal skin. He gave the food and water to Hagar. He placed them on her shoulders. Then he sent her away with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the bottle was gone, she put the boy under a bush.
16 Then she went off and sat down nearby. She was about as far away as a person can shoot an arrow. She thought, "I can't stand to watch the boy die." As she sat nearby, she began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying. Then the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven. He said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.
18 Lift the boy up. Take him by the hand. I will make him into a great nation."
19 Then God opened Hagar's eyes. She saw a well of water. So she went and filled the bottle with water. And she gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and learned to shoot with a bow.
21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got him a wife from Egypt.
22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol spoke to Abraham. Phicol was the commander of Abimelech's army. They said, "God is with you in everything you do.
23 Now make a promise to me here while God is watching. Take an oath that you will treat me fairly. Promise that you will treat my children and their children the same way. "I've been kind to you. Now you be kind to me. And be kind to the country where you are living as an outsider."
24 Abraham said, "I promise with an oath that I'll do it."
25 Then Abraham objected to Abimelech about what Abimelech's servants had done. They had taken over a well of water.
26 But Abimelech said, "I don't know who has done this. You didn't tell me. Today is the first time I heard about it."
27 So Abraham gave Abimelech sheep and cattle. The two men made a peace treaty.
28 Then Abraham took out seven female lambs from his flock.
29 Abimelech asked Abraham, "What's the meaning of these seven female lambs? Why have you taken them out and put them by themselves?"
30 Abraham replied, "Accept the seven lambs from me. They will be a witness that I dug this well."
31 That place was named Beersheba. That's because there the two men made a promise with an oath.
32 After the peace treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech went back to the land of the Philistines. His army commander Phicol went with him.
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. There he worshiped the Lord, the God who lives forever.
34 Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.