The Three Visitors
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,18:3 Or eyes, Lord do not pass your servant by. 4Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs18:6 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
16When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.18:18 Or will use his name in blessings (see 48:20) 19For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.18:22 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition but the Lord remained standing before Abraham 23Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare18:24 Or forgive; also in verse 26 the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
118:1 Mwa 12:7; 13:18; 14:13; 19:1; 23:10, 18; 34:20-24; Rut 4:1; Ebr 11:9; Za 69:12Bwana akamtokea Abrahamu karibu na mialoni ya Mamre wakati alipokuwa ameketi kwenye ingilio la hema lake wakati wa adhuhuri. 218:2 Mwa 17:2-3; 19:1, 10; 24:63; 32:24; 43:28; Yos 5:13; Ebr 13:2; Amu 13:6-11; Hos 12:2-4Abrahamu akainua macho akaona watu watatu wamesimama karibu naye. Alipowaona, aliharakisha kutoka kwenye ingilio la hema lake kuwalaki na kuwasujudia hadi nchi.
3Akasema, “Kama nimepata kibali machoni penu, ee bwana wangu, usimpite mtumishi wako. 418:4 Mwa 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; Amu 19:21; 2Sam 11:8; Lk 7:44Acha yaletwe maji kidogo, kisha ninyi nyote mnawe miguu yenu na mpumzike chini ya mti huu. 518:5 Amu 13:15; 19:5Niruhusuni niwapatie chakula kidogo mle, ili mpate nguvu mwendelee na safari yenu, kwa kuwa mmekuja kwa mtumishi wenu.”
Nao wakamjibu, “Vema sana, fanya kama unavyosema.”
618:6 Mwa 19:3; 2Sam 13:8Hivyo Abrahamu akaharakisha akaingia hemani kwa Sara, akamwambia, “Chukua vipimo vitatu vya unga laini haraka, ukande na uoke mikate.”
718:7 1Sam 28:24; Lk 15:23Kisha Abrahamu akakimbia kwenda kwenye kundi, akachagua ndama mzuri, laini na akampa mtumishi, ambaye aliharakisha kumtayarisha. 818:8 Isa 7:15, 22; Amu 4:19; 5:25; 6:19Kisha akaleta jibini, maziwa na nyama ya yule ndama iliyoandaliwa, akaviweka mbele ya wageni. Walipokuwa wakila, alisimama karibu nao chini ya mti.
918:9 Mwa 3:9; 24:67; Ebr 11:9Wakamuuliza, “Yuko wapi Sara mkeo?”
Akasema, “Yuko huko, ndani ya hema.”
1018:10 Mwa 17:6, 21; 21:2; 2Fal 4:16; Rum 6:6Kisha Bwana akasema, “Hakika nitakurudia tena majira kama haya mwakani na Sara mkeo atakuwa ana mwana.”
Sara alikuwa akiwasikiliza kwenye ingilio la hema, lililokuwa nyuma yake. 1118:11 Mwa 11:30; 17:17; Lk 1:18; Rum 4:19; Ebr 11:11-12Abrahamu na Sara walikuwa wazee tena waliosogea miaka, naye Sara alikuwa amekoma katika desturi ya wanawake. 1218:12 Mwa 17:17; 21:6; 1Pet 3:6Hivyo Sara akacheka kimoyomoyo alipokuwa akiwaza, “Baada ya mimi kuwa mkongwe hivi na bwana wangu amezeeka, je, nitaweza kufurahia jambo hili?”
1318:13 Mwa 17:17Ndipo Bwana akamwambia Abrahamu, “Kwa nini Sara amecheka na kusema, ‘Kweli nitazaa mtoto nami sasa ni mzee?’ 1418:14 Ay 42:2; Isa 40:29; 50:2; 51:9; Gal 4:23; Yer 32:17; Mt 19:26; Rum 4:21; 9:9; Mwa 17:19Je, kuna jambo lolote gumu lisilowezekana kwa Bwana? Nitakurudia mwakani majira kama haya, naye Sara atakuwa na mwana.”
15Sara akaogopa kwa kuwa alidanganya na kusema, “Mimi sikucheka.”
Lakini Bwana akasema, “Ndiyo, ulicheka!”
Abrahamu Aiombea Sodoma
16Wakati watu hao waliposimama ili waondoke, walielekeza nyuso zao Sodoma, Abrahamu akawatoa kitambo kidogo ili awasindikize. 1718:17 Amo 3:7; Mwa 19:24; Ay 1:16; Za 107:34Ndipo Bwana akasema, “Je, nimfiche Abrahamu jambo ninalokusudia kufanya? 1818:18 Mwa 12:2; Gal 3:8Hakika Abrahamu atakuwa taifa kubwa na lenye nguvu, kupitia kwake mataifa yote ya dunia yatabarikiwa. 1918:19 Mwa 16:11; 17:9; 22:12, 18; 26:5; Kum 4:9-10; 6:7; Isa 14:1; Efe 6:4; Yos 24:15; Yer 23:5; 2Sam 8:15; Za 17:2; 99:4Kwa maana nimemchagua yeye, ili awaongoze watoto wake na jamaa yake kufuata njia ya Bwana, kwa kuwa waadilifu na kutenda haki, ili Bwana atimize ahadi yake kwa Abrahamu.”
2018:20 Isa 1:10; Yer 23:14; Eze 16:46; Mwa 13:13; 19:13Basi Bwana akasema, “Kilio dhidi ya Sodoma na Gomora ni kikubwa sana na dhambi yao inasikitisha sana, 2118:21 Mwa 11:5kwamba nitashuka nione kama waliyoyatenda ni mabaya kiasi cha kilio kilichonifikia. Kama sivyo, nitajua.”
2218:22 Mwa 19:1, 27Basi wale watu wakageuka wakaenda kuelekea Sodoma, lakini Abrahamu akabaki amesimama mbele za Bwana. 2318:23 Kut 23:7; 2Pet 2:9; Law 4:3, 22, 27; Hes 16:22; Eze 18:4; Kum 27:25; 2Sam 24:17; Za 11:4-7; 94:21Ndipo Abrahamu akamsogelea akasema: “Je, utawaangamiza wenye haki na waovu? 2418:24 Yer 5:1Je, ikiwa watakuwepo watu wenye haki hamsini katika mji huo, hivi kweli utauangamiza na wala hutauacha kwa ajili ya hao watu hamsini wenye haki waliomo ndani yake? 2518:25 Mwa 20:4; 44:7; Kum 32:4; 1:16-17; Rum 3:6; Ay 8:3-7; 9:15; 34:10; 36:23; Isa 3:10-11; 5:20; Amo 5:15; Mal 2:17; 3:18; Amu 11:27; Za 7:11; 58:11; 75:7; 94:2; 119:137; Ebr 12:23; 2Nya 19:7; Ezr 9:15; Neh 9:33; Eze 18:25; Dan 4:37; 9:14Hilo na liwe mbali nawe, kufanya jambo kama hilo, kuwaua wenye haki pamoja na waovu, kuwatendea wenye haki sawasawa na waovu. Iwe mbali nawe! Je, Mwamuzi wa dunia yote hatafanya lililo sawa?”
26Bwana akasema, “Kama nikipata watu hamsini wenye haki katika mji wa Sodoma, nitausamehe huo mji wote kwa ajili yao.”
2718:27 Mwa 2:7; Ay 2:8Kisha Abrahamu akasema tena: “Sasa kwa kuwa nimekuwa na ujasiri wa kuzungumza na Bwana, ingawa mimi si kitu bali ni mavumbi na majivu; 28je, kama hesabu ya wenye haki imepungua watano katika hamsini, utauangamiza huo mji wote kwa ajili ya hao watano waliopungua?”
Bwana akamwambia, “Kama nikiwakuta huko watu arobaini na watano, sitauangamiza.”
29Abrahamu akazungumza naye kwa mara nyingine, “Je, kama huko watapatikana watu arobaini tu?”
Akamjibu, “Kwa ajili ya hao arobaini, sitauangamiza.”
3018:30 Mwa 44:18; Kut 32:22Ndipo akasema, “Bwana na asikasirike, lakini niruhusu nizungumze. Je, kama huko watakuwepo thelathini tu?”
Akajibu, “Sitapaangamiza ikiwa nitawakuta huko watu thelathini.”
31Abrahamu akasema, “Sasa kwa kuwa nimekuwa na ujasiri sana kuzungumza na Bwana, je, kama wakipatikana huko watu ishirini tu?”
Bwana akajibu, “Kwa ajili ya hao ishirini, sitauangamiza.”
3218:32 Amu 6:39; Yer 5:1Abrahamu akasema, “Bwana na asikasirike, lakini niruhusu nizungumze tena mara moja tu. Itakuwaje kama watapatikana huko watu kumi tu?”
Bwana akajibu, “Kwa ajili ya hao kumi, sitauangamiza.”
3318:33 Kut 31:18; Mwa 17:22; 31:55Bwana alipomaliza kuzungumza na Abrahamu, akaondoka, naye Abrahamu akarudi nyumbani kwake.