New International Version

Genesis 18

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. Abraham 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.

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let 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.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He 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.

“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.

“There, in the tent,” he said.

10 Then 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. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.[c] 19 For 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.”

20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that 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.”

22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.[d] 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far 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?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then 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, 28 what 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.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then 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.”

31 Abraham 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.”

32 Then 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.”

33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 18:3 Or eyes, Lord
  2. Genesis 18:6 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
  3. Genesis 18:18 Or will use his name in blessings (see 48:20)
  4. Genesis 18:22 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition but the Lord remained standing before Abraham
  5. Genesis 18:24 Or forgive; also in verse 26

New American Standard Bible

Genesis 18

Birth of Isaac Promised

1Now the Lord appeared to him by the [a]oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “[b]My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not [c]pass Your servant by. Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and [d]rest yourselves under the tree; and I will [e]bring a piece of bread, that you may [f]refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have [g]visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “[h]Quickly, prepare three [i]measures of fine flour, knead it and make bread cakes.” Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and [j]choice calf and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it. He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree [k]as they ate.

Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10 He said, “I will surely return to you [l]at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past [m]childbearing. 12 Sarah laughed [n]to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” 13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed [o]bear a child, when I am so old?’ 14 Is anything too [p]difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, [q]at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 since Abraham will surely become a great and [r]mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? 19 For I have [s]chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” 20 And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”

22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23 Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not [t]spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from You to do [u]such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth [v]deal justly?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will [w]spare the whole place on their account.” 27 And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have [x]ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 He spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Now behold, I have [y]ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” 32 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” 33 As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his place.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 18:1 Or terebinths
  2. Genesis 18:3 Or O Lord
  3. Genesis 18:3 Lit pass away from Your servant
  4. Genesis 18:4 Lit support
  5. Genesis 18:5 Lit take
  6. Genesis 18:5 Lit sustain your heart
  7. Genesis 18:5 Lit come to
  8. Genesis 18:6 Lit Hasten three measures
  9. Genesis 18:6 Heb seah; i.e. one seah equals approx eleven qts
  10. Genesis 18:7 Lit good
  11. Genesis 18:8 Lit and
  12. Genesis 18:10 Lit when the time revives
  13. Genesis 18:11 Lit the manner of women
  14. Genesis 18:12 Lit within
  15. Genesis 18:13 Lit surely bear
  16. Genesis 18:14 Or wonderful
  17. Genesis 18:14 Lit when the time revives
  18. Genesis 18:18 Or populous
  19. Genesis 18:19 Lit known
  20. Genesis 18:24 Or forgive
  21. Genesis 18:25 Lit after this manner
  22. Genesis 18:25 Lit do justice
  23. Genesis 18:26 Or forgive
  24. Genesis 18:27 Lit undertaken
  25. Genesis 18:31 Lit undertaken