18 The Lord appeared to Abraham 1 by the oaks 2 of Mamre while 3 he was sitting at the entrance 4 to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 2 Abraham 5 looked up 6 and saw 7 three men standing across 8 from him. When he saw them 9 he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low 10 to the ground. 11
3 He said, “My lord, 12 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 13 4 Let a little water be brought so that 14 you may all 15 wash your feet and rest under the tree. 5 And let me get 16 a bit of food 17 so that you may refresh yourselves 18 since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” 19 “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take 20 three measures 21 of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 22 7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, 23 who quickly prepared it. 24 8 Abraham 25 then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food 26 before them. They ate while 27 he was standing near them under a tree.
9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, 28 in the tent.” 10 One of them 29 said, “I will surely return 30 to you when the season comes round again, 31 and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 32 (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 33 11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; 34 Sarah had long since passed menopause.) 35 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 36 “After I am worn out will I have pleasure, 37 especially when my husband is old too?” 38
13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why 39 did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really 40 have a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything impossible 41 for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.” 42 15 Then Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But the Lord said, “No! You did laugh.” 43
16 When the men got up to leave, 44 they looked out over 45 Sodom. (Now 46 Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 47 17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 48 18 After all, Abraham 49 will surely become 50 a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 51 using his name. 19 I have chosen him 52 so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep 53 the way of the Lord by doing 54 what is right and just. Then the Lord will give 55 to Abraham what he promised 56 him.”
20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against 57 Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 58 21 that I must go down 59 and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. 60 If not, 61 I want to know.”
22 The two men turned 62 and headed 63 toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 64 23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare 65 the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge 66 of the whole earth do what is right?” 67
26 So the Lord replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord 68 (although I am but dust and ashes), 69 28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy 70 the whole city because five are lacking?” 71 He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29 Abraham 72 spoke to him again, 73 “What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”
30 Then Abraham 74 said, “May the Lord not be angry 75 so that I may speak! 76 What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham 77 said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
32 Finally Abraham 78 said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
33 The Lord went on his way 79 when he had finished speaking 80 to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home. 81
19 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening while 1 Lot was sitting in the city’s gateway. 2 When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face toward the ground.
2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night 3 and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 4 “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 5
3 But he urged 6 them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they could lie down to sleep, 7 all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 8 5 They shouted to Lot, 9 “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex 10 with them!”
6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! 11 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with 12 a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. 13 Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection 14 of my roof.” 15
9 “Out of our way!” 16 they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, 17 and now he dares to judge us! 18 We’ll do more harm 19 to you than to them!” They kept 20 pressing in on Lot until they were close enough 21 to break down the door.
10 So the men inside 22 reached out 23 and pulled Lot back into the house 24 as they shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest, 25 with blindness. The men outside 26 wore themselves out trying to find the door. 12 Then the two visitors 27 said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? 28 Do you have 29 any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? 30 Get them out of this 31 place 13 because we are about to destroy 32 it. The outcry against this place 33 is so great before the Lord that he 34 has sent us to destroy it.”
14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters. 35 He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy 36 the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them. 37
15 At dawn 38 the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 39 or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!” 40 16 When Lot 41 hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them. 42 They led them away and placed them 43 outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, they 44 said, “Run 45 for your lives! Don’t look 46 behind you or stop anywhere in the valley! 47 Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 48 19 Your 49 servant has found favor with you, 50 and you have shown me great 51 kindness 52 by sparing 53 my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 54 this disaster will overtake 55 me and I’ll die. 56 20 Look, this town 57 over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 58 Let me go there. 59 It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 60 Then I’ll survive.” 61
21 “Very well,” he replied, 62 “I will grant this request too 63 and will not overthrow 64 the town you mentioned. 22 Run there quickly, 65 for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 66
23 The sun had just risen 67 over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 68 24 Then the Lord rained down 69 sulfur and fire 70 on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord. 71 25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region, 72 including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew 73 from the ground. 26 But Lot’s 74 wife looked back longingly 75 and was turned into a pillar of salt.
27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 76 to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked out toward 77 Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region. 78 As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace. 79
29 So when God destroyed 80 the cities of the region, 81 God honored 82 Abraham’s request. He removed Lot 83 from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed 84 the cities Lot had lived in.
30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 Later the older daughter said 85 to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby 86 to have sexual relations with us, 87 according to the way of all the world. 32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine 88 so we can have sexual relations 89 with him and preserve 90 our family line through our father.” 91
33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, 92 and the older daughter 93 came and had sexual relations with her father. 94 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 95 34 So in the morning the older daughter 96 said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. 97 Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 98 35 So they made their father drunk 99 that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. 100 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 101
36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter 102 gave birth to a son and named him Moab. 103 He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-Ammi. 104 He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.
20 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev 1 region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident 2 in Gerar, 2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God appeared 3 to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead 4 because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 5
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, 6 would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 7 5 Did Abraham 8 not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, 9 ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience 10 and with innocent hands!”
6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. 11 That is why I have kept you 12 from sinning against me and why 13 I did not allow you to touch her. 7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed 14 he is a prophet 15 and he will pray for you; thus you will live. 16 But if you don’t give her back, 17 know that you will surely die 18 along with all who belong to you.”
8 Early in the morning 19 Abimelech summoned 20 all his servants. When he told them about all these things, 21 they 22 were terrified. 9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? 23 You have done things to me that should not be done!” 24 10 Then Abimelech asked 25 Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 26
11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 27 ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 28 my wife.’ 12 What’s more, 29 she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 13 When God made me wander 30 from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: 31 Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”
14 So Abimelech gave 32 sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 33
16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver 34 to your ‘brother.’ 35 This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.” 36
17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 18 For the Lord 37 had caused infertility to strike every woman 38 in the household of Abimelech because he took 39 Sarah, Abraham’s wife.