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Genesis 18 Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Three Visitors

18 Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham near the ·great trees [L oaks; or terebinths] of Mamre [C an area near Hebron, named after Amorite leader; 14:13, 24]. Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent ·during the hottest part [L in the heat] of the day. He ·looked up [L raised his eyes] and saw three men standing near him. When Abraham saw them, he ran from [L the entrance of] his tent to meet them. He bowed facedown on the ground before them and said, “·Sir [My lord], if ·you think well of me [L I have found grace in your eyes], please ·stay awhile with me, [L do not pass by] your servant. I will bring some water so all of you can wash your feet. You may rest under the tree, and I will get some bread for you so you can regain your strength. Then you may ·continue your journey [L pass by].”

The three men said, “That is fine. Do as you said.” [C In the ancient Near East, hospitality towards strangers was a very imporant value.]

Abraham hurried to the tent where Sarah was and said to her, “Hurry, ·prepare [L take and knead] ·twenty quarts [L three seahs] of fine flour, and make ·it into loaves of bread [L cakes].” Then Abraham ran to his herd and took one of his ·best [L tender and good/choice] calves. He gave it to a servant, who hurried ·to kill it and to prepare it for food [L to prepare it]. Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been ·cooked [L prepared] and milk curds and milk. While they ate, he stood under the tree near them.

The men asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”

“There, in the tent,” said Abraham.

10 Then ·the Lord [L he] said, “I will certainly return to you ·about this time a year from now [or in due time; L about the living time]. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were very old. Since ·Sarah was past the age when women normally have children [L it had stopped being with Sarah after the manner of women; C she had reached menopause], 12 she laughed ·to herself [inwardly], “·My husband and I are too old [L I am worn out and my husband is too old] to have ·a baby [L pleasure].”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘I am too old to have a baby’? 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? No! I will return to you ·at the right time a year from now [or in due time; L about the living time], and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she ·lied [denied it] and said, “I didn’t laugh.”

But the Lord said, “No. You did laugh.”

16 Then the men got up to leave and ·started out [L looked] toward Sodom. Abraham walked along with them a short time to send them on their way.

Abraham’s Bargain with God

17 The Lord said, “Should I ·tell [L hide from] Abraham what I am going to do now? 18 ·Abraham’s children [L Abraham] will certainly become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him [12:1–3]. 19 I have ·chosen [L known] him so he would command his children and his ·descendants [L household] to ·live [L keep] the way the Lord wants them to, ·to live right and be fair [L …by doing righteousness and justice]. Then I, the Lord, will give Abraham what I promised him.”

20 Then the Lord said, “·I have heard many complaints [L The outcry is great] against the people of Sodom and Gomorrah [14:2]. ·They are very evil [L Their sin is very great/heavy]. 21 I will go down and see if they ·are as bad as I have heard [L have done according to the outcry which has come to me]. If not, I will know.”

22 So the men turned and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood there before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham approached him and asked, “Do you plan to ·destroy [sweep away] the ·good people [righteous] along with the ·evil ones [wicked]? 24 What if there are fifty ·good people [righteous] in that city? Will you still ·destroy it [sweep it away]? Surely you will ·save [spare] the ·city [L place] for the fifty ·good people [righteous] living there. 25 ·Surely [L It would be a desecration for you!] you will not ·destroy [L kill; slay] the ·good people [righteous] along with the ·evil ones [wicked]; then they would be treated the same. You are the judge of all the earth. Won’t you do what is ·right [just]?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty ·good people [righteous] in the city of Sodom, I will ·save [spare] the whole ·city [L place] because of them.”

27 Then Abraham [L answered and] said, “Though I am only dust and ashes, I have been brave to speak to the Lord. 28 What if ·there are only forty-five good people [L five of the fifty righteous are lacking] in the city? Will you destroy the whole city for the lack of five ·good people [righteous]?”

The Lord said, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy the city.”

29 Again Abraham said to him, “If you find only forty ·good people [righteous] there, will you destroy the city?”

The Lord said, “If I find forty, I will not destroy it.”

30 Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me ask you this. If you find only thirty ·good people [righteous] in the city, will you destroy it?”

He said, “If I find thirty ·good people [righteous] there, I will not destroy the city.”

31 Then Abraham said, “I have been brave to speak to the Lord. But what if there are twenty ·good people [righteous] in the city?”

He answered, “If I find twenty there, I will not destroy the city.”

32 Then Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me, but let me bother you this one last time. What if you find ten there?”

He said, “If I find ten there, I will not destroy it.”

33 When the Lord finished speaking to Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned ·home [L to his place].

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Genesis 18 New International Version (NIV)

The Three Visitors

18 The 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 International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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