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Yahweh Appears to Abraham as a Man

18 And Yahweh appeared to him[a] by the oaks of Mamre. And he was sitting in the doorway of the tent at the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, three men were standing near[b] him. And he saw them and ran from the doorway of the tent to meet them. And he bowed down to the ground. And he said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your eyes do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest under the tree. And let me bring a piece of bread, then[c] refresh yourselves.[d] Afterward you can pass on, once[e] you have passed by with your servant.” Then they said, “Do so as you have said.” Then[f] Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and he said, “Quickly—make three seahs of fine flour for kneading and make bread cakes!” And Abraham ran to the cattle and took a calf,[g] tender and good, and gave it to the servant, and he made haste to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk, and the calf which he prepared, and set it before them. And he was standing by them under the tree while[h] they ate. And they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “Here, in the tent.” 10 And he[i] said, “I will certainly return to you in the spring,[j] and look, Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the doorway of the tent, and which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age;[k] the way of women[l] had ceased to be for Sarah. 12 So[m] Sarah laughed to herself saying, “After I am worn out and my husband is old, shall this pleasure be to me?” 13 Then Yahweh said to Abraham, “What is this that Sarah laughed, saying, ‘Is it indeed true that I will bear a child, now that I have grown old?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for Yahweh? At the appointed time I will return to you in the spring[n] and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. He[o] said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down upon Sodom. And Abraham went with them to send them on their way.[p] 17 Then Yahweh said, “Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and strong nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed on account of him. 19 For I have chosen[q] him, that he will command his children and his household after him that they will keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice, so that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham that which he said to him.” 20 Then Yahweh said, “Because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and because their sin is very serious,[r] 21 I will go down and I will see. Have they done altogether according to its cry of distress which has come to me? If not, I will know.”

Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

22 And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom. And Abraham was still standing before Yahweh. 23 And Abraham drew near to Yahweh and said, “Will you also sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 If perhaps there are fifty righteous in the midst of the city, will you also sweep them away and not forgive the place on account of the fifty righteous in her midst? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing as this, to kill the righteous with the wicked, that[s] the righteous would be as the wicked! Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do justice?” 26 And Yahweh said, “If I find fifty righteous in Sodom, in the midst of the city, then I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” 27 Then Abraham answered and said, “Look, please, I was bold to speak to my Lord, but I am dust and ashes. 28 Perhaps the fifty righteous are lacking five—will you destroy the whole city on account of the five?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 And once again he spoke[t] to him and said, “What if[u] forty are found there?” And he answered, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30 And he said, “Please, let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if[v] thirty be found there?” And he answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Please, now, I was bold to speak to my Lord. What if[w] twenty be found there?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” 32 And he said, “Please, let not my Lord be angry, and I will speak only once more. What if[x] ten are found there?” And he answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” 33 Then Yahweh left,[y] as he finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.


  1. Genesis 18:1 Abraham
  2. Genesis 18:2 Or “by”; the context requires some distance for Abraham to run to them
  3. Genesis 18:5 Or “and”
  4. Genesis 18:5 Literally “your heart”
  5. Genesis 18:5 Literally “for therefore”
  6. Genesis 18:6 Or “And”
  7. Genesis 18:7 Literally “a son of cattle”
  8. Genesis 18:8 Or “and”
  9. Genesis 18:10 Yahweh
  10. Genesis 18:10 Literally “at the time of life”
  11. Genesis 18:11 Literally “going in the days”
  12. Genesis 18:11 Literally “the road according to women”
  13. Genesis 18:12 Or “And”
  14. Genesis 18:14 Literally “at the time of life”
  15. Genesis 18:15 Yahweh
  16. Genesis 18:16 Literally “to send them away”
  17. Genesis 18:19 Or “have known”
  18. Genesis 18:20 Literally “heavy”
  19. Genesis 18:25 Or “and”
  20. Genesis 18:29 Literally “And he added again to speak”
  21. Genesis 18:29 Or “Perhaps”
  22. Genesis 18:30 Or “Perhaps”
  23. Genesis 18:31 Or “Perhaps”
  24. Genesis 18:32 Or “Perhaps”
  25. Genesis 18:33 Or “went”