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Isaac’s Birth Foretold

18 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great oak trees of Mamre while he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked and saw three men standing across from him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself toward the ground.

He said, “My Lord, if I have found favor in Your sight, do not pass by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. I will bring a piece of bread so that you may refresh yourselves. After that you may pass on, now that you have come to your servant.”

And they said, “So do, as you have said.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly prepare three measures[a] of fine flour, knead it, and make cakes.”

Then Abraham ran to the herd and took a choice and tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought butter and milk and the calf that he had prepared and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”

And he said, “There, in the tent.”

10 One of them said, “I will certainly return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and very advanced in age, and Sarah was well past childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am so old and my lord is old also, shall I have pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I surely bear a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid.

But He said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Sodom and Gomorrah

16 Then the men rose up and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19 I chose him, and he will instruct 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 to Abraham what He promised him.”

20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has come to Me. If not, I will know.”

22 The men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Shall You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous in the city? Shall You also destroy, and not spare the place, for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be treated like the wicked; far be it from You. Should not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the entire place for their sakes.”

27 Then Abraham answered and said, “I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord. 28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous. Will You destroy all the city for lack of five?”

And He said, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy it.”

29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there will be forty found there?”

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

30 Then he said to Him, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose there will be thirty found there?”

Again He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”

32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak only once more. Suppose ten will be found there?”

Then He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”

33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had stopped speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.


  1. Genesis 18:6 Likely about 36 pounds, or 16 kilograms.