16 Then the men left and went to a place where they could look down at Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on their way. 17 And the Lord said to himself, “I will not hide from Abraham what I am going to do. 18 His descendants will become a great and mighty nation, and through him I will bless all the nations.[a]19 I have chosen him in order that he may command his sons and his descendants to obey me and to do what is right and just. If they do, I will do everything for him that I have promised.”
20 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “There are terrible accusations against Sodom and Gomorrah, and their sin is very great. 21 I must go down to find out whether or not the accusations which I have heard are true.”
22 Then the two men left and went on toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham. 23 Abraham approached the Lord and asked, “Are you really going to destroy the innocent with the guilty? 24 If there are fifty innocent people in the city, will you destroy the whole city? Won't you spare it in order to save the fifty? 25 Surely you won't kill the innocent with the guilty. That's impossible! You can't do that. If you did, the innocent would be punished along with the guilty. That is impossible. The judge of all the earth has to act justly.”
26 The Lord answered, “If I find fifty innocent people in Sodom, I will spare the whole city for their sake.”
27 Abraham spoke again: “Please forgive my boldness in continuing to speak to you, Lord. I am only a man and have no right to say anything. 28 But perhaps there will be only forty-five innocent people instead of fifty. Will you destroy the whole city because there are five too few?”
The Lord answered, “I will not destroy the city if I find forty-five innocent people.”
29 Abraham spoke again: “Perhaps there will be only forty.”
He replied, “I will not destroy it if there are forty.”
30 Abraham said, “Please don't be angry, Lord, but I must speak again. What if there are only thirty?”
He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty.”
31 Abraham said, “Please forgive my boldness in continuing to speak to you, Lord. Suppose that only twenty are found?”
He said, “I will not destroy the city if I find twenty.”
32 Abraham said, “Please don't be angry, Lord, and I will speak only once more. What if only ten are found?”
He said, “I will not destroy it if there are ten.” 33 After he had finished speaking with Abraham, the Lord went away, and Abraham returned home.
Genesis 18:18through … nations; or all the nations will ask me to bless them as I have blessed him.
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