17 The Lord said, “Shall I keep secret from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do,18 since Abraham [a]is destined to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him?19 For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and [the sons of] his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is righteous and just, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has promised him.” 20 And the Lord said, “The outcry [of the sin] of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have acted [as vilely and wickedly] as the outcry which has come to Me [indicates]; and if not, I will know.”
22 Now the [two] men (angelic beings) turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Abraham approached [the Lord] and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous (those who do right) with the wicked (those who do evil)? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous [people] within the city; will You really sweep it away and not spare it for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from You to do [b]such a thing—to strike the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right [by executing just and righteous judgment]?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find within the city of Sodom fifty righteous [people], then I will spare the entire place for their sake.” 27 Abraham answered, “Now behold, I who am but dust [in origin] and ashes have decided to speak to the Lord.28 If five of the fifty righteous are lacking, will You destroy the entire city for lack of five?” And He said, “If I find [at least] forty-five [righteous people] there, I will not destroy it.” 29 Abraham spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose [only] forty are found there.” And He said, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty [who are righteous].” 30 Then Abraham said [to Him], “Oh, may the Lord not be angry, and I will speak; suppose thirty [righteous people] are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Now behold, I have decided to speak to the Lord [again]. Suppose [only] twenty [righteous people] are found there?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” 32 Then Abraham said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry [with me], and I will speak only this once; suppose ten [righteous people] are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” 33 As soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his own place.
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