1 Jehovah appeared again to Abraham by the oak grove of Mamre. He was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.
2 He looked up and noticed three men coming toward him. He ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed to the ground.
3 Abraham said: »My Lord, if I have now found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.
4 »Please. Let a little water be brought. Wash your feet and rest under the tree.
5 »I will bring a bite to eat to refresh you. Stay a while before you continue your journey.« They responded: »Very well, do as you have said.«
6 Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said: »Quick! Make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.«
7 Then Abraham ran to the herd. He selected a fat calf and told a servant to butcher it and prepare it.
8 He took butter and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree as they ate.
9 Then they said to him: »Where is Sarah your wife« ? He responded: »Here, in the tent.«
10 He said: »Next year I will give you and Sarah a son.« Sarah was listening in the tent door behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself. She said to herself: "After I have grown old, shall I have a baby? My lord is old also."
13 Jehovah said to Abraham: »Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?'
14 »Is anything too hard for Jehovah? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life. Sarah shall have a son!«
15 Sarah denied saying: »I did not laugh!« She was afraid. He said: »But you did laugh!«
16 Then the men stood up from their meal and started in the direction of Sodom. Abraham went with them to send them on the way.
17 Jehovah said: »Shall I hide what I am doing from Abraham?
18 »Abraham will definitely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him.
19 »I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household; and that they may remain in the righteous and just way of Jehovah. Jehovah will bring to Abraham what he told him.«
20 Jehovah said: »Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave,
21 »I will go down now and see whether they have done the bad things I have been told. Then I will know.«
22 The men left there and went toward Sodom. Abraham still stood before Jehovah.
23 Abraham came near and said: »Will you destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 »Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city. Would you also destroy the place and not spare it because the righteous people are there?
25 »Surely you would not do that! Would you slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?«
26 Jehovah said: »If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, I will spare the entire place for their sakes.«
27 Then Abraham answered and said: »Indeed now, I who am only dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to Jehovah:
28 »Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous. Would you destroy the entire city for lack of five?« So He God said: »If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.«
29 Abraham spoke again: »Suppose there should be forty found there?« God replied: »I will not do it for the sake of forty.«
30 Abraham then said: »Do not be angry, and let me speak. Suppose thirty should be found there?« God replied: »I will not do it if I find thirty there.«
31 Abraham then said: »Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to Jehovah: Suppose twenty should be found there?« God replied: »I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.«
32 Abraham again queried: »Please do not be angry as I speak once more: Suppose ten should be found there?« God said: »I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.«
33 Jehovah went his way as soon as he finished speaking with Abraham. Abraham returned to his place.