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Genesis chapter 18

New International Version

1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, 'If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.
5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way--now that you have come to your servant.' 'Very well,' they answered, 'do as you say.'
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. 'Quick,' he said, 'get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.'
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 Where is your wife Sarah?' they asked him. 'There, in the tent,' he said.
10 Then one of them said, 'I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.' Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, 'After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?'
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.'
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, 'I did not laugh.' But he said, 'Yes, you did laugh.'
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the LORD said, 'Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.'
20 Then the LORD said, 'The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.'
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: 'Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?'
26 The LORD said, 'If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.'
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: 'Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,
28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?' 'If I find forty-five there,' he said, 'I will not destroy it.'
29 Once again he spoke to him, 'What if only forty are found there?' He said, 'For the sake of forty, I will not do it.'
30 Then he said, 'May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?' He answered, 'I will not do it if I find thirty there.'
31 Abraham said, 'Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?' He said, 'For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.'
32 Then he said, 'May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?' He answered, 'For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.'
33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
English Standard Version

1 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds 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.
9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command 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 has promised him.” 20 Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”
22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “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 answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
King James Version

1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. 6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. 7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. 8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. 10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? 13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. 15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. 20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. 22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? 26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. 27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: 28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. 29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake. 30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. 31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake. 32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake. 33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
New American Standard Bible

1 Now the LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 When he raised his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed down to the ground, 3 and said, 'My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. 4 Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and make yourselves comfortable under the tree; 5 and I will bring a piece of bread, so that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.' And they said, 'So do as you have said.' 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, 'Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it, and make bread cakes.' 7 Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and choice calf and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it. 8 He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate.
9 Then they said to him, 'Where is your wife Sarah?' And he said, 'There, in the tent.' 10 He said, 'I will certainly return to you at this time next year; and behold, your wife Sarah will have a son.' And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, 'After I have become old, am I to have pleasure, my lord being old also?' 13 But the LORD said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I actually give birth to a child, when I am so 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 Sarah denied it, however, saying, 'I did not laugh'; for she was afraid. And He said, 'No, but you did laugh.'
16 Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. 17 The LORD said, 'Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 since Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? 19 For I have chosen him, so that he may command 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 upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.' 20 And the LORD said, 'The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done entirely as the outcry, which has come to Me indicates; and if not, I will know.'
22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD. 23 Abraham approached and said, 'Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous people within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing, to kill 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 deal justly?' 26 So the LORD said, 'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the entire place on their account.' 27 And Abraham replied, 'Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am only dust and ashes. 28 Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the entire city because of five?' And He said, 'I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.' 29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, 'Suppose forty are found there?' And He said, 'I will not do it on account of the forty.' 30 Then he said, 'Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?' And He said, 'I will not do it if I find thirty there.' 31 And he said, 'Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?' And He said, 'I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.' 32 Then he said, 'Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once: suppose ten are found there?' And He said, 'I will not destroy it on account of the ten.' 33 As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place.
New Living Translation

1 The LORD appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2 He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.
3 'My lord,' he said, 'if it pleases you, stop here for a while. 4 Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet.
5 And since you've honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.' 'All right,' they said. 'Do as you have said.'
6 So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, 'Hurry! Get three large measures of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.' 7 Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it. 8 When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.
9 'Where is Sarah, your wife?' the visitors asked. 'She's inside the tent,' Abraham replied.
10 Then one of them said, 'I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!' Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. 11 Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. 12 So she laughed silently to herself and said, 'How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master--my husband--is also so old?'
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, 'Can an old woman like me have a baby?' 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.'
15 Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, 'I didn't laugh.' But the LORD said, 'No, you did laugh.'
16 Then the men got up from their meal and looked out toward Sodom. As they left, Abraham went with them to send them on their way.
17 'Should I hide my plan from Abraham?' the LORD asked. 18 'For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. 19 I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.'
20 So the LORD told Abraham, 'I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. 21 I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.'
22 The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the LORD remained with Abraham. 23 Abraham approached him and said, 'Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? 24 Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city--will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? 25 Surely you wouldn't do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn't do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?'
26 And the LORD replied, 'If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.'
27 Then Abraham spoke again. 'Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes.
28 Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?' And the LORD said, 'I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.'
29 Then Abraham pressed his request further. 'Suppose there are only forty?' And the LORD replied, 'I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.'
30 'Please don't be angry, my Lord,' Abraham pleaded. 'Let me speak--suppose only thirty righteous people are found?' And the LORD replied, 'I will not destroy it if I find thirty.'
31 Then Abraham said, 'Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue--suppose there are only twenty?' And the LORD replied, 'Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.'
32 Finally, Abraham said, 'Lord, please don't be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?' And the LORD replied, 'Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.'
33 When the LORD had finished his conversation with Abraham, he went on his way, and Abraham returned to his tent.
Christian Standard Bible

1 The LORD appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. 2 He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, bowed to the ground, 3 and said, "My lord, if I have found favor with you, please do not go on past your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree.
5 I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant's way. Later, you can continue on." "Yes," they replied, "do as you have said."
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, "Quick! Knead three measures of fine flour and make bread." 7 Abraham ran to the herd and got a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man, who hurried to prepare it. 8 Then Abraham took curds and milk, as well as the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served them as they ate under the tree.
9 "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There, in the tent," he answered.
10 The LORD said, "I will certainly come back to you in about a year's time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!" Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 So she laughed to herself: "After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I have delight?"
13 But the LORD asked Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Can I really have a baby when I'm old?' 14 Is anything impossible for the LORD? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son."
15 Sarah denied it. "I did not laugh," she said, because she was afraid. But he replied, "No, you did laugh."
16 The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off. 17 Then the LORD said, "Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham? 18 Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just. This is how the LORD will fulfill to Abraham what he promised him." 20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. 21 I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to me. If not, I will find out."
22 The men turned from there and went toward Sodom while Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23 Abraham stepped forward and said, "Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people who are in it? 25 You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won't the Judge of the whole earth do what is just?"
26 The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
27 Then Abraham answered, "Since I have ventured to speak to my lord--even though I am dust and ashes--
28 suppose the fifty righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?" He replied, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there."
29 Then he spoke to him again, "Suppose forty are found there?" He answered, "I will not do it on account of forty."
30 Then he said, "Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
31 Then he said, "Since I have ventured to speak to my lord, suppose twenty are found there?" He replied, "I will not destroy it on account of twenty."
32 Then he said, "Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time. Suppose ten are found there?" He answered, "I will not destroy it on account of ten." 33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he departed, and Abraham returned to his place.

What does Genesis chapter 18 mean?

The events of Genesis 18 take place not long after God's visit with Abraham in chapter 17. This visit from the Lord is quite different, however. It's not clear, at first, if Abraham even recognizes the three men who appear outside of his tent as the Lord and two angels in human form. In either case, Abraham runs to show them deep respect and hospitality. He tells Sarah to bake them bread and has a young calf slaughtered for them to eat as they rest in the heat of the day.

Once the meal is over, the Lord fully reveals Himself, in a conversation He conducts with Sarah through Abraham while she remains hidden and listening in the tent. First, the Lord asks where Sarah is and then reveals to her what He had said to Abraham in the previous chapter: by this time a year from now she will have a son.

Sarah's response is much the same as Abraham's in the previous chapter: she laughs to herself. Not only was she around 90 years old, we're told that the "way of women" had ceased for her. The phrasing here might suggest the idea of menopause: Sarah is literally "beyond" a woman's normal ability to conceive. She describes herself as worn out and her husband as old. She cannot imagine having the "pleasure" of a new birth in their season of life.

The Lord knows both that Sarah laughed and what she thought about His revelation. He asks Abraham why she laughed. "Is anything too hard for the LORD?" Then He repeats the promise of a son at the appointed time. Sarah, likely realizing now that this is God, is afraid. She lies and says that she did not laugh. The Lord corrects her once more, but He does not punish her. In another instance of divine humor, He has already named her child Isaac, which means laughter.

The three men then set out on their journey, walking from Abraham's home near Hebron toward the city of Sodom. Abraham walks with them for a time, until they arrive at a high vantage point from which they can look across and see Sodom. From there, the Lord reveals to Abraham His plan regarding the grave sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The implication is that God will bring judgment on those people if their sins were as wicked as He had heard. This, of course, is a figure of speech, since God already knows exactly how sinful these cities are. The reason for this human perspective is revealed in the conversation with Abraham, as Abraham tries to specify just "how wicked" these cities must be to earn God's wrath.

As the two angels walk on toward the city, Abraham begins a kind of negotiation with the Lord. His nephew Lot and his family live in Sodom. Abraham seems to be concerned for them. He boldly challenges the Lord: Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Abraham insists that such an action would not be consistent with the Lord's character.

The Lord is patient with Abraham as he begins to ask for assurances. Will you destroy the city if you find 50 righteous people there? The Lord agrees that He will not. Abraham keeps asking though, lowering the number at which the Lord would willingly destroy righteous people to judge the wicked. 45? 40? 30? 20? Finally, Abraham asks, with a request that the Lord not be angry, if He would spare the city for the sake of 10 righteous people. Once more, the Lord agrees that He would do so if He finds that many.

With that, the Lord heads toward the city, and Abraham walks back home.