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.'
Sarah denied it,
however, saying, 'I did not laugh'; for she was afraid. And He said, 'No, but you did laugh.'
Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off.
The LORD said, 'Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
since Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
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.'
And the LORD said, 'The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.
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.'
Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD.
Abraham approached and said, 'Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
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?
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?'
So the LORD said, 'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the entire place on their account.'
And Abraham replied, 'Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am only
dust and ashes.
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.'
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.'
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.'
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.'