Genesis 19-21 New Revised Standard Version

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The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

19 1  The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2  He said, "Please, my lords, turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you can rise early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the square." 3  But he urged them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

4  But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; 5  and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them." 6  Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, 7  and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8  Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof." 9  But they replied, "Stand back!" And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them." Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near the door to break it down. 10  But the men inside reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11  And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great, so that they were unable to find the door.

12  Then the men said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city-bring them out of the place. 13  For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it." 14  So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, "Up, get out of this place; for the Lord is about to destroy the city." But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15  When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be consumed in the punishment of the city." 16  But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and left him outside the city. 17  When they had brought them outside, they said, "Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed." 18  And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords; 19  your servant has found favor with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die. 20  Look, that city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there-is it not a little one?-and my life will be saved!" 21  He said to him, "Very well, I grant you this favor too, and will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22  Hurry, escape there, for I can do nothing until you arrive there." Therefore the city was called Zoar. 23  The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar.

24  Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25  and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

26  But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27  Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28  and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the Plain and saw the smoke of the land going up like the smoke of a furnace. 29  So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had settled.

30  Now Lot went up out of Zoar and settled in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; so he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31  And the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the world. 32  Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, so that we may preserve offspring through our father." 33  So they made their father drink wine that night; and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. 34  On the next day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Look, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, so that we may preserve offspring through our father." 35  So they made their father drink wine that night also; and the younger rose, and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. 36  Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37  The firstborn bore a son, and named him Moab; he is the ancestor of the Moabites to this day. 38  The younger also bore a son and named him Ben-ammi; he is the ancestor of the Ammonites to this day.

Abraham and Abimelech

20 1  From there Abraham journeyed toward the region of the Negeb, and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While residing in Gerar as an alien, 2  Abraham said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." And King Abimelech of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

3  But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "You are about to die because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a married woman." 4  Now Abimelech had not approached her; so he said, "Lord, will you destroy an innocent people? 5  Did he not himself say to me, "She is my sister'? And she herself said, "He is my brother.' I did this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands." 6  Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart; furthermore it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7  Now then, return the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all that are yours."

8  So Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were very much afraid. 9  Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, "What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought such great guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that ought not to be done." 10  And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What were you thinking of, that you did this thing?" 11  Abraham said, "I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. 12  Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13  And when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, "This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.' "

14  Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and restored his wife Sarah to him. 15  Abimelech said, "My land is before you; settle where it pleases you." 16  To Sarah he said, "Look, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; it is your exoneration before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated." 17  Then Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18  For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.

The Birth of Isaac

21 1  The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. 2  Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3  Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him. 4  And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5  Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6  Now Sarah said, "God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me." 7  And she said, "Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

8  The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

9  But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. 10  So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac." 11  The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. 12  But God said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. 13  As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring."

14  So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. 15  When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. 16  Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Do not let me look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17  And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18  Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him." 19  Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. 20  God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. 21  He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The Covenant between Abraham and Abimelech

22  At that time Abimelech, with Phicol the commander of his army, said to Abraham, "God is with you in all that you do; 23  now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my posterity, but as I have dealt loyally with you, you will deal with me and with the land where you have resided as an alien." 24  And Abraham said, "I swear it." 25  When Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech's servants had seized, 26  Abimelech said, "I do not know who has done this; you did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today." 27  So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant. 28  Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs of the flock. 29  And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?" 30  He said, "These seven ewe lambs you shall accept from my hand, in order that you may be a witness for me that I dug this well." 31  Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba; because there both of them swore an oath. 32  When they had made a covenant at Beer-sheba, Abimelech, with Phicol the commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines.

33  Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34  And Abraham resided as an alien many days in the land of the Philistines.

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