Genesis 19-21 Revised Standard Version

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The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

19 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening; and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed himself with his face to the earth, 2  and said, "My lords, turn aside, I pray you, to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the street." 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, 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  Behold, I have two daughters who have not known 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 said, "Stand back!" And they said, "This fellow came to sojourn, 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 drew near to break the door. 10  But the men put forth their hands and brought Lot into the house to 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 wearied themselves groping for the door.

12  Then the men said to Lot, "Have you any one else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or any one 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, "Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you 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 forth and set him outside the city. 17  And when they had brought them forth, they said, "Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley; flee to the hills, lest you be consumed." 18  And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords; 19  behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me, and I die. 20  Behold, yonder 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, "Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22  Make haste, escape there; for I can do nothing till you arrive there." Therefore the name of the city was called Zo'ar. 23  The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zo'ar.

24  Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomor'rah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25  and he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, 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  And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28  and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomor'rah and toward all the land of the valley, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29  So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.

30  Now Lot went up out of Zo'ar, and dwelt in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to dwell in Zo'ar; so he dwelt in a cave with his two daughters. 31  And the first-born 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 earth. 32  Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring through our father." 33  So they made their father drink wine that night; and the first-born went in, and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34  And on the next day, the first-born said to the younger, "Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring through our father." 35  So they made their father drink wine that night also; and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36  Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37  The first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38  The younger also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

Abraham and Abimelech

20 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2  And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." And Abim'elech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

3  But God came to Abim'elech in a dream by night, and said to him, "Behold, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man's wife." 4  Now Abim'elech had not approached her; so he said, "Lord, wilt thou slay an innocent people? 5  Did he not himself say to me, 'She is my sister'? And she herself said, 'He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this." 6  Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me; therefore I did not let you touch her. 7  Now then restore 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 Abim'elech 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 Abim'elech called Abraham, and said to him, "What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done." 10  And Abim'elech 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 Abim'elech took sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and restored Sarah his wife to him. 15  And Abim'elech said, "Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you." 16  To Sarah he said, "Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; it is your vindication in the eyes of all who are with you; and before every one you are righted." 17  Then Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abim'elech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18  For the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abim'elech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.

The Birth of Isaac

21 The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. 2  And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3  Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. 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  And Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; every one who hears will laugh over me." 7  And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would suckle children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

8  And 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 be heir with my son Isaac." 11  And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12  But God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased because of the lad and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your descendants be named. 13  And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman 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 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 over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Let me not look upon the death of the child." And as she sat over against him, the child lifted up his voice and wept. 17  And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18  Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation." 19  Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. 20  And God was with the lad, 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 took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The Covenant between Abraham and Abimelech

22  At that time Abim'elech and 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 sojourned." 24  And Abraham said, "I will swear." 25  When Abraham complained to Abim'elech about a well of water which Abim'elech's servants had seized, 26  Abim'elech said, "I do not know who has done this thing; 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 Abim'elech, and the two men made a covenant. 28  Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock apart. 29  And Abim'elech said to Abraham, "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set apart?" 30  He said, "These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, 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  So they made a covenant at Beer-sheba. Then Abim'elech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up 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 sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines.

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