16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked towards Sodom; and Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?* 19No, for I have chosen* him, that he may charge 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 about for Abraham what he has promised him. 20Then the Lord said, How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! 21I must go down and 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 towards Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord.* 23Then Abraham came near and said, Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous 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? 26And the Lord said, If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake. 27Abraham answered, Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose 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. 29Again he spoke to him, Suppose forty are found there. He answered, For the sake of forty I will not do it. 30Then he said, Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there. He answered, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. 31He said, Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there. He answered, For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it. 32Then he said, Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there. He answered, For the sake of ten I will not destroy it. 33And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
19The 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. 2He said, Please, my lords, turn aside to your servants 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. 3But 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. 4But 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; 5and they called to Lot, Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them. 6Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, 7and said, I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8Look, 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. 9But 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. 10But the men inside reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11And 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 citybring them out of the place. 13For 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. 14So 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. 16But 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. 17When 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. 18And Lot said to them, Oh, no, my lords; 19your servant has found favour 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. 20Look, that city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape thereis it not a little one?and my life will be saved! 21He said to him, Very well, I grant you this favour too, and will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22Hurry, escape there, for I can do nothing until you arrive there. Therefore the city was called Zoar.* 23The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar.
24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26But Lots 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; 28and he looked down towards Sodom and Gomorrah and towards 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.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011