Yahweh appeared to him at the Oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day.
He looked up, and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them, and bowed to the ground.
'My lord,' he said, 'if I find favour with you, please do not pass your servant by.
Let me have a little water brought, and you can wash your feet and have a rest under the tree.
Let me fetch a little bread and you can refresh yourselves before going further, now that you have come in your servant's direction.' They replied, 'Do as you say.'
Abraham hurried to the tent and said to Sarah, 'Quick, knead three measures of best flour and make loaves.'
Then, running to the herd, Abraham took a fine and tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it.
Then taking curds, milk and the calf which had been prepared, he laid all before them, and they ate while he remained standing near them under the tree.
'Where is your wife Sarah?' they asked him. 'She is in the tent,' he replied.
Then his guest said, 'I shall come back to you next year, and then your wife Sarah will have a son.' Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well on in years, and Sarah had ceased to have her monthly periods.
So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 'Now that I am past the age of childbearing, and my husband is an old man, is pleasure to come my way again?'
But Yahweh asked Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh and say, "Am I really going to have a child now that I am old?"
Nothing is impossible for Yahweh. I shall come back to you at the same time next year and Sarah will have a son.'
Sarah said, 'I did not laugh,' lying because she was afraid. But he replied, 'Oh yes, you did laugh.'
From there the men set out and arrived within sight of Sodom, with Abraham accompanying them to speed them on their way.
Now Yahweh had wondered, 'Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do,
as Abraham will become a great and powerful nation and all nations on earth will bless themselves by him?
For I have singled him out to command his sons and his family after him to keep the way of Yahweh by doing what is upright and just, so that Yahweh can carry out for Abraham what he has promised him.'
Then Yahweh said, 'The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin is so grave,
that I shall go down and see whether or not their actions are at all as the outcry reaching me would suggest. Then I shall know.'
While the men left there and went to Sodom, Yahweh remained in Abraham's presence.
Abraham stepped forward and said, 'Will you really destroy the upright with the guilty?
Suppose there are fifty upright people in the city. Will you really destroy it? Will you not spare the place for the sake of the fifty upright in it?
Do not think of doing such a thing: to put the upright to death with the guilty, so that upright and guilty fare alike! Is the judge of the whole world not to act justly?'
Yahweh replied, 'If I find fifty upright people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place because of them.'
Abraham spoke up and said, 'It is presumptuous of me to speak to the Lord, I who am dust and ashes:
Suppose the fifty upright were five short? Would you destroy the whole city because of five?' 'No,' he replied, 'I shall not destroy it if I find forty-five there.'
Abraham persisted and said, 'Suppose there are forty to be found there?' 'I shall not do it,' he replied, 'for the sake of the forty.'
Abraham said, 'I hope the Lord will not be angry if I go on: Suppose there are only thirty to be found there?' 'I shall not do it,' he replied, 'if I find thirty there.'
He said, 'It is presumptuous of me to speak to the Lord: Suppose there are only twenty there?' 'I shall not destroy it,' he replied, 'for the sake of the twenty.'
He said, 'I trust my Lord will not be angry if I speak once more: perhaps there will only be ten.' 'I shall not destroy it,' he replied, 'for the sake of the ten.'
When he had finished talking to Abraham Yahweh went away, and Abraham returned home.
The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.
Ten Commandments | Books of the Bible | Buy a Bible
Reading 1, Sirach 2:1-11:
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Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your home in the land and live secure. Make Yahweh ... Gospel, Mark 9:30-37:
After leaving that place they made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, ... Read More