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Genesis 18:16–33

ABRAHAM’S PLEA FOR SODOM

16 The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off. 17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham?e 18 Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.f 19 For I have chosenH him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what he promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. 21 I will go downg to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to me. If not, I will find out.”

22 The men turned from there and went toward Sodomh while Abraham remained standing before the Lord.I 23 Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?i 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people who are in it? 25 You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of the whole earth do what is just?”j

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”k

27 Then Abraham answered, “Since I have ventured to speak to my lord—even though I am dust and ashes—28 suppose the fifty righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”

He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

29 Then he spoke to him again, “Suppose forty are found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it on account of forty.”

30 Then he said, “Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Then he said, “Since I have ventured to speak to my lord, suppose twenty are found there?”

He replied, “I will not destroy it on account of twenty.”

32 Then he said, “Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time.l Suppose ten are found there?”

He answered, “I will not destroy it on account of ten.” 33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he departed, and Abraham returned to his place.

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