(from One New Man Bible translated by William Morford)
18.1. And the LORD* appeared to him in the plains of Mamre and he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and there were three men standing by him. And when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and he bowed toward the ground 3. and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, do not pass by, I pray You, from Your servant: 4. let a little water, I pray you, be brought and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree.
5. And I shall get a morsel of bread and comfort your hearts for you. After that you will pass on, for that is why you have come to your servant.” And they said, “So do as you have said.” 6. And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it and make cakes.”
7. And Abraham ran to the herd and fetched a good, tender calf and gave it to a young man and he hastened to dress it. 8. And he took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed and set it before them, and he stood by them under the tree and they ate.
18:9. And they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There – in the tent.” 10. And He said, “I shall certainly return to you at this time next year and, see, Sarah your wife will have a son.” (Rom. 9:9) And Sarah listened in the tent door, which was behind him. 11. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well up in age: the manner of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself saying, “After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” 13. And the LORD* said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh saying, ‘Will I, who am old, of a surety bear a child?’ 14. Isanything too hard for the LORD*? (Matt. 19:26, Luke 1:34) At the time appointed I shall return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Rom. 9:9) 15. Then Sarah denied it saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
18:16. And the men rose up from there and looked toward Sodom and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 17. And the LORD* said, “Will I hide from Abraham that thing which I am about to do, 18. seeing that Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19. For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they will keep the Way of the LORD*, to do acts of loving kindness and judgment, so the LORD* may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him.” 20. And the LORD* said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and because their sin is very grievous, 21. I shall go down now and see whether they have done everything I told them, which has come to Me. And if not, I shall know.” 22. And the men turned their faces from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD*. 23. And Abraham drew near and said, “Will You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24. If there are fifty righteous within the city will You also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are there?
25. Far be it from You to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked and that the righteous should be like the wicked: far be that from You. Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 26. And the LORD* said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I shall spare the entire place for their sake.” 27. And Abraham answered and said, “Behold now, I, who am but dust and ashes, have taken upon me to speak to the LORD*. 28. If by chance there will lack five of the fifty righteous, will You destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And He said, “If I find forty-five there, I shall not destroy it.” 29. And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “If by chance there will be forty found there?” And He said, “I shall not do it for forty’s sake.” 30. And he said to Him, “Oh do not let the LORD* be angry, and I shall speak: If by chance thirty will be found there?” And He said, “I shall not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31. And he said, “Behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak to the LORD*: If by chance twenty will be found there?” And He said, I shall not destroy it for twenty’s sake.” 32. And he said, “Oh please, let not the LORD* be angry, and I shall speak yet but this once: If by chance ten will be found there?” And He said, “I shall not destroy it for ten’s sake.”
18:33. And the LORD* went His way, as soon as He had left speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
19.1. And two angels came to Sodom in the evening and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. And when Lot saw them he rose up to meet them and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. 2. And he said, “Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house and tarry all night and wash your feet and you will rise up early and go on your way.” And they said, “No. But we will stay in the street all night.” 3. And he pressed upon them greatly and they went in with him and entered his house and he made a feast for them and baked unleavened bread and they ate.
19:4. But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both old and young, all the people from every quarter. 5. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came in to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so we can know them.” 6. And Lot went out to them at the door and shut the door behind him 7. and said, “I pray you, brothers, do not behave so wickedly.
8. Behold now, I have two daughters who have not known a man: let me, I pray you, bring them out to you and you do to them as is good in your eyes. Only to these men do nothing, for therefore they came under the shadow of my roof.” 9. And they said, “Stand back!” And they said again, “This one came in to sojourn and he thinks he is a judge. Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” And they pressed sore upon the man, Lot, and came near to break the door. 10. But the men put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house to them and shut the door. 11. And they struck the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door. 12. And the men said to Lot, “Do you have here any besides yourself? Sons-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whoever you have in the city, bring them out of this place, 13. for we will destroy this place, because their cry has become great before the face of the LORD*, and the LORD* has sent us to destroy it.”
19:14. And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place, for the LORD* will destroy this city.” But he seemed like one who teased to his sons-in-law. 15. And when the morning came, then the angels hastened Lot saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters that are here, so you will not be consumed in the iniquity of the city.” 16. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand and upon the hand of his wife and upon the hand of his two daughters. The LORD* had pity on him and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17. And it was, when they had brought them out, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you! Do not stay anywhere in the plain! Escape to the mountain, so you will not be consumed.” 18. And Lot said to them, “Oh, not so, my lord. 19. Behold now your servant has found favor in your sight and you have magnified your loving kindness, which you have shown to me in saving my life. And I cannot escape to the mountain, lest something bad overtake me and I die. 20. Behold now, this city is near to flee to and it is a little one. Oh, let me escape there, (is it not a little one?) and my soul will live.” 21. And he said to him, “See, I have accepted you concerning this thing also, that I shall not overthrow this city of which you have spoken. 22. Quick! Escape there, for I cannot do anything until you have come there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
19:23. The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24. Then the LORD* rained brimstone and fire from the LORD* out of heaven upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah. (Rev. 14:10; 20:10; 21:8) 25. And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain and all the inhabitants of the cities and that which grew upon the ground.
26. But his wife looked back from behind him and she became a pillar of salt.
19:27. And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD*, 28. And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the plain and there it was! The smoke of the country went up like the smoke of a furnace.
19:29. And it was, when God destroyed the cities of the plain that God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelled.
19:30. And Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the mountain and his two daughters were with him, for he feared to stay in Zoar and he lived in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31. And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on the earth to come in to us according to the statute of all the earth. 32. Come, let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him so we can preserve our father’s seed.” 33. And they made their father drink wine that night and the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not perceive when she lay down, or when she arose. 34. And it was the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, last night I lay with my father. Let us make him drink wine this night also, and you go in and lie with him, so we can preserve our father’s seed.”
35. And they made their father drink wine that night also and the younger arose and lay with him, and he was not aware when she lay down or when she rose.
19:36. Both the daughters of Lot were thus with child by their father. 37. And the firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moab to this day. 38. And the younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.
Abraham Again Calls Sarah His Sister
20.1. And Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, the south, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. 2. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech (Avimelekh) king of Gerar sent for and took Sarah. 3. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are but a dead man for the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” 4. But Abimelech had not come near her and he said, “Lord, will you slay also a righteous nation? 5. Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister?’ And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.” 6. And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I AM knows that you did this in the integrity of your heart, for I AM also withheld you from sinning against Me, therefore I did not let you touch her. 7. Now therefore restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live, but if you do not restore her, know that you will surely die, you and all that are yours.”
20:8. Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told all these things in their ears, and the men were very much afraid. 9. Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And by what have I offended you, that you have brought a great sin on me and on my kingdom? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.” 10. And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see that you have done this thing?”
20:11. And Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely reverence for God is not in this place and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.’ 12. And yet indeed she is my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13. And it was when God caused me to wander from my father’s house that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness which you will show to me: at every place where we will come, say of me, He is my brother.’”
20:14. And Abimelech took sheep, oxen, men servants, and women servants and gave them to Abraham and restored Sarah his wife to him. 15. And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you. Stay wherever it pleases you.” 16. And to Sarah he said, “Behold I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver: here, it is eye-covering for you, for all that are with you and you are vindicated before all.”
20:17. So Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his maid servants and they bore children. 18. For the LORD* had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
Sarah and Isaac
21.1. And the LORD* visited Sarah as He had said and the LORD* did for Sarah what He had spoken. (Gen. 18:10) 2. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. (Heb. 11:11) 3. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5. And Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
21:6. And Sarah said, God has made me laugh, so that all who hear will laugh with me. 7. And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah should be given children to nurse? For I have borne him a son in his old age.” 8. And the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast the day that Isaac was weaned. 9. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scornful. 10. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for the son of this bondwoman will not be heir with my son, with Isaac.” (Gal. 4:30, Heb. 11:17)
21:11. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. 12. And God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed in your sight because of the lad and because of your bondwoman. In all that Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice because your seed will be called in Isaac. (Rom. 9:7, Heb. 11:18) 13. And of the son of the bondwoman I shall also make a nation, because he is your seed.”
14. And Abraham rose up early in the morning and took bread and a skin-bottle of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder and the child, and sent her away. And she left and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. 15. And the water was spent in the bottle and she put the child under one of the shrubs. 16. And she went and sat down opposite, a good way off, about a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not see the death of the child.” And she was sitting opposite him and lifted up her voice and wept. 17. And God heard the voice of the lad, and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be in awe! God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him in your hand, for I shall make a great nation of him.” 19. And God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water, and she went and filled the bottle with water and gave the lad a drink.
21:20. And God was with the lad and he grew and lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21. And he lived in the wilderness of Paran and his mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.
21:22. And it happened at that time that Abimelech and Fikhol the chief captain of his army spoke to Abraham saying, “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 son, or with my son’s son, but according to the kindness that I have done for you, you will do to me, and to the land in which you have sojourned.” 24. And Abraham said, “I shall swear.” 25. And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. 26. And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing: neither did you tell me, but I heard of it just today.” 27. And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them to Abimelech, and both of them made a covenant. 28. And Abraham set seven ewe-lambs of the flock by themselves. 29. And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe-lambs mean that you have set by themselves?” 30. And he said, “For you will take these seven ewe-lambs from my hand, so they may be a witness to me, that I have dug this well.” 31. Therefore he called that place Beer-Sheba because both of them swore there.
21:32. Thus they made a covenant at Beer-Sheba, then Abimelech and Fikhol the chief captain of his army rose, and they returned to the land of the Philistines
33. And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-Sheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD*, Eternal God. 34. And Abraham stayed in the Philistines’ land many days.
The Ultimate Test
22.1. And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham.” And he said, “Here I am.” 2. And He said, “Now take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love! Get yourself into the land of Moriah! Offer him there as an offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you!”
3. And Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son, and split the wood for the offering and rose up and went to the place of which God had told him. 4. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5. And Abraham said to his young men, “You stay here with the donkey and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” 6. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son, and he took the fire in his hand and a knife, and they went, both of them together. 7. And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father.” and he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8. And Abraham said, “My son, God will see to it, providing a lamb for a burnt offering for Himself.” so they went, both of them together. 9. And they came to the place which God had told him about, and Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10. And Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
22:11. Then the angel of the LORD* called to him out of heaven and said, “Abraham. Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12. And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad! Do not do anything to him! For now I know that you revere God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me.”
22:13. And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behind him there was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns, and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. 14. And Abraham called the name of that place “The LORD* Will See to it” as it is said to this day, “The LORD* Will Show Himself on the mountain.”
22:15. And the angel of the LORD* called to Abraham out of heaven the second time 16. and said, “By myself I have sworn,” says the LORD*, “For because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17. that I shall greatly bless you, and I shall multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven and as the sand on the seashore, (Heb. 6:14; 11:12) and your seed will possess the gate of his enemies, 18. and in your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.”
22:19. So Abraham returned to his young men and they rose up and went together to Beer-Sheba and Abraham stayed at Beer-Sheba.
22:20. And it was after these things that it was told Abraham saying, “Behold, Milkah has also borne children to your brother Nahor, 21. Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22. Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23. And Bethuel begot Rebeccah (Rivkah).” These eight Milkah did bear to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24. And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore also Tebah, Gaham, Thahash, and Maachah.
Next week’s Torah readings: Chayei Sarah
Jews also read parts of the parashah as Torah readings for Rosh Hashanah. Genesis 21 is the Torah reading for the first day of Rosh Hashanah, and Genesis 22 is the Torah reading for the second day of Rosh Hashanah. In Reform Judaism, Genesis 22 is the Torah reading for the one day of Rosh Hashanah.
Thank you for writing. Yes, those passages are listed on the weekly email when appropriate.
Robert, I agree that Abraham was probably loikong forward to the next life, but only in addition to the peace and rest he would have in this life. I think his use of the word “rest” could be compared to how we talk of eternal life: we hear the benefits of eternal life—being close to God, having a fullness of the Spirit, joy, and more—and we say, “Sounds great! Sign me up.” But the question I have for those who gain eternal life is: when does “eternity” start?I think the answer, as Abraham shows, is that eternity begins as soon as we decide to fully trust and fully surrender to God.