Abraham and the men who had visited him by the Terebinth of Mamre set out from there and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to set them on their way. The LORD said, â€œShall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? No, 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.â€ Then the LORD said, â€œHow great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! I 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.â€
Â So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham came near and said, â€œWill you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose 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? Far 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?â€ And the LORD said, â€œIf I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.â€ Abraham answered, â€œLet me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?â€ And he said, â€œI will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.â€ Again he spoke to him, â€œSuppose forty are found there.â€ He answered, â€œFor the sake of forty I will not do it.â€ Then he said, â€œOh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.â€ He answered, â€œI will not do it, if I find thirty there.â€ He said, â€œLet me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.â€ He answered, â€œFor the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.â€ Then he said, â€œOh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.â€ He answered, â€œFor the sake of ten I will not destroy it.â€ And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, 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.