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Bereishis/Genesis  18:1 - 22:24

Chapter 18

1 Hashem appeared to him in the plains of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the heat of the day.  2 He lifted his eyes and saw - And behold! three men were standing over him. He perceived, so he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and bowed toward the ground.  3 And he said, "My Lord, if I find favor in Your eyes, please pass not away from Your servant."

4 "Let some water be brought and wash your feet, and recline beneath the tree.  5 I will fetch a morsel of bread that you may sustain yourselves, then go on — inasmuch as you have passed your servant's way." They said, "Do so, just as you have said."

6 So Abraham hastened to the tent to Sarah and said, "Hurry! Three se'ahs of meal, fine flour! Knead and make cakes!"  7 Then Abraham ran to the cattle, took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the youth who hurried to prepare it.  8 He took cream and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed these before them; he stood over them beneath the tree and they ate

9 They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "Behold! — in the tent!"

10 And he said, "I will surely return to you at this time next year, and behold Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent which was behind him.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well on in years; the manner of women had ceased to be with Sarah —

12 And Sarah laughed at herself, saying, "After I have withered shall I again have delicate skin? And my husband is old!"

13 Then Hashem said to Abraham, "Why is it that Sarah laughed, saying - 'Shall I in truth bear a child, though I have aged?'  14 — Is anything beyond Hashem?! At the appointed time I will return to you at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."

15 Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was frightened. But he said, "No, you laughed indeed."

16 So the men got up from there, and gazed down toward Sodom, while Abraham walked with them to escort them.

17 And Hashem said, "Shall I conceal from Abraham what I do,  18 now that Abraham is surely to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by him?  19 For I have loved him, because he commands his children and his household after him that they keep the way of Hashem, doing charity and justice, in order that Hashem might then bring upon Abraham that which He had spoken of him."

20 So Hashem said, "Because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and because their sin has been very grave.  21 I will descend and see - If they act in accordance with its outcry — then destruction! And if not, I will know."

22 The men had turned from there and went to Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before Hashem.

23 Abraham came forward and said, "Will You also stamp out the righteous along with the wicked?  24 What if there should be fifty righteous people in the midst of the city? Would You still stamp it out rather than spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people within it?  25 It would be sacrilege to You to do such a thing, to bring death upon the righteous along with the wicked; so the righteous will be like the wicked. It would be sacrilege to You! Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justice?"

26 And Hashem said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous people in the midst of the city, then I would spare the entire place on their account."

27 Abraham responded and said, "Behold, now, I desired to speak to my Lord although I am but dust and ash  28 What if the fifty righteous people should lack five? Would You destroy the entire city because of the five?" And He said, "I will not destroy if I find there forty-five."

29 He further continued to speak to Him and he said, "What if forty would be found there?" And He said, "I will not act on account of the forty."

30 And he said, "Let not my Lord be annoyed and I will speak - What if thirty would be found there?" And He said, "I will not act if I find there thirty."

31 So he said, "Behold, now, I desired to speak to my Lord - What if twenty would be found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy on account of the twenty."

32 So he said, "Let not my Lord be annoyed and I will speak but this once - What if ten would be found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy on account of the ten."

33 Hashem departed when He had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Chapter 19

1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening and Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom; now Lot saw and stood up to meet them and he bowed, face to the ground.  2 And he said, "Behold now, my lords; turn about, please, to your servant's house; spend the night and wash your feet, then wake up early and go your way!" And they said, "No, rather we will spend the night in the square."

3 And he urged them very much, so they turned toward him and came to his house; he made a feast for them and baked matzos, and they ate.

4 They had not yet lain down when the townspeople, Sodomites, converged upon the house, from young to old, all the people from every quarter.  5 And they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them."

6 Lot went out to them to the entrance, and shut the door behind him.  7 And he said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act wickedly.  8 See, now, I have two daughters who have never known a man. I shall bring them out to you and do to them as you please; but to these men do nothing inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof."

9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This fellow came to sojourn and would act as a judge? Now we will treat you worse than them!" They pressed exceedingly upon the man, upon Lot, and they approached to break the door.

10 The men stretched out their hand and brought Lot into the house with them, and closed the door.  11 And the men who were at the entrance of the house they struck with blindness, from small to great; and they tried vainly to find the entrance.  12 Then the men said to Lot, "Whom else do you have here — a son-in-law, your sons, or your daughters? All that you have in the city remove from the place,  13 for we are about to destroy this place; for their outcry has become great before Hashem, so Hashem has sent us to destroy it."

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, [and] the betrothed of his daughters, and he said, "Get up and leave this place, for Hashem is about to destroy the city!" But he seemed like a jester in the eyes of his sons-in-law.

15 And just as dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on saying - "Get up — take your wife and your two daughters who are present, lest you be swept away because of the sin of the city!"

16 Still he lingered — so the men grasped him by his hand, his wife's hand, and the hand of his two daughters in Hashem's mercy on him; and they took him out and left him outside the city.  17 And it was as they took them out that one said - "Flee for your life! Do not look behind you nor stop anywhere in all the plain; flee to the mountain lest you be swept away."

18 Lot said to them - "Please, no! My Lord —  19 See, now, Your servant has found grace in Your eyes and Your kindness was great which You did with me to save my life; but I cannot escape to the mountain lest the evil attach itself to me and I die.  20 Behold, please, this city is near enough to escape there and it is small; I shall flee there. Is it not small? — and I will live."

21 And He replied to him - "Behold, I have granted you consideration even regarding this, that I not overturn the city about which you have spoken.  22 Hurry, flee there, for I cannot do a thing until you arrive there." He therefore called the name of the city Zoar.

23 The sun rose upon the earth and Lot arrived at Zoar.  24 Now Hashem had caused sulfur and fire to rain upon Sodom and Gomorrah, from Hashem, out of heaven.  25 He overturned these cities and the entire plain, with all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation of the soil.  26 His wife peered behind him and she became a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham arose early in the morning to the place where he had stood before Hashem.  28 And he gazed down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and the entire surface of the land of the plain; and saw — and behold! the smoke of the earth rose like the smoke of a kiln.  29 And so it was when God destroyed the cities of the plain that God remembered Abraham; so He sent Lot from amidst the upheaval when He overturned the cities in which Lot had lived.

30 Now Lot went up from Zoar and settled on the mountain, his two daughters with him, for he was afraid to remain in Zoar; he dwelt in a cave, he with his two daughters.  31 The older one said to the younger, "Our father is old and there is no man in the land to marry us in the usual manner.  32 Come, let us ply our father with wine and lay with him that we may give life to offspring through our father."

33 So they plied their father with wine on that night; and the older one came and lay with her father, and he was not aware of her lying down and of her getting up.

34 And it was on the next day that the older one said to the younger, "Behold, I lay with my father last night; let us ply him with wine tonight as well, and you come lay with him that we may give life to offspring through our father."

35 So they plied their father with wine that night also; and the younger one got up and lay with him, and he was not aware of her lying down and of her getting up.

36 Thus, Lot's two daughters conceived from their father.

37 The older bore a son and she called his name Moab; he is the ancestor of Moab until this day.  38 And the younger one also bore a son and she called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the ancestor of the children of Ammon until this day.

Chapter 20

1 Abraham journeyed from there to the region of the south and settled between Kadesh and Shur, and he sojourned in Gerar.  2 Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister"; so Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent, and took Sarah.  3 And God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, "Behold you are to die because of the woman you have taken; moreover she is a married woman."

4 Now Abimelech had not approached her; so he said, "O my Lord, will You slay a nation even though it is righteous?  5 Did not he himself tell me - 'She is my sister'? And she, too, herself said - 'He is my brother!' In the innocence of my heart and integrity of my hands have I done this."

6 And God said to him in the dream, "I, too, knew that it was in the innocence of your heart that you did this, and I, too, prevented you from sinning against Me; that is why I did not permit you to touch her.  7 But now, return the man's wife for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live, but if you do not return her, be aware that you shall surely die - you and all that is yours."

8 Abimelech arose early next morning; he summoned all his servants and told them all of these things in their ears, and the people were very frightened.  9 Then Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, "What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you that you brought upon me and my kingdom such great sin? Deeds that ought not to be done have you done to me!"

10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What did you see that you did such a thing?"

11 And Abraham said, "Because I said, 'There is but no fear of God in this place and they will slay me because of my wife.'  12 Moreover, she is indeed my sister, my father's daughter, though not my mother's daughter; and she became my wife.  13 And so it was, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, 'Let this be your kindness which you shall do for me — to whatever place we come, say of me - He is my brother.' "

14 So Abimelech took flocks and cattle and servants and maidservants and gave them to Abraham; and he returned his wife Sarah to him.

15 And Abimelech said, "Behold, my land is before you - settle wherever you see fit."  16 And to Sarah he said, "Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. Behold! Let it be for you an eye-covering for all who are with you; and to all you will be vindicated."

17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his maids, and they were relieved,  18 for Hashem had completely restrained every orifice of the household of Abimelech, because of Sarah, the wife of Abraham.

Chapter 21

1 Hashem had remembered Sarah as He had said; and Hashem did for Sarah as He had spoken.  2 Sarah conceived and bore a son unto Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken with him.  3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him — whom Sarah had borne him — Isaac.

4 Abraham circumcised his son Isaac at the age of eight days as God had commanded him.

5 And Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.  6 Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; whoever hears will laugh for me."  7 And she said, "Who is the One Who said to Abraham, 'Sarah would nurse children'? For I have borne a son in his old age!"

8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned.

9 Sarah saw the son of Hagar, the Egyptian, whom she had born to Abraham, mocking.

10 So she said to Abraham, "Drive out this slavewoman with her son, for the son of that slavewoman shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac!"

11 The matter greatly distressed Abraham regarding his son.  12 So God said to Abraham, "Be not distressed over the youth or your slavewoman - Whatever Sarah tells you, heed her voice, since through Isaac will offspring be considered yours.  13 But the son of the slavewoman as well will I make into a nation for he is your offspring."

14 So Abraham awoke early in the morning, took bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar. He placed them on her shoulder along with the boy, and sent her off. She departed, and strayed in the desert of Beer-sheba.

15 When the water of the skin was consumed, she cast off the boy beneath one of the trees.

16 She went and sat herself down at a distance, some bowshots away, for she said, "Let me not see the death of the child." And she sat at a distance, lifted her voice, and wept.

17 God heard the cry of the youth, and an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heeded the cry of the youth in his present state.  18 Arise, lift up the youth and grasp your hand upon him, for I will make a great nation of him."

19 Then God opened her eyes and she perceived a well of water; she went and filled the skin with water and gave the youth to drink.

20 God was with the youth and he grew up; he dwelt in the desert and became an accomplished archer.  21 He lived in the desert of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

22 At that time, Abimelech and Phicol his general said to Abraham, "God is with you in all that you do.  23 Now swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me nor with my son nor with my grandson; according to the kindness that I have done with you, do with me, and with the land in which you have sojourned."  24 And Abraham said, "I will swear."  25 Then Abraham disputed with Abimelech regarding the well of water that Abimelech's servants had seized.  26 But Abimelech said, "I do not know who did this thing; furthermore, you have never told me, and moreover I myself have heard nothing of it except for today."

27 So Abraham took flocks and cattle and gave them to Abimelech; and the two of them entered into a covenant.  28 Abraham set seven ewes of the flock by themselves.  29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What are these seven ewes which you have set by themselves?"

30 And he replied, "Because you are to take these seven ewes from me, that it may serve me as testimony that I dug this well."  31 Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba because there the two of them took an oath.  32 Thus, they entered into a covenant at Beer-sheba; Abimelech then arose, with Phicol, his general, and they returned to the land of the Philistines.

33 He planted an 'eshel' in Beer-sheba, and there he proclaimed the Name of Hashem, God of the Universe.

34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many years.

Chapter 22

1 And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham," and he replied, "Here I am."

2 And He said, "Please take your son, your only one, whom you love — Isaac — and go to the land of Moriah; bring him up there as an offering upon one of the mountains which I shall tell you."

3 So Abraham woke up early in the morning and he saddled his donkey; he took his two young men with him and Isaac, his son; he split the wood for the offering, and stood up and went to the place of which God had spoken to him.

4 On the third day, Abraham raised his eyes and perceived the place from afar.  5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here by yourselves with the donkey, while I and the lad will go yonder; we will worship and we will return to you."

6 And Abraham took the wood for the offering, and placed it on Isaac, his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife, and the two of them went together.  7 Then Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "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 the offering?"

8 And Abraham said, "God will seek out for Himself the lamb for the offering, my son." And the two of them went together.

9 They arrived at the place of which God had spoken to him; Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood; he bound Isaac, his son, and he placed him on the altar atop the wood.

10 Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slaughter his son.

11 And an angel of Hashem called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham! Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

12 And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad nor do anything to him for now I know that you are a God-fearing man, since you have not withheld your son, your only one, from Me."

13 And Abraham raised his eyes and saw — behold, a ram! — afterwards, caught in the thicket by its horns; so Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as an offering instead of his son.  14 And Abraham called the name of that site "Hashem Yireh," as it is said this day, on the mountain Hashem will be seen.

15 The angel of Hashem called to Abraham a second time from heaven.  16 And he said, "By Myself I swear — the word of Hashem — that because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only one,  17 that I shall surely bless you and greatly increase your offering like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your offspring shall inherit the gate of its enemy.  18 And all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your offspring, because you have listened to My voice."

19 Abraham returned to his young men, and they stood up and went together to Beer-sheba, and Abraham stayed at Beer-sheba.

20 It came to pass after these things, that Abraham was told, saying - Behold, Milcah too has borne children to Nahor, your brother:  21 Uz, his firstborn; Buz, his brother; Kemuel, the father of Aram;  22 and Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel;  23 And Bethuel begot Rebecca. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother.  24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore children - Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.


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