And Abraham went along with them to start them on their way. Jehovah said, “The complaint has come that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah have committed great and terrible sins. I will go down and see whether they have done exactly as the complaint comes to me; and if they have not, I will know.”
Then the men turned from there and looked off in the direction of Sodom.
Then Abraham drew near to Jehovah and said, “Wilt thou sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are within the city fifty people who are righteous. Wilt thou sweep away and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from thee to do this: to slay the righteous with the wicked! And that the righteous should be treated as the wicked, far be it from thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” Jehovah said, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty who are righteous, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Abraham answered, “I have dared to speak to Jehovah, even though I am but dust and ashes. Suppose there be five lacking of the fifty righteous. Wilt thou sweep away all the city for lack of five?” Jehovah said, “I will not sweep it away, if I find forty-five there.”
Then Abraham spoke to him again, and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” He replied, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” Then Abraham said, “Oh, let not Jehovah be angry, but let me speak. Suppose thirty are found there?” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” Then Abraham said, “Thou seest that I have dared to speak to Jehovah. Suppose twenty are found there?” He replied, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” Then Abraham said, “Oh, let not Jehovah be angry, but let me speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there?” And he said, “For the sake of the ten I will not destroy it.” Then Jehovah went his way, and Abraham returned home.
Two angels in human form came to Sodom in the evening, as Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose up to meet them, and he bowed with his face to the earth and said, “Sirs, turn aside, I beg of you, into your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet; then you can rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No, we will spend the night in the street.” But he urged them so strongly that they went with him and entered his house. And he made a feast for them and baked bread made without yeast, and they ate.
But before they had lain down, the people of Sodom, both young and old, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called out to Lot, “Where are the men who came in to you to-night? Bring them out to us that we may do to them what we desire.”
Then Lot went out to them at the entrance of his house, but he shut the door after him. And he said, “I beg of you, my friends, do not do what is wrong. Do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shadow of my roof.” But they replied, “Stand back, or we will treat you worse than them.” And they pressed hard against Lot and advanced to break the door. But the men reached out and drew Lot to them into the house and shut the door. Then they smote the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great, with blindness, so that they grew tired of searching for the door.
Then the men said to Lot, “Have you any one else here? Bring your sons-in-law, your sons, and daughters, and whoever you have in the city out of this place, for we are about to destroy it, because great complaint concerning the people has come to Jehovah and he has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, “Up, go out of this place, for Jehovah will destroy the city.” But his sons-in-law thought he was only jesting.
When the dawn appeared, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters that you may not be swept away in the punishment of the city.” When he hesitated, the men took him by the hand and led him and his wife and his two daughters outside the city, for Jehovah was merciful to him.
When they had brought them outside, they said, “Run for your life; do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the heights, that you may not be swept away!” But Lot said to them, “Oh, sirs, not so! See, your servant has found favor with you, and you have shown great mercy to me in saving my life. I cannot escape to the heights, lest some evil overtake me, and I die. See now, this village is near enough to run to, and it is small. Oh, let me escape there, and my life will be saved.” Jehovah said to him, “I have also granted you this favor, in that I will not destroy the village of which you have spoken. Make haste, escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.”
The sun had risen when Lot came to Zoar. Then Jehovah caused brimstone and fire from heaven to rain upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and he destroyed those cities and all the plain, with all the people who lived in it and all that grew on the ground. But Lot’s wife, who was following him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Early in the morning Abraham rose and went to the place where he had stood before Jehovah; and as he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the plain, he saw the smoke of the land going up as the smoke of a smelting-furnace.