Genesis 18:1 – 22:24

Genesis chapter 18, verse 1 to chapter 22, verse 24


Abraham is sitting at the entrance to his tent when he sees three strangers approaching. He welcomes them, bringing them food, water and offering to bathe their feet. One of the visitors predicts that Sarah and Abraham will have a son within a year. Sarah laughs at the idea of her having a child when she is 90 years old.

God appears to Abraham and tells him that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed as they are full of evil. Abraham challenges God, asking if the innocent should be destroyed along with the guilty. He begins to bargain with God – who ultimately says that if there are even only 10 innocent people in these cities, the cities will be spared.

Two angels arrive in Sodom and are welcomed by Lot. The townspeople hear about them and gather together demanding that the visitors be turned over to them. Lot offers his two daughters instead. The mob rejects this. All of a sudden a bright light strikes them down, preventing them from breaking into Lot’s home.

The angels warn Lot that God is going to destroy the city, and tell him and his family to flee, but cautions them not to look behind them as the town is annihilated. As the family escapes, Lot’s wife does look back and is transformed into a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters hide in a cave.

Abraham and Sarah are travelling in Gerar, where Abraham again declares that Sarah is his sister. The king, Abimelech, takes Sarah for himself, thinking that she is not married. In a dream God reveals Sarah’s true identity and warns the king that if she is not released, his entire household will perish. Abimelech returns Sarah to Abraham, who explains why he lied.

Sarah finally have a son, who is named Isaac, which means “will laugh” as Sarah explains that all who hear of Isaac’s birth will laugh with her, as she and Abraham are so old. (She is 90, he is 100).

Later, when she sees Isaac and Ishmael playing, she becomes angry and asks Abraham to expel Hagar and Ishmael. Abraham is unwilling to do this, but God tells him that they will be saved and that Ishmael will be the father of a great nation.   Hagar and her son are cast out and are saved by an angel. They then go to Egypt.

Abraham is tested by God, who commands him to take his son Isaac and offer him up as a sacrifice. At the last minute, just before Abraham is about to slay Isaac, an angel appears and stops him. A ram appears which Abraham sacrifices instead. God promises to make Abraham a great nation.

Torah Portion in English

1) The Lord appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre; he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot. 2) Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them and, bowing to the ground, 3) he said, “My lords, if it please you, do not go on past your servant. 4) Let a little water be brought; bathe your feet and recline under the tree. 5) And let me fetch a morsel of bread that you may refresh yourselves; then go on—seeing that you have come your servant’s way.” They replied, “Do as you have said.” 6) Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quick, three seahs of choice flour! Knead and make cakes!”

Getting to Know my Parasha

What Does my Parasha Say?

  1. What did Abraham do when he saw the strangers?
  2. What did one of them predict? What did Sarah do when she heard it?
  3. What was God going to do to Sodom and Gomorrah?
  4. How did Abraham respond to God’s plan?
  5. What happened when the angels came to Lot’s house in Sodom?
  6. What happened to Lot’s wife? Why?
  7. What did Sarah want Abraham to do to Hagar and Ishmael?
  8. What ultimately happened to them? What was the promise God made to Hagar?
  9. Why was Abraham going to kill Isaac? Why didn’t he?