Bereshit (Genesis) Chapter 18

15And Sarah denied, saying, "I did not laugh," because she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you laughed."   טווַתְּכַחֵ֨שׁ שָׂרָ֧ה | לֵאמֹ֛ר לֹ֥א צָחַ֖קְתִּי כִּ֣י | יָרֵ֑אָה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר | לֹ֖א כִּ֥י צָחָֽקְתְּ:
because she was afraid… but you laughed: The first כִּי serves as an expression of “because,” for it gives the reason for the matter: “And Sarah denied…because she was afraid,” and the second כִּי serves as an expression of “but.” And He said, “It is not as you say, but you did laugh.” For our Sages said: כִּי has four different meanings: if, perhaps, but, and because. — [from R.H. 3a]   כִּי יָרֵאָה וגו' כִּי צָחָֽקְתְּ: הָרִאשׁוֹן מְשַׁמֵּשׁ לְשׁוֹן דְּהָא, שֶׁנּוֹתֵן טַעַם לַדָּבָר וַתְּכַחֵשׁ שָׂרָה – לְפִי שֶׁיָּרְאָה; וְהַשֵּׁנִי מְשַׁמֵּשׁ בִּלְשׁוֹן אֶלָּא, וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא כִדְבָרֵךְ הוּא אֶלָּא צָחַקְתְּ, שֶׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ כִּי מְשַׁמֵּשׁ בְּאַרְבַּע לְשׁוֹנוֹת, אִי, דִּלְמָא, אֶלָּא, דְּהָא:
16And the men arose from there, and they looked upon Sodom, and Abraham went with them to escort them,   טזוַיָּקֻ֤מוּ מִשָּׁם֙ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים וַיַּשְׁקִ֖פוּ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י סְדֹ֑ם וְאַ֨בְרָהָ֔ם הֹלֵ֥ךְ עִמָּ֖ם לְשַׁלְּחָֽם:
and they looked: Heb. וַיַשְׁקִיפוּ. Whenever the word הַשְׁקָפָה occurs in Scripture, it denotes evil, except (Deut. 26:15) “Look (הַשְׁקִיפָה) from Your holy dwelling,” for the power of gifts to the poor is so great that it converts the Divine attribute of wrath to mercy. — [from Tan. Ki Thissa 14]   וישקיפו: כָּל הַשְׁקָפָה שֶׁבַּמִּקְרָא לְרָעָה חוּץ מֵהַשְׁקִיפָה מִמְּעוֹן קָדְשְׁךָ (דברים כ"ו), שֶׁגָּדוֹל כֹּחַ מַתְּנוֹת עֲנִיִּים שֶׁהוֹפֵך מִדַּת הָרֹגֶז לְרַחֲמִים:
to escort them: Heb. לְשַׁלְּחָם, to escort them. He thought that they were wayfarers. — [from Zohar, vol. 1, 104a]   לְשַׁלְּחָֽם: לְלַוּוֹתָם; כַּסָּבוּר אוֹרְחִים הֵם:
17And the Lord said, "Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am doing?   יזוַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אָמָ֑ר הַֽמֲכַסֶּ֤ה אֲנִי֙ מֵֽאַבְרָהָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֖ר אֲנִ֥י עֹשֶֽׂה:
Shall I conceal: Heb. הַמְכַסֶה ? This is a question.[i. e., The “hey” is not the definite article but the interrogative “hey.”]   הַֽמֲכַסֶּה אֲנִי: בִּתְמִיהָ:
what I am doing: in Sodom? It would be improper for Me to do this thing without his knowledge. I gave him this land, and these five cities are his, as it is said (10:19): “And the border of the Canaanite was from Sidon…, as you come to Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.” I called him Abraham, the father of a multitude of nations. Now, can I destroy the sons without informing the father, who loves Me?- [from Gen. Rabbah 49:2, Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer ch. 25]   אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עושה: בִּסְדוֹם. לֹא יָפֶה לִי לַעֲשׂוֹת דָּבָר זֶה שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ. אֲנִי נָתַתִּי לוֹ אֶת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת, וַחֲמִשָּׁה כְּרַכִּין הַלָּלוּ שֶׁלּוֹ הֵן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: גְּבוּל הַכְּנַעֲנִי מִצִּידֹן בֹּאֲכָה סְדֹמָה וַעֲמֹרָה וְגוֹ' (בראשית י'). קָרָאתִי אוֹתוֹ אַבְרָהָם – אַב הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם, וְאַשְׁמִיד אֶת הַבָּנִים וְלֹא אוֹדִיעַ לָאָב, שֶׁהוּא אוֹהֲבִי?
18And Abraham will become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the world will be blessed in him.   יחוְאַ֨בְרָהָ֔ם הָי֧וֹ יִֽהְיֶ֛ה לְג֥וֹי גָּד֖וֹל וְעָצ֑וּם וְנִ֨בְרְכוּ־ב֔וֹ כֹּ֖ל גּוֹיֵ֥י הָאָֽרֶץ:
And Abraham will become: [According to] a Midrash Aggadah (Yoma 38b) (Prov. 10:7): “The mention of a righteous man is for a blessing.” Since He mentioned him, He blessed him. Its simple meaning is, however: Shall I conceal this from him? He is so dear to Me as to become a great nation, and through him will be blessed all the nations of the earth.   וְאַבְרָהָם הָיוֹ יִֽהְיֶה: מִקְרָא אַחֵר: זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה, הוֹאִיל וְהִזְכִּירוֹ – בֵּרְכוֹ. וּפְשׁוּטוֹ: וְכִי מִמֶּנּוּ אֲנִי מַעֲלִים, וַהֲרֵי הוּא חָבִיב לְפָנַי לִהְיוֹת לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל וּלְהִתְבָּרֵך בּוֹ כָּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ.
19For I have known him because he commands his sons and his household after him, that they should keep the way of the Lord to perform righteousness and justice, in order that the Lord bring upon Abraham that which He spoke concerning him."   יטכִּ֣י יְדַעְתִּ֗יו לְמַ֩עַן֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְצַוֶּ֜ה אֶת־בָּנָ֤יו וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ֙ אַֽחֲרָ֔יו וְשָֽׁמְרוּ֙ דֶּ֣רֶךְ יְהֹוָ֔ה לַֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט לְמַ֗עַן הָבִ֤יא יְהֹוָה֙ עַל־אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֖ר עָלָֽיו:
For I have known him: Heb. יְדַעְתִּיו, an expression of love, like (Ruth 2:1) “a kinsman (מוֹדַע) of her husband”; (ibid. 3:2) “And now, Boaz our kinsman (מֹדַעְתָּנוּ)”; (Exod. 33:17): “and I shall know you (וָאֵדָעֲךָ) by name.” But, in fact, the primary meaning of them all is none other than an expression of knowing, for if one loves a person, he draws him near to himself and knows him and is familiar with him. Now why do I love him? “Because he commands” … for he commands his sons concerning Me, to keep My ways. But if you explain it as the Targum renders: “I know about him that he will command his sons, etc.,” the word לְמַעַן does not fit into the sense [of the verse].   כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו: לְשׁוֹן חִבָּה, כְּמוֹ מוֹדָע לְאִישָׁהּ (רות ב'), הֲלֹא בֹעַז מֹדַעְתָּנוּ (שם ג'), וָאֵדָעֲךָ בְּשֵׁם (שמות ל"ג). וְאָמְנָם עִקַּר לְשׁוֹן כֻּלָּם אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן יְדִיעָה, שֶׁהַמְחַבֵּב אֶת הָאָדָם מְקָרְבוֹ אֶצְלוֹ וְיוֹדְעוֹ וּמַכִּירוֹ, וְלָמָּה יְדַעְתִּיו? לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה לְפִי שֶׁהוּא מְצַוֶּה אֶת בָּנָיו עָלַי לִשְׁמֹר דְּרָכַי. וְאִם תְּפָרְשֵׁהוּ כְתַרְגּוּמוֹ, יוֹדֵעַ אֲנִי בוֹ שֶׁיְּצַוֶּה אֶת בָּנָיו וְגוֹ', אֵין לְמַעַן נוֹפֵל עַל הַלָּשׁוֹן:
because he commands: Heb. יְצַוֶּה, a present tense (i.e., a habitual action), like (Job 1:5) “So would Job do (יַעֲשֶׂה)”; [(Num. 9:20) “in accordance to the utterance of the Lord they would camp” (יַחֲנוּ)].   יְצַוֶּה: לְשׁוֹן הוֹוֶה, כְמוֹ כָּכָה יַעֲשֶׂה אִיּוֹב (איוב א'):
in order that [the Lord] bring: So would he command his sons, “Keep the way of the Lord in order that the Lord bring upon Abraham, etc.” It does not say “upon the house of Abraham” but “upon Abraham.” We learn from this that whoever raises a righteous son is considered as though he does not die. — [from Gen. Rabbah 49:4]   לְמַעַן הָבִיא: כָּךְ הוּא מְצַוֶּה לְבָנָיו, שִׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶך ה' כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּבִיא ה' עַל אַבְרָהָם וְגוֹ'; עַל בֵּית אַבְרָהָם לֹא נֶאֱמַר אֶלָּא עַל אַבְרָהָם, לָמַדְנוּ, כָּל הַמַּעֲמִיד בֵּן צַדִּיק כְּאִלוּ אֵינוֹ מֵת:
20And the Lord said, "Since the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and since their sin has become very grave,   כוַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָ֔ה זַֽעֲקַ֛ת סְדֹ֥ם וַֽעֲמֹרָ֖ה כִּי־רָ֑בָּה וְחַ֨טָּאתָ֔ם כִּ֥י כָֽבְדָ֖ה מְאֹֽד:
And the Lord said: to Abraham, for He did as He had said, that He would not conceal from him.   וַיֹּאמֶר ה': אֶל אַבְרָהָם שֶׁעָשָׂה כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמַר, שֶׁלֹּא יְכַסֶּה מִמֶּנּוּ:
since [it] has become great: Wherever רָבָּה appears in Scripture, the accent is on the last syllable, on the “beth,” because they are translated: “great,” or “becoming great.” But this one has its accent on the first syllable, on the “resh,” because it is to be translated: “has already become great,” as I have explained regarding (above 15:17): “Now it came to pass that the sun had set (בָּאָה)”; (Ruth 1:15): “Lo, your sister-in-law has returned (שָׁבָה).”   כִּי־רָבָּה: כָּל רַבָּה שֶׁבַּמִּקְרָא הַטַּעַם לְמַטָּה בַּבֵּי"ת, לְפִי שֶׁהֵן מְתֻרְגָּמִין גְּדוֹלָה, אוֹ גְּדֵלָה וְהוֹלֶכֶת, אֲבָל זֶה טַעֲמוֹ לְמַעְלָה בָּרֵי"ש, לְפִי שֶׁמְּתֻרְגָּם גָדְלָה כְּבָר כְּמוֹ שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁתִּי וַיְהִי הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ בָּאָה, הִנֵּה שָׁבָה יְבִמְתֵּךְ:
21I will descend now and see, whether according to her cry, which has come to Me, they have done; [I will wreak] destruction [upon them]; and if not, I will know."   כאאֵֽרֲדָה־נָּ֣א וְאֶרְאֶ֔ה הַכְּצַֽעֲקָתָ֛הּ הַבָּ֥אָה אֵלַ֖י עָשׂ֣וּ | כָּלָ֑ה וְאִם־לֹ֖א אֵדָֽעָה:
I will descend now: This teaches judges that they should not decide capital punishment cases unless they see it [i.e., they must go to the site of the crime and investigate the matter.]- [Divrei David] Everything is as I explained in the chapter dealing with the dispersion (Tan. Noah 18). Another explanation: I will descend to the end of their deeds (to fathom the results thereof). - [Be’er Mayim Chayim]).   אֵֽרֲדָה־נָּא: לִמֵּד לַדַּיָּנִים שֶׁלֹא יִפְסְקוּ דִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת אֶלָּא בִרְאִיָּה, הַכֹּל כְּמוֹ שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁתִּי בְפָרָשַׁת הַפַּלָּגָה. דָּבָר אַחֵר, אֵרְדָה נָא לְסוֹף מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם:
whether according to her cry: [i.e., the cry] of the land.   הַכְּצַֽעֲקָתָהּ: שֶׁל מְדִינָה:
which has come to Me, they have done: And [if] they remain in their state of rebellion, I will wreak destruction upon them, but if they do not remain in their state of rebellion, I will know what I will do, to punish them with suffering, but I will not destroy them. Similar to this we find elsewhere (Exod. 33:5): “But now, leave off your ornament from yourself, so that I may know what to do to you.” Therefore, there is a pause marked by the cantillation sign of a פְּסִיק between עָשׂוּ and כָּלָה, in order to separate one word from another. Our Sages, however, interpreted הַכְּצַעֲקָתָה to refer to the cry of a certain girl, whom they killed with an unusual death because she gave food to a poor man, as is delineated in [chapter] Chelek (Sanh. 109b).   הַבָּאָה אֵלַי עָשׂוּ: וְכֵן עוֹמְדִים בְּמִרְדָּם, כָּלָה אֲנִי עוֹשֶׂה בָהֶם, וְאִם לֹא יַעַמְדוּ בְמִרְדָּן אֵדְעָה מָה אֶעֶשֶׂה לְהִפָּרַע מֵהֶן בְּיִסּוּרִין וְלֹא אֲכַלֶּה אוֹתָן. וְכַיּוֹצֵא בוֹ מָצִינוּ בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר, וְעַתָּה הוֹרֵד עֶדְיְךָ מֵעָלֶיךָ וְאֵדְעָה מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה לָּךְ (שמות ל"ג); וּלְפִיכָךְ יֵשׁ הֶפְסֵק נְקֻדַּת פְּסִיק בֵּין עָשׂוּ לְכָלָה, כְּדֵי לְהַפְרִיד תֵּבָה מֵחֲבֶרְתָּהּ. וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ דָרְשׁוּ הַכְּצַעֲקָתָהּ – צַעֲקַת רִיבָה אַחַת שֶׁהָרְגוּ מִיתָה מְשֻׁנָּה עַל שֶׁנָּתְנָה מָזוֹן לְעָנִי, כַּמְּפֹרָשׁ בְּחֵלֶק:
22And the men turned from there and went to Sodom, and Abraham was still standing before the Lord.   כבוַיִּפְנ֤וּ מִשָּׁם֙ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים וַיֵּֽלְכ֖וּ סְדֹ֑מָה וְאַ֨בְרָהָ֔ם עוֹדֶ֥נּוּ עֹמֵ֖ד לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה:
And [the men] turned from there: from the place to which Abraham had escorted them.   וַיִּפְנוּ מִשָּׁם: מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁאַבְרָהָם לִוָּם שָׁם:
and Abraham was still standing, etc.: But is it not so that he did not go to stand before Him, but the Holy One, blessed be He, came to him and said to him (above verse 20): “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, etc.,” and it should have been written here: “and the Lord was still standing beside Abraham?” But this is a scribal emendation (Gen. Rabbah 49:7).   וְאַבְרָהָם עוֹדֶנּוּ עומד לִפְנֵי ה': וַהֲלֹא לֹא הָלַךְ לַעֲמֹד לְפָנָיו, אֶלָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בָּא אֶצְלוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ, זַעֲקַת סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה כִּי רָבָּה, וְהָיָה לוֹ לִכְתֹּב "וַה' עוֹדֶנּוּ עוֹמֵד עַל אַבְרָהָם"? אֶלָּא תִּקּוּן סוֹפְרִים הוּא זֶה (אֲשֶׁר הֲפָכוּהוּ רבותינו זִכָּרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה לִכְתֹּב כֵּן) (בראשית רבה):
23And Abraham approached and said, "Will You even destroy the righteous with the wicked?   כגוַיִּגַּ֥שׁ אַבְרָהָ֖ם וַיֹּאמַ֑ר הַאַ֣ף תִּסְפֶּ֔ה צַדִּ֖יק עִם־רָשָֽׁע:
And Abraham approached and said: We find [the expression]“ approaching” for war (II Sam. 10:13): “And Joab drew forward, etc.;” and “approaching” for placating (below 44:8): “And Judah approached him;” and “approaching” for prayer (I Kings 18:36): “And Elijah the prophet came near.” For all these, Abraham approached: to speak harshly [i.e., when he requested justice], to placate, and to pray. — [from Gen. Rabbah 49:8]   וַיִּגַּשׁ אַבְרָהָם: מָצִינוּ הַגָּשָׁה לַמִּלְחָמָה, וַיִּגַּשׁ יוֹאָב וְגוֹ' (שמואל ב י'), וְהַגָּשָׁה לְפִיוּס וַיִּגַּשׁ אֵלָיו יְהוּדָה, וְהַגָּשָׁה לִתְפִלָּה, וַיִּגַּשׁ אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא (מלכים א י"ח), וּלְכָל אֵלֶּה נִכְנַס אַבְרָהָם לְדַבֵּר קָשׁוֹת וּלְפִיּוּס וְלִתְפִלָּה:
Will You even destroy: Heb. הַאַף. Will You also destroy? And according to the translation of Onkelos, who rendered אַף as an expression of wrath, this is its interpretation: Will wrath entice You that You should destroy the righteous with the wicked?   הַאַף תִּסְפֶּה: הֲגַם תִּסְפֶּה. וּלְתַרְגּוּם שֶׁל אֻנְקְלוֹס, שֶׁתִּרְגְּמוֹ לְשׁוֹן רֹגֶז, כָּךְ פֵּרוּשׁוֹ, הַאַף יַשִּׂיאֲךָ שֶׁתִּסְפֶּה צַדִּיק עִם רָשָׁע:
24Perhaps there are fifty righteous men in the midst of the city; will You even destroy and not forgive the place for the sake of the fifty righteous men who are in its midst?   כדאוּלַ֥י יֵ֛שׁ חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים צַדִּיקִ֖ם בְּת֣וֹךְ הָעִ֑יר הַאַ֤ף תִּסְפֶּה֙ וְלֹֽא־תִשָּׂ֣א לַמָּק֔וֹם לְמַ֛עַן חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים הַצַּדִּיקִ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּקִרְבָּֽהּ:
Perhaps there are fifty righteous men: ten righteous men for each city, because there were five places. — [from Targum Jonathan]   אוּלַי יֵשׁ חֲמִשִּׁים צדיקים: עֲשָׂרָה צַדִּיקִים לְכָל כְּרַךְ וּכְרַךְ, כִּי ה' מְקוֹמוֹת יֵשׁ:
25Far be it from You to do a thing such as this, to put to death the righteous with the wicked so that the righteous should be like the wicked. Far be it from You! Will the Judge of the entire earth not perform justice?"   כהחָלִ֨לָה לְּךָ֜ מֵֽעֲשׂ֣ת | כַּדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֗ה לְהָמִ֤ית צַדִּיק֙ עִם־רָשָׁ֔ע וְהָיָ֥ה כַצַּדִּ֖יק כָּֽרָשָׁ֑ע חָלִ֣לָה לָּ֔ךְ הֲשֹׁפֵט֙ כָּל־הָאָ֔רֶץ לֹ֥א יַֽעֲשֶׂ֖ה מִשְׁפָּֽט:
Far be it from You: And if You say that the righteous will not save the wicked, why should You kill the righteous?- [from Gen. Rabbah 49:8]   חלילה לְּךָ: וְאִם תֹּאמַר: לֹא יַצִּילוּ הַצַּדִּיקִים אֶת הָרְשָׁעִים, לָמָּה תָּמִית הַצַּדִּיקִים?
Far be it from You: Heb. חָלִילָה. It is profane (חוּלִין) , [i.e., unfitting] for You. They will say, “So is His craft. He inundates everyone, righteous and wicked.” So You did to the Generation of the Flood and to the Generation of the Dispersion. — [from Tan. Vayera 8]   חלילה לְּךָ: חֻלִּין הוּא לְךָ, יֹאמְרוּ כָךְ הוּא אֻמָּנוּתוֹ, שׁוֹטֵף הַכֹּל, צֵדִּיקִים וּרְשָׁעִים, כָּךְ עָשִׂיתָ לְדוֹר הַמַּבּוּל וּלְדוֹר הַפַּלָּגָה:
a thing such as this: Neither this nor anything similar to it. —   כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה: לֹא הוּא וְלֹא כַּיּוֹצֵא בוֹ:
Far be it from You: for the World to Come. — [from Tan. Buber]   חלילה לְּךָ: לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא:
Will the Judge of the entire earth: The “hey” of הֲשֹׁפֵט is vowelized with a “chataf pattach,” as an expression of wonder: Will He Who judges not perform true justice?!   השופט כָּל־הָאָרֶץ: נָקוּד בַּחֲטַף פַּתָּח ה"א שֶׁל הֲשׁוֹפֵט, לְשׁוֹן תְּמִיהָ, וְכִי מִי שֶׁהוּא שׁוֹפֵט לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה מִשְׁפַּט אֱמֶת:
26And the Lord said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous men within the city, I will forgive the entire place for their sake."   כווַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָ֔ה אִם־אֶמְצָ֥א בִסְדֹ֛ם חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים צַדִּיקִ֖ם בְּת֣וֹךְ הָעִ֑יר וְנָשָׂ֥אתִי לְכָל־הַמָּק֖וֹם בַּֽעֲבוּרָֽם:
"If I find in Sodom, etc., the entire place”: [Sodom refers to] all the cities, but because Sodom was the metropolis and the most important of them all, Scripture ascribes [the fifty righteous men] to it.   אִם־אֶמְצָא בִסְדֹם וגו' לְכָל־הַמָּקוֹם: לְכָל הַכְּרַכִּים; וּלְפִי שֶׁסְּדוֹם הָיְתָה מֶטְרוֹפּוֹלִין וַחֲשׁוּבָה מִכֻּלָּם, תָּלָה בָהּ הַכָּתוּב:
27And Abraham answered and said, "Behold now I have commenced to speak to the Lord, although I am dust and ashes.   כזוַיַּ֥עַן אַבְרָהָ֖ם וַיֹּאמַ֑ר הִנֵּה־נָ֤א הוֹאַ֨לְתִּי֙ לְדַבֵּ֣ר אֶל־אֲדֹנָ֔י וְאָֽנֹכִ֖י עָפָ֥ר וָאֵֽפֶר:
although I am dust and ashes: I was already fit to be dust at the hands of the kings and ashes at the hands of Nimrod, were it not for Your mercies that stood by me.   וְאָֽנֹכִי עָפָר וָאֵֽפֶר: וּכְבָר הָיִיתִי רָאוּי לִהְיוֹת עָפָר עַל יְדֵי הַמְּלָכִים, וְאֵפֶר עַל יְדֵי נִמְרוֹד, לוּלֵי רַחֲמֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר עָמְדוּ לִי:
I have commenced: [I am] willing, like "and Moses consented" [Shemot 2:21].   הוֹאַלְתִּי: רָצִיתִי כְּמוֹ וַיּוֹאֶל מֹשֶׁה (שמות ב'):
28Perhaps the fifty righteous men will be missing five. Will You destroy the entire city because of five?" And He said, "I will not destroy if I find there forty-five."   כחאוּלַ֠י יַחְסְר֞וּן חֲמִשִּׁ֤ים הַצַּדִּיקִם֙ חֲמִשָּׁ֔ה הֲתַשְׁחִ֥ית בַּֽחֲמִשָּׁ֖ה אֶת־כָּל־הָעִ֑יר וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א אַשְׁחִ֔ית אִם־אֶמְצָ֣א שָׁ֔ם אַרְבָּעִ֖ים וַֽחֲמִשָּֽׁה:
Will You destroy because of five: Will there not be nine for each city? And You, the Righteous One of the world, will be counted with them. — [from Gen. Rabbah 49:9]   הֲתַשְׁחִית בַּֽחֲמִשָּׁה: וַהֲלֹא הֵן ט' לְכָל כְּרַךְ, וְאַתָּה צַדִּיקוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם תִּצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם:
29And he continued further to speak to Him, and he said, "Perhaps forty will be found there." And He said, "I will not do it for the sake of the forty."   כטוַיֹּ֨סֶף ע֜וֹד לְדַבֵּ֤ר אֵלָיו֙ וַיֹּאמַ֔ר אוּלַ֛י יִמָּֽצְא֥וּן שָׁ֖ם אַרְבָּעִ֑ים וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֔ה בַּֽעֲב֖וּר הָֽאַרְבָּעִֽים:
Perhaps forty will be found there: And four cities will be saved, and so thirty will save three of them, or twenty will save two of them, or ten will save one of them. — [from Zohar, vol. 1, omissions, 255b]   אוּלַי יִמָּֽצְאוּן שָׁם אַרְבָּעִים: וְיִמָּלְטוּ ד' הַכְּרַכִּים וְכֵן ל' יַצִּילוּ ג' מֵהֶם אוֹ כ' יַצִּילוּ ב' מֵהֶם אוֹ י' יַצִּילוּ אֶחָד מֵהֶם:
30And he said, "Please, let the Lord's wrath not be kindled, and I will speak. Perhaps thirty will be found there." And He said, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."   לוַ֠יֹּ֠אמֶר אַל־נָ֞א יִ֤חַר לַֽאדֹנָי֙ וַֽאֲדַבֵּ֔רָה אוּלַ֛י יִמָּֽצְא֥וּן שָׁ֖ם שְׁלשִׁ֑ים וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֔ה אִם־אֶמְצָ֥א שָׁ֖ם שְׁלשִֽׁים:
31And he said, "Behold now I have desired to speak to the Lord, perhaps twenty will be found there." And He said, "I will not destroy for the sake of the twenty."   לאוַיֹּ֗אמֶר הִנֵּה־נָ֤א הוֹאַ֨לְתִּי֙ לְדַבֵּ֣ר אֶל־אֲדֹנָ֔י אוּלַ֛י יִמָּֽצְא֥וּן שָׁ֖ם עֶשְׂרִ֑ים וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א אַשְׁחִ֔ית בַּֽעֲב֖וּר הָֽעֶשְׂרִֽים:
Behold now I have desired: Heb. הוֹאַלְתִּי. I have desired, as in (Exod. 2:21): “And Moses was willing (וַיוֹאֶל).”   הוֹאַלְתִּי: רָצִיתִי, כְּמוֹ וַיּוֹאֶל מֹשֶׁה (שמות ב'):
32And he said, "Please, let the Lord's wrath not be kindled, and I will speak yet this time, perhaps ten will be found there." And He said, "I will not destroy for the sake of the ten."   לבוַ֠יֹּ֠אמֶר אַל־נָ֞א יִ֤חַר לַֽאדֹנָי֙ וַֽאֲדַבְּרָ֣ה אַךְ־הַפַּ֔עַם אוּלַ֛י יִמָּֽצְא֥וּן שָׁ֖ם עֲשָׂרָ֑ה וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א אַשְׁחִ֔ית בַּֽעֲב֖וּר הָֽעֲשָׂרָֽה:
perhaps ten will be found there: For fewer [than ten] he did not ask. He said, “In the Generation of the Flood, there were eight: Noah and his sons, and their wives, but they did not save their generation.” And for nine, together with counting [God] he had already asked, but did not find.   אוּלַי יִמָּֽצְאוּן שָׁם עֲשָׂרָה: עַל הַפָּחוּת לֹא בִקֵּשׁ, אָמַר דוֹר הַמַּבּוּל הָיוּ ח', נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וּנְשֵׁיהֶם, וְלֹא הִצִּילוּ עַל דּוֹרָם; וְעַל ט' עַל יְדֵי צֵרוּף כְּבָר בִּקֵּשׁ וְלֹא מָצָא:
33And the Lord departed when He finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.   לגוַיֵּ֣לֶךְ יְהֹוָ֔ה כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר כִּלָּ֔ה לְדַבֵּ֖ר אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֑ם וְאַבְרָהָ֖ם שָׁ֥ב לִמְקֹמֽוֹ:
And the Lord departed, etc.: Since the defender was silent, the Judge left.   וַיֵּלֶךְ ה' וגו': כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּתֵּק הַסָּנֵגוֹר הָלַךְ לוֹ הַדַּיָּן:
and Abraham returned to his place: The Judge left, the defender left, and the prosecutor is accusing. Therefore: “And the two angels came to Sodom,” to destroy (Gen. Rabbah 49:14). One to destroy Sodom and one to save Lot, and he [the latter] is the same one who came to heal Abraham, but the third one, who came to announce [Isaac’s birth] to Sarah, since he had performed his mission, he departed (Tan. Vayera 8).   וְאַבְרָהָם שָׁב למקומו: נִסְתַּלֵּק הַדַּיָּן נִסְתַּלֵּק הַסָּנֵגוֹר, וְהַקָּטֵיגוֹר מְקַטְרֵג וּלְפִיכָךְ וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׁנֵי הַמַּלְאָכִים סְדֹמָה, לְהַשְׁחִית: