20 Jan. Genesis 18:1-16

20 Jan. Abraham has three mysterious visitors

"Later, the LORD again appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre [at Hebron]."

"Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When Abraham saw them, he ran from his tent to meet them."

"He bowed face down on the ground before them and said, 'Sir, if you think well of me, please stay awhile with me, your servant. I will bring some water so all of you can wash your feet. You may rest under the tree, and I will get some bread for you so you can regain your strength. Then you may continue your journey.'"

"The three men said, 'That is fine. Do as you said.' Abraham hurried to the [women's] tent where Sarah was and said to her, 'Hurry, prepare 22 litres of fine flour and make it into loaves of bread.' Then Abraham ran to his herd and took one of his best calves. He gave it to a servant, who hurried to kill it and to prepare it for food."

"Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been cooked, milk curds and milk. While they ate, he stood under the tree near them. The men asked Abraham, 'Where is your wife, Sarah?' 'There, in the tent,' said Abraham."

"Then the LORD said, 'I will certainly return to you about this time a year from now. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.'"

"Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were very old. Since Sarah was past the age when women normally have children, she laughed to herself, 'My husband and I are too old to have a baby.'"

"Then the LORD said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, "I am too old to have a baby?" Is anything too hard for the LORD? No! I will return to you at the right time a year from now, and Sarah will have a son...'"

"Then the men got up to leave and started out towards Sodom. Abraham walked along with them for a short time to send them on their way."

         (Genesis 18:1-16)



In this curious account, Abraham received three travellers, who were passing his tent at Hebron, with customary Middle Eastern hospitality. He offered them food and shelter from the sun, and quickly obtained water to wash their weary feet.

But these three travellers were not exactly what they appeared to be! Some Biblical scholars have, in the past, suggested that the three travellers were the three 'persons' of the Holy Trinity. In this Old Testament context, however, it would appear that they are, in fact, messengers ('angels') from God. Indeed, we're told that the LORD God himself spoke directly to Abraham through one of these messengers.

The messengers asked Abraham where his wife, Sarah, was. They then told Abraham that the LORD would visit him again in twelve months, by which time Sarah would have given birth to the son that God had promised her. (see Genesis 17:15-19)

Sarah, who was eavesdropping on the conversation, laughed quietly to herself, as she was way beyond the age when women could normally give birth.

But the LORD God reprimanded her for her lack of faith: 'Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, "I am too old to have a baby?" Is anything too hard for the LORD?' (Genesis 18:13-14)

And that, it appears, was the key point of this curious account: With God, nothing is impossible!

The photo (by Copper Kettle) shows Abraham's Oak Holy Trinity Monastery in Hebron, founded in the 19th century on the site of the ancient oaks of Mamre.

You can read more @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/23-the-journeys-of-adam-enoch-noah-abraham/the-birth-of-ishmael/

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