Genesis 18

 

Genesis 18:1–33

God Visits Abraham before the Birth of His Son;

Abraham Bargains with God about the Judgment of Sodom


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


Links to the word-by-word, verse-by-verse studies of Genesis (HTML) (PDF).

 

What follows is a collection of the weekly lessons of Genesis (HTML) (PDF) interspersed with the complete word-by-word exegesis of this chapter from the Hebrew with most of the text from my original Genesis exegesis (HTML) (PDF) added in. Furthermore, the examination of this chapter has been expanded with additional commentary as well. However, much of this material was thrown together without careful editing. Therefore, from time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated, because there was no overall editing done once all of this material was combined. At some point in the future, I need to go back and edit this material and consider other source material as well.

 

One more thing: it is not necessary that you read the grey Hebrew exegesis tables. They are set apart from the rest of the study so that you can easily skip over them. However, if you ever doubt a translation of a phrase or a verse, these translation tables will tell you exactly where that translation came from.


This should be the most extensive examination of Gen. 18 available, where you will be able to see every word of the original text.


Gen. 18:1 Then the LORD appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. (HCSB)

 

Gen. 18:11–14 Now Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was past the time for giving birth. And Sarah, laughing to herself, said, Now that I am used up am I still to have pleasure, my husband himself being old? And the Lord said, Why was Sarah laughing and saying, Is it possible for me, being old, to give birth to a child? Is there any wonder which the Lord is not able to do? At the time I said, in the spring, I will come back to you, and Sarah will have a child. (BBE)

 

Kukis: Abraham will stand in front of God and plead for the city of Sodom, because his nephew lives there. Now I want you to step back from this chapter, and look at it from a distance. Abraham is sleeping, and Yehowah and the angels nearly walk right past him. If this would have been the case, then he could not have acted as an intermediary for his nephew Lot. However, Abraham wakes up from his sleeping and then he has fellowship with God. Because of this fellowship, Abraham is able to stand before God and intercede for Lot. The parallel is quite simple. If we are asleep—out of fellowship—then all that goes on in the world which is spiritual passes us by. We do not have any input. However, if we are in fellowship with God, then we have standing with Him and we can plead whatever cause is important to us (which God wants us to do).

 

J. Vernon McGee: Abraham is going to have a tremendous influence. He is going to influence multitudes of people, including the succeeding generations. That is true right now today. As I write and as you read this book, Abraham is influencing us - we cannot avoid it.


Outline of Chapter 18:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–15         Yehowah God and Two Angels Come to Abraham, to Reassert the Promises to Him

         vv.    16–33         Abraham Bargains with God Concerning the Impending Judgment of Sodom

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         The Prequel of Genesis 18

         Introduction         The Principals of Genesis 18

         Introduction         The Abrahamic Timeline for Genesis 18

         Introduction         A Synopsis of Genesis 18

 

         v.       1              Links to Doctrines on the Preincarnate Christ

         v.       2              The Abbreviated Doctrine of Angels (Angelology)

         v.       2              Abraham entertaining angels (a graphic)

         v.       3              Is Abraham Speaking to One Lord or to Three?

         v.       4              Abraham lavant les pieds aux anges 1854 Felix Henri Giacomotti (graphic)

         v.       8              Abraham and the Three Angels by Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari (graphic)

         v.      11              How Isaac’s Unusual Birth Foreshadowed Our Lord’s

         v.      12              Genesis 18:12 (a graphic)

         v.      12              Human Viewpoint Thinking versus Divine Viewpoint Thinking

         v.      13              Examples of Bible Contradictions from Evil Bible

         v.      14              Genesis 18:14 (graphic)

         v.      14              The Doctrine of Pâlâʾ (פָּלָא) [pronounced paw-LAW] [so far]

         v.      15              Preview of coming attractions for Gen. 18–22

         v.      19              Resources for the Preservation of the Old Testament

         v.      25              What we learn about prayer in studying Abraham

         v.      26              The National Entity Insert

         v.      26              What Preserves and Prospers a National Entity

         v.      26              The British Empire (map)

         v.      26              U.S. Military Troops and Bases Around the World (map)

         v.      26              Romans 13:1–10 Interlude

         v.      26              The Very Abbreviated Doctrine of a Client Nation

         v.      26              The History of Client Nations from the 18th Century to the Present

         v.      26              Doctrine of the Pivot

         v.      26              The Declaration of Independence

         v.      26              Glossary of New Christian Terminology

         v.      26              Heathenism: What About the People Who Have Never Heard?

         v.      26              The Timeline of Lot Living in Sodom

         v.      32              The Seeds of Many Doctrines Found in Genesis 18

 

         Addendum          What We Learn from Genesis 18

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes Genesis 18

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Genesis 18

         Addendum          Word Cloud from a Reasonably Literal Paraphrase of Genesis 18

         Addendum          Word Cloud from Exegesis of Genesis 18


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Genesis


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Angels (Angelology)

Angel of Jehovah

Doctrine of Dispensations

 

Client Nation

Heathenism

 

Doctrine of the Spiritual Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Genesis 17

 

 

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 



Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. Also, I have developed a few new terms and concepts which require definition as well.

In addition, there are other more traditional yet technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Sometimes the terms in the exegesis of this chapter are simply alluded to, without any in-depth explanation of them. Sometimes, these terms are explained in detail and illustrated. A collection of all these terms is found here: (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Definition of Terms

4th Stage of Discipline

This is when a foreign nation comes in and rule over the country which is under discipline. These stages of discipline were devised primarily for nation Israel, but there is some application to us today.

5th Stage of National Discipline

This is the stage of discipline God brings upon Israel when the people are removed from their own land and taken into slavery by some foreign power.

Angelic Conflict

The angelic conflict is the result of prehistoric creatures being in opposition to God. It began with the independence and rebellion of the one who was the Messiah's angel, Satan, and it continues throughout human history until the end of the Millennium. The angelic conflict answers many basic questions about life, such as - "Why was man created? Why sin? Why is there chaos on earth? Why is there so much suffering? Why did our Lord Jesus Christ have to go to the cross?"

Blessing by Association

Friends and relatives and associates of a spiritually mature believer receive some overflow of blessing from that believer.

Christian nation

This is a term which has been tossed around for years, for for which few could give a solid definition. Many understand a Christian nation to be that in which the government encourages and even mandates Christianity among its people. Since such a concept is anti-Biblical because it implies state-interference with free will, a new term needed to be developed.

Client Nation

Client-Nation, is a national entity in which a certain number of spiritually mature Christians (the salt of the earth) have formed a pivot sufficient to sustain the nation and through which God specifically protects this nation so that believers can fulfill the divine mandates of evangelism, communication and custodianship of Bible doctrine, providing a haven for Jews, and sending missionaries abroad. The United States is a client-nation to God. A client nation must have freedom: Freedom to seek God, freedom to use one’s own volition and self-determination to succeed or fail, freedom from anarchy and tyranny, freedom for evangelism, freedom for believers to hear Bible teaching without government interference and, therefore, to grow spiritually, and freedom to send missionaries to other nations.

Corporate Judgement

God judges nations, states, cities, neighborhoods and various other organizations of people. This is known as corporate judgment. When we belong to such a place, we might receive judgment ourselves (however, we will see that God will rescue Lot from the corporate judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah).

Cosmic System

The term "cosmic system" refers to Satan's plan and process for controlling the world, and his attempt, using his organization of fallen angels, to counteract the plan of God in all respects.

Dispensations

God divides up human history into large blocks of time, and God has a slightly different program for each block of time. For instance, during the Age of Israel, God worked primarily through the nation Israel—through its kings, judges, prophets and priests, and through His people, the Jews.


During the Church Age, spiritual growth usually occurs as a result of the function of the local church. However, God still deals with national entities, like nations, cities, states, geographical areas, businesses, schools, etc.

Erotesis

A question which does not require an answer.

The Five Cycles of Discipline (Stages of National Discipline)

A national entity which is a client nation to God is under both God’s protection and His discipline (much like the individual believer). As a nation moves further and further from God, God may impose disciplinary measures on that nation, which include economic disaster, illness, civil unrest, military defeat, and even invasion which may include a slavery or dispersion of the people. These cycles are found in Lev. 26. Although these warnings are designed for Israel, all client nations to God may face similar downward historical trends.

Hapax Legomenon

An hapax legomenon [pronounced, HAP-aks li-GOM-uh-non, also, hey-PAKS] (plural: hapax legomena [pronounced: HAP-aks li-GOM-uh-nuh, and hey-PAKS]), is a word or phrase that appears only once in a manuscript, document, or particular area of literature.

Invisible Heroes

Believers who execute the plan of God. They preserve the city, state and nation in which they live.

Laws of Divine Establishment

These are laws which are devised by God for the human race (for believers and unbelievers alike). The more aligned a country is with these laws, the greater freedom and prosperity that country will enjoy. Furthermore, there will be greater evangelism and Bible teaching which takes place. The further a country strays from these law results in greater tyranny and unhappiness among its population.

Paronomasia

A paronomasia is where similar sounding words are synonymous, antithetical or of varied significance. This is a figure of speech only occasionally found in the Bible.

Pivot

These are the mature and maturing believers in a geographical or corporate entity. The way that the pivot goes determines the way that the nation goes with respect to its freedom and prosperity.

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers). See the Doctrine of Rebound (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Reversionism

A state of being or a set of actions where a person reverts back to a former state, habit, belief, or practice of sinning. Reversionism is the status of the believer who fails to execute the plan of God for the Church Age. He returns to his pre-salvation modus operandi and modus vivendi.

Sin unto Death

The phrase "sin unto death" describes the final stage of divine discipline in which God removes from the earth the person who is totally alienated from God. The "sin unto death" is not a particular sin; but it is, rather, a mental attitude of total indifference to and rebellion against the will and purpose of God.

Spinoff

These are believers who get sucked into the cosmic system (which is the thinking of Satan as over against the thinking of God). A great modern example of this are the civil rights protestors of the 50's and 60's, many of whom began as strong, Bible-believing Christians, but ended up as political and social activists. They achieved their political ends and lost their spiritual impact.


A more up-to-date example would be those who have truly exercise faith in Jesus Christ, but then have gotten caught up in political or social action or attend a church which teaches liberation theology (or any other anti-Biblical organization).

Syncretism

Syncretism is an attempt to reconcile or unite different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion. When related to the Word of God, it is mixing evil, human viewpoint, and contemporary norms with Bible doctrine.

Syntheton

A syntheton [pronounced SYN-the-ton] is a figure of speech found in the Bible where two or more words are commonly combined, like rich and poor, meat the drink, young and old.

Theophany

A Theophany is an appearance by God, the Revealed Lord, before the incarnation of Jesus.

Three Stages of Spiritual Adulthood

Stage 1: Person believes in Jesus Christ and is born again. This is a spiritual baby. Stage 2: Spiritual childhood, where a believer learns basic doctrines and learns what it is that he did when he believed in Jesus Christ. Stage 3: Spiritual adulthood, where believers begin to understand divine viewpoint and to think like Jesus Christ. They understand their place in the world in the light of eternity. This is the stage at which the believer is most effective.

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


——————————


An Introduction to Genesis 18


I ntroduction: Chapter 18 contains the promise of the birth of Isaac to Sarah and it again has Abraham attempting to bail out his nephew, Lot. Abraham knows how to pray and prays to God concerning Sodom and Gomorrah in order to preserve Lot and his family.


After 13 quiet years, God appears to Abraham soon thereafter.


This ought to strike you as somewhat interesting: in the previous chapter, God made it clear that certain promises to Abraham were imminent—1 year in the future—and yet, there will be 3 chapters in between Gen. 17 and the fulfillment of Gen. 17. Two of those chapters will deal with great judgments upon the earth (particularly, upon Sodom and Gomorrah).


In Gen. 18, God will appear one more time to Abraham. It is now a month or so later, after God’s most recent promises to Abraham, which promises we studied in both Gen. 17 and Rom. 4. See Genesis 17 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


We know the time frame because God promised Abraham, in the previous chapter, that He would return to Abraham in a year’s time, and Abraham would have a son by Sarah; and in this chapter, Sarah is not even pregnant yet. Therefore, this chapter takes place less than 3 months after Gen. 17. It is also clear that Abraham has not yet been sexually revived, as vv. 12–13 reveal.


God has just promised Abraham that he would have a son by Sarah in one year (Gen. 17:21), so we would expect that we would see this fulfilled soon. That is not the case. We will not see the birth of Isaac until Gen. 21 and we have only begun Gen. 18. We have a lot to cover before we come to Isaac.


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of Genesis 18

 

Gen. 18 will begin with


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of Genesis 18

Characters

Commentary

Yehowah

God the Son, in preincarnate form, appears again to Abraham. It seems that most or all of the time, God appears to Abraham as a man.

The two angels

Two angels travel with God and they will be given a twofold mission—the save Lot and his family and to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah where they live. In this chapter, they enjoy a meal with Abraham and seem to converse normally with him.

Abraham

Abraham still does not appear to have been sexually regenerated, but this will occur in the very near future—probably within a week or so. He entertains his 3 guests, and then pleas for the life of Lot and his family.

Sarah

Sarah stays in the background, but is drawn into the conversation by Yehowah and the angels.

It is possible that Yehowah and the 3 angels represent the Trinity.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


The Abrahamic Timeline for Genesis 18


Legend

Birth or death

God speaks with Abraham

Historical incidents (most of which are related to Abraham)

Parenthetical dates (2065 b.c.) simply refer to taking the date assigned by the chronologist and using Scripture to determine the next date.


Brent MacDonald

Age of Abraham

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Event/Description

2164 b.c.

0

1967 b.c.

Gen. 11:26–27

Abraham (Terah’s son) and Lot (Haran’s son) born in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram would be the 43rd generation from Adam. Gen 11:26 Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Reese occasionally supplies 2 dates in his Chronological Bible; the first is his and the second is Klassen’s.

 

 

1957 b.c.

 

Birth of Sarai

 

 

1927 b.c.

Gen. 11:29–30

Marriage of Abram to Sarai

2089 b.c.

75

1892 b.c.

Gen. 12:1–4

Abraham leaves for Promised Land from Haran, after being so instructed by God. Gen 12:4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.

 

 

1891 b.c.

1889 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 13:5–13

Abram and Lot separate from one another.

 

 

 

Gen. 13:14–17

God renews His covenant with Abram.

 

 

1884 b.c.

1888 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 14:5–16

Lot is taken captive. Abram delivers Lot.

 

85

1882 b.c.

1881 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 16:1–14

Sarah gives Hagar, her Egyptian slave girl, to Abram in order to sire a son. Gen 16:3 So Abram's wife Sarai took Hagar, her Egyptian slave, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife for him. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan 10 years.

2078 b.c.

86

1881 b.c.

Gen. 16:15–16

Ishmael born to Abraham and Hagar in the land of Canaan. Gen 16:16 Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to him.

(2065 b.c.)

99

1868 b.c.

Gen. 17:1–8

God renews His covenant with Abram and renames him Abraham. Gen 17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him, saying, "I am God Almighty. Live in My presence and be devout.

(2065 b.c.)

99

(1868 b.c.)

Gen. 17:9–14

Circumcision is given as a sign of the covenant and of Abraham’s faith in his covenant with God. Circumcision represents regeneration (the new birth).

(2065 b.c.)

99

(1868 b.c.)

Gen. 17:15–19

Sarai’s name is changed to Sarah and Isaac, a future son, is promised the Abraham and Sarah. Gen 17:17 Abraham fell to the ground, laughed, and thought in his heart, "Can a child be born to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a ninety-year-old woman, give birth?"

(2065 b.c.)

99

(1868 b.c.)

Gen. 17:20

Ishmael’s destiny is foretold.

(2065 b.c.)

99

(1868 b.c.)

Gen. 17:21–22

The time that Sarah would give birth is revealed; at a set time in the next year. Gen 17:21 But I will confirm My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at a set time next year."

(2065 b.c.)

99

(1868 b.c.)

Gen. 17:23–27

Abraham obeys God and circumcises himself and the men with him, responding in faith to God’s mandate. Gen 17:24 Abraham was 99 years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised, and his son Ishmael was 13 years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised.

(2065 b.c.)

 

(1867 b.c.)

Gen. 18:1–15

Jehovah and two angels come to Abraham and promise that Sarah would have a child in a year’s time. Gen 18:10, 14 The LORD said, "I will certainly come back to you in about a year's time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!" Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him. Is anything impossible for the LORD? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son."

(2065 b.c.)

 

(1867 b.c.)

Gen. 18:16–21

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is promised.

(2065 b.c.)

 

(1867 b.c.)

Gen. 18:22–33

Abraham intercedes on behalf of Sodom.

(2065 b.c.)

 

(1867 b.c.)

Gen. 19:1–29

The angels visit Lot and warn him of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed.


Bibliography

MacDonald’s timeline is from: http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna63.htm accessed October 11, 2011.

See http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna63dating.htm for his justification of his timeline.

From: http://www.christianshepherd.org/bible_study_guides/abram_to_the_exodus.pdf (Christian shepherd)

The Reese Chronological Bible; KJV translation; Editor: Edward Reese; ©1977 by Edward Reese and Klassen’s dating system ©1975 by Frank R. Klassen; Ⓟ1980 by Bethany House Publishers, South Minneapolis, MN; pp. 18–19, 54–74.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Gen. 18 presents two very divergent topics but both occur on the same day and they involve the same people. Yehowah comes to Abraham with 2 others, and tells him again that his wife would give birth to a son, and that all of God’s promises would begin to be fulfilled, starting with this son. The last time, Abraham laughed when God made these promises (although it certainly appears that Abraham still believed God). In this chapter, Sarah will have a chance to laugh, and she will definitely manifest some doubt about this coming to pass.


The second half of this chapter is still Yehowah speaking with Abraham, however, this time the subject will change dramatically. Before, God was assuring Abraham that He would fulfill His many promises to him. Now, God will speak of Sodom and how Sodom is about to fall under great judgment. Then Abraham will feel bold enough to bargain with God. What if there are righteous (saved) men in Sodom? Will God simply destroy these people along with the wicked? And then we get to a numbers game. At what point will God continue to preserve the city-state of Sodom; and at what point will God determine that it be destroyed?


Here is what to expect from Genesis 18:

A Synopsis of Genesis 18

 

 

 

 

Like all chapters of the Word of God, you need more than just the simple plot outline to understand what God wants us to know.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 18 breaks down easily into two parts: in vv. 1–15, Sarah becomes aware of just how imminent the birth of Isaac is. In vv. 16–33, we will learn about intercessory prayer, blessing by association and the concept of the pivot (how believers in a particular country preserve that country).


There are going to be some remarkable differences in this chapter with regards to God appearing to Abraham. First of all, it is not clear at what point Abraham realizes that this is the Lord to Whom he is speaking. Secondly, God is there with two angels; which is a new thing. Thirdly, Sarah is involved in God’s promises to Abraham and engaged in the conversation. Finally, God arrives to pronounce judgment and to carry out this judgment. Abraham, through his prayer to God (face to face) will potentially have an affect upon another part of the world.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Yehowah God and Two Angels Come to Abraham, to Reassert the Promises to Him


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so is seen unto him Yehowah in Oaks of Mamre, and this one is sitting an opening of the tent as heat of the day.

Genesis

18:1

Yehowah appears unto Abraham [lit., him] by the Oaks of Mamre while he is sitting [at] the opening of [his] tent at the time of the heat of the day.

Jehovah appeared to Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the opening of his tent in the heat of the day.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

The Targum of Onkelos is actually the Pentateuchal Targumim, which are The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. Taken from http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/ and first published in 1862.

 

Targum of Onkelos                AND the glory of the Lord was revealed to him in the valley of Mamre; and he, being ill from the pain of circumcision, sat at the door of the tabernacle in the fervour (or strength) of the day.

Latin Vulgate                          And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so is seen unto him Yehowah in Oaks of Mamre, and this one is sitting an opening of the tent as heat of the day.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    AND the LORD revealed himself to him by the oak of Mamre, as he was sitting at the door of the tent in the heat of the day.

Septuagint (Greek)                And God appeared to him by the oak of Mamre, as he sat by the door of his tent in the heat of the day.

 

Significant differences:           The targum inserts what appears to be commentary along side the translation; all of the excess words being underlined above. Although the word oak possibly means plain, vale; it is in the plural in the Hebrew, it is in the singular in the Greek and appears to be in the singular in the other languages as well (according to their English translations).

 

Although you will note that I have and where many of the other ancient translations have as, the Hebrew exegesis will show that a temporal meaning can be affixed to the wâw conjunction.

 

The Hebrew does not have preposition preceding door, opening; but the sense of the verse seems to imply one. The final preposition, in, which seems to be the one used in nearly every English translation is actually the very similar looking kaph preposition. However, it has a temporal understanding, which appears to be what is meant here.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       One hot summer afternoon Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, when the LORD appeared to him.

Easy English                          The *Lord appeared in front of Abraham. It happened by the *oaks that Mamre owned. Abraham was sitting in the doorway of his tent. God appeared at midday, when the sun was very hot.

Easy-to-Read Version            Later, the Lord again appeared to Abraham. Abraham was living near the oak trees of Mamre. One day, at the hottest part of the day, Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The LORD appeared to Abraham at the sacred trees of Mamre. As Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day,...

New Life Bible                        Abraham Is Promised A Son

1The Lord showed Himself to Abraham by the oak trees of Mamre, as he sat at the tent door in the heat of the day.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          God [next] appeared to [AbraHam] by the big tree at MamRe, as he was sitting at the entrance to his tent, around noon.

Ancient Roots Translinear      Yahweh saw him at Mamre's oaks as he dwelled in the tent opening in the warmth of the day.

God’s Word                         The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oak trees belonging to Mamre as he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day.

New American Bible              The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oak of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot.

NIRV                                      Three Men Visit Abraham

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the large trees of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent. It was the hottest time of the day.

New Simplified Bible              Jehovah appeared again to Abraham by the oak grove of Mamre. He was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Now the Lord came to him by the holy tree of Mamre, when he was seated in the doorway of his tent in the middle of the day;...

Complete Jewish Bible           ADONAI appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The Lord again revealed to him at the Oakwood of Mamrah, when he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.

JPS (Tanakh—1917)               And the LORD appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;...

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               The Lord appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre; he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot.

NET Bible®                             Three Special Visitors

The LORD appeared to Abraham [Heb "him"; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.] by the oaks [Or "terebinths."] of Mamre while [The disjunctive clause here is circumstantial to the main clause.] he was sitting at the entrance [The Hebrew noun translated "entrance" is an adverbial accusative of place.] to his tent during the hottest time of the day. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

New Advent Bible                  And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.

NIV, ©2011                             The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.

The Scriptures 1998              And יהוה appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ, while he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And appearing to him is Yahweh Elohim among the oaks of Mamre. And sitting is he at the opening of the tent at noon, as the day is warm.

exeGeses companion Bible   THREE VISITORS

And Yah Veh is seen by him

in the mighty oaks of Mamre:

and he sits in the tent opening in the heat of the day;.

Modern KJV                           And Jehovah appeared to him in the plains of Mamre, and he sat at the tent door in the heat of the day.

Syndein/Thieme                     And Jehovah/God appeared unto him {Abraham} in the plains of Mamre {name means wealth and prosperity - implies he is in fellowship}. He {Abraham} sat in the tent door in the heat of the day {when the sun was high}.

Young’s Updated LT             And Jehovah appears unto him among the oaks of Mamre, and he is sitting at the opening of the tent, about the heat of the day.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham is sitting at the opening of his tent when it is warm and Yehowah appears to him.


Genesis 18:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

It is often typical for each sentence—in fact, each thought—to begin with a wâw consecutive (or a wâw conjunction) in the Hebrew. However, it is not necessary in an English translation to include a connective at every such juncture, as our language does not necessarily require that for successive thoughts or actions.

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to be seen, to be visible; to let oneself be seen, to appear; to present oneself; to be provided [cared] for (i.e., looked after)

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Although the bêyth preposition is primarily a preposition of proximity, it can also mean in, among, in the midst of; at, by, near, on, before, in the presence of, upon; with; to, unto, upon, up to; in respect to, on account of; because of; by means of, about, concerning.

ʾêlôwn (אֵלוֹן) [pronounced AY-lohn]

oak, terebinth, tall tree, a strong and hardy tree; plain; hill?

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #436 BDB #18

Mamerêʾ (מַמְרֵא) [pronounced mahm-RAY]

strength; fatness; transliterated Mamre

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #4471 BDB #577


Translation: Yehowah appears unto him by the Oaks of Mamre... There are no chapter divisions in the original Hebrew, so the person here is Abraham (chapter 17 is simply continued here, even though this is a month or so later). Since Yehowah appeared to Abraham in the previous chapter and there was going to be a year pass before Isaac is born, vv. 12–13 indicate to us that nothing sexual has happened between Abraham and Sarah during this time. Therefore, God is appearing to Abraham and Sarah within 3 months of the previous appearance. Now, we know that God left Abraham because Gen. 17:12 tells us that Yehowah completed talking to Abraham and then He went up from him. So, there was 13 years of silence and now, within a 3 month period of time, God appears to Abraham twice.


I left off the transitional wâw consecutive in my translation, because the actual physical chapter division accomplishes the same thing.


Appeared is an interesting construction; this is the Niphal imperfect, 3rd person masculine singular of râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH], which means to see. However, our Lord was not the one who was seeing but the one who was seen. This is why the passive voice is used here; effectively, this changes the meaning of the word from to see to to appear.


Mamre was one of the men who had helped Abraham back in Gen. 14 to route the kings. It is also the area that Abraham first settled in prior to this battle with the 4 kings. Gen. 13:18 tells us that this is in or near Hebron (both prepositions have the same root Hebrew word). My guess would be that Mamre was given the name by Mamre, who settled there before Abraham; or, Abraham picked up Mamre in Mamre and gave him that nickname.


Abraham has lived near the Oaks of Mamre since Gen. 13:18, a period of roughly 25 years. Being a rancher with probably a great many sheep, Abraham likely has traveled quite a bit with his sheep, probably in a circuit. However, this seems to be his primary residence, or home base, if you will.


You may recall that one of Abraham’s allies in the War of the Kings was Mamre, who was an Amorite, who was an okay guy (we know this, because he chose to ally himself with Abraham). It is reasonable to understand that Mamre has allowed Abraham to live on his land and that this association has brought great blessing to Mamre.


Genesis 18:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

The wâw conjunction can be used to mean at the same time, when, while, simultaneously.

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one)

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

inhabiting, staying, remaining, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

pethach (פֶּתַח) [pronounced PEH-thahkh]

opening, doorway, entrance, gate [for a tent, house, or city]; metaphorically, gate [of hope, of the mouth]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6607 BDB #835

ʾohel (אֹהֶל) [pronounced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #168 BDB #13

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to; about, approximately

preposition of comparison or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

The kaph preposition can be used of time, and translated about, at; as, when, at the time of.

chôm (חֹם) [pronounced khohm]

heat, hot, warm

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2527 BDB #328

yôwm (יוֹם) [pronounced yohm]

day; time; today (with a definite article); possibly immediately

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398


Translation: ...while he is sitting [at] the opening of [his] tent at the time of the heat of the day. There are a few minor problems in translating this second phrase. However, the translation above is reasonable, and is justified by the Hebrew exegesis above.


My assumption here is, Abraham is taking a little siesta at this time. He is nearly 100 years old and he is taking some time off. However, bear in mind that Abraham will live to be 175 years old (Gen. 25:7). So, he is in a half-conscious state, and suddenly, there is Jesus Christ in His preincarnate form, standing in front of him. We studied this concept back in Gen. 16, as the Doctrine of the Angel of Jehovah (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


The following seem like reasonable information on the Preincarnate Christ.

Links to Doctrines on the Preincarnate Christ

YCF Adult Bible Fellowship Christology – The Study of Christ (this will open up a pdf in a separate window)

www.ffbc.net/index.php/download_file/738/80/


Valley Bible Church Theology Studies on the Preincarnate Christ

http://www.valleybible.net/Adults/ClassNotes/TheologySurvey/Christ/PreincarnateChrist.pdf


The Preincarnate Christ by CAS Ministries:

http://www.angelfire.com/tx5/jeansptx/preinc.htm


Come Meet Jesus Christ as Pre-Incarnte God by Louis Rushmore

http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/2006/jun/page2.htm

I cannot vouch for the rest of the information on their web pages, but these seem to be reasonably accurate.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


There is a revealed member of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, who reveals Himself to Abraham and to Moses (among many others). Usually, in the Old Testament, He is called the Angel of Yehowah.


As you view the remainder of this chapter, it will be clear that this verse—Yehowah appears unto Abraham [lit., him] by the Oaks of Mamre while he is sitting [at] the opening of [his] tent at the time of the heat of the day—is essentially a title or a summary of this chapter (at least, a summary of the first 15 verses).


This first verse appears to be a title for this chapter or a summary of this chapter. At the same time, it is a transitional verse from chapter 17 to chapter 18. The Bible was not separated into chapters (or even verses). However, you will recall that, by chiasmos, Gen. 17 was clearly a separate literary unit. Therefore, this verse deftly moves us from chapter 17 to 18, and announces the content of Gen. 18.


It is the warm part of the day, and Abraham would be sitting outside of his tent to pick up whatever breeze he might. He is probably in a state of being partially asleep.


This narrative is going to be fascinating. We begin with the 3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect of to appear (it means to see in the Qal stem; to appear, to be seen in the Niphal). So, Yehowah, appears (masculine singular) to Abraham.


Let me remind you about God: God is One in essence, but three in Persons. Each member of the Godhead has a different function and a different relationship to us. The 2nd Member of the Trinity is Jesus Christ, known to Old Testament saints as Yehowah Elohim (although the name Jesus does appear in the Old Testament, hidden in one of the psalms). Yehowah Elohim is the Revealed Member of the Trinity, with Whom we directly interact. It is Jesus in Whom we must believe (John 14:1); and it was Yehowah in Whom Abraham believed in order to be seen as righteous (Gen. 15:6).


Gen 18:1 And Yehowah appears to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.


However, when Abraham looks up to see Yehowah, he sees 3 men.


——————————


V. 2 begins to describe the narrative of how this all came about—what the details were when Yehowah appeared to Abraham while he sat near the opening of his tent.


And so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks and, behold, three men are standing over him. And so he looks and so he runs to meet them from an opening of the tent. And so he bows down earthward,...

Genesis

18:2

Abraham lifts up his eyes and looks up [lit., and so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks] and, behold, [there are] three men standing beyond [over?] him. So he looks and then he runs to meet them from the opening of the tent. Then he bowed down toward the earth,...

Abraham looked up and suddenly saw three men over him. So he looks again and then he runs from his tent entrance to meet them. When he got to them, he then bowed down toward the earth,....


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, three angels in the resemblance of men were standing before him; (angels) who had been sent from the necessity of three things;--because it is not possible for a ministering angel to be sent for more than one purpose at a time;--one, then, had come to make known to him that Sarah should bear a man-child; one had come to deliver Lot; and one to overthrow Sedom and Amorah. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the door of the tent, and bowed himself on the earth. [JERUSALEM. Three angels were sent to our father Abraham; and the three were sent for three things;--because it is not possible that one of the high angels should be sent for more things than one. The first angel was sent to announce to our father Abraham, that, behold, Sarah would bear Izhak; the second angel was sent to deliver Lot from the midst of the overthrow; the third angel was sent to overthrow Sedom and Amorah, Admah and Zeboim. Therefore was there a word of prophecy from before the Lord unto Abraham the Just, and the Word of the Lord was revealed to him in the valley of vision; and he sat in the door of the tabernacle, comforting himself from his circumcision in the fervour (or strength) of the day.]

Latin Vulgate                          And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near to him: and as soon as he saw them, he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks and, behold, three men are standing over him. And so he looks and so he runs to meet them from an opening of the tent. And so he bows down earthward,...

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, three men stood at a distance from him; and when he saw them, he ran from the door of the tent to meet them and bowed himself to the ground,...

Septuagint (Greek)                And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood before him; and having seen them, he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and bowed himself to the ground.

 

Significant differences:           Again, the targum is filled with a discussion of what this verse is all about; all of that has been underlined.

 

Although the English translation from the Latin reads and when, this is not a bad translation from the Hebrew. The Latin appears to be missing and looked. However, they present this verb as a Niphal or Hiphil (based upon the English translation).

 

Where the men are standing in relationship to Abraham is a difficult call and will be discussed in the exegesis below. Therefore, the differences here are probably related more to the understanding of what is being said rather than to the actual words found in the Hebrew.

 

The verb to see occurs twice. The Latin seems to present this with a temporal understanding. The Greek presents it as a passive participle. All ancient versions append the verb with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix (based upon the English translations above—and the same is true for many English translations).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           He looked up and suddenly saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from his tent entrance to greet them and bowed deeply.

Contemporary English V.       Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground,...

Easy English                          Abraham looked up. And he saw three men, who were standing near him. Immediately he ran from the door of his tent. He ran towards them. He *bowed very low.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abraham looked up and saw three men standing in front of him. When Abraham saw the men, he ran to them and bowed before them.

Good News Bible (TEV)         ...he looked up and saw three men standing there. As soon as he saw them, he ran out to meet them. Bowing down with his face touching the ground,...

The Message                         He looked up and saw three men standing. He ran from his tent to greet them and bowed before them.

New Life Bible                        Abraham looked up and saw three men standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them. He put his face to the ground...

New Living Translation           He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      He looked up and saw three men before him. And when he noticed them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed all the way to the ground.

Beck’s American Translation He looked up, and there he saw three men standing not far from him. When he saw them, he ran from his tend door to meet them, and he bowed down to the ground.

God’s Word                         Abraham looked up, and suddenly he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them, and he bowed with his face touching the ground.

New American Bible              Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground,... Heb 13:1-2.

New Jerusalem Bible             He looked up, and there 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 bowed to the ground.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And lifting up his eyes, he saw three men before him; and seeing them, he went quickly to them from the door of the tent, and went down on his face to the earth;...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then he raised his eyes and looked, and saw three men standing opposite to him; and he looked, and called to them from the door of his tent, and bowing to the ground,...

HCSB                                     He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed to the ground.

JPS (Tanakh—1917)               ...and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood over against him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed down to the earth,...

NET Bible®                             Abraham ["he"; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.] looked up [Heb "lifted up his eyes."] and saw [Heb "and saw, and look." The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) draws attention to what he saw. The drawn–out description focuses the reader's attention on Abraham's deliberate, fixed gaze and indicates that what he is seeing is significant.] three men standing across [The Hebrew preposition עַל ('al) indicates the three men were nearby, but not close by, for Abraham had to run to meet them.] from him. When he saw them [The pronoun "them" has been supplied in the translation for clarification. In the Hebrew text the verb has no stated object.] he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low [The form וַיִּשְתַּחוּ (vayyishtakhu, "and bowed low") is from the verb הִשְתַּחֲוָה (hishtakhavah, "to worship, bow low to the ground"). It is probably from a root חָוָה (khavah), though some derive it from שָחָה (shakhah).] to the ground [The reader knows this is a theophany. The three visitors are probably the LORD and two angels (see Gen. 19:1). It is not certain how soon Abraham recognized the true identity of the visitors. His actions suggest he suspected this was something out of the ordinary, though it is possible that his lavish treatment of the visitors was done quite unwittingly. Bowing down to the ground would be reserved for obeisance of kings or worship of the LORD. Whether he was aware of it or not, Abraham's action was most appropriate.].

NIV – UK                                Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood at a little distance from him. He ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the ground.

Concordant Literal Version    And lifting is he his eyes and seeing, and behold! Three mortals are stationed by him. And seeing is he and running to meet them from the opening of the tent, and is prostrating to the earth.

Context Group Version          ...and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and noticed three men stood across from him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the land { or earth },...

English Standard Version      He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth...

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and he lifts his eyes and sees, and behold,

three men station themselves by him:

and he sees them

and runs to meet them from the tent opening

and prostrates himself toward the earth,...

Heritage Bible                        And he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and lo, three men were stationed by him; and when he saw, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and prostrated himself upon the earth,...

Modern KJV                           And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed toward the ground.

Syndein                                  {Verses 2-8: A Believer In Fellowship - Is Friendly and Hospitable} He kept on lifting up {nasa'} his eyes and 'looking to understand' {ra'ah}, and, lo, three men stood in front of him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed {shachah - used for 'to prostrate oneself '- here is a gracious greeting to strangers} himself toward the ground.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   ...and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and noticed three men stood across from him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth,...

Webster’s Bible Translation  And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw [them], he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.

World English Bible                He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood opposite him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth,...

Young’s Updated LT             And he lifts up his eyes and looks, and lo, three men standing by him, and he sees, and runs to meet them from the opening of the tent, and bows himself towards the earth.

 

The gist of this verse:          Three men come to Abraham, while he is sleeping in front of his tent, and he runs to them, bowing before them.


Genesis 17:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

The chief function of the wâw consecutive is to mark the continuation of a piece of narrative or discourse over at least one but more often several stages. The sequence they establish is essentially chronological, though not necessarily one of strict succession. This sequence of frequently logical as well. It is also common for wâw consecutive to link together a series of imperfect tense verbs. What is being emphasized is a chronological are logical narrative rather than continuous action. When dealing with a narrative of chronological succession, it may be reasonable to translate the wâw consecutive later, afterward, subsequently.

It is often typical for each sentence—in fact, each thought—to begin with a wâw consecutive (or a wâw conjunction) in the Hebrew. However, it is not necessary in an English translation to include a connective at every such juncture, as our language does not necessarily require that for successive thoughts or actions.

nâsâʾ (נָשָׂא) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

Owen calls this a feminine plural noun; and Gesenius indicates that the dual is used for the plural.


Translation: Abraham lifts up his eyes... I have suggested that Abraham is taking a siesta at this point. Rather than translating this with a 3rd person masculine singular pronoun, many translators, including myself, use Abraham’s name, simply because it sounds better. This is understood in the Hebrew text because there is no break between chapters 17 and 18, so the narrative about Abraham is considered to simply continue.


V. 1 tells us that this is the Lord, although it is not clear whether Abraham knows that or not. This is likely Jesus and two angels coming to Abraham at this momentous time. We can be fairly certain that one of them at least is Yehowah, the One who is revealed. Vv. 19 and 13 indicate this.


Genesis 18:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906


Translation: ...and looks [lit., and so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks]... Perhaps Abraham is in a deep sleep and perhaps not. He looks up, which seems to be the meaning of these verbs strung together.


Genesis 18:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

shelôshâh (שְלֹשָה) [pronounced shiloh-SHAW]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

ʾěnôwsh (אֱנוֹש) [pronounced en-OHSH]

mortal, mortal man, mankind; fallen man, depraved man, feeble man [liable to disease and calamity]; peons, hoi polloi, the great unwashed, rabble

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #582 BDB #60

When this word is used for man, the emphasis is either a reference to man in his fallen state (the emphasis does not have to be upon sin; it can be upon man’s fragility and mortal nature) or upon the lower classes of man, the peons, peasants, hoi polloi, the great unwashed, rabble.

However, in times like this, the reference is to angels. My educated guess here is, they have taken upon the form of mortal man. To anyone else, they could not be distinguished from mortal men.


Translation: ...and, behold, [there are] three men... What Abraham sees is three men. Now, the use of this particular word for men suggests that there is nothing special about them. That is, none of them have horns or wings or whatever; they simply appear to be normal men.


The questions which occur to me immediately is, who are these men and who does Abram think that they are?


Their appearance here seems somewhat sudden—Abraham looks up, and right in front of him are 3 men. In fact, the Hebrew reads that these 3 men are stationed [standing] over him. However, that is probably not how your Bible reads. In this verse, we have the masculine plural, Niphal participle of nâtsab (נָצַב) [pronounced naw-TSAHBV], which means, those stationed, the ones left standing, stationing themselves, who are taking a stand; those standing [at the ready]. Strong’s #5324 BDB #662. This is followed by the preposition ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl], which means, upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of. Strong’s #5921 BDB #752. It is affixed to the 3rd person masculine singular suffix, which refers to Abraham.


In the previous verse, we are told that Yehowah appears to Abraham; yet, in this verse, he sees 3 men standing over him.


What is being illustrated for us here is the Trinity. These men are not the 3 members of the Trinity taking on physical form and coming to Abram; this could be Jesus Christ in His preincarnate form (He is the revealed member of the Trinity) with 2 angels (say, Michael and Gabriel). What we know for certain is, Jehovah Elohim is among them. That this is Jesus Christ in His preincarnate form traveling with two angels, which explanation will become clear as we continue in this narrative.


I have taken some liberties with this verse (not as much as most translators have), but very literally, this verse reads: And so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks and, behold, three men are standing over him. And so he looks and so he runs to meet them from an opening of the tent. And so he bows down earthward,... You will note that we have a repetition of the wâw consecutive and the verb he looks.


Let me explain something from the Hebrew, which is not fully understood or even correctly taught in many Hebrew classes: when you have a bunch of wâw consecutives followed by imperfect verbs, you are reading a chronological or logical progression of action, without reference to the duration or the completion of the action itself. Here are the two ways that translators have gotten this wrong: traditionally, it is incorrectly taught that a wâw would transform an imperfect verb (continuous or progressive action) into a perfect verb (completed action). It is called a wâw conversative. Teachers teach this because, much of this action which should be seen as continuous simply isn’t. R. B. Thieme, Jr. made mention, from time to time, of the wâw conversative, but, most of the time, seemed to reject that notion (although I do not recall him actually saying that), and took every imperfect verb and made it into continuous action. So, traditional Hebrew scholars render this: And he lifted up his eyes and he looked,... R. B. Thieme, Jr. would render this: And he keeps on lifting up his eyes and he keeps on looking,... However, the key is not the English tense of the verb, but the chronological progression of these actions, which actions may occur in a moment or which actions may occur over a lengthier period of time. However, what should focus on is the progression: And then he lifted up his eyes; and then he looked, and, behold, [there are] three men standing over him. And then he looked and then he ran to meet them [running] from the opening of the tent. And then he bowed down low [before them]. I know that this was quite technical, and you may not get it; but, because this is not understood by most translators, some have fudged the translation of this verse. The Hebrew clearly says that these men are standing over Abraham; and yet, he runs to meet them. That doesn’t make any sense, so the words standing over are changed by some translators to make it sound like these 3 men are off in the distance. The NET Bible, for instance, renders this: Abraham looked up and saw three men standing across from him. It takes 4 footnotes for them to explain their translation of this one short phrase.


What pulls this all together is, Abraham looks twice. The first time he looks, they are standing over him; the second time he looks, they are, apparently, off a ways from him.


All three look just like men; there is nothing suggested in this context that they had wings or were translucent or anything else. All Abraham sees is just three men. We will find out that this is Jehovah Elohim and two angels (compare Gen. 18:1–2, 16, 22 and 19:1).


Genesis 18:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

nâtsab (נָצַב) [pronounced naw-TSAHBV]

those stationed, the ones left standing, stationing themselves, who are taking a stand; those standing [at the ready]; deputies, prefects

masculine plural, Niphal participle

Strong’s #5324 BDB #662

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, with, by, besides, in addition to, to, toward, together with, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

BDB gives the following meanings for this verb: 1) upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against (preposition); 1a) upon, on the ground of, on the basis of, on account of, because of, therefore, on behalf of, for the sake of, for, with, in spite of, notwithstanding, concerning, in the matter of, as regards; 1b) above, beyond, over (of excess); 1c) above, over (of elevation or pre-eminence); 1d) upon, to, over to, unto, in addition to, together with, with (of addition); 1e) over (of suspension or extension); 1f) by, adjoining, next, at, over, around (of contiguity or proximity); 1g) down upon, upon, on, from, up upon, up to, towards, over towards, to, against (with verbs of motion); 1h) to (as a dative); 2) because that, because, notwithstanding, although (conjunction).


Translation: ...standing beyond [over?] him. This is actually a fairly difficult phrase, not because the words themselves are difficult (they are very common Hebrew words), but because we normally associate the preposition with being upon, against, above, over when it comes to the relative position of two sets of things (in this case, Abraham and the 3 men). If we were to understand this as Abraham sitting outside of his tent opening on a lawn chair (or, whatever), in a half-conscious state, and there are 3 men standing over him, then these words perfectly fit with this scenario. Because Abraham will run to meet these men, they would not appear to be so close to him.


BDB gives the following meanings for this preposition: 1) upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against (preposition); 1a) upon, on the ground of, on the basis of, on account of, because of, therefore, on behalf of, for the sake of, for, with, in spite of, notwithstanding, concerning, in the matter of, as regards; 1b) above, beyond, over (of excess); 1c) above, over (of elevation or pre-eminence); 1d) upon, to, over to, unto, in addition to, together with, with (of addition); 1e) over (of suspension or extension); 1f) by, adjoining, next, at, over, around (of contiguity or proximity); 1g) down upon, upon, on, from, up upon, up to, towards, over towards, to, against (with verbs of motion); 1h) to (as a dative); 2) because that, because, notwithstanding, although (conjunction). I mention this, because in all cases where relative juxtaposition of two objects or two sets of things tend to imply both a nearness and the idea that one set of things is over another set. So, these three men standing over Abraham, while Abraham is half asleep in his lawn chair out on the front lawn is a very reasonable understanding.


Now, it may strike you as odd for God and two angels to be walking, but the earth, created by God, is a marvelous place. The design of the earth, its plant life and animal life, and mankind, and the actual composition of the earth and its atmosphere is absolutely amazing. So, it should not seem odd that God would allow these angels with Him to enjoy walking upon the earth and taking in all of its great beauty, even in it fallen state (Gen. 3:17–18).


In fact, the earth is such an incredible place that man has worshiped the earth throughout much of human history. Looking back, it is called Gaia worship; today, it is known as rabid environmentalism (or, environmentalism for short). A distinction ought to be made. God has placed man on this earth to inhabit it and to make the environment what we want it to be. That is, we adapt the environment and use the earth for our own purposes and design. For many of us, that is a house surrounded by a slightly larger lawn, with roads that will take us to stores. It becomes environmentalism when (1) you are so offended by the aesthetics of your surroundings that you want to not just change the way you live, but the way others live as well; and/or (2) you believe that man is destructive to the earth, and that we ought to strive for the earth to be what it is, as if man never existed.


This does not mean that wanting clean air to breathe and clean water to drink are radical notions. That does not mean that, you prefer a wild landscape, and you want to live in a house surrounded by forest (or, whatever). It is even okay if you think your lawn ought to grow wild and never be mowed—just find a place where you can do that without having to spend the rest of your life in court. We are allowed to adapt the earth for our living desires.


Quite obviously, since we are not the only people on this earth, our designs and choices are limited by the respect for others. If you live in a neighborhood, like it or not, there are community standards. Or, if you live along a river, you cannot simply throw your garbage into the river to get rid of it, since, quite obviously, someone else lives down-river from you. Rom 12:18 (WEB) If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men. Heb. 12:14a (BBE) Let your desire be for peace with all men.


Genesis 18:2e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906


Translation: So he looks... We repeat this verb, in exactly the same stem and tense. Although we do not have the qualifier again, it would not be out of order to understand this to mean and he looks again. This is simply based upon the repetition of the verb.


Let me suggest this as one possible explanation. Abraham looks up, out of a half-conscious sleep, and he sees 3 men standing over him or standing by him. He dozes off for a few instances, his mind snaps to what he saw, and he looks again. This time, the men are no longer standing over him, but they are a distance off. Now, quite frankly, there is not enough information in this verse for me to give this interpretation only; but it does reasonably take into account all that we find here without having to fudge the meanings of the words (and, by fudge, and I don’t mean fudge, but to take a less-used definition for this or that word). It is not unusual in English to use a particular word in a particular way almost all of the time; and yet, to use this word in a slightly different sense once or twice in your lifetime.


So far, v. 2 reads: Abraham lifts up his eyes and looks up [lit., and so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks] and, behold, [there are] three men standing beyond [over?] him. So he looks... Two of these men are angels; so let’s talk about angels for a moment:


77% of adult Americans believe in angels, according to a December 2011 Associated Press-GfK poll. I must admit this surprised me; but it is also good to know, in general, that 77% of adult Americans believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, according to a 2012 Rasmussen poll.

The Abbreviated Doctrine of Angels (Angelology)

1.      As previously discussed, these are 2 angels who have come with our Lord to Abraham. However, it is not clear at this point that Abraham knows that this is Jehovah Elohim or that these are angels. Their purpose seems to be tied more to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah than it is to meeting Abraham. Gen. 18:1–2, 16, 22 19:1, 12–13

2.      Our word for angel is a transliteration from the Greek word aggelos (ἄγγελος) [pronounced AHN-geh-loss], which means messenger, envoy, one who is sent, angel, a messenger from God. Strong’s #32. Although this word is often translated angel (Matt. 2:19 28:2, 5 Luke 1:13–19 2:9–10), it is not used exclusively for angels (Matt. 11:10).

3.      The existence of angels is clearly taught in the Bible, as they are found over 100 times in the Old Testament alone. However, this did not mean that people encountered angels all of the time. In Gen. 6, apparently every person had some kind of contact with fallen angels; but after that point, their appearance to man was rare; and since the completion of the canon of Scripture, it is not clear that any contact is allowed between man and angels.

4.      Angels were created before man; and man is clearly inferior to angels (although this, apparently, will change). Psalm 148:2–5 Heb. 2:6–9 2Peter 2:11

5.      There are both fallen and elect angels. Elect angels have never sinned; fallen angels have followed Satan (which is about a third of the angels—Rev. 12:4). Fallen angels are also called demons in Scripture. Psalm 103:20 Matt. 24:41 Mark 8:38 2Cor. 12:7 Jude 6 Rev. 12:7–12

6.      Although I have heard discussion by many theologians about the redemption of angels, I have not come across any evidence that an angel can sin against God and then later be redeemed.

7.      Angels apparently have an ability to adopt a physical, human form which functions just as our bodies function. They are able to eat, they are able to grab, and, in the case of Gen. 6, able to copulate with and impregnate human women. Gen. 6 18:8 19:16 Heb. 13:2

8.      However, angels appear to have bodies of light which are not governed by the same laws of physics that we are. Daniel 9:21 10:5–6 Matt. 28:2–4 Col. 1:16 Heb. 1:7, 14

9.      Although angels are powerful beings, they cannot stand between you and God; they cannot take your salvation from you. Rom. 8:38

10.    We appear to be an object lesson for angels, who spend much of their time observing mankind. Eccl 5:6 Daniel 4:13, 17, 23 1Cor 4:9 Eph 3:10 1Tim. 5:21 Heb. 12:1. This is not too different from our obsession with watching movies.

Some of this material came from:

Lewis Sperry Chafer, D.D., Litt. D., The. D.; Systematic Theology; Kregel Publications; ©1976 Dallas Theological Seminary; Vol. 7, pp. 13–15.

Robert Dean’s Notes, Genesis Lesson #98, 7/19/2005; accessed April 17, 2012.

http://christiananswers.net/q-acb/acb-t005.html accessed April 17, 2012.

For additional study, try:

http://ichthys.com/2A-Angelo.htm

http://biblestudyplanet.com/angels-and-demons/

http://bible.org/article/angelology-doctrine-angels

http://www.versebyverse.org/doctrine/angels.html

As an aside, I mention the poll about believing that Christ rose from the dead, because this is directly related to our preservation as a nation; one of the lessons that we will learn in Gen. 18.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 18:2f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

rûts (רוּץ) [pronounced roots]

to run, to hasten to; to move quickly [and with purpose]; to rush upon [in a hostile manner]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7323 BDB #930

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

qârâʾ (קָרָא) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to encounter, to befall, to meet; to assemble [for the purpose of encountering God or exegeting His Word]; to come, to assemble

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #7122 & #7125 BDB #896

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

pethach (פֶּתַח) [pronounced PEH-thahkh]

opening, doorway, entrance, gate [for a tent, house, or city]; metaphorically, gate [of hope, of the mouth]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6607 BDB #835

ʾohel (אֹהֶל) [pronounced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #168 BDB #13


abrahamentertainingangelsgenesis18-1-141.jpg

Translation: ...and then he runs to meet them from the opening of the tent. It appears as if these men are afar off. Therefore, Abraham has to get onto his feet and run to them. Given the words in this verse and how they are used, this does not preclude a semi-conscious state. That is, it is almost as if Abraham is experiencing this in a dream. First the men are right there over him; and then he is running to them, with twice the allusion to the entry to the tent. However, it will become clear that this is not a vision or a dream because Sarah will hear what is being said. She will actually hear them say things.


Abraham entertaining angels (a graphic); from St-takla.org; accessed January 1, 2014.


Genesis 18:2g

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâchah (שָחַה) [pronounced shaw-KHAW]

to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to do obeisance to; to honor [with prayers]; to do homage to, to submit to

3rd person masculine singular, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #7812 BDB #1005

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earthward (all or a portion thereof), on [toward, upon] the earth; on [upon, toward] the land [territory, country, continent; ground, soil]

feminine singular noun with the directional hê

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: Then he bowed down toward the earth,... It is not clear whether Abraham is acting with great humility toward 3 strangers who are within his periphery or whether he recognizes who this is. Even calling one of these men, my lord does not require Abraham to have recognized one of the men as Jehovah Elohim.


Gen 18:1–2 And Yehowah appears to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing over him. When he looked [again], he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth


Let me suggest this explanation. Abraham looks up, out from a half-conscious sleep, and he sees 3 men standing over him or standing by him. He dozes off for a few instances, his mind snaps to what he saw, and he looks again. This time, the men are no longer standing over him, but they are a distance off.


Abraham runs to meet them and he bows himself before them.


——————————


...and so he says, “My Lords, if please I have found grace in Your eyes do not please pass from upon Your servant.

Genesis

18:3

...and said, “My Lords, if indeed I have found grace in Your eyes, please do not pass away from Your servant.

...and said, “My Lords, if I have indeed found grace in Your sight, then please do not pass away from Your servant.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And he said, I beseech, by the mercies (that are) before You, O Lord, if now I have found favour before You, that the glory of Your shekina may not now ascend from Your servant, until I have set forth provisions under the tree.

Latin Vulgate                          And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in your sight, pass not away from your servant.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        ...and so he says, “My Lords, if please I have found grace in Your eyes do not please pass from upon Your servant.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And said, O LORD, if now I have found mercy in your sight, do not pass away from your servant.

Septuagint (Greek)                And he said, Lord, if indeed I have found grace in Your sight, pass not by Your servant.

 

Significant differences:           The targum is filled will extra stuff. You will note that my translation has My Lords, and the others are somewhat different. See the Hebrew exegesis for more information on that.

 

The Latin lacks the particle of entreaty (which occurs twice in the Hebrew). The translations if now and if indeed (in the Syriac and Greek) are legitimate (as is, in Your sight). .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           He said, "Sirs, if you would be so kind, don't just pass by your servant.

Contemporary English V.       ...and said, "Please come to my home where I can serve you.

Easy English                          Abraham said, `Sir, if you think kindly about me, please do not go away.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abraham said, “Sirs [This Hebrew word can mean "sirs" or "Lord." This might show that these were not ordinary men.], please stay awhile with me, your servant.

Good News Bible (TEV)         ...he said, "Sirs, please do not pass by my home without stopping; I am here to serve you.

The Message                         He said, "Master, if it please you, stop for a while with your servant.

New Century Version             ...and said, "Sir, if you think well of me, please stay awhile with me, your servant.

New Living Translation           "My lord," he said, "if it pleases you, stop here for a while.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      ...saying, "My lord, please, if I find grace in your eyes, please do not pass by your servant.

Beck’s American Translation “my lord,” he said, “if you’re kind to me, please don’t pass by your servant.

God’s Word                         "Please, sir," Abraham said, "stop by to visit me for a while.

New American Bible              ...he said: "Sir,* if it please you, do not go on past your servant.

NIRV                                      He said, "My lord, if you are pleased with me, don't pass me by.

Revised English Bible            ...he said, ‘Sirs, if I have deserved your favour, do not go past your servant without a visit.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And said, My Lord, if now I have grace in your eyes, do not go away from your servant:...

Complete Jewish Bible           ...and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please don't leave your servant.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...said, “My masters, if now I have found favour in your eyes, will you not come in to your servant?

HCSB                                     Then he said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please do not go on past your servant.

 

PS (Tanakh—1985)                 ...he said, “My lords [Or, “My Lord”], if it please you, do not go on past your servant.

NET Bible®                             He said, "My lord [The Masoretic Text (MT) has the form אֲדֹנָי ('adonay, "Master") which is reserved for God. This may reflect later scribal activity. The scribes, knowing it was the LORD, may have put the proper pointing with the word instead of the more common אֲדֹנִי ('adoni, "my master").], if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant [Heb "do not pass by from upon your servant."].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And saying is he, "My lord, pray, should I find grace in your eyes, pray, you must not pass on from your servant.

Context Group Version          ...and said, My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, don't pass away, I beg of you, from your slave...

English Standard Version      ...and said, "O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and says, My Adonay, If, I beseech you,

I find charism in your eyes,

pass not away, I beseech you, from your servant:.

Heritage Bible                        And said, My Lord, if now there exists grace to me in your eyes, I beg you, do not cross on from your servant;...

NASB                                     ...and said, "My Lord [Or O Lord], if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by [Lit pass away from Your servant].

Syndein                                  And said, "Why don't you stay awhile?" {Idiom: literally is "my 'Adonay/lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, pass not away, I pray you, from your servant"} {Note: RBT says that Abraham did not recognize these three strangers as being God or messengers from God at this point. The point of the verses is to show Abraham's good mental attitude when the strangers arrived.}.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   ...and said, My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, don't pass away, I pray you, from your slave:.

World English Bible                ...and said, "My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don't go away from your servant..

Young’s Updated LT             And he says, “My Lord, if, I pray you, I have found grace in your eyes, do not, I pray you, pass on from your servant.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham asks for them to not pass by him.


Genesis 18:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]

Lord (s), Master (s), my Lord (s), Sovereign; my lord [master]; can refer to the Trinity or to an intensification of the noun; transliterated Adonai, adonai

masculine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #113 & #136 BDB #10

There are actually 3 forms of this word: ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; ʾădônay (אֲדֹנַי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; and ʾădônîy (אֲדֹנִי) [pronounced uh-doh-NEE].

This is a form of Strong’s #113, where there are three explanations given for the yodh ending: (1) this is a shortened form of the plural ending, usually written -îym (נִים) [pronounced eem], an older form of the pluralis excellentiæ (the plural of excellence), where God’s sovereignty and lordship are emphasized by the use of the plural; (2) this is the actual, but ancient, plural of the noun, which refers to the Trinity; or (3) this is the addition of the 1st person singular suffix, hence, my Lord (the long vowel point at the end would distinguish this from my lords).

There are points of grammar which speak to the options above, but not so that we may unequivocally choose between the three. (1) When we find ʾădônay (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAH] (note the difference of the vowel ending), it always means my lords. (2) Jehovah calls Himself ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY] in Job 28:28 Isa. 8:7; however, many of the Job manuscripts read Yehowah and 8 ancient Isaiah manuscripts read Yehowah instead. This suggests, that either ancient Scribes were confused about this form of Adonai or that they simply substituted Adonai for Yehowah, which was not an abnormal practice (in oral readings, the ancient Tetragrammaton was not spoken, but Lord was said instead). And even If every manuscript read Adonai, then we may also reasonably conclude that one member of the Trinity is addressing another member of the Trinity (although the idea of God saying my Lord would be theologically confusing, even if addressing another member of the Trinity; although Jesus did refer to God the Father as our Father).


Translation: ...and said, “My Lords,... The word Lord here can refer to God and can be a term of simple respect for a man in authority. The form that this word is in is, ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]. Grammatically speaking, this is the plural form of ʾâdôwn (אָדוֹן) [pronounced aw-DOHN] with the 1st person singular suffix affixed to it. Most English Bibles translate this my Lord here and my lords in Gen. 19:2, even though this is the exact same form of the word and Abram is addressing 3 men and Lot will address 2 messengers when they come to him (God will not be with them). It is not unusual for this to be simply translated Lord. To add to this confusion, Strong gives 2 numbers to this word (Strong’s #113 & 136), which merely represent these 2 forms of the same word. And, as if that were not confusing enough, my e-sword identifies the word here as Strong’s #136 and as Strong’s #113 in Gen. 19:2, even though they are the exact same form of the exact same word. I am not opposed in any way to the different Strong numbers, which is often the case when, say, the present active participle of a verb is separately named as an adjective; however, it strikes me as being rather inconsistent to take these 2 instances of having the exact same word in all respects given 2 different Strong’s numbers.


I mention this bit of confusion, because it would be easy to use your e-sword (or a similar type tool) and to think that the Hebrew word here is ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY] but in Gen. 19:2, the Hebrew word is ʾâdôwn (אָדוֹן) [pronounced aw-DOHN]. Both BDB and Gesenius combine these “two” Strong’s numbers under one grouping. Strong differentiates between them. But, we have exactly the same form and spelling of the same word in Gen. 18:3 and 19:2, even though Strong treats them as different words.


The reason the narrative begins with Abraham seeing three men is because Abraham did not realize who this was at first. What he was doing was being polite. Lord here is the masculine plural with a 1st person singular suffix of the Hebrew word ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY] is a term of respect and it can refer to God or to a person. My Lords is a good translation as long as it is not confused and thought to be a divine reference. Sirs would be another good translation here. Abraham is ingratiating himself to these strangers and is assuming the best of them. Abraham is merely providing them with some southern hospitality.


So, Abraham literally says, “My lords;” although it is not out of the question to render this O Lord or my Lord, despite the plural and the suffix. This sort of vocative simply connotes respect and does not necessarily mean that it is a reference to deity every time it is used (see 1Sam. 25:31, for instance). However, for the Pentateuch, Joshua and Judges, this word is used exclusively for Deity (this being the lone questionable example).


The narrative here tells us that YHWH is appearing to Abram. However, in vv. 2–3, it is not clear that Abraham knows who these men are. This could simply be ancient world hospitality that Abraham is practicing here. He sees these men off in the distance, and he gets up and runs to them, and then bows before them, asking if he can refresh them.


There are definitely some difficult things to explain from the Hebrew. Most of the time, when we find this word, we translate it Lord or my Lord; however, it is in the plural and Abraham is speaking to 3 people (well, sort of). What follows is, Abraham will twice use the 2nd person masculine singular suffix, rather than the plural. So, is he speaking to 3 men (or, whatever) or is he speaking to one of them in particular?


Please note what we have so far, when it comes to the number of people that Abraham is speaking to.

Is Abraham Speaking to One Lord or to Three?

First thing is, I will bold all of the references to Abraham’s visitor in the singular (verbs in the singular are also marked).

Then Yehowah appears unto him by the Oaks of Mamre while he is sitting [at] the opening of [his] tent at the time of the heat of the day. Abraham lifts up his eyes and looks up [lit., and so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks] and, behold, [there are] three men standing beyond [over?] him. So he looks and then he runs to meet them from the opening of the tent. Then he bowed down toward the earth, and said, “My Lords, if indeed I have found grace in Your eyes, please do not pass away from Your servant.

Now, let’s go back and see where Abraham is speaking to 3 beings:

Then Yehowah appears unto him by the Oaks of Mamre while he is sitting [at] the opening of [his] tent at the time of the heat of the day. Abraham lifts up his eyes and looks up [lit., and so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks] and, behold, [there are] three men standing over him. So he looks and then he runs to meet them from the opening of the tent. Then he bowed down toward the earth, and said, “My Lords, if indeed I have found grace in Your eyes, please do not pass away from Your servant.

Bear in mind, the very words my Lords is in question when it comes to how it ought to be translated.

Do you see how intermixed this is? Even within Abraham’s quote, he addresses the 3 but then speaks to Yehowah in particular.

What appears to be the case is, there is the Lord, in His preincarnate form; and He is with 2 angels. Abraham speaks specifically to the 2nd Person of the Trinity.

However, what seems to be implied here—and this has occurred already—is the question, is God One or is God Three? God is One is essence and in purpose; God is Three in Persons. You will note that even the verbs are alternately singular and plural.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


My point here is, this is consistent with speaking of God as a Trinity, a Unified Whole, yet in three Persons. Again, this is not the Trinity appearing to Abraham; this is simply illustrative of the Trinity.


Genesis 18:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

The particle ʾîm (ם ̣א) can be used as a demonstrative (lo, behold), an interrogative (usually expecting a negative response and often used with other particles and rhetorically), and as a conditional particle (if, though); an indication of a wish or desire (oh that, if only; this is a rare usage).

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

Nâʾ is used for a submissive and modest request. It is used to express a wish (Job 32:21: “Oh, that I may not respect any man’s person”); to incite or to urge (Jer. 5:24); it is depreciatory when affixed to the 2nd person with a particle of negation (do not, I implore you—see Gen. 33:10 19:18); with the it expresses a wish or request (Psalm 124 129:1 SOS 7:9), a challenge (Jer. 17:15), asking leave (Gen. 18:4), and depreciation with a negation (Gen. 18:32). In many of these examples, we would express this with the addition of the word let.

Together, ʾîm nâʾ (אִם נָא) [pronounced eem-naw] mean if indeed, if now; used in modestly, even timidly, assuming something.

mâtsâʾ (מָצָא) [pronounced maw-TSAW]

to attain to, to find, to detect, to happen upon, to come upon, to find unexpectedly, to discover; to meet (encounter)

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4672 BDB #592

chên (חֵן) [pronounced khayn]

grace, favor, blessing

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2580 BDB #336

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

This phrase is literally in your eyes, but it can be translated in your opinion, in your estimation, to your way of thinking, as you see [it]. The dual and plural forms of this word appear to be identical.


Translation: ...if indeed I have found grace in Your eyes,... You will note the particle of entreaty can be used with the hypothetical particle to mean if now, if indeed. This is the second time that we have found this word for grace in the Old Testament (the first was in reference to Noah in Gen. 6:8). Abraham appears to be speaking to One Person here, as he uses the 2nd person masculine singular suffix twice (here and in v. 3c).


Genesis 18:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾal (אַל) [pronounced al]

no, not; nothing; none; neither, nor; do not, let not [with a verb];; let there not be [with an understood verb];

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39

ʾal can mean ➊ nothing; ➋ it can act as the adverb of negative, much like μὴ; ➌ it can take on the idea of nay [do not do so]; ➍ it is used simply as a negative, but, like the Greek μὴ, it is put only in what a re called subjective propositions, and thus is only found with the imperfect tense (the other negative in the Hebrew is not so confined); ➎ ʾal is used most often as a conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, wishing that anything not be done. It can be used in an imprecation. ➏ It can be used interrogatively, meaning whether when a negative reply is expected; have [you] not.

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

ʿâbar (עָבַר) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over [beyond], to cross, to cross over; to go away, to depart; to violate [a law]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

min (מִן) [pronounced mihn]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

Together, they mean from upon, from over, from by, from beside, from attachment to, from companionship with, from accompanying [in a protective manner], from adhesion to, from. Some translators rendered this away from.

ʿebed (עֶבֶד) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix; pausal form

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713


Translation: ...please do not pass away from Your servant. Abraham has run up to them and caught them and he asks only One Person, “Please do not pass away from Your servant.” The verb Abraham uses is in the 2nd person masculine singular, rather than a plural.


——————————


Let be taken please a little of waters and you [all] wash your feet and you [all] rest underneath the tree.

Genesis

18:4

Please let a little water be brought [to you] and then you [all] will wash your feet and rest underneath the tree.

Please allow me to bring a little water to you so that you can wash your feet and then rest underneath the tree.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...until I have set forth provisions under the tree.

Latin Vulgate                          But I will fetch a little water, and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Let be taken please a little of waters and you [all] wash your feet and you [all] rest underneath the tree.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Let me bring a little water and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree.

Septuagint (Greek)                Let water now be brought, and let them wash your feet, and refresh yourselves under the tree.

 

Significant differences:           At this point, the targum essentially preserves 3 words: set forth, under and tree. The English translation from the Latin and Syriac have the 1st person singular associated with the first verb (which is found in many English translations). The imperatives to wash and rest seem to be more imperatives of request rather than demand; and that comes across in the ancient translations.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Let a little water be brought so you may wash your feet and refresh yourselves under the tree.

Contemporary English V.       I'll have some water brought, so you can wash your feet, then you can rest under the tree.

Easy English                          Let us bring a little water so that you can wash your feet. Then rest under the tree.

Easy-to-Read Version            I will bring some water to wash your feet. You can rest under the trees.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Let me bring some water for you to wash your feet; you can rest here beneath this tree.

The Message                         I'll get some water so you can wash your feet. Rest under this tree.

New Berkeley Version           I beg of you, let us have a little water brought, to wash your feet. Recline under the tree...

New Century Version             I will bring some water so all of you can wash your feet. You may rest under the tree,...

New Living Translation           Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your fee.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          '[I will have] water brought and [my servants] will wash your feet; so rest here under the tree.

Ancient Roots Translinear      Please take a little water and wash your feet, and lean under the tree.

Beck’s American Translation Somebody will get a little water; then wash your feet, and rest under the tree.

God’s Word                         Why don't we let someone bring a little water? After you wash your feet, you can stretch out and rest under the tree.

Revised English Bible            Let me send for some water so that you may bathe your fee; and rest under this tree.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Let me get water for washing your feet, and take your rest under the tree:...

NET Bible®                             Let a little water be brought so that [The imperative after the jussive indicates purpose here.] you may all [he word "all" has been supplied in the translation because the Hebrew verb translated "wash" and the pronominal suffix on the word "feet" are plural, referring to all three of the visitors.] wash your feet and rest under the tree.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    Let a little water, pray, be taken, and they will wash your feet. And lean back under the tree.

Context Group Version          ...let now a little water be fetched, and wash your { pl } feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...take a little water, I beseech you,

and bathe your feet and lean under the tree:...

Fred Miller’s Revised KJV     I beseech you, let a little water be fetched and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree.

Heritage Bible                        I beg you, let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree;...

LTHB                                     Please allow a little water to be taken and You wash Your feet, and rest under the tree.

NASB                                     Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest [Lit support] yourselves under the tree;...

Syndein                                  "Let a little water, please/'I exhort you, be fetched, and wash your feet {this was the invitation to enter one's home - 'wash your feet first'}, and rest yourselves under the tree {out of the hot sun}."

World English Bible                Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.

Young’s Updated LT             Let, I pray you, a little water be accepted, and wash your feet, and recline under the tree.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham asks for them to rest under the tree while water was brought to wash their feet.


Genesis 18:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to be taken unto; to be brought to; to be take out of; to be taken away

3rd person masculine singular, Hophal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

Nâʾ is used for a submissive and modest request. It is used to express a wish (Job 32:21: “Oh, that I may not respect any man’s person”); to incite or to urge (Jer. 5:24); it is depreciatory when affixed to the 2nd person with a particle of negation (do not, I implore you—see Gen. 33:10 19:18); with the it expresses a wish or request (Psalm 124 129:1 SOS 7:9), a challenge (Jer. 17:15), asking leave (Gen. 18:4), and depreciation with a negation (Gen. 18:32). In many of these examples, we would express this with the addition of the word let.

meʿaţ (מְעַט) [pronounced me-ĢAHT]

a little, fewness, few

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4592 BDB #589

mayim (מַיִם) [pronounced mah-YIHM]

water (s)

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4325 BDB #565


Translation: Please let a little water be brought [to you]... Abraham has been a stranger in a strange land and has traveled the length and breadth of the land of Canaan as God had told him to do. He recognized the importance of hospitality and kindness. To be brought is the Hophal, which is the passive causative stem; the water is being brought (passive) and Abraham will not bring it out himself but have his wife or servants bring it out. He will personally bring out some food to them (bring back—literally, fetch—is in the Qal imperfect. The Qal is the simple verb form and the imperfect tense means that this will be a process. The word servant is the proper contrast to the word lord.


In the Hebrew, this is a little odd, because the verb is in the masculine singular, but water is a plural noun (however it is affixed to a masculine singular construct). Perhaps this would be reasonably translated Please let one bring a little water [to you].


Interestingly enough, the verb is in the imperfect tense here, rather than the imperative, with the particle of entreaty affixed to it. If you read through the Hebrew exegesis, this particle can be used to express a wish or a desire, as well as used to urge someone to do something.


Abraham has already asked that these men not pass on or pass by. So, momentarily, they are just standing there, and he then asks if he can bring them some water. Abraham is expecting an answer here; although he is insisting here that they stay with him a bit. Once he completes his request, they will give him an answer.


Now, it does not appear that Abraham knows who this is—that he is speaking to the very God Who has made these many promises to him over these years.


Genesis 18:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

râchats (רָחַץ) [pronounced raw-BAHTS]

to wash, to bathe (oneself), to wash off (away); possibly to declare oneself innocent

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #7364 BDB #934

regel (רֶגֶל) [pronounced REH-gel]

foot, feet

feminine dual noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #7272 BDB #919


abraham-lavant-les-pieds-aux-anges-1854-felix-henri-giacomotti.jpg

Translation: ...and then you [all] will wash your feet... The water is not for their parched mouths, but for the dry and dirty feet. These men had apparently been walking through the land. So, we might picture Jesus Christ in His preincarnate form, when with angels, flying overhead; but they are all walking, all in a human form.


In the dusty ancient world, men apparently walked everywhere in sandals—Reebok and Saucony having not yet having established outlets in Canaan—and their feet became dry and dirty. It became a common custom in the ancient world for a person returning home or being taken in temporarily as a guest, to wash his feet (or to have his feet washed) and, on some occasions, for oil to be applied to moisten the feet.


Abraham lavant les pieds aux anges 1854 Felix Henri Giacomotti (graphic); from Pickleloaf; accessed January 1, 2014.

 

McGee comments: In that day they did not take off their hat, but they did take off their shoes. Today we have reversed it. When you come to visit somebody, you leaves your shoes on and take off your hat. I'm not sure which is right. I like the idea, myself, of taking off my shoes. I like to go barefooted in the summertime. I wish it were possible more often. When I am out in the Hawaiian Islands, I put my shoes away and wear thongs or go barefooted as much as possible. I don't put my shoes back on the whole time I am there. I love to go barefooted. I think this was a great custom. It sure would make you feel at home to take off your shoes, wash your feet, and rest yourself under the shade of a tree. Abraham is really entertaining these men royally.


Genesis 18:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâʿan (שָעַן) [pronounced shaw-ĢAHN]

to lean [rest] upon [against], to support oneself against; it can be used figuratively for faith or confidence in someone

2nd person masculine plural, Niphal imperative

Strong’s #8172 BDB #1043

This verb is generally found with a preposition of some sort.

tachath (תַּחַת) [pronounced TAH-khahth]

underneath, below, under, beneath; instead of, in lieu of; in the place [in which one stands]; in exchange for; on the basis of

preposition of location or foundation

Strong’s #8478 BDB #1065

ʿêts (עֵץ) [pronounced ģayts]

tree, wood; wooden post, [wooden] stake, gallows; [collectively for] a forest of trees

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6086 BDB #781


Translation: ...and rest underneath the tree. Abraham makes a request, using the imperative mood, that they all take a rest under the tree. This further suggests one prominent shade tree in this area or that Abraham is indicating a particular tree near his tent.


Abraham makes a request, using the imperative mood, that they all take a rest under the tree. This further suggests one prominent shade tree in this area or that Abraham is indicating a particular tree near his tent.


The first words which Abraham spoke appear to be directed toward Jehovah Elohim, and they are in the singular. This second set of phrases that Abraham spoke is to all three, as all of the words and suffixes are in the plural in v. 4 (and the same will be true of v. 5).


——————————


And I should fetch a morsel of bread and you [all] refresh your heart. Afterwards, you will pass on for upon thus you have passed upon your servant.” And they say, “Thus you will do as which you have spoken.”

Genesis

18:5

And I will fetch a bit of bread while you [all] refresh your hearts. Afterwards, you will pass on, since you have passed by your servant.” And they said, “So you will do just as you have proposed.”

Let me fetch a little bread while you all refresh your hearts. Then, afterwards, you may pass on, it is for this rest and a meal that you have come across your servant.” And they replied, “Okay, then, we accept your offer.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And I will bring food of bread, that you may strengthen your hearts, and give thanks in the Name of the Word of the Lord, and afterwards pass on. For therefore at the time of repast are you come, and have turned aside to your servant to take food. And they said, You have spoken well; do according to your word.

Latin Vulgate                          And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen you your heart, afterwards you will pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as you have spoken.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And I should fetch a morsel of bread and you [all] refresh your heart. Afterwards, you will pass on for upon thus you have passed upon your servant.” And they say, “Thus you will do as which you have spoken.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And take a morsel of bread and sustain your hearts; after that you shall go on your way, since you have come to your servant. And they said, So do as you have said.

Septuagint (Greek)                And I will bring bread, and you shall eat, and after this you shall depart on your journey, on account of which refreshment you have turned aside to your servant. And he said, So do, as you have said.

NETS (Greek)                        And I shall take bread and you will eat, and after that, you will pass by on your way—inasmuch as you have turned aside to your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.”

 

Significant differences:           The English translation from the Latin has set instead of fetch, bring. The Syriac appears to treat this as a 2nd person rather than as a 1st person. The Hebrew says they will refresh themselves; the Greek says they will eat. I don’t know if this is an interpretation by the Greek or what.

 

The Greek also adds that they will then pass by on the road (way).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Let me offer you a little bread so you will feel stronger, and after that you may leave your servant and go on your way-since you have visited your servant."

They responded, "Fine. Do just as you have said."

Contemporary English V.       Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honored to serve you." "Thank you very much," they answered. "We accept your offer."

Easy English                          I will fetch a little food to give you energy. After that, you will be able to continue your journey. We are happy to have you with us.'

The men said, `That is good. Do as you have said.'

Easy-to-Read Version            I will get some food for you, and you can eat as much as you want. Then you can continue your journey.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         I will also bring a bit of food; it will give you strength to continue your journey. You have honored me by coming to my home, so let me serve you." They replied, "Thank you; we accept."

The Message                         I'll get some food to refresh you on your way, since your travels have brought you across my path." They said, "Certainly. Go ahead."

New Berkeley Version           ...while I get a bite of bread so you may refresh yourselves; then you may go on; for this you surely came by your servant.”

They said, “Do as you have said.”

New Century Version             ...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."

New Life Bible                        And I will get a piece of bread so you may eat and get strength. After that you may go on your way, since you have come to your servant."

The men said, "Do as you have said."

New Living Translation           And since you've honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey."

"All right," they said. "Do as you have said."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          I will bring some bread for you to eat, and then you can continue your journey. But, [please stop] so your servant can refresh you.'

And the Lord replied, 'Do just as you have said.' The AEB has this line as beginning v. 6, which is a far more logical approach.

Beck’s American Translation Let me get a bit of food for you to refresh yourselves; then go on. It was for this you were passing by your servant.”

“Do as you say,” they answered.

God’s Word                         Let me bring some bread so that you can regain your strength. After that you can leave, since this is why you stopped by to visit me." They answered, "That's fine. Do as you say."

New American Bible              Now that you have come to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way." "Very well," they replied, "do as you have said."

NIRV                                      "Let me get you something to eat to give you strength. Then you can go on your way. I want to do this for you now that you have come to me."

"All right," they answered. "Go ahead and do it."

New Simplified Bible              »I will bring a bite to eat to refresh you. Stay a while before you continue your journey.« They responded: »Very well, do as you have said.«

Revised English Bible            ...while I fetch a little food so that you may refresh yourselves. Afterwards you may continue the journey which has brought you my way.’ They said, ‘Very well, do as you say.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And let me get a bit of bread to keep up your strength, and after that you may go on your way: for this is why you have come to your servant. And they said, Let it be so.

Complete Jewish Bible           ...and I will bring a piece of bread. Now that you have come to your servant, refresh yourselves before going on.""Very well," they replied, "do what you have said."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and take a bit of bread, and refresh your heart, and afterwards proceed; perhaps for this you passed near your servant?”

And they replied, “Do as you have said.”

HCSB                                     I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant's way. Later, you can continue on." "Yes," they replied, "do as you have said."

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               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.”

New Advent Bible                  And I will set a morsel of bread, and you strengthen your heart, afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as you have spoken.

NET Bible®                             And let me get [The Qal cohortative here probably has the nuance of polite request] a bit of food [tn Heb "a piece of bread." The Hebrew word ????? (lekhem) can refer either to bread specifically or to food in general. Based on Abraham's directions to Sarah in v. 6, bread was certainly involved, but v. 7 indicates that Abraham had a more elaborate meal in mind.] so that you may refresh yourselves [Heb "strengthen your heart." The imperative after the cohortative indicates purpose here.] since you have passed by your servant's home. After that you may be on your way [Heb "so that you may refresh yourselves, after [which] you may be on your way - for therefore you passed by near your servant."]." "All right," they replied, "you may do as you say."

NIV, ©2011                             Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way-now that you have come to your servant."

"Very well," they answered, "do as you say."

NIV – UK                                Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way- now that you have come to your servant. Very well, they answered, do as you say.

The Scriptures 1998              “And let me bring a piece of bread and refresh your hearts, and then go on, for this is why you have come to your servant.” And they said, “Do as you have said.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And I will bring a morsel (mouthful) of bread to refresh and sustain your hearts before you go on further--for that is why you have come to your servant. And they replied, Do as you have said.

Concordant Literal Version    And I will take a morsel of bread and you shall eat and brace your hearts. And afterward shall you pass on your way, for therefore you pass by your servant. And saying are they, "So be doing as you speak.”

Context Group Version          ...and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and strengthen your { pl } heart; after that you { pl } shall pass on: since you { pl } have come to your { pl } slave. And they said, Do so, as you have said.

English Standard Version      ...while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on--since you have come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said."

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and I take a morsel of bread, to support your hearts;

and after that, you pass on:

this is why you pass to your servant.

And they say, Work thus, as you word.

Fred Miller’s Revised KJV     And I will fetch a morsel of bread and comfort your hearts; after that you shall pass on: for therefore you are come to your servant. And they said, So do as you have said.

Heritage Bible                        And I will bring a morsel of food, and refresh your hearts; after that, you shall cross on, because this is why you have crossed over to your servant. And they said, So, do what you have spoken..

LTHB                                     And I will bring a bite of bread and will sustain Your heart. Then You may pass on, for this is why You have passed over to Your servant. And they said, Do so, as you have said.

Modern KJV                           And I will bring a bite of bread, and will comfort your hearts. After that You shall pass on. For this is why You have come to Your servant. And they said, Do so, as you have said.

New King James Version       And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant."

They said, "Do as you have said."

Syndein                                  "And I will fetch a bit of food, and comfort you your 'inner being' {leb} {picture of rest, relax, eat and refresh yourself inside and out}. After that you shall pass on. For therefore are you come to your servant {meaning 'you have come to a gracious host who welcomes you'}. And they communicated categorically {dabar}, "So do/manufacture {'asah - out of your good mental attitude}, as you have said {'amar}."

Young’s Updated LT             And I bring a piece of bread, and support you your heart; afterwards pass on, for therefore have you passed over unto your servant;” and they say, “So may you do as you has spoken.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham asks the 3 men to wait while he fetches some food for them as well.


Genesis 18:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

1st person singular, Qal imperfect with the voluntative hê

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

path (פַּת) [pronounced pahth]

a fragment, a morsel, a piece [of bread]

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #6595 BDB #837

lechem (לֶחֶם) [pronounced LEH-khem]

literally means bread; used more generally for food

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3899 BDB #536


Translation: And I will fetch a bit of bread... Although Abraham says that he will get them a morsel of bread, he is about to prepare them a tremendous meal for the ancient world. This is a way that he speaks modestly of what he is proposing. Probably, the idea is to appear as if this is not very much trouble.


Times have changed considerably. Abraham cannot very well send out for pizza, pop some leftovers into a microwave, take them to the nearest restaurant, etc. This hospitality thing takes a great deal of time. The water has not been mentioned; likely, at the very beginning, Abraham's servants automatically saw to their guests or Abraham directed them to do so. Abraham is doing this all as quickly as possible (hastened is used three times in vv. 6 & 7 alone—one time, it is translated quickly make ready). We are seeing a process which must have taken 2–3 hours. This is quite a feast, unlike any that three travelers would have had over the past few months.


Preparing a meal in the ancient world was quite time consuming. My guess is, a typical meal would take maybe 2 or 3 hours to prepare (unless the food was leftover or being eaten fresh); depending upon what was being made. Meat would have to be killed, bread would require somewhat of a process, and the oven would have to be heated. This was all quite time consuming, so that, even though a great deal of time was spent on acquiring the food, there was a lot of time spent on preparing the food as well.


There will be an interesting contrast between Abraham and Lot and how they provide for their company. Abraham prepares every brand new, from scratch, which is a serious meal. Lot will serve the two angels leftovers. Neither man knows that he is entertaining angels unawares (Heb. 13:2).


What is being illustrated by this is, Abraham has more to offer God and the angels. Abraham and Lot both believe in the Revealed God. However, Abraham is a mature believer; he has grown in his human spirit; Lot has not; Lot has settled into a hotbed of immorality apparently because his wife likes the shoes and purses and fashion of the big city of Sodom. So Lot can offer them leftovers, but there is clearly no great fellowship which takes place. Furthermore, also take note that Jesus in His preincarnate form will fellowship with Abraham (this is known as a Theophany); He does not go to fellowship with Lot.


Genesis 18:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

çâʿad (סָעַד) [pronounced saw-ĢAHD]

to support, to prop up, to refresh, to sustain, to stay, to assist; to comfort

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #5582 BDB #703

lêb (לֵב) [pronounced laybv]

heart, inner man, mind, will, thinking; midst

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #3820 BDB #524


Translation: ...while you [all] refresh your hearts. At this point, Abraham begins to address these men as 3, suggesting that they refresh themselves from their journey. Your hearts is actually your [plural] heart. Again, even if this is not the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity is embedded in these words—one in heart (essence) and 3 in person.


Genesis 18:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾachar (אַחַר) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind; afterwards, after that

preposition

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

ʿâbar (עָבַר) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over [beyond], to cross, to cross over; to go away, to depart; to violate [a law]

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

kên (כֵּן) [pronounced kane]

so, therefore, thus; then, afterwards; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

kîy ʿal kên (כֵּן עַל כִּי) [pronounced kee ahl KANE], which means, literally, for therefore. together they mean inasmuch (as), forasmuch as, since, because.

ʿâbar (עָבַר) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over [beyond], to cross, to cross over; to go away, to depart; to violate [a law]

2nd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

BDB gives a huge array of meanings: 1) to pass over or by or through, alienate, bring, carry, do away, take, take away, transgress; 1a) (Qal); 1a1) to pass over, cross, cross over, pass over, march over, overflow, go over; 1a2) to pass beyond; 1a3) to pass through, traverse; 1a3a) passers-through (participle); 1a3b) to pass through (the parts of victim in covenant); 1a4) to pass along, pass by, overtake and pass, sweep by; 1a4a) passer-by (participle); 1a4b) to be past, be over; 1a5) to pass on, go on, pass on before, go in advance of, pass along, travel, advance; 1a6) to pass away; 1a6a) to emigrate, leave (one’s territory); 1a6b) to vanish; 1a6c) to perish, cease to exist; 1a6d) to become invalid, become obsolete (of law, decree); 1a6e) to be alienated, pass into other hands.

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ʿebed (עֶבֶד) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine plural suffix; pausal form

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713


Translation: Afterwards, you will pass on, since you have passed by your servant.” Abraham repeats this verb, along with this long string of particles (however, these 3 particles are found together elsewhere). These words could belie Abraham’s state of mind, determining what needed to be done in order to provide a meal for these men.


Again, Abraham does not appear to realize who these men are. However, because there were fewer people in that day, someone coming in to your periphery when you lived out in the sticks was a rarer occurrence. People who have traveled from a distance will often have news from other lands, which can be interesting. It is like speaking to a live newspaper of lands from beyond.


Meeting with travelers meant that Abraham would find out the news and the goings-on from wherever these men came—they are sort of a walking newspaper, if you will. Being an older man, Abraham had become much more interested in the news. I have noticed, as I get older, I find the news programs to be much more interesting than the entertainment programs, and therefore, I tend to watch a lot of news (particularly in comparison to what I did when young). So, do not discount the idea that Abraham looks at this having there right before him three potential FoxNews reporters with news of the world.


As an aside, even though we know who these men are, it is not clear that Abraham knows who they are. It is not clear that Abraham has even and inkling of who they are. The principle here is Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without realizing it (Heb. 13:2).


The phrase refresh yourselves is actually refresh [plural] your [plural] heart [singular]. Again, even if this is not the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity is embedded in these words—one in heart (essence) and 3 in person.


Genesis 18:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

kên (כֵּן) [pronounced kane]

so, therefore, thus; then, afterwards; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kaʾăsher (כַּאֲשֶר) [pronounced kah-uh-SHER] means as which, as one who, as, like as, just as; because; according to what manner, in a manner as. Back in 1Sam. 12:8, I rendered this for example.

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

2nd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180


Translation: And they said, “So you will do just as you have proposed.” Now we have them speaking as a plurality rather than one speaking. They agree to what Abraham has proposed.


The third portion of this verse reads: Afterwards, you will pass on, since you have passed by your servant.” This portion of v. 5 may seem to be a bit wordy and confusing, and we wonder exactly what Abraham is saying. I think that the New Berkeley Version (The Modern Language Bible) captures what is occurring here: ...for this you surely came by your servant. An American Translation by William F. Beck has the same sense: It was for this you were passing by your servant. In other words, Abraham is saying, “It is for this reason—that you refresh yourselves and have a bite to eat—that you passed by this way.” You may find this a bit of a stretch, but Abraham strings together 3 particles, which is quite rare: kîy ʿal kên (כֵּן עַל כִּי) [pronounced kee ahl KANE], which mean, when taken together, inasmuch (as), forasmuch as, since, because.


Abraham does not appear to know that this is the Lord and two angels. He is being extremely gracious to these strangers, inferring that, “This is why God brought you along this way, so that you can stop off here, rest yourselves, wash your feet, and have a meal with me.” He does not realize that they have come his way for two purposes; one to speak of life and the other to speak of death.


Now, let’s look at all of these verses together; when Abraham’s guest is spoken of or to in the singular, it will be bolded; and underlined when in the plural: Gen 18:1–5 Then Yehowah appears unto him by the Oaks of Mamre while he is sitting [at] the opening of [his] tent at the time of the heat of the day. Abraham lifts up his eyes and looks up [lit., and so he lifts up his eyes and so he looks] and, behold, [there are] three men standing beyond [over?] him. So he looks and then he runs to meet them from the opening of the tent. Then he bowed down toward the earth, and said, “My Lords, if indeed I have found grace in Your eyes, please do not pass away from Your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on--since you have come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said." Again, Lords is plural, but is used when addressing one person as well. So, there is nothing amiss with the way the Abraham is speaking to these three, but it is still an odd jumbling together of singulars and plurals which cannot really be appreciated in the English, as our 2nd person singular pronoun is identical to our 3rd person singular pronoun.


——————————


And so hastens Abraham the tent-ward unto Sarah and so he says, “Hasten [quickly prepare] three of seahs of flour—fine flour; knead and prepare bread-cakes.”

Genesis

18:6

Abraham then hurried to the tent to Sarah and he said, “Quickly prepare 3 seahs of fine flour; [then] knead [it] and prepare bread-cakes.”

Abraham then hurried to the tent, to Sarah, and he said to her, “Quickly prepare 3 seahs of the finest flour; and then knead it and prepare bread-cakes.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said to her, Hasten three measures of flour-meal, mix and make cakes.

Latin Vulgate                          Abraham made haste into the tent to Sara, and said to her: Make haste, temper together three measures of flour, and make cakes upon the hearth.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so hastens Abraham the tent-ward unto Sarah and so he says, “Hasten [quickly prepare] three of seahs of flour—fine flour; knead and prepare bread-cakes.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    So Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine flour, knead it, and make cakes on a griddle.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abraham hastened to the tent to Sarah, and said to her, Quickly, knead three measures of fine flour, and make cakes.

 

Significant differences:           There is no to her in the Hebrew; but it is found in the targum, Latin and Greek. I am not sure what the word temper means in the English translation from the Latin, but there are 2 verbs here. I assume it means something like knead. The Latin and targum do not appear to indicate that the flour is of a special quality.

 

Although the English translation from the Latin and Syriac have these cakes being prepared on the griddle or upon the hearth; these words are not found in the Hebrew. E-sword gives a Hebrew equivalent for these words in their KJV+ version, but the reference is back to the word to make, to do, to prepare, which is already accounted for.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           So Abraham hurried to Sarah at his tent and said, "Hurry! Knead three seahs [One seah is seven and a half quarts.] of the finest flour and make some baked goods!"

Contemporary English V.       Abraham quickly went to his tent and said to Sarah, "Hurry! Get a large sack of flour and make some bread."

Easy English                          Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. And he said, `Go quickly and get three measures of the best flour. That is, flour that people have made from wheat. Mix it with water and make loaves.'

Easy-to-Read Version            Abraham hurried to the tent. Abraham said to Sarah, “Quickly, prepare enough wheat for three loaves of bread.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, "Quick, take a sack of your best flour, and bake some bread."

The Message                         Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. He said, "Hurry. Get three cups of our best flour; knead it and make bread."

New Century Version             Abraham hurried to the tent where Sarah was and said to her, "Hurry, prepare twenty quarts of fine flour, and make it into loaves of bread."

New Life Bible                        So Abraham ran into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Hurry and get three pails of fine flour, mix it well, and make bread."

New Living Translation           So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, "Hurry! Get three large measures [Hebrew 3 seahs, about 15 quarts or 14 liters] of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, AbraHam ran back to SarAh (who was in the tent) and said to her, 'Hurry. knead three scoops of fine flour and make [some bread].’

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abraham hastened to the tent to Sarah and said, "Hasten with three seahs of flour meal. Knead it and make flatbread."

New American Bible              Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quick, three measures* of bran flour! Knead it and make bread."

NIRV                                      So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. "Quick!" he said. "Get about half a bushel of fine flour. Mix it and bake some bread."

Today’s NIV                          So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. "Quick," he said, "get three seahs [That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Then Abraham went quickly into the tent, and said to Sarah, Get three measures of meal straight away and make cakes.

New Advent Bible                  Abraham made haste into the tent to Sara, and said to her: Make haste, temper together three measures of flour, and make cakes upon the heart.

NET Bible®                             So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, "Quick! Take [The word "take" is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the sentence lacks a verb other than the imperative "hurry." The elliptical structure of the language reflects Abraham's haste to get things ready quickly] three measures [Three measures (Heb "three seahs") was equivalent to about twenty quarts (twenty-two liters) of flour, which would make a lot of bread. The animal prepared for the meal was far more than the three visitors needed. This was a banquet for royalty. Either it had been a lonely time for Abraham and the presence of visitors made him very happy, or he sensed this was a momentous visit] of fine flour, knead it, and make bread [The bread was the simple, round bread made by bedouins that is normally prepared quickly for visitors]."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And hastening is Abraham toward the tent to Sarah. And saying is he to her, "Hasten! Three seahs of meal flour knead, and make ember cakes.

English Standard Version      And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes."

exeGeses companion Bible   And Abraham hastens into the tent to Sarah

and says, Hasten three seahs of fine flour,

knead and work ashcakes.

Heritage Bible                        And Abraham flowed like liquid into the tent to Sarah, and said, Cause to flow three measures of ground flour, knead it, and make cakes.

LTHB                                     And Abraham ran into the tent to Sarah and said, Hurry, prepare three measures of fine meal, knead it and make cakes.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead [it], and make cakes upon the hearth.

World English Bible                Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Quickly make ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes."

Young’s Updated LT             And Abraham hastens towards the tent, unto Sarah, and says, “Have three measures of flour-meal, knead, and make cakes.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham quickly goes to Sarah’s tent and asks her to make some fresh bread.


Genesis 18:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâhar (מָחַר) [pronounced maw-HAHR]

to hasten, to hurry, to make haste; its transitive use is to prepare quickly, to bring quickly, to do quickly

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #4116 BDB #554

ʾAberâhâm (אַבְרָהָם) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4

ʾohel (אֹהֶל) [pronounced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine singular noun with the definite article with the directional hê

Strong's #168 BDB #13

This word, after a verb of motion, has the locale âh (הָ) ending. This is called the directive hê or the he locale, which often indicates direction and puts somewhat of an adverbial spin on the noun. Essentially, it answers the question where? The pronunciation of the word does not change. The directional hê indicates the direction in which something moves. It is often used with the noun heaven and the most literal rendering in the English would be heavenward. We can also indicate the existence of the hê directional by supplying the prepositions to or toward.

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Sârâh (שָׂרָה) [pronounced saw-RAW]

princess, noble woman; transliterated Sarah

proper noun; feminine singular

Strong’s #8283 BDB #979


Translation: Abraham then hurried to the tent to Sarah... We know that both Abraham and Sarah are older people (99 and 89 at this time); and we also know that they have a number of slaves. However, Abraham does not go to his chefs (assuming that they have them), but he goes directly to Sarah.


This is quite interesting, and it gives us an idea that, despite his age, Abraham is still quite youthful. When was the last time you heard the remark, “And the 99 year old guy hurried off to...”? You have never heard that said before. But Abraham was vigorous and healthy. He had hungry guests and he was going to hustle.


This, and chapters which will come later, tell us that God has greatly blessed Abraham with good health.


Genesis 18:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

mâhar (מָחַר) [pronounced maw-HAHR]

to hasten, to hurry, to make haste; its transitive use is to prepare quickly, to bring quickly, to do quickly

2nd person feminine singular, Piel imperative

Strong’s #4116 BDB #554

shâlôsh (שָלֹש) [pronounced shaw-LOHSH]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

numeral; masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

çeʾâh (סְאָה) [pronounced seh-AW]

a measure of flour, grain; a particular measure of corn (⅓ ephah?); transliterated seah, seʾah

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #5429 BDB #684

kemach (קֶמַח) [pronounced KEH-mahkh]

flour, meal

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7058 BDB #887

çôleth (שֹלֶת) [pronounced SOH-lehth]

 flour or fine flour

feminine singular noun

Strong's #5560 BDB #701


Translation: ...and he said, “Quickly prepare 3 seahs of fine flour;... Now, my assumption here is, Abraham explains what is needed for this meal to Sarah. It is likely that she will not prepare it herself but instruct her servants to do so. However, that thinking is conjecture on my part.


In the reading which I have done, 3 seahs is a lot of flour—20 quarts, according to one source, and 36 lbs. according to another. Your average loaf of bread is a pound or a pound and a half. This suggests that a great deal of bread is being made here. However, bear in mind that Abraham has a very large compound of perhaps 300–600 people (recall that he went to war with 318 men). Therefore, this large meal would have been served to the rest of the camp. However, all of the interaction is going to be between Abraham and these 3 men. So, it is not clear whether the rest of Abraham’s camp joins them or not at this particular time.


Sarah is in the tent, and Abraham runs in, and tells her what needs to be prepared for their guests. We do not really know how large a seah is; and there are some fairly large estimates (15 quarts, according to the NLT; 36 lbs, according to Today’s NIV; 20 quarts, according to the NET Bible). If this is strictly being made for these 3 men or for these 3 men and Sarah, then these estimates seem rather large to me. Having made bread before, 1–2 cups of flour is usually needed for a loaf of bread. So, if we are strictly look at a meal for 3–5 people, I would guess that we are dealing with perhaps 4 or 5 cups at the most. If Sarah is making enough to have leftover bread, then perhaps 10 cups of flour.


The reason that this is presented as a large amount is in order to keep this in line with 1Sam. 25:18 and 1Kings 18:32, where a seah seems to be a much larger amount. This gives us several options: (1) Abraham is telling Sarah to make an awful lot of bread, most of which would be eaten later (to be eaten by their employees and slaves). (2) A seah is not a particular measure that does not vary, but its size depends upon the thing being measured. So a seah of flour might be used for one loaf of bread; a seah of seed might be used to seed a quarter acre of ground (or, whatever). (3) Or this word was carried over, throughout the years, but it came to denote a different amount in different centuries. Any one of these explanations would allow for these passages to be reconciled.


Genesis 18:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lûwsh (לוּש) [pronounced loosh]

to knead [dough]

2nd person feminine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #3888 BDB #534

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

2nd person feminine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

ʿûggâh (עֻגָּה) [pronounced ģoog-GAW]

a disc or cake of bread

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #5692 BDB #728


Translation:...[then] knead [it] and prepare bread-cakes.” As already discussed, this would have been a lot of bread. Although Abraham gives these orders to Sarah, again, it is possible that she will then instruct her personal staff to take care of this. Whether or not she prepares this herself or not is unknown; but the text appears to indicate that.


——————————


And unto the herd has run Abraham, and so he takes a son of herd, tender and good, and so he gives [it] unto the young man and so he hastens to prepare him.

Genesis

18:7

Then Abraham ran to the herd and he took a calif, tender and healthy [lit., good], and gave [it] to the young servant boy, and he quickly prepared it.

Then Abraham ran to the herd and selected a tender and healthy calf and then gave it to his young servant boy, who quickly prepared it.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And unto the flock ran Abraham, and took a calf, tender and fat, and gave to a young man, and hastened to make prepared meats;...

Latin Vulgate                          And he himself ran to the herd, and took from there a calf, very tender and very good, and gave it to a young man, who made haste and boiled it.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And unto the herd has run Abraham, and so he takes a son of herd, tender and good, and so he gives [it] unto the young man and so he hastens to prepare him.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf fat and good, and gave it to a servant, and he hastened to prepare it.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a young calf, tender and good, and gave it to his servant, and he hastened to prepare it.

 

Significant differences:           The Latin appears to insert from there into this verse, along with a couple extra adverbs. Although both the Syriac and Greek appear to have servant, this is a reasonable translation for this particular noun, which means young man.

 

The targum appears to add in a couple of words at the end. The Latin appears to have boiled rather than prepared.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Abraham ran to the cattle, took a healthy young calf, and gave it to a young servant, who prepared it quickly.

Contemporary English V.       After saying this, he rushed off to his herd of cattle and picked out one of the best calves, which his servant quickly prepared.

Easy English                          Meanwhile, Abraham dashed out to the *cattle. He chose a fine young bull (male cow) and he gave it to a servant. The servant hurried to get it ready.

Easy-to-Read Version            Then Abraham ran to his cattle. Abraham took his best young calf. Abraham gave the calf to the servant. Abraham told the servant to hurry, kill the calf, and prepare it for food.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then he ran to the herd and picked out a calf that was tender and fat, and gave it to a servant, who hurried to get it ready.

The Message                         Then Abraham ran to the cattle pen and picked out a nice plump calf and gave it to the servant who lost no time getting it ready.

New Berkeley Version           Then Abraham ran to the herd, took a calf tender and good and gave it to the servant who dressed it in short order.

New Century Version             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.

New Life Bible                        Then Abraham ran to the cattle and took out a young and good calf. He gave it to the servant to make it ready in a hurry.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:


 

ncient Roots Translinear        Abraham ran to the oxen, and took a tender and good son of an ox, and gave it to a lad to hasten and make it.

God’s Word                         Then Abraham ran to the herd and took one of his best calves. He gave it to his servant, who prepared it quickly.

New Simplified Bible              Then Abraham ran to the herd. He selected a fat calf and told a servant to butcher it and prepare it.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And running to the herd, he took a young ox, soft and fat, and gave it to the servant and he quickly made it ready;...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Abraham also ran to the fold, and took a fine, fat calf and gave it to a youth, who at once dressed it.

NET Bible®                             Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant [Heb "the young man."], who quickly prepared it [The construction uses the Piel preterite, "he hurried," followed by the infinitive construct; the two probably form a verbal hendiadys: "he quickly prepared."].

New Heart English Bible        Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it.

NIV – UK                                Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And Abraham ran to the herd and brought a calf tender and good and gave it to the young man [to butcher]; then he [Abraham] hastened to prepare it.

English Revised Version        And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly.

exeGeses companion Bible   And Abraham runs to the oxen

and takes a tender and good son of the oxen

and gives it to a lad; and he hastens to work it: .

Heritage Bible                        And Abraham ran to the herd, and brought a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, and he flowed to make it..

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the attendant; and he hurried to dress it.

Young's Literal Translation     And Abraham ran out to the herd and brought a calf, tender and good. And he gave it to a young man. And he hurried to dress it.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham selects a young calf to be slaughtered for this feast, giving it to one of his servants to prepare it.


Genesis 18:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

bâqâr (בָּקָר) [pronounced baw-KAWR]

bull, cow, ox, collectively: herd, cattle, oxen

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1241 BDB #133

rûts (רוּץ) [pronounced roots]

to run, to hasten to; to move quickly [and with purpose]; to rush upon [in a hostile manner]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7323 BDB #930

ʾAberâhâm (אַבְרָהָם) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4


Translation: So Abraham ran to the herd... What I am a little confused about is, why don’t we begin this verse with a wâw consecutive, as there are wâw consecutive throughout and imperfect tenses of verbs, describing successive actions.


It could be the emphasis, which here is on the herd to which Abraham runs. Or this may not have been Abraham’s next action. He may have gone to the herd first.


It is unclear at this point as to whether we are to read any symbolism into this phrase, as Jesus Christ is representative of the calf who died that we might live.


Genesis 18:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

bâqâr (בָּקָר) [pronounced baw-KAWR]

bull, cow, ox, collectively: herd, cattle, oxen

masculine singular collective noun

Strong’s #1241 BDB #133

rake (רַ) [pronounced rahkh]

tender, delicate, soft; infirm; weak, weak of heart, timid

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #7390 BDB #940

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ţôwb (טוֹב) [pronounced tohbv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better; approved

masculine feminine singular adjective which can act like a substantive

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373


Translation: ...and he took a calif, tender and healthy [lit., good],... We have son of the herd here, which suggests that we are dealing with a young calf rather than with a fully-grown bull. For those of us who have tasted veal (there seems to be less of it available today), we know that this is a wonderful tasting meat.


Abraham selects a calf which is tender and good, which suggests that this calf is very handsome and healthy.


Genesis 18:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

naʿar (נַעַר) [pronounced NAH-ģahr]

boy, youth, young man; personal attendant; slave-boy

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5288 & #5289 BDB #654


Translation: ...and gave [it] to the young servant boy,... One reason why I have suggested that Sarah actually oversaw the bread making is here, where Abraham appears to hand off the calf to one of his young servants.


In any case, the tradition of men handling the barbequing outside seems to go back 4000 years ago. Abraham oversees the outside bbq and Sarah deals with the beans and cornbread which she prepares inside.


It is interesting that much of this mundane stuff is found here. We do not know whether Abraham did this before with our Lord. However, what this clearly refers to is fellowship, and God will give Abraham a great deal of latitude when it comes to speaking to Him.


Genesis 18:7d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâhar (מָחַר) [pronounced maw-HAHR]

to hasten, to hurry, to make haste; its transitive use is to prepare quickly, to bring quickly, to do quickly

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #4116 BDB #554

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to, toward

affixed to a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84


Translation: ...and he quickly prepared it. We have 3 hungry men—again, we do not know whether Abraham knows that one of them is Jehovah Elohim—and Abraham has ordered for this meal to be put together as quickly as possible.


My guess is, a large meal like this, which is being assembled in 3 different places, takes probably 2–3 hours in order to prepare. If the oven has to have coals added to it, perhaps a bit longer.


In a tradition which has seemed to come down to us, even to today, 4 millennia later, the barbeque is done by the man and the wife is preparing the inside food. Abraham chooses the calf which will be eaten, but has another young man prepare it. This is veal, not beef, that Abraham is serving. Abraham needs to return to speak to his guests.


——————————


And so he takes yogurt and milk and the son of the herd which he prepared and so he sets [them] to their faces and he is standing by them under the tree. And so they eat.

Genesis

18:8

Then he took yogurt, milk and the veal [lit., calf] which he had prepared and placed [these things] before them. Then he stands by them under the tree while they eat.

Then Abraham took yogurt, milk and the veal which had been prepared and placed these things before them. Then he stood under the tree nearby while they ate.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...and he took rich cream and milk and the calf which the young man had made into prepared meats, and set them before them, according to the way and conduct (hilkath) of the creatures of the world; and he served before them, and they sat under the tree; and he quieted himself (to see) whether they would eat.

Latin Vulgate                          He took also butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled, and set before them: but he stood by them under the tree.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he takes yogurt and milk and the son of the herd which he prepared and so he sets [them] to their faces and he is standing by them under the tree. And so they eat.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set them before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

Septuagint (Greek)                And he took butter and milk, and the calf which he had prepared; and he set them before them, and they did eat, and he stood by them under the tree.

 

Significant differences:           The Hebrew does not indicate that the veal was broiled. The Latin leaves off the final phrase that they eat.

 

As usual, there is a lot of additional text in the targum.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Then Abraham took butter, milk, and the calf that had been prepared, put the food in front of them, and stood under the tree near them as they ate.

Contemporary English V.       He then served his guests some yogurt and milk together with the meat. While they were eating, he stood near them under the trees,...

Easy English                          Then Abraham took butter and milk. And he took the meat that the servant had cooked. He served them to his guests. Abraham stood under the tree. And he served them as they ate.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abraham brought the meat and some milk and cheese and set them down in front of the three men. Then Abraham stood near the men {ready to serve them} while they sat under the tree and ate.

Good News Bible (TEV)         He took some cream, some milk, and the meat, and set the food before the men. There under the tree he served them himself, and they ate.

The Message                         Then he got curds and milk, brought them with the calf that had been roasted, set the meal before the men, and stood there under the tree while they ate.

New Century Version             Abraham gave the three men the calf that had been cooked and milk curds and milk. While they ate, he stood under the tree near them.

New Life Bible                        He took milk and cheese and the meat which he had made ready, and set it in front of them. He stood by them under the tree while they ate.

New Living Translation           When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Next, he got some butter, some milk, and the calf that he had prepared, and set it all out before them. And they ate as he stood near them under the tree.

Ancient Roots Translinear      He took butter and milk, and the son of the ox which he made, and gave it in front of them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

Beck’s American Translation Then he took cheese and milk and the veal he had prepared and set these before them. Then he waited on them under the tree as they ate.

Christian Community Bible     He took butter and milk and together with the calf he had prepared laid it all before them. And while he remained standing, they ate..

God’s Word                         Abraham took cheese and milk, as well as the meat, and set these in front of them. Then he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

New American Bible              Then he got some curds [a type of soft cheese or yogurt.] and milk, as well as the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them, waiting on them under the tree while they ate.

NIRV                                      Then he brought some butter and milk and the calf that had been prepared. He served them to the three men.

While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

New Jerusalem Bible             Then taking curds, milk and the calf which had been prepared, he laid all before them, and they ate while he remained standing near them under the tree.

Revised English Bible            He took curds and milk and the calf which was now ready, set it all before them, and there under the tree waited on them himself while they ate.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And he took butter and milk and the young ox which he had made ready and put it before them, waiting by them under the tree while they took food.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then he took the cheese and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and placed before them, and he stood opposite them under the trees while they were eating.

HCSB                                     Then Abraham took curds and milk, and the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served them as they ate under the tree.

NET Bible®                             Abraham [Heb "he"; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.] then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food [The words "the food" are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the verb has no stated object.] before them. They ate while [The disjunctive clause is a temporal circumstantial clause subordinate to the main verb.] he was standing near them under a tree.

NIV – UK                                He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before [the men]; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

Concordant Literal Version    And taking is he clotted cream and milk, and the young one of the herd which he had made ready, and he is putting it before them. And he is standing by them under the tree, and eating are they.

Darby Translation                  And he took thick and sweet milk, and the calf that he had dressed, and set [it] before them; and he stood before them under the tree, and they ate.

English Standard Version      Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and he takes butter and milk

and the son of the oxen he worked

and gives it at their face;

and he stands by them under the tree and they eat.

Heritage Bible                        And he took curdled milk [curdled milk, chemah. Gesenius says, In no place in the Old Covenant does it appear that butter should be understood, which, by the ancients, and even now [circa 1815] by the Orientals was only accustomed to be used medically. This is whole milk, soured and clabbered.], and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before their face; and he stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

Syndein                                  And he took butter, and milk, and the 'meat of the calf' which he {the young man} had dressed/'manufactured {'asah - out of the calf}, and set it before them. And he {Abraham} stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. {Note: Here Abraham is in fellowship and these three accept his hospitality. In a few verses, two of the three will go to Sodom and refuse hospitality. Very few Sodomites are believers and therefore cannot be 'believers in fellowship'.}.

World English Bible                He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

Young’s Updated LT             And he takes butter and milk, and the son of the herd which he has prepared, and sets before them; and he is standing by them under the tree, and they do eat.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham brings them the cheese, milk and veal and sets this all before them under the tree, and then he waited on them while they ate.


Genesis 18:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

chemeʾâh (חֶמְאָה) [pronounced khehe-MAW]

butter, curds; yogurt; cottage cheese

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #2529 BDB #326

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

châlâb (חָלָב) [pronounced khaw-LAWBV]

milk; cheese

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2461 BDB #316


Translation: Then he took yogurt, milk... My assumption here is, this is a great feast with items like yogurt or cheese and milk to round out the sumptuous menu.


Abraham tends to this food, as it is associated with his herd that are outside.


Genesis 18:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

bâqâr (בָּקָר) [pronounced baw-KAWR]

bull, cow, ox, collectively: herd, cattle, oxen

masculine singular collective noun

Strong’s #1241 BDB #133

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793


Translation: ...and the veal [lit., calf] which he had prepared... The calf had been killed, dressed and cooked over a period of at least 2 hours—possibly more like 3 or 4.


While he is seeing to all of this, his guests are probably sitting under the shade of a tree (if it is a warm day).


As is often the case, the text gives Abraham credit for preparing the veal, although he simply oversaw the process and his servant boy did the actual preparation.


Genesis 18:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces countenance; presence

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular); with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean before them, before their faces, in their presence, in their sight, in front of them.


Translation: ...and placed [these things] before them. Everyone is outside. Although we know how Jesus and the disciples dined, it is less clear how people dined in Abraham’s day. Is there a table? Is there a blanket of some sort on the ground?


Genesis 18:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one)

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

ʿâmad (עָמַד) [pronounced ģaw-MAHD]

to take a stand, to stand, to remain, to endure, to withstand

Qal active participle

Strong's #5975 BDB #763

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over; on the ground of, because of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, with, by, besides, in addition to, to, toward, together with, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

tachath (תַּחַת) [pronounced TAH-khahth]

underneath, below, under, beneath; instead of, in lieu of; in the place [in which one stands]; in exchange for; on the basis of

preposition of location or foundation

Strong’s #8478 BDB #1065

ʿêts (עֵץ) [pronounced ģayts]

tree, wood; wooden post, [wooden] stake, gallows; [collectively for] a forest of trees

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6086 BDB #781


Translation: Then he stands by them under the tree... Interestingly enough, what is possible a cultural norm is, Abraham does not join in the feast with them, but he stands nearby while they eat.


Genesis 18:8e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâkal (אָכַל) [pronounced aw-KAHL]

to eat; to devour, to consume, to destroy

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #398 BDB #37


Translation: ...while they eat. Abraham’s visitors eat while Abraham is standing nearby under the tree.


The meal certainly represents fellowship, but Abraham, standing afar off, indicates that he, like all other people in time, have not had their sins truly forgiven because Christ had not yet died for their sins.

giovanniandreadeferrari557.jpg

Abraham and the Three Angels by Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari (graphic); from About Bible Videos; accessed January 1, 2014.


Gen 18:8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.


What seems to be the meal is something akin to cottage cheese, warm goat’s milk and veal. Whether the bread was eaten first as an appetizer, or with the meal, we do not know. My guess is, start to finish, such a meal would take 2–3 hours to prepare. So, while Abraham is supervising the preparation, these men are resting under the tree, drinking water, and washing their feet.


What seems to be true in Scripture is, the Preincarnate Christ and angels are all capable of eating, although this appears to be for enjoyment and fellowship as opposed to sustenance.


Interestingly enough, it appears to be the tradition for guests to eat first, as Abraham is simply standing by the tree while they eat.


Although this all happened, exactly as spoken of; there is some symbolism here. Abraham does not enjoy complete the fellowship with the Lord because Jesus had not yet died for our sins. So having fellowship with our Lord through the Holy Spirit was not available to believers during the time of Abraham.


So far, Jesus, in His Preincarnate Form, and two angels, walked by Abraham’s compound, and Abraham called them over to rest and to be fed.


This is what we have studied so far.


Gen 18:1–8 (MKJV) And Jehovah appeared to him in the plains of Mamre, and he sat at the tent door in the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed toward the ground. And he said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, do not pass away, I pray, from Your servant. Let a little water, I pray, be brought, and wash Your feet, and rest under the tree. And I will bring a bite of bread, and will comfort your hearts. After that You shall pass on. For this is why You have come to Your servant. And they said, Do so, as you have said. And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal; knead it, and make cakes. And Abraham ran out to the herd and brought a calf, tender and good. And he gave it to a young man. And he hurried to dress it. And he took butter and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree, and they ate.


——————————


And so they say unto him, “Where [is] Sarah your woman?” And so he says, “Behold, in the tent.”

Genesis

18:9

Then they asked him, “Where [is] Sarah your wife?” And he answered, “Observe, [she is] in the tent.”

When they asked him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” he answered, “There, in the tent.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And they said to him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, she is in the tent.

Latin Vulgate                          And when they had eaten, they said to him: Where is Sara thy wife? He answered: Lo she is in the tent.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so they say unto him, “Where [is] Sarah your woman?” And so he says, “Behold, in the tent.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, Behold, she is in the ten.

Septuagint (Greek)                And He said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he answered and said, Behold, in the tent.

 

Significant differences:           There is no she is in the Hebrew, as we find in the English translations of the targum, the Latin and the Syriac.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       ...and they asked, "Where is your wife Sarah?" "She is right there in the tent," Abraham answered.

Easy-to-Read Version            Then the men said to Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”

New Berkeley Version           They asked him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” He said, “There in the tent.”

New Living Translation           "Where is Sarah, your wife?" the visitors asked.

"She's inside the tent," Abraham replied.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then the Lord asked, 'Where is your woman, SarAh?'

And [AbraHam] answered, 'Look, she's there in the tent!'

God’s Word                         They asked him, "Where is your wife Sarah?" He answered, "Over there, in the tent."

NIRV                                      "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him.

"Over there, in the tent," he said

New Jerusalem Bible             'Where is your wife Sarah?' they asked him. 'She is in the tent,' he replied.

New Simplified Bible              Then they said to him: »Where is Sarah your wife«? He responded: »Here, in the tent.«


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 They afterwards asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” and he replied, “She is in the tent.” .

HCSB                                     "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There, in the tent," he answered.

New Advent Bible                  And when they had eaten, they said to him: Where is Sara your wife? He answered: Lo she is in the tent.

NET Bible®                             Then they asked him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" He replied, "There [The particle hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY] often accompanies a gesture of pointing or a focused gaze.], in the tent."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, [She is here] in the tent.

Concordant Literal Version    And saying are they to him, "Where is Sarah, your wife?And answering, he is saying, "Behold! In the tent.”

Context Group Version          And they said to him, Where is Sarah your woman { or wife }? And he said, Look, in the tent.

English Standard Version      They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent."

exeGeses companion Bible   And they say to him, Where is Sarah your woman?

And he says, Behold, in the tent.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, Look, in the tent.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And they said to him, Where [is] Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

World English Bible                They said to him, "Where is Sarah, your wife? He said, "See, in the tent."

Young’s Updated LT             And they say unto him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” and he says, “Lo—in the tent;”

 

The gist of this verse:          When asked where his wife is, Abraham replies that she is in the tent.


Genesis 18:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾayyêh (אַיֵּה) [pronounced ahy-YAY]

where

interrogative adverb

Strong's #346 BDB #32

Sârâh (שָׂרָה) [pronounced saw-RAW]

princess, noble woman; transliterated Sarah

proper noun; feminine singular

Strong’s #8283 BDB #979

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #802 BDB #61


Translation: Then they asked him, “Where [is] Sarah your wife?” We do not know whether or not Abraham has mentioned Sarah, but it is likely that the men may have seen her moving about preparing their meal; or they may have heard Abraham speaking to her. In any case, God knows who Sarah is. We already know how protective Abraham is of his wife (and, particularly of his own life when it might be threatened due to the attractiveness of his wife) so it is more likely that Abraham kept her out of sight. Therefore, when he spoke of fetching the bread in the Qal rather than in a causative stem, it is because he personally brought the bread out to them. Sarah prepared it, but remained in the tent, out of sight and likely Abraham was never even heard speaking to her. They said is in the Qal imperfect, meaning that each of the three men asked Abraham where his wife was until he finally answered.


My guess is, Sarah’s name is mentioned, because God wants to catch her ear. He knows that she is not too far away, and nothing catches our ear more than hearing our own name spoken (unless it is the call of other mother, using our first, middle and last names—that is something we try not to hear). So Sarah will hear her name and then begin to pay attention to what is being said.


At this point, we still do not know if Abraham knows that this is God—there is nothing in this chapter which clearly indicates when Abraham realized this. It is even possible that he knew from the very beginning.


We do not have the entire conversation recorded. It does seem reasonable that Abraham has mentioned Sarah by name, because he had instructed her to bake some bread. Since they are asking, this does not mean that they have not yet seen Sarah; this could simply mean that they are asking her whereabouts at this time.


This is interesting. We have a plural verb of to say here. These three men may represent the Trinity (again, this is Jesus Christ in His preincarnate form along with two angels). Perhaps they speak in unison, or perhaps God asks Abraham this, and the other angels chime in.


There is an unseen conflict which we have studied in the past called the Angelic Conflict (HTML) (PDF) (WPD). The angels would know all about Sarah and all about God’s promises to Abraham. However, these things come to pass in real time for angels, who appear to be confined to time, just as we are. Angels who are allowed to walk upon this earth as men seem to generally have the similar limitations as do men.


Yehowah Elohim, being omniscient, certainly knows where Sarah is. However, these angels, knowing that Sarah is a key to the future of human history, do not share this same omniscience. However, they are no doubt keenly observant with possibly greater sensory perception than we enjoy.


This verse does not mean that these men had not seen Sarah yet. Likely, in the preparation of these meal, she came in and out of the tent several times. Abraham may or may not have introduced her to them, depending upon the customs of that day. In any case, at this point in time, Yehowah God will speak about Sarah specifically. What is occurring is, she is near the tent door listening to what is being said. Or, more likely, she hears her name, so she moves closer to the conversation to listen.


Genesis 18:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾohel (אֹהֶל) [pronounced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #168 BDB #13


Translation: And he answered, “Observe, [she is] in the tent.” The NET Bible points out something which makes a great deal of sense: The particle hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY], which means behold, listen, attention; often accompanies a gesture of pointing or a focused gaze. So Abraham answers by pointing or shifting his eyes in the direction of the tent and says, “In the tent.”


Unlike some cultures, the woman is quite prominent in the line of Christ. Not only do we know the entire line of our Lord, but, in many cases, we know a great deal about some of the wives along the way. This is a key theological point and seems to go against ancient traditions of family lines.


The entire verse reads: Then they asked him, “Where [is] Sarah your wife?” And he answered, “Observe, [she is] in the tent.” God the Holy Spirit will spend 7 verses on Sarah and this child she will bear. God is emphasizing the importance of the woman. Quite obviously, women are quite handy when it comes to having a baby; but this emphasis is upon the virgin Mary who will be the mother of the humanity of Jesus Christ. From the very beginning, back to Gen. 3:15, our Lord is called the Seed of the Woman. So, from time to time—particularly at great transitional moments such as this—the woman will be emphasized.


Gen 18:9 They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "Behold, she is in the tent."


The reason that God says this is, He wants Sarah’s attention for what He is about to promise. What better way to get Sarah’s attention than to ask, “Where is your wife, Sarah?” Whatever she was doing at that moment, her ears perked up at hearing her name, and she began to listen in from the tent door flap.


For whatever reason, the culture of that day or personal shyness, Sarah was not out with Abraham and the three. However, Sarah is suddenly the focus of the conversation.


——————————


And so He says, “Returning, I will return unto you as the time a life, and, behold, a son to Sarah your woman.” And Sarah was listening a door of the tent and he behind Him.

Genesis

18:10

Then He said, “I will certainly return to you as the time [of] life, and, observe, Sarah, your wife, [will have] a son [lit., a son to Sarah, your woman].” And Sarah was listening [at] the door of the tent (and it was behind Him).

Then He said, “I will definitely return to you in the spring, and, take note, Sarah, your wife, will have a son at that time.” And Sarah was listening from the door of the tent which was behind Him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And ONE of them said, Returning I will return to you in the coming year; and you will be revived, and, behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was hearkening at the door of the tent, and Ishmael stood behind her, and marked what the Angel said. [JERUSALEM. And He said, Returning I will return to you at that time, to revive you, and, behold, Sarah your wife will have a male child. And Sarah was hearkening at the door of the tent, and Ishmael stood behind her.]

Latin Vulgate                          And he said to him: I will return and come to thee at this time, life accompanying, and Sara, thy wife, shall have a son. Which when Sara heard, she laughed behind the door of the tent.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he says, “Returning, I will return unto you as the time a life, and, behold, a son to Sarah your woman.” And Sarah was listening a door of the tent and he behind Him.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the LORD said, I will certainly return to you at this time next year, and 1o, Sarah your wife shall be with child, and shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door which was behind he.

Septuagint (Greek)                And He said, I will return and come to you according to this period seasonably, and Sarah your wife shall have a son; and Sarah heard at the door of the tent, being behind him.

 

Significant differences:           As usual, there is a lot in the targum that is not found in the Hebrew. The English translation from the Latin adds to him to the first phrase.

 

In the Hebrew, the repetition of a verb generally refers to something which is certain; the Latin and Greek, apparently, just threw in a different additional verb instead. As the time of life is difficult to interpret, so, above, you see how it was translated into the English, eventually, having gone through another language first. However, just saying this is a year in the future is incorrect.

 

When it comes to Sarah having a son, there is not verb. It is common in the Hebrew for this to be simply expressed as to Sarah. The English translations from the Latin, Syriac and Greek all have the verb to have.

 

The targum, inexplicably, throws Ishmael into the mix, in the very end. In the final phrase, the Latin adds that she laughed (which is found later in this chapter). The Hebrew says the tent door is behind him, but without using a verb. The Greek throws in a verb.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Then one of the men said, "I will definitely return to you about this time next year. Then your wife Sarah will have a son!"

Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.

Contemporary English V.       One of the guests was the LORD, and he said, "I'll come back about this time next year, and when I do, Sarah will already have a son." Sarah was behind Abraham, listening at the entrance to the tent.

Easy English                          The *Lord said, `I shall certainly come back to you next year. Sarah your wife will have a son.'

Now Sarah was listening at the door of the tent. The door was behind the speake.

Easy-to-Read Version            Then the Lord said, “I will come again in the spring. At that time, your wife Sarah will have a son.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         One of them said, "Nine months from now I will come back, and your wife Sarah will have a son." Sarah was behind him, at the door of the tent, listening.

The Message                         One of them said, "I'm coming back about this time next year. When I arrive, your wife Sarah will have a son." Sarah was listening at the tent opening, just behind the man.

New Berkeley Version           Then He said [again, this is the Lord Himself, ultimately to come as the Messiah], Without fail I shall come back to you at the reviving season and, see, Sarah, your wife will have a son.

Now Sarah was listening in at the tent door behind Him.

New Living Translation           Then one of them said, "I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!"

Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So the Lord said, 'I will return this way and come to see you during this season [next year], and your woman SarAh will have a son.'

Well, SarAh overheard this as she stood behind him at the entrance of the tent.

Ancient Roots Translinear      He said, "I will ||return|| a period of life to you to behold a son for Sarah your woman!" Sarah had heard him in the tent opening afterwards.

Beck’s American Translation “I will certainly come back to you,” He said, “at about the time it takes to have a child, and then your wife Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah was listening at the tend door behind him.

Christian Community Bible     And the visitor said, “At this same time next year I will return and Sarah by then will have a son.”

Now Sarah was behind him, listen ing at the entrance to the tent..

God’s Word                         The LORD said, "I promise I'll come back to you next year at this time, and your wife Sarah will have a son." Sarah happened to be listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him.

New American Bible              One of them* said, "I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son." Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, just behind him. Gn 17:19; 21:1; 2 Kgs 4:16; Rom 9:9.

New Simplified Bible              He said: »Next year I will give you and Sarah a son.« (Sarah was listening in the tent door behind him.).


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And he said, I will certainly come back to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife will have a son. And his words came to the ears of Sarah who was at the back of the tent-door.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 They then said, “I will restore you, as at the period of youth, and there shall come a son from Sarah your wife,” and Sarah heard it at the door of the tent, where she was behind.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Then one said, “I will return to you next year [Gen. 17:21 2Kings 4:16–17], and your wife Sarah shall have a son!” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him.

New Advent Bible                  And he said to him: I will return and come to you at this time, life accompanying, and Sara, your wife, shall have a son. Which when Sara heard, she laughed behind the door of the tent.

NET Bible®                             One of them [Heb "he"; the referent (one of the three men introduced in v. 2) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Some English translations have specified the referent as the Lord (cf. RSV, NIV) based on vv. 1, 13, but the Hebrew text merely has "he said" at this point, referring to one of the three visitors. Aside from the introductory statement in v. 1, the incident is narrated from Abraham's point of view, and the suspense is built up for the reader as Abraham's elaborate banquet preparations in the preceding verses suggest he suspects these are important guests. But not until the promise of a son later in this verse does it become clear who is speaking. In v. 13 the Hebrew text explicitly mentions the Lord.] said, "I will surely return [The Hebrew construction is emphatic, using the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense. I will surely return. If Abraham had not yet figured out who this was, this interchange would have made it clear. Otherwise, how would a return visit from this man mean Sarah would have a son?] to you when the season comes round again [Heb "as/when the time lives" or "revives," possibly referring to the springtime], and your wife Sarah will have a son [Heb "and there will be (??????, hinneh) a son for Sarah."]!" (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him [This is the first of two disjunctive parenthetical clauses preparing the reader for Sarah's response (see v. 12).].

New Heart English Bible        Then he said, "I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son." Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.

The Scriptures 1998              And He said, “I shall certainly return to you according to the time of life, and see, Sarah your wife is to have a son!” And Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                [The Lord] [One of the three guests was the Lord, and since God the Father was never seen in bodily form (John 1:18), only the "Angel of the covenant," Christ Himself, can be meant here; see especially Gen. 18:22 and also the footnote on Gen. 16:7.] said, I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was listening and heard it at the tent door which was behind Him.

Concordant Literal Version    And saying is He, "Return, yea, return will I to you according to this season of life, and, behold! A son has Sarah, your wife. And Sarah is hearing at the opening of the tent, for she was behind him.

Context Group Version          And he said, I will certainly return to you when the season comes around; and, see, Sarah your woman { or wife } shall have a son. And Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.

Darby Translation                  And he said, I will certainly return to thee at [this] time of the year, and behold, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah was listening at the tent-door, which was behind him.

exeGeses companion Bible   And he says, In returning,

I return to you according to the time of life

and behold, to Sarah your woman - a son.

- and Sarah hears it in the tent opening behind him.

Green’s Literal Translation    And He said, Returning I will return to you at the time of life; and, Behold! A son shall be to your wife Sarah. And Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, and it was behind Him.

Heritage Bible                        And he said, Turning back, I will turn back to you according to the time of life, and lo, to Sarah, your wife, shall be a son. And Sarah heard it attentively in the tent door, and she was behind him..

LTHB                                     And He said, Returning I will return to you at the time of life; and, Behold! A son shall be to your wife Sarah. And Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, and it was behind Him.

NASB                                     He said, "I will surely return to you at this time next year [Lit when the time revives]; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.

New King James Version       And He said, "I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son."

(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.).

New RSV                               Then one said, `I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.' And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him.

Syndein                                  And he {the stranger} said {'amar}, "I will certainly return unto you according to the norm or standard of human cycle {`eth chay - idiom: literally 'cycle of life' - meaning sexual relations, man and wife here, and then 9 months later}. And, lo, Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him {picture of her 'listening at the keyhole'}.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And he said, I will certainly return to you when the season comes around; and, see, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.

World English Bible                He said, "I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son." Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.

Young’s Updated LT             And he says, “returning I return unto you, about the time of life, and lo, to Sarah your wife a son.” And Sarah is hearkening at the opening of the tent, which is behind him. For whatever, reason, Young’s Literal Translation is out-of-synch with the other translations. At this point, the final sentence is actually v. 11.

 

The gist of this verse:          God promises Abraham that He would return in the spring and that Sarah would have a son at this time. Sarah is listening to this through the opening in the tent.


Genesis 18:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

Qal infinitive absolute

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

The infinitive absolute has four uses: ➊ when found alone, it sometimes acts as an English gerund, so that we may add ing to the end of the verb; ➋ When found directly before its verbal cognate, it serves to intensify or strengthen the action or the meaning of the verb which follows; ➌ When it follows its cognate verb, it emphasizes the duration or the continuation of the verbal idea; and, ➍ it is sometimes used as a substitute for a finite verb form.

A Qal infinitive absolute is a verb which can act like noun, a verb or an adverb. Generally it takes the place of a noun and serves to intensify meanings. When used as a complement of affirmation, it may be rendered surely, indeed, definitely; and when it is a complement of improbability and condition, we render it at all, freely, indeed. The Qal infinitive absolute can also serve as an adverbial complement; or, as a verb, it can replace finite verbs, imperatives, participles, and the infinitive constructs.

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: Then He said, “I will certainly return to you... The Hebrew doubles up the verb, which indicates great emphasis. We would use the words certainly, definitely to translate the extra verb.


You will notice that, after using plural suffixes and plural verbs, suddenly, we are back to one person, Whom most people recognize as being the Lord.


Note the parallel here; Yehowah would return, at the proper time, to fulfill His promises to Abraham. This has a very near fulfillment, which is about 9 months in the future, and two far fulfillments, when Jesus comes in the 1st advent and then in the 2nd. At the proper time, He will return to Abraham and to Abraham’s people.


Many Bibles have the Lord said; but there is no word for Lord in this verse. However, we know this is Jesus Christ, in His preincarnate form, speaking to Abraham, which will become clear in Gen. 18:13.


Again, we go from the plural to the singular; in v. 9, they said; and in v. 10, He said. Again, this is not the Trinity, but it is illustrative of the Trinity.


That God would return to Abraham and Sarah is emphatic in this verse. Interestingly enough, God does not return to Abraham and Sarah, as He does here, in a physical manifestation; but the idea is, God will make certain that she gives birth to the child He has promised them. This will be something which God oversees from conception to birth. Gen. 21:1–2 read: And Jehovah visited Sarah as He had said. And Jehovah did to Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. There is no conversation and no particular action ascribed to God when Sarah gives birth to their son. Now, when their son is somewhere between 3–5 years old, God will speak to Abraham; but prior to that, there is no record of God coming in human form to Abraham at the birth of his son.


There is the option that, God did return to Abraham in physical form, but Abraham did not write about that; however, most of the history of Abraham centers around two things: his meetings with God and where he lives. Therefore, it would seem strange to leave this most important meeting out. After all, this kicks off many of the promises that God has been making to Abraham, which promises Abraham has believed, and which promises God will bring to pass.


Therefore, because of the significance of this birth, God will be there (but not in human form); God will breathe life into Isaac; and there will be a very large number of angels observing this birth and observing Isaac’s life (compare Heb. 12:1, where we are said to be surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses).


Genesis 18:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ʿêth (עֵת) [pronounced ģayth]

time, the right time, the proper time; opportunity

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6256 BDB #773

chayyâh (חַיָּה) [pronounced khay-YAWH]

living thing, animal, life, organisms, life form; appetite, revival, renewal; community, family, assembled group, allied families, bands

substantive; feminine noun

Strong's #2416 BDB #312


Translation: ...as the time [of] life,... This phrase is rather difficult to interpret, as the second noun has so many meanings, but the idea is, there is a proper time when Jehovah will return, and this proper time is relating to living, revival, renewal. Therefore, most people understand this to mean that God would return to Abraham in the spring.


Now, notice what a change this is. For 13 years, Abraham does not see God; God does not come to him. However, God came to Abraham in the previous chapter; He comes back to Abraham in this chapter, a month or so later; and God promises to return at a specific time, which I don’t believe He has promised before.


Genesis 18:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Sârâh (שָׂרָה) [pronounced saw-RAW]

princess, noble woman; transliterated Sarah

proper noun; feminine singular

Strong’s #8283 BDB #979

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #802 BDB #61


Translation: ...and, observe, Sarah, your wife, [will have] a son [lit., a son to Sarah, your woman].” What God says here is a play on the words which Abraham used; and this simply suggests that God is listening to Abraham and God hears Abraham. Abraham says, “Behold, she’s in the tent” and God says, “Behold, she will have a son.” I would not be shocked if Abraham’s gesture was copied. If Abraham motioned where she was with his eyes, then God very possibly did the exact same thing with His eyes.


Omniscience is implied in v. 9 where they ask about Sarah; and it is further implied here where, having not even seen Abraham's wife, God says that she will be with child in 9 months. Sarah was obviously not allowed to be out visiting with Abraham and the men and this is likely due to either the culture. However, since three strangers traveling through is an unusual occurrence and since their cable is probably on the fritz that night, Sarah is curious as to the topics of conversation. Particularly when she has heard her name used several times.


Genesis 18:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Sârâh (שָׂרָה) [pronounced saw-RAW]

princess, noble woman; transliterated Sarah

proper noun; feminine singular

Strong’s #8283 BDB #979

shâmaʿ (שָמַע) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen [intently], to hear, to listen and obey, [or, and act upon, give heed to, take note of], to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and be cognizant of

feminine singular, Qal active participle

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

pethach (פֶּתַח) [pronounced PEH-thahkh]

opening, doorway, entrance, gate [for a tent, house, or city]; metaphorically, gate [of hope, of the mouth]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6607 BDB #835

ʾohel (אֹהֶל) [pronounced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #168 BDB #13


Translation: And Sarah was listening [at] the door of the tent... Sarah is not with the men hanging out. Although it is possible that she is shy; it is more likely a custom that she not join in at this meal.


While Jehovah is speaking, Sarah is inside of the tent, as Abraham said, but she is right at the tent door, listening to all that was said. God tells Abram, “Behold, Sarah, your wife, will have a son.” There is no question as to whom God is speaking about—it is not just going to be some woman named Sarah, but this will be Abraham’s wife, Sarah. There is now a specific time frame put on this birth, which had not been done before.


What God says here is a play on the words which Abraham used; and this simply suggests that God is listening to Abraham and God hears Abraham. Abraham says, Behold, she’s in the tent” and God says, Behold, she will have a son.” I would not be shocked if Abraham’s gesture was copied. If Abraham motioned where she was with his eyes, then God very possibly did the exact same thing with His eyes.


Genesis 18:10e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one)

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

ʾachar (אַחַר) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind; afterwards, after that

preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #310 BDB #29


Translation:...(and it was behind Him). Literally, this reads, and he behind Him. The 3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun refers back to the tent door, as there is no neuter in the Hebrew, as there is in the English and Greek.


——————————


And Abraham and Sarah [were] old going in the days. Had ceased to be to Sarah a road like the women.

Genesis

18:11

Now Abraham and Sarah [were] old and advancing in years [lit., the days] [and] the mode of life as women [i.e., fertility] had ceased to be for Sarah.

Now Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years and the manner of women [i.e., fertility] had ceased in Sarah’s life.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                But Abraham and Sarah were old, they had mounted (alu) in days, and with Sarah the way of women had ceased.

Latin Vulgate                          Now they were both old, and far advanced in years, and it had ceased to be with Sara after the manner of women.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And Abraham and Sarah [were] old going in the days. Had ceased to be to Sarah a road like the women.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well advanced in years; and Sarah was beyond the age of childbearing.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in days, and the custom of women ceased to be with Sarah.

 

Significant differences:           The Latin appears to have they were both instead of Abraham and Sarah. The Latin and Syriac appear to add a qualifier to being advanced in years (very).

 

The English translation from the Syriac interprets the final sentence rather than translates it. The targum appears to leave out the verb to be; although I am dealing with the English translation of the targum.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Now Abraham and Sarah were both very old. Sarah was no longer menstruating.

Contemporary English V.       Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was well past the age for having children.

Easy English                          Abraham and Sarah were old. They had lived for very many years. Sarah was not able to have children any longer.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abraham and Sarah were very old. Sarah was past the right age for women to have children.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah had stopped having her monthly periods.

The Message                         Abraham and Sarah were old by this time, very old. Sarah was far past the age for having babies.

New Berkeley Version           ...and since Abraham and Sarah were aged, well advanced in years, and the custom of women had ceased with Sarah,...

New Century Version             Abraham and Sarah were very old. Since Sarah was past the age when women normally have children,...

New Life Bible                        Now Abraham and Sarah were old. They had lived many years. The way of women had stopped for Sarah.

New Living Translation           Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Of course, AbraHam and SarAh were old, and since SarAh was [well beyond the age of child bearing],... The AEB also mixes up this verse and the next verse somewhat.

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abraham and Sarah came as elders in days. For Sarah, the path for women had ceased.

Beck’s American Translation Abraham and Sarah were old and getting along in years, and Sarah had had her change of life.

God’s Word                         Abraham and Sarah were old. Sarah was past the age of childbearing.

New American Bible              Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years, and Sarah had stopped having her menstrual periods. Gn 17:17; Rom 4:19; Heb 11:11-12.

NIRV                                      Abraham and Sarah were already very old. Sarah was too old to have a baby.

New Jerusalem Bible             Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well on in years, and Sarah had ceased to have her monthly periods.

Revised English Bible            Both Abraham and Sarah were very old, Sarah being well past the age of child-bearing.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Now Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was past the time for giving birth.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Now, Abraham and Sarah were old—advanced in years and feeble. It was not with Sarah as women are;...

HCSB                                     Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women.

NET Bible®                             Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years [Heb "days."]; Sarah had long since passed menopause [Heb "it had ceased to be for Sarah [after] a way like women."].).

NIV, ©2011                             Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

American KJV                        Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

The Amplified Bible                Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; it had ceased to be with Sarah as with [young] women. [She was past the age of childbearing].

Concordant Literal Version    Now Abraham and Sarah are old, coming into days. It had left off to come to Sarah, according to the path of women.

Heritage Bible                        And Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in days; it ceased to be with Sarah after the well trod way of women..

LTHB                                     And Abraham and Sarah were aged, going on in days. The custom as to women had ceased to be to Sarah.

Modern KJV                           Now Abraham and Sarah were old, far gone in days, and it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

New King James Version       Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing [Literally the manner of women had ceased to be with Sarah].

Syndein                                  Now Abraham and Sarah were old {zaqen}, having come {long} in age, and it ceased to be with Sarah 'the passing of life' {'orach - means after menopause} of women {ishshah}.

Webster’s Bible Translation  Now Abraham and Sarah [were] old [and] far advanced in age; [and] it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

World English Bible                Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. It had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

Young's Updated LT              And Abraham and Sarah are aged, entering into days--the way of women had ceased to be to Sarah. This is actually v. 12 in Young’s Literal Translation.

 

The gist of this verse:          Both Abraham and Sarah were old at this time, and Sarah was beyond the age of childbearing.


Genesis 18:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾAberâhâm (אַבְרָהָם) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Sârâh (שָׂרָה) [pronounced saw-RAW]

princess, noble woman; transliterated Sarah

proper noun; feminine singular

Strong’s #8283 BDB #979

zâqên (זָקֵן) [pronounced zaw-KANE]

old, elderly, aged

masculine plural adjective

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâmîym (יָמִים) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398


Translation: Now Abraham and Sarah [were] old and advancing in years [lit., the days]... Abraham and Sarah were both growing old. Neither one of them had functioning equipment, you might say.


In case you wonder, at what point do people become old, the Bible answers that here: Abraham is 99 and Sarah is 90—both are past the age of having children, and the Bible calls them old at this point. In fact, this is the first time in the Bible that anyone is referred to as being old. And, even though, in your English Bible, you have read passages like, And Noah was 600 years old; this is the first time that this word actually occurs in the Hebrew. The word is zâqên (זָקֵן) [pronounced zaw-KANE], which means, old, elderly, aged. Strong’s #2205 BDB #278. This word will occur several times in Genesis to designate becoming old and living a full life: Gen. 19:4 25:8 35:29 43:27 44:20. In the plural, this is rendered elders.


Genesis 18:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

châdal (חָדַל) [pronounced khaw-DAHL]

to cease and desist, to leave off, to cease, to leave, to forsake

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2308 BDB #292

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

The verb to be in the construct often carries with it a temporal meaning, e.g., when [he] was, while [he] was

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Sârâh (שָׂרָה) [pronounced saw-RAW]

princess, noble woman; transliterated Sarah

proper noun; feminine singular

Strong’s #8283 BDB #979

ʾôrach (אֹרַח) [pronounced OH-rahkh]

a [well-trodden] road; way, path; metonyms: traveler; traveling company, caravan; metaphorically: a course [way] of living [or action]; mode, manner, way; a path of life

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #734 BDB #73

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to; about, approximately; combined with an infinitive, it can also take on the meaning as, often, when, as soon as

preposition of comparison or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #802 BDB #61


Translation: ...[and] the mode of life as women [i.e., fertility] had ceased to be for Sarah. What appears to be the meaning here is, Sarah is no longer fertile. However, bear in mind, after some 25+ years of marriage with Abraham, she never did conceive, insofar as we know. They had had no children together at any point in their marriage. What we have here is couched in euphemistic terms, reasonably translated above.


This is one of the reasons having more than one Bible is a good idea. A word-for-word translation of this verse makes little sense. You might be able to figure out what it is saying, but, in many cases, you might not. Therefore, having a backup Bible that translates what is being said here—that Sarah was past the age of conceiving children—is always a nice addition to your library.


The second half of this verse is fairly difficult to translate. Very literally, this reads: Had ceased to be to Sarah a road like the women. The word road is the subject of the verse, because it is a masculine singular noun and the verb requires a masculine singular noun. This gives us A road like [or, as] the women had ceased to be to [or, for] Sarah. The word road is ʾôrach (אֹרַח) [pronounced OH-rahkh], which means, a [well-trodden] road; way, path; metonyms: traveler; traveling company, caravan; and it is used metaphorically to mean: a course [way] of living [or action]; mode, manner, way; a path of life. Strong’s #734 BDB #73. This gives us, The path of life according to women had ceased to be for Sarah. Based upon Sarah’s age, this has been extrapolated to mean, that Sarah was in menopause, beyond the age of child bearing, and had ceased to menstruate. So, very literal translations, such as Webster’s Bible Translation, read: Now Abraham and Sarah [were] old [and] far advanced in age; [and] it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. The World English Bible, the Modern KJV, the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, Young’s Literal Translation, the Concordant Literal Version and the Heritage Bible all have very similar and confusing translations. The New King James Version gives a less than literal translation, but footnotes the literal meaning: Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing [Literally the manner of women had ceased to be with Sarah]. Therefore, you may like a literal translation, if you are concerned with having an accurate translation; but it is always helpful to have access to a translation that is not quite so literal. If having two Bibles is difficult, then let me recommend either the NET Bible® for your computer (with footnotes to get the accurate translation) or the New King James Version if you want a Bible you can carry around with you. Or, if you like having access to a number of translations, e-sword is the best computer program that I have found for this, and e-sword and dozens of translations are free.


In the previous chapter, Abraham was 99 years old and had just been circumcised. In Gen. 21, he will be 100 years old, and with a child. Therefore, this is just a couple months after the circumcision of all of the males in Abraham’s group. As was covered in an earlier lesson, circumcision represents the regeneration of Abram’s sexual organs, which represents spiritual regeneration (being born again). Abraham will heal from the circumcision, and he will have new life in his phallus. From him will be born the Jewish race. There will be new life in the human race; as the Jewish race begins with Abraham and will be perpetuated by a miraculous birth.


At hearing that they would have a child a year later, both Abraham and Sarah thought about it, and knew that they were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased with Sarah, which simply means, her periods and her ability to give birth were over a long time ago. At this point, humanly speaking, she was not going to bear a child—Sarah was quite certain of this.


This is a theme found several times in the Bible. A couple gets beyond a point in time where childbirth is possible, and then they have a child. What does this mean? Why did God do it this way? The birth of their son, Isaac, will look forward to the birth of Jesus Christ. His birth will also be improbable (actually, impossible). Both of these births will be miraculous.


Every recorded incident in the Bible is significant. When God is involved in something taking place, it becomes even more significant.

How Isaac’s Unusual Birth Foreshadowed Our Lord’s

The Birth of Isaac

The Birth of Jesus

This birth involved life coming from death. Abraham was sexually dead and his wife was unable to bear children; yet Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son, Isaac. Gen. 18:12

Jesus Christ was born spiritually alive although His mother had a sin nature. So, from death, came life. Mary was dead spiritually and yet she bore the Lord. Rom. 5:12, 14, 17

This birth, coming from death, was based upon regeneration (circumcision). Gen. 17:10–17

The purpose of our Lord’s birth was so that He would die for our sins, and, because of that, we could be regenerated (born again) at salvation. Rom. 5:10, 17 6:10 2Cor. 4:12

The association of Jesus with death is emphasized because the baby Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes (long strips of cloth used to wrap dead bodies). Luke 2:7

The conception and birth are both miraculous. Abraham was sexually dead. Gen. 18:11–14 Rom. 4:17–19

His birth was miraculous. Joseph, Jesus’ legal father, was not a party to the conception of Jesus Christ. He was spiritually dead and would have passed along his sin nature to Jesus. Therefore, Joseph could not participate in the conception of Jesus Christ. Isa. 7:14 Matt. 1:18–19 Luke 1:34, 37

The birth was unexpected. Even when told she would give birth to a son, Sarah laughed. Gen. 18:12

Being born to a virgin was unexpected. This caught Joseph off-guard and he was prepared to put Mary away privately Matt. 1:19

Isaac’s birth was prophesied long before he was born, when Abram is 75 years old. Gen. 12:4, 7

Our Lord’s birth was prophesied centuries earlier. Isa. 7:14

His birth was foretold prior to conception. Gen. 12:7 13:16 15:4

Jesus’ birth was foretold prior to conception. Luke 1:28–31

Abraham’s progeny would be royalty. Gen. 17:6

Jesus Christ was royalty by blood and would be royalty in actuality. Luke 1:32–33

Through Isaac will come all of the Jews, who are the people of God. Gen. 17:7–9, 19 21:12 Rom. 9:7 Heb 11:18

Through Jesus will be the salvation of the Jews, who are the people of God. Of course, through Him is the salvation of the gentiles as well. Rom. 1:16

God asks, in v. 14, “Is there anything too difficult for the Lord?”

The birth of our Lord will set into motion that which will save us. God has found a way, despite the barrier between God and man, to save us, without violating or compromising His character. “Is there anything too difficult for the Lord?” When the angel spoke to Mary of her becoming pregnant apart from a man, the angel states: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37).

When it comes to the conception and birth of Isaac, God will be there, but He will be working behind the scenes. Gen. 18:10

God worked behind the scenes in the birth of Jesus, His Son. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary. Luke 1:35

You may recall the terms type and antitype. The birth of Isaac is the type; and the birth of Jesus is the antitype. The circumstances of Isaac’s birth seem a little weird and unusual; however, when placed side-by-side its future counterpart, it all fits together.

Type and antitype is one of the great proofs of the Bible. Throughout the Old Testament, there are dozens of types, in all different forms and situations, all of which find their completion or their reflection in the antitype (which is Jesus Christ, or something related to Jesus Christ, e.g., His birth, His crucifixion, His Millennial reign). The way that the Old and New Testaments fit together is an amazing thing. The Old Testament was clearly in existence and established as authoritative before the birth of Jesus (we have manuscripts of most of the Old Testament which predates Jesus’ birth by 100–300 years). So these dozens of types had all been committed both to “paper” and to memory as well for hundreds of years before our Lord arrived on the scene. In fact, the Old Testament was composed progressively, over a period of over 1000 years (I believe that the length of time of its composition was probably 4000–4500 years), with every section of this set of progressive writings to contain both types and prophecies of the Lord to come.

There are two short introductory articles to typology which seem fairly reasonable: from Theopedia and from Eric Landstrom.

There is another fact about our Lord that is nearly completely ignored. His ministry was the most limited ministry in the history of religious figures. Jesus confined Himself to teaching for a very short period of time (3–4 years of a public ministry) over a very small portion of land (he taught only northern and southern Israel), speaking to a very limited audience and He wrote absolutely nothing down. The only other religious figures with this sort of a limited ministry are those you have never heard of, because no one thought to record anything that they did or said. We know about Mohammed, Confucius, and Buddha because their ministries took place over decades, they spoke and taught huge numbers of people in very large geographical areas. Yet, Jesus still fulfilled all that was written in the Old Testament.

Written testimony of our Lord would appear to be ripe for legend and mythology, except for the fact that, what was written about Him was written nearly immediately, principally by eyewitnesses, many copies of which we have which go back to within decades of them being written (this is unknown for ancient documents outside of the Bible). Usually legend and myths are composed hundreds of years later by those have no direct, 2nd hand or even 3rd hand information about the person they are mythologizing. But we have a plethora of documents, all written within decades of His crucifixion, copied and recopied and distributed throughout the Roman world, so that, if any of it were false, there would have been thousands of eyewitnesses who would have disputed the contents of these documents in writing.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


So far, this is what we have studied: Gen 18:1–9 (MKJV mostly) And Jehovah appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre, and he sat at the tent door in the heat of the day. Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed toward the ground. And he said, “My Lord [or, lords], if now I have found grace in Your sight, do not pass away, I pray, from Your servant. Let a little water, I pray, be brought, and wash Your feet, and rest under the tree. And I will bring a bite of bread, and will comfort your hearts. After that You shall pass on. For this is why You have come to Your servant [i.e., this is why you just happened to walk past my tent].” And they said, “Do so, as you have said.” And Abraham quickly went into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal; knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran out to the herd and brought a calf, tender and good. And he gave it to a young man. And he hurried to dress it. And he took butter and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree, and they ate. They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "Behold, she is in the tent."


So Abraham is enjoying fellowship with God and two angels, which is what sharing a meal represents. Then the topic turns to Sarah. God obviously knows where Sarah is. The angels with Him may not. God will involve Sarah in a conversation, which God has not done before. However, first God needs her attention, and He gets it when They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" Sarah can hear what is going on, and, obviously, when she hears her name spoken, she begins to pay close attention to what is being said. Nothing gets a person’s attention more than hearing their name spoken.


Gen 18:10–11 Then He said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah.


Now that God has Sarah’s attention, He promises Abraham that he would sire a son by Sarah; and the writer of this passage makes it clear that Sarah is beyond the age of childbearing and that Abraham is long past the age of being able to father a child.


Sarah is listening from the tent to what the men have to say, because she heard her name mentioned, and Jehovah promises Abraham that she would bear a son next year. Both Abraham and Sarah immediately thinks, “I’m too old and my spouse is too old as well.”


——————————


And so laughs Sarah in her midst, to say, “After my wasting away, is to me pleasure [sexual delight]? And my lord is old.”

Genesis

18:12

Therefore Sarah laughed to herself [lit., in her midst], saying [i.e., thinking to herself], “After I have been physically used up, will I have sexual enjoyment? Furthermore, my lord is old.”

Therefore, Sarah laughed within, thinking, “Will I enjoy sexual pleasure at my age? Even my lord is too old for that!”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And Sarah wondered in her heart, saying After that I am old shall I have conceptions, and my lord Abraham is old? [JERUSALEM. And Sarah derided in her heart, saying, After that I am old, is it possible to return to the days of my youth, for me to have conception, and Abraham old?]

Latin Vulgate                          And she laughed secretly, saying: After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so laughs Sarah in her midst, to say, “After my wasting away, is to me pleasure [sexual delight]? And my lord is old.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am grown old, shall I renew my youth, my lord being old also.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Sarah laughed in herself, saying, The thing has not as yet happened to me, even until now, and my lord is old.

 

Significant differences:           Sarah laughed; she did not wonder, as in the targum. The targum also has conception rather than pleasure. A portion of the Greek seems quite different from the Hebrew. The same is true of the Syriac (however, these could simply be English translation euphemisms).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, I'm no longer able to have children and my husband's old.

Contemporary English V.       So she laughed and said to herself, "Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, will I really know such happiness?"

Easy English                          So Sarah laughed. And she said to herself, `I am an old woman. I am not able to have pleasure from sex any longer. My husband is very old.'

Easy-to-Read Version            So Sarah {did not believe what she heard. She} laughed to herself and said, “I am old and my husband is old. I am too old to have a baby.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         So Sarah laughed to herself and said, "Now that I am old and worn out, can I still enjoy sex? And besides, my husband is old too."

The Message                         Sarah laughed within herself, "An old woman like me? Get pregnant? With this old man of a husband?"

New Berkeley Version           ...she laughed to herself, saying, “Connubial enjoyment for me, worn out as I am; and my master aged, too?”


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Sarah laughed in her center, saying, "I will have Eden after I deteriorated and my lord is-old?!"

Beck’s American Translation And so Sarah laughed to herself. “Now that I’m worn out,” she said, “and my lord is old too, should I again enjoy myself?”

God’s Word                         And so Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, "Now that I've become old, will I enjoy myself again? What's more, my husband is old!"

New American Bible              So Sarah laughed* to herself and said, "Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, am I still to have sexual pleasure?"

NIRV                                      So she laughed to herself. She thought, "I'm worn out, and my husband is old. Can I really know the joy of having a baby?"

New Jerusalem Bible             So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 'Now that I am past the age of childbearing, and my husband is an old man, is pleasure to come my way again?'

New Simplified Bible              Therefore Sarah laughed within herself. She said to herself: »After I have grown old, shall I have a baby? My lord is old also.«


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And Sarah, laughing to herself, said, Now that I am used up am I still to have pleasure, my husband himself being old?

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...so Sarah laughed in her apartment, saying, “After I am wasted, will there be pleasure for me, even when my master is old?”

HCSB                                     So she laughed to herself: "After I have become shriveled up and my lord is old, will I have delight?"

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               And Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment—with my husband so old?”

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have become worn out, will I have smooth flesh? And also, my master is old."

New Advent Bible                  And she laughed secretly, saying: After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?

NET Bible®                             So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking [Heb "saying."], "After I am worn out will I have pleasure [It has been suggested that this word should be translated "conception," not "pleasure." See A. A. McIntosh, "A Third Root `adah in Biblical Hebrew," VT 24 (1974): 454-73.], especially when my husband is old too [The word "too" has been added in the translation for stylistic reasons.]?"

NIV – UK                                So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband), being old also?

Concordant Literal Version    And laughing is Sarah within herself saying, "After my decadence shall luxury come to me? It has not come to me till now. My lord also is old.

Heritage Bible                        And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I have failed from age shall there be to me pleasure, and my lord being old?

Syndein                                  Therefore Sarah laughed {tsachaq - Isaac'ed - laughed inside herself - where 'Isaac' will be formed - Humor of God} within herself {NOT out loud}, saying {'amar}, "After I am 'worn out'/'physically unable' shall I have 'sexual relationship'/'sexual pleasure' {`eden - the 'garden of eden' was the 'garden of sexual pleasure'} my lord {Abraham} being old also?".

A Voice in the Wilderness      Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, Being worn out, shall I be delighted, my lord, having also become old?

World English Bible                Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"

Young’s Updated LT             And Sarah laughs in her heart, saying, “After I have waxed old I have had pleasure! —my lord also is old!” Recall that Young’s Literal Translation is out of whack still.

 

The gist of this verse:          Sarah, while listening to these men talk, laughs, and thinks to herself, how can she and her husband have sexual pleasure at their age.


Genesis 18:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

tsâchaq (צָחַק) [pronounced tsaw-KHAHKH]

to laugh; to mock; to play

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6711 BDB #850

Sârâh (שָׂרָה) [pronounced saw-RAW]

princess, noble woman; transliterated Sarah

proper noun; feminine singular

Strong’s #8283 BDB #979

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

qereb (קֶרֶב) [pronounced KEH-rebv]

midst, among, from among [a group of people]; an [actual, physical] inward part; the inner person with respect to thinking and emotion; as a faculty of thinking or emotion; heart, mind, inner being; entrails [of sacrificial animals]

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #7130 BDB #899


gen18_12vayeira.jpg

Translation: Therefore, Sarah laughed to herself [lit., in her midst],... The first preposition is qereb (קֶרֶב) [pronounced KEH-rebv] and it has to do with the nearest part or the center. This may be translated that Sarah laughed in, within, or to herself. Sarah is at the tent flap listening to what is being said, interested in the company there, and what news they might have brought. However, as soon as Yehowah says that He will return and they will have a son—specifically her and Abraham—this strikes her as funny.


You will recall in the previous chapter, God suggested this to Abraham and he fell down and laughed. However, nevertheless, he allowed himself to be circumcised and circumcised all the males who were with him.


This time, Sarah laughs, but she does it internally, quietly, so that she knew that no one could hear her.


Genesis 18:12 (a graphic); from ima on and off the bima blog; accessed January 1, 2014.

 

McGee: That is, Sarah asks, "Is it possible that I will have a son?" - and she laughs. Now what kind of laughter is this? I think this is the laughter which says that it is just too good to be true - that's all. Again, I'm sure that most of us have had experiences like this. God has been so good to us on a certain occasion that we just laughed. Something happened that was just too good to be true, and that was the way Sarah laughed. She is saying, "This is something just too good to be true. It just can't happen to me!" 


Genesis 18:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾachărêy (אַחֲרֵי) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

behind, after; following; after that, afterwards; hinder parts

preposition/substantive; plural construct form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

The preposition ʾachărêy appears to have a rare substantive use as well; here, it can mean the end of, the butt of, the end portion; the back.

bâlâh (בָּלָה) [pronounced baw-LAW]

to fall, to fall away; to waste away [physically, mentally]; to become completely and fully used up; to fail; to be brought to nothing

Qal infinitive construct with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1086 BDB #115


Translation: ...saying [i.e., thinking to herself], “After I have been physically used up,... Although we have the words to say here, what is happening is, she is speaking to herself or within herself; in other words, she is thinking.


Genesis 18:12c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʿedenâh (עֶדְנָה) [pronounced ģehd-NAW]

pleasure, sexual delight

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #5730 BDB #726

There is a masculine and feminine form of this word. The meanings are similar. Some lexicons treat them as the same word; some treat them as different words. They have the same Strong’s #.

The masculine form of this noun is ʿêden (עֵדֶן) [pronounced ĢAY-den], which means pleasure; luxury, dainty, delight. Strong’s #5730 BDB #726. You may recognize this word from the beginning of the book of Genesis: ʿÊden (עֵדֶן) [pronounced ĢAY-den], which means pleasure; and is transliterated Eden. Strong’s #5731 BDB #727. It is the same word, just the masculine form rather than the feminine form.


Translation: ...will I have sexual enjoyment? Shall I have pleasure is the verb hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW], which means come to pass, to be, to become. Sexual pleasure is a hapax legomenon (plural: hapax legomena) in the Old Testament. It is the word ʿedenâh (עֶדְנָה) [pronounced ģehd-NAW]. This word is related to Eden, which was "Garden of Delights." This is the subject. The verb is in the Qal perfect, 3rd person feminine singular, 1st person singular suffix. The subject is actually sexual pleasure and that portion of Scripture is actually Shall sexual pleasure come to pass for me. It sounds as though Sarah is a tiny bit skeptical concerning what Jesus Christ had to say (although neither she nor Abraham realized that it was the Lord yet).


Sarah is not asking a question, but stating a strong doubt in the form of a question, which does not require an answer from anyone, including herself (erotesis).


Genesis 18:12d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]

Lord (s), Master (s), my Lord (s), Sovereign; my lord [master]; can refer to the Trinity or to an intensification of the noun; transliterated Adonai, adonai

masculine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #113 & #136 BDB #10

There are actually 3 forms of this word: ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; ʾădônay (אֲדֹנַי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; and ʾădônîy (אֲדֹנִי) [pronounced uh-doh-NEE].

This is a form of Strong’s #113, where there are three explanations given for the yodh ending: (1) this is a shortened form of the plural ending, usually written -îym (נִים) [pronounced eem], an older form of the pluralis excellentiæ (the plural of excellence), where God’s sovereignty and lordship are emphasized by the use of the plural; (2) this is the actual, but ancient, plural of the noun, which refers to the Trinity; or (3) this is the addition of the 1st person singular suffix, hence, my Lord (the long vowel point at the end would distinguish this from my lords).

There are points of grammar which speak to the options above, but not so that we may unequivocally choose between the three. (1) When we find ʾădônay (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAH] (note the difference of the vowel ending), it always means my lords. (2) Jehovah calls Himself ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY] in Job 28:28 Isa. 8:7; however, many of the Job manuscripts read Yehowah and 8 ancient Isaiah manuscripts read Yehowah instead. This suggests, that either ancient Scribes were confused about this form of Adonai or that they simply substituted Adonai for Yehowah, which was not an abnormal practice (in oral readings, the ancient Tetragrammaton was not spoken, but Lord was said instead). And even If every manuscript read Adonai, then we may also reasonably conclude that one member of the Trinity is addressing another member of the Trinity (although the idea of God saying my Lord would be theologically confusing, even if addressing another member of the Trinity; although Jesus did refer to God the Father as our Father).

This is exactly the same form of this word that we find back in v. 3.

zâqên (זָקֵן) [pronounced zaw-KANE]