Blessings given in the path of home duty: shepherds at night
(Luk 2:8-20), Moses keeping flock (Exo 3:1,2), David in sheepfolds (Psa 78:70),
Gideon threshing (Jdg 6:11,12), Abraham in tent-door (Gen 18:1), and a woman
coming to draw water (Joh 4:7,26).
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some
people have entertained angels without knowing it" (Heb 13:2; cp Rom 12:13, 3Jo
1:5,7; 1Ti 3:2). Cp also Lot with strangers (Gen 19:1).
THE LORD: = 3 angels, who speak on His behalf (v
THE GREAT TREES: "Elon". Rt "strength" or "oak". The
Heb is consistently translated "tree(s)" in NIV, but "plain" in Gen 12:6; 13:18;
14:13; 18:1; Deu 11:30. Cp also Jdg 4:11; 9:6,37; 1Sa 10:3.
HE WAS SITTING AT THE ENTRANCE TO HIS TENT: Abraham sat
in door of tent (alone). Lot sat in gate of city: Gen 19:11.
IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY: This is an open manifestation,
not a dream of the night.
Hospitality: Heb 13:2; Rom 12:13; 1Pe 4:9.
HURRIED (RAN): Eagerness. Abraham's characteristic
haste: Gen 19:27; 22:3.
BOWED LOW TO THE GROUND: Normal form of greeting
strangers (Gen 23:7).
MY LORD: Not "Yahweh", but "Adonai", although
supposedly altered by Sopherim (Comp 32). Or, poss plural: "Adonai" = "My lords,
with no recognition as yet of their divine origin". A normal form of greeting
(Gen 30:27; 1Sa 20:29).
SOMETHING TO EAT: AV: "a morsel of bread" -- a very
modest description of what proves to be a sumptuous feast (vv 6-8).
REFRESHED: "Comfort ye" (AV) or "stay" (ie strengthen)
ye (AV mg).
Abraham commanded a very large household, of perh several
hundred, but he delighted in personally ministering to these visitors.
A "sacrificial" meal!
This meal, not proper/kosher according to modern Jewish
"He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject
the wrong and choose the right" (Isa 7:15).
HE STOOD NEAR THEM: In a mediatorial, or servant's,
A very strange thing, to know the name of the man's
Vv 9-15: Abraham had not told Sarah of the promised seed, or
else she had not believed him. Sarah doubted, but only for a brief
Cp 2Ki 4:16: another unusual childbirth.
Spiritually, we are like Sarah -- past the time and unable to
bear "fruit" to our "husband" without divine help.
MY MASTER: "My lord" (adon) in AV. This is what Sarah
said in her heart, ie, her ordinary attitude: 1Pe 3:6; 1Co 11:3.
HARD: Sw "wonderful" in Isa 9:6.
"You do not prove the resources of God until you trust Him for
I WILL RETURN: "I will surely return" (v 10). God was
personally involved in this birth, literally so in giving strength and
revitalization to this aged couple -- just as He is spiritually involved in the
calling of each of His sons and daughters by the Word (hence causing them to
"born after the Spirit": Gal 4:29; John 6:44,45).
AT THE APPOINTED TIME: In Gen 18:10 it is "the time of
life", but the question of time is emphasized again in Gen 18:14: "At the TIME
APPOINTED..." Not only was Isaac born out of a promise but a promise to be
fulfilled at a SET TIME (cp Gen 21:2). This time was first appointed in Gen
17:21 -- a year after Yahweh appeared to Abraham with the covenant token of
circumcision (Gen 17:1,10,11) -- and probably nine months from the visitation of
LOOKED DOWN TOWARD SODOM: As Jesus looked toward
Jerusalem... Mamre is in a valley close to Hebron; from the heights a little to
the east a view of the Dead Sea can be had.
Abraham = the Friend of God in 2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8; Jam
The sins of Sodom: more than sexual. Also, pride, arrogance,
haughtiness, leisure, indifference to poor (Eze 16:49)."It was the same in the
days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and
building" (Luk 17:28). In short, they showed concern only for temporal affairs,
material wealth and pleasure.
The angels do not have infinite wisdom: ie, they must go down
to see for themselves!
THE OUTCRY THAT HAS REACHED ME: Cp cry of Abel's blood:
"Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground" (Gen 4:10), and
laborers defrauded of wages (Jam 5:4). Cp also Babylon the Great, whose sins
have reached unto heaven (Rev 19:5).
THE MEN: They continue to assume the appearance of
BUT ABRAHAM REMAINED STANDING: Reflection and waiting
before approaching God.
BEFORE THE LORD: One of the 3 "men" remained behind,
while the other 2 went ahead (Gen 19:1). Abraham was prob talking to an angel
referred to as "the Lord". Since there were 3 initially (v 2) and since the
plural word "men" is used in v 22 when they went toward Sodom, then apparently
one stays behind and becomes a spokesman for the Lord. Refs where an angel = God
are Psa 97:7 (cp Heb 1:6); Gen 32:30 (cp Hos 12:3-4); Exod 3:1-6 (cp Act
Other cities were to be destroyed, but Abraham pleads for
Sodom only, because that is where Lot dwelt (Gen 14:12). God allowed Abraham to
"barter" without telling him it was wrong. Moses "bargains" with God on several
occasions (eg Exod 32:11-14). Gideon also does... a conscious imitation of
Abraham's intercession in Jdg 6:39 (cp Gen 18:32). Notice, however, the humility
of Abraham in his bartering: "dust and ashes" (v 27); he pleads with God not to
be angry (v 32).
WILL YOU SWEEP AWAY (DESTROY) THE RIGHTEOUS WITH THE
WICKED: The lesson of the Flood and Noah, prob learned from Shem?
FIFTY: The number of Jubilee and, hence, deliverance
(Lev 25:10). "Why not let the feeble light still shine, so long as there is any
possibility that another sinner may be called to repentance?"
The righteous, as salt of the earth, a preservative: Mat
SO BOLD (I HAVE TAKEN UPON ME): Astonished at the
liberty he has taken.
DUST AND ASHES: Abraham's estimate of himself (cp Job
14:1,2,7; 1Co 15:45-49; Rom 5:12).
"There was abundance of mercy with God, but His servant was
limited -- he was afraid of overdrawing his account" (CHM 199).
TEN: 10 = Lot, wife, 2 married daughters (Gen 19:14), 2
sons-in-law, at least 2 sons (Gen 19:2), and 2 unmarried daughters (Gen
Power of faith and intercession of others: Mat 8:13; 9:32;
15:28; 17:14-18; Luk 8:50; Joh 4:49; Jos 6:17; Gen 7:1; 18:32; 19:12; Act
Abraham is now assured, but his faith was to be sorely tested
when he rose to see Sodom's smoke afar off: Gen 19:27,28 (WAbr 81,82).