|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-8 Abraham was waiting to entertain any weary traveller, for inns were not to be met with as among us. While Abraham was thus sitting, he saw three men coming. These were three heavenly beings in human bodies. Some think they were all created angels; others, that one of them was the Son of God, the Angel of the covenant. Washing the feet is customary in those hot climates, where only sandals are worn. We should not be forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares, Heb 13:2; nay, the Lord of angels himself; as we always do, when for his sake we entertain the least of his brethren. Cheerful and obliging manners in showing kindness, are great ornaments to piety. Though our condescending Lord vouchsafes not personal visits to us, yet still by his Spirit he stands at the door and knocks; when we are inclined to open, he deigns to enter; and by his gracious consolations he provides a rich feast, of which we partake with him, Re 3:20.
Verse 1. - And the Lord - Jehovah, the Divine name employed throughout the present and succeeding chapters, which are accordingly assigned to the Jehovist (Tuch, Bleek, Davidson, Colenso), with the exception of Genesis 19:29, which is commonly regarded as a fragment of the original Elohist's narration (vide infra) - appeared unto him. The absence of Abraham's name has been thought to favor the idea that the present chapter should have begun at Genesis 17:23 (Quarry). That the time of this renewed Divine manifestation was shortly after the incidents recorded in the preceding chapter is apparent, as also that its object was the reassurance of the patriarch concerning the birth of Isaac. In the plains of Mamre. Literally, in the oaks of Mature (vide Genesis 13:18). And he sat in the tent door. Literally, in the opening of the tent, a fold of which was fastened to a post near by to admit any air that might be stirring. In the heat of the day, i.e. noontide (cf. 1 Samuel 11:11), as the cool of the day, or the wind of the day (Genesis 3:8), means eventide. "The usual term for noon is Tsoharim (Genesis 43:16), that is, the time of ' double or greatest light,' while a more poetical expression is 'the height of the day' (Proverbs 4:18), either because then the sun has reached its most exalted position, or because it appears to stand still in the zenith" (Kalisch). Among the Orientals the hour of noon is the time of rest (cf. Song of Solomon 1:7) and the time of dinner (Genesis 43:16, 25). In this case the patriarch had probably dined and was resting after dinner, sines, on the arrival of his visitors, preparations had to be commenced for their entertainment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre,.... That is, to Abraham; and very likely this appearance of God was quickly after the affair of the circumcision, to show his approbation of his ready obedience to his command; and at this time he was in the plains, or at the oaks of Mamre, the oaken grove there, as has been observed on Genesis 13:18; and which seems to be the best rendering of the words, since in Genesis 18:4; mention is made of a tree to sit and stand under; and Abraham might choose this place for his habitation, because of the shadiness of it, in those hot countries:
and he sat in the tent door, in the heat of the day; partly to cool and refresh himself, and partly to observe if any passengers passed by, to invite them in; this being a time of day when such needed refreshment, and it was proper for them to lie by a while, and not proceed on their journey until it was cooler: or rather to or "near" the tent door, as Noldius (g), or before it, without or under the shade of the tree, after mentioned.
(g) Ebr. Concord. Part. p. 13.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ge 18:1-8. Entertainment of Angels.
1. the Lord appeared—another manifestation of the divine presence, more familiar than any yet narrated; and more like that in the fulness of time, when the Word was made flesh.
plains of Mamre—rather, terebinth or oak of Mamre; a tall-spreading tree or grove of trees.
sat in the tent door—The tent itself being too close and sultry at noon, the shaded open front is usually resorted to for the air that may be stirring.
Genesis 18:1 Parallel Commentaries
Genesis 18:1 NIV
Genesis 18:1 NLT
Genesis 18:1 ESV
Genesis 18:1 NASB
Genesis 18:1 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible