And the LORD appeared to him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
VISIT OF ANGELS TO ABRAHAM AT MAMRE; AND OVERTHROW OF SODOM.
(1) And the Lord (Jehovah) appeared unto him.—No new section could begin in this way, but evidently this is a continuation of the narrative of the circumcision. We thus find a Jehovistic section coupled in the closest way with one which is Elohistic (comp. Genesis 17:22-23); and even here it is Elohim who for Abraham’s sake delivers Lot (Genesis 19:29). Far more important, however, is it to notice that this familiar intercourse, and clear revelation of Jehovah to Abraham, follows upon his closer relation to God by virtue of the sacrament of circumcision. Jewish tradition adds that this visit was made to Abraham on the third day after the rite had been performed, and was for the purpose of healing him from the painful consequences of it. It was on this account, as they think, that Abraham was resting at home, instead of being with his herds in the field.
The tent door.—Heb., the opening of the tent, formed by looping back one of the curtains.
The heat of the day.—The time of noon, when Orientals rest from labour (comp. Genesis 3:8). As the air in the tent would be sultry, Abraham sits in the shade on the outside. So in Genesis 18:8 the meal is spread under a tree.Genesis 18:1. This appearance of God to Abraham seems to have had in it more of freedom and familiarity, and less of grandeur and majesty, than those we have hitherto read of, and therefore more resembles that great visit, which in the fulness of time the Son of God was to make to the world. He sat in the tent-door in the heat of the day — Not so much to repose himself, as to seek an opportunity of doing good, by giving entertainment to strangers. And when there were no inns where travellers could refresh themselves or lodge, it was as common, as it was necessary, for hospitable persons to invite such at noon, or at eventide, to their houses or tents.
He ran to meet him. - This indicates the genuine warmth of unsophisticated nature. "Bowed himself to the earth." This indicates a low bow, in which the body becomes horizontal, and the head droops. This gesture is employed both in worship and doing obeisance.
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.The Lord appears to Abraham, Genesis 18:1. He sees three men, Genesis 18:2; invites them, Genesis 18:3-5. They accept it, Genesis 18:5. He prepares for them a calf, &c.; they eat, Genesis 18:6-8. The promise of a son by Sarah renewed; the time appointed, Genesis 18:9,10. Sarah, being old, laughs, Genesis 18:11,12. God reproves her, Genesis 18:13; and confirms the promise, Genesis 18:14. Her denial, and God’s reply, Genesis 18:15. The men go towards Sodom, Genesis 18:16. God resolves to show Abraham his purpose to destroy Sodom, Genesis 18:17. The reason of it, Genesis 18:18. God’s testimony of him, Genesis 18:19. God reveals his purpose to him, Genesis 18:20-22. Abraham’s intercession for Sodom oft repeated, and God’s condescension, Genesis 18:23-32.
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.And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. the Lord appeared] The personal Theophany of Jehovah (cf. Genesis 16:13) was evidently at first not recognized by Abraham.
the oaks of Mamre] Better, as R.V. marg., terebinths. See note on Genesis 13:18. Mamre is here the name of a place, not of a chieftain (Genesis 14:24).
in the heat of the day] i.e. at noontide, as in 2 Samuel 4:5. Cf. 1 Samuel 11:9, “by the time the sun is hot”; Nehemiah 7:3. For “the cool of the day,” see Genesis 3:8.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.
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