Genesis 18:13
And the LORD said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Genesis 18:13; Genesis 18:15. And the Lord (Hebrews, Jehovah) said, Wherefore did Sarah laugh? — By showing that he knew what Sarah did secretly, in another apartment of the tent, he manifested that he could accomplish his word, however contrary to the ordinary course of nature.18:9-15 Where is Sarah thy wife? was asked. Note the answer, In the tent. Just at hand, in her proper place, occupied in her household concerns. There is nothing got by gadding. Those are most likely to receive comfort from God and his promises, who are in their proper place, and in the way of their duty, Lu 2:8. We are slow of heart to believe, and need line upon line to the same purport. The blessings others have from common providence, believers have from the Divine promise, which makes them very sweet, and very sure. The spiritual seed of Abraham owe their life, and joy, and hope, and all, to the promise. Sarah thinks this too good news to be true; she laughed, and therefore cannot as yet find in her heart to believe it. Sarah laughed. We might not have thought there was a difference between Sarah's laughter and Abraham's, ch. 17:17; but He who searches the heart, saw that the one sprung from unbelief, and the other from faith. She denied that she had laughed. One sin commonly brings in another, and it is not likely we shall strictly keep to truth, when we question the Divine truth. But whom the Lord loves he will rebuke, convict, silence, and bring to repentance, and if they sin before him.The promise to Sarah. The men now enter upon the business of their visit. "Where is Sarah thy wife?" The jealousy and seclusion of later times had not yet rendered such an inquiry uncourteous. Sarah is within hearing of the conversation. "I will certainly return unto thee." This is the language of self-determination, and therefore suitable to the sovereign, not to the ambassador. "At the time of life;" literally the living time, seemingly the time of birth, when the child comes to manifest life. "Sarah thy wife shall have a son." Sarah hears this with incredulous surprise, and laughs with mingled doubt and delight. She knows that in the nature of things she is past child-bearing. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Sarah laughed within herself, within the tent and behind the speaker; yet to her surprise her internal feelings are known to him. She finds there is One present who rises above the sphere of nature. In her confusion and terror she denies that she laughed. But he who sees what is within, insists that she did laugh, at least in the thought of her heart. There is a beautiful simplicity in the whole scene. Sarah now doubtless received faith and strength to conceive.

Verse 16-33

The conference concerning Sodom. The human manner of the interview is carried out to the end. Abraham convoys his departing guests. The Lord then speaks, apparently debating with himself whether he shall reveal his intentions to Abraham. The reasons for doing so are assigned. First. Abraham shall surely become a nation great and mighty, and therefore has the interest of humanity in this act of retribution on Sodom. All that concerns man concerns him. Second. Blessed in him shall be all the nations of the earth. Hence, he is personally and directly concerned with all the dealings of mercy and judgment among the inhabitants of the earth. Third. "I have known him." The Lord has made himself known to him, has manifested his love to him, has renewed him after his own image; and hence this judgment upon Sodom is to be explained to him, that he may train his household to avoid the sins of this doomed city, "to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; and all this to the further intent that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what he hath spoken of him." The awful judgments of the Lord on Sodom, as before on the antediluvian world, are a warning example to all who are spared or hear of them. And those who, notwithstanding these monuments of the divine vengeance, will cease to do justice and judgment, may be certain that they will not continue to enjoy the benefits of the covenant of grace. For all these reasons it is meet that the secret of Lord be with him Psalm 25:11.

12. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself—Long delay seems to have weakened faith. Sarah treated the announcement as incredible, and when taxed with the silent sneer, she added falsehood to distrust. It was an aggravated offense (Ac 5:4), and nothing but grace saved her (Ro 9:18). No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord said unto Abraham,.... This discovers who the person was that had been conversing with Abraham, that he was a divine Person, as appears by his name "Jehovah", as well as by his knowledge of Sarah's behaviour; he did not turn himself to her, that it might be more manifest that it was not upon the sight of her he judged she laughed, but from his own omniscience; and he chose rather to speak to her husband than to her, appearing as a stranger, and that he might reprove her:

wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, shall I of a surety bear a child,

which am old? suggesting there was no reason for it, and signifying his displeasure and indignation at it.

And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Wherefore did Sarah laugh?] The Divine nature of Abraham’s guest is shewn in His knowledge of Sarah’s thought, cf. Genesis 17:19. Here, for the first time, Abraham’s Visitant is identified with Jehovah.Verse 13. - And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, - a question which must have convinced Abraham of the Speaker's omniscience. Not only had he heard the silent, inaudible, inward cachinnation of Sarah's spirit, but he knew the tenor of her thoughts, and the purport of her dubitations - saying, Shall I of a surely bear a child, whilst (literally, and I) am old? Sarah s mental cogitations clearly showed that the temporary obscuration of her faith proceeded from a strong realization of the weakness of nature, which made conception and pregnancy impossible to one like her, who was advanced in years; and accordingly her attention, as well as that of her husband, was directed to the Divine omnipotence as the all-sufficient guarantee for the accomplishment of the promise. When the three men had accepted the hospitable invitation, Abraham, just like a Bedouin sheikh of the present day, directed his wife to take three seahs (374 cubic inches each) of fine meal, and back cakes of it as quickly as possible (עגּות round unleavened cakes baked upon hot stones); he also had a tender calf killed, and sent for milk and butter, or curdled milk, and thus prepared a bountiful and savoury meal, of which the guests partook. The eating of material food on the part of these heavenly beings was not in appearance only, but was really eating; an act which may be attributed to the corporeality assumed, and is to be regarded as analogous to the eating on the part of the risen and glorified Christ (Luke 24:41.), although the miracle still remains physiologically incomprehensible.
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