Genesis 18:1-15

The Three Visitors

1 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.
2 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.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by.
4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.
5 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.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.
8 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.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.
12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’
14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Genesis 18:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
ESV
1 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.
NLT
1 The LORD appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day.
MSG
1 God appeared to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. It was the hottest part of the day.
CSB
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.

Genesis 18:1-15 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 18

Another appearance of God to Abraham is here recorded; three persons are seen by him in an human form, whom he kindly invites to stop with him, and generously entertains them, Ge 18:1-8; they inquire concerning Sarah his wife, and one of them renews the promise of her bearing a son to him, which occasions laughter in her, for which she is reproved, Ge 18:9-15; upon their departure the Lord thought fit, for reasons given, to make known to Abraham his intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Ge 18:16-22; when Abraham intercedes for the preservation of those cities in a most importunate and affectionate manner, Ge 18:23-33.

Genesis 18:1-15 In-Context

1 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.
2 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.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.
4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.
5 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.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.
8 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.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.
12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’
14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way.
17 Then the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?
18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.
19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

Cross References 27

  • 1. S Genesis 12:7; Acts 7:2
  • 2. S Genesis 13:18; Genesis 14:13
  • 3. Genesis 19:1; Genesis 23:10,18; Genesis 34:20,24; Ruth 4:1; Psalms 69:12; Hebrews 11:9
  • 4. Genesis 24:63
  • 5. ver 16,22; Genesis 19:1,10; Genesis 32:24; Joshua 5:13; Judges 13:6-11; Hosea 12:3-4; Hebrews 13:2
  • 6. S Genesis 17:3; S Genesis 43:28
  • 7. Genesis 19:19; Genesis 39:4; Ru 2:2,10,13; 1 Samuel 1:18; Esther 2:15
  • 8. Ge 32:4,18,20; Genesis 33:5
  • 9. Genesis 19:2; Genesis 24:32; Genesis 43:24; Judges 19:21; 2 Samuel 11:8; S Luke 7:44
  • 10. Judges 13:15; Judges 19:5
  • 11. Genesis 19:3; 2 Samuel 13:8
  • 12. 1 Samuel 28:24; Luke 15:23
  • 13. Isaiah 7:15,22
  • 14. Judges 4:19; Judges 5:25
  • 15. Judges 6:19; Genesis 19:3
  • 16. S Genesis 3:9
  • 17. Genesis 24:67; Hebrews 11:9
  • 18. S Genesis 17:21; Genesis 21:2; 2 Kings 4:16
  • 19. S Genesis 17:6; Romans 9:9*
  • 20. S Genesis 17:17; Luke 1:18
  • 21. S Genesis 11:30; Romans 4:19; Hebrews 11:11-12
  • 22. S Genesis 17:17; Genesis 21:6
  • 23. 1 Peter 3:6
  • 24. S Genesis 17:17
  • 25. Job 42:2; Isaiah 40:29; Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 51:9; Jeremiah 32:17,27; Zechariah 8:6; S Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; Romans 4:21
  • 26. S ver 10
  • 27. S Genesis 17:19; Romans 9:9*; Galatians 4:23

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "eyes, Lord"
  • [b]. That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
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