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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Genesis 18

 

 

Verses 1-33

The Heavenly Strangers Who Visited Abraham- God's Revelation of Himself to Abraham - Genesis 18:1-33 gives the account of the heavenly strangers who visited Abraham and told him about God's plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Since Abraham himself was a stranger in the land of Canaan, God also revealed Himself to Abraham as a stranger in this new land so that Abraham would better understand his office and calling to dwell in the land. This divine visitation by strangers helped him understand God's divine provision for him as he dwelt in the land of Canaan out of obedience as Abraham feed them and meet their physical needs. God later revealed Himself unto Moses as "the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" ( Exodus 3:6). This revelation allowed Moses to understand that his office and ministry was to bring God's people, the descendants of Abraham, out of Egyptian bondage. Moses' name, which means, "drawn out", indicates his ministry and anointing of bringing the Hebrew people out from bondage. However, unto Joshua the Lord revealed Himself as the "Captain of the Host of the Lord" ( Joshua 5:14). This name indicated that Joshua was to walk under this anointing as a warrior and lead God's people into battle.

Exodus 3:6, "Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God."

Joshua 5:14, "And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?"

The Intercessory Prayer of Abraham - Abraham responded to the revelation of divine destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by interceding for these cities. God did not have to pass through Abraham on his way to Sodom and Gomorrah, but He will always look for an intercessor (note Ezekiel 22:30-31).

Ezekiel 22:30, "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD."

Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

Genesis 18:1 — "And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre" - Comments- The plains of Mamre are located in Hebron ( Genesis 13:18; Genesis 23:19).

Genesis 13:18, "Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD."

Genesis 23:19, "And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan."

Genesis 18:1 — "and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day" - Comments- The ancient people did not have clocks, as we know them today. They did, however, invent the sundial, as in the time of King Hezekiah ( Isaiah 38:8). Therefore, Abraham identified the time of day of this event as the "heat of the day". As was explained to me in Africa, many people in undeveloped parts of the world are event conscience, rather than time conscience. Thus, Abraham times the event of the appearing of the angels with an event that takes place each day, which is when the temperature reaches its maximum heat

Genesis 18:3Comments- Abraham addresses the Lord as "Adoni" ( אָדוֹן) (H 113) in Genesis 18:3, and Sarai uses this word in Genesis 18:12. He is called "YHWH" ( יְהוָֹה) (H 3058) in Genesis 18:13-14. The KJV translates these two Hebrew words as "Lord."

Genesis 18:10 — "And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life" - Comments- The "time of life" very likely refers to the time of ovulation, or the time of conception, when the wife ovulates and they come together. It could refer to the time when the sperm and egg come together; for it is at conception that life begins. The Lord did visit Sarah as He had promised ( Genesis 21:1). We have no record of what took place at this visitation. We can only compare it to the visitation of the Holy Spirit at the time of Mary's conception ( Matthew 1:18-20).

Genesis 21:1, "And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken."

Matthew 1:18-20, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just Prayer of Manasseh , and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."

Note the New Testament reference to Sarah's conception:

Romans 9:8-9, "That Isaiah , They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son."

Genesis 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

Genesis 18:11Comments- Sarah was not only past the age of bearing children. She had also been barren her entire life.

Genesis 18:14Comments- There was a divinely appointed time in the life of Abraham and Sarah for Isaac's birth. Although this couple attempted to have a child for decades, God held back this answer to prayer until an appointed time. One obvious reason for such a delay is so that they would understand that this miracle was done by the Lord, requiring an act of total faith and trust in Almighty God in order for righteousness to be imputed unto them ( Romans 4:16-22). Another more subtle reason is that perhaps God delayed this miracle because He knew that this couple was not ready to raise their son in integrity. God had called Abraham out from a culture of deceit and cleverness. This mindset of cleverness took years for Abraham and Sarah to overcome, although they knew the Lord. As he learned to trust the Lord and walk with integrity before God and with his neighbours, Abraham became a man of genuine integrity, different from any other man on earth. God was calling out a people of righteousness, or integrity, and it must be a people could raise their children to fear the Lord in this same manner as well. For the nation of Israel to become a nation of righteousness, their forefathers must be transformed into men of integrity. Therefore, God waited until Abraham and Sarah were spiritually mature before giving them this precious gift of a son.

Genesis 18:14Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament- Note the New Testament reference to Genesis 18:14 :

Romans 9:8-9, "That Isaiah , They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son."

Genesis 18:18Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament- Note a New Testament reference to Genesis 18:18.

Galatians 3:8, "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Genesis 18:22Scripture References - Abraham also stood before the Lord in Genesis 19:27, "And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:"

Genesis 18:32Comments- The reason Abraham made the decision to go into battle against the large army from the East in Genesis 14:13-16 is because of one Prayer of Manasseh , his nephew Lot. Because of this one man the Lord brought a great deliverance for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. When we compare this deliverance to Abraham's pray of intercession for these same wicked cities, we find that Abraham asked God for their preservation if ten righteous men could be found. We have to wonder if Abraham could have asked for one righteous man for their deliverance from judgment.

Genesis 18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Genesis 18:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/genesis-18.html. 2013.

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