Genesis, the first book of the Bible, says in chapter 18:
And the LORD appeared unto him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.
(King James Bible)
Note: The passage expressly tells us, several times, that
this is the "LORD" visiting Abraham, the great exemplar, the great man, of faith.
Abraham may not have known this immediately, but it became clear.
I include the entire chapter 18, plus the excellent Jamieson, Fausset, Brown (JFB) commentary later.
See this for more explanation.
But here I will skip to verse 9 and following,
to make my main point.
9And they said unto him,
Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah
thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be
with Sarah after the manner of women.
Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? (note -- "lord"
means her husband Abraham)
LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto
thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
carefully: the King James Bible wording in verses 10 and 14, "I will certainly return unto thee
according to the time of life."
This is very different from
the English Standard and New International Bible's rendering below. THEY OMIT REPORTING THE MIRACLE!
ESV 10The LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next
year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.
THE SAME OMISSION OCCURS AGAIN IN VERSE 14!
These two modern bible TRASH the supernatural act of the LORD "returning to Abraham and Sarah, the TIME OF
LIFE" -- THAT IS, THE SUPERNATURAL RESTORING OF THEIR OLD BODIES, SO THEY WOULD HAVE A SON, NATURALLY!
These bibles render the verse so that the LORD simply "returns to" them.
miracle the LORD performs is omitted in verses 10 and 14.
Checking several other modern
bibles I find the same thing.
The context, verses 9-14 above, makes it clear that the LORD
did a miracle.
Genesis 15 shows that God "counted" Abraham's belief in God's promise as BEING
THE SAME AS "righteousness."
Note that this great
promise includes Abraham having his own naturally born son as his heir.
to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that we, like Abraham, are "reckoned," "counted,"
and "imputed" with righteousness, based on our believing of God's promise of salvation by faith in
Romans 4:17 contains a strange phrase in this regard:
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed,
even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great
reward. Note -- God renamed, "Abram" -- "Abraham".
2And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house
is this Eliezer of Damascus?
Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall
not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven,
and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
In the New Testament book of Romans chapter 4 we have the inspired commentary on this:
Verse 19 confirms again that the bodies of Abraham and Sarah were dead as far as having children.
Furthermore, verses 20-25 show God's great pleasure in, and high regard for, Abraham in believing God's promise
This included, as we saw above, God's promised giving of a naturally
born son to be his heir.
King James Bible (KJB)
1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2For if Abraham were justified
by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted
unto him for righteousness.
4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5But to him that worketh not,
but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man,
unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the man to whom
the Lord will not impute sin.
9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say
that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
10How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision?
Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet
being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness
might be imputed unto them also:
12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in
the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world,
was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made
void, and the promise made of none effect:
15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
16Therefore it is of faith,
that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but
to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)
before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall
thy seed be.
being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the
deadness of Sarah's womb:
20He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to
being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23Now it was not written for
his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord
from the dead;
was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto path
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:104,105
and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.
Here is the entire chapter 18 of Genesis followed by the excellent JFB commentary on this passage.
LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
2And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw
them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
3And said, My LORD, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee,
from thy servant:
4Let a little water, I pray
you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
5And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore
are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
6And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine
meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.
Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
8And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he
had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
9And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according
to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken
in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety
bear a child, which am old?
14Is any thing too
hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
15Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for
she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
17And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations
of the earth shall be blessed in him?
know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice
and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
20And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their
sin is very grievous;
21I will go down now, and
see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
22And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood
yet before the LORD.
23And Abraham drew near,
and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are
25That be far from thee to do after this
manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall
not the Judge of all the earth do right?
the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
27And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken
upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes:
there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there
forty and five, I will not destroy it.
spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's
30And he said unto him, Oh let not the LORD
be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty
31And he said, Behold now, I have taken
upon me to speak unto the LORD: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's
32And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry,
and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
33And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had
left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
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
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.
2. lift up his eyes … and, lo, three men—Travellers in
that quarter start at sunrise and continue till midday when they look out for some resting-place.
he ran to meet them—When the visitor is an ordinary person, the host merely rises;
but if of superior rank, the custom is to advance a little towards the stranger, and after a very low bow, turn and lead him
to the tent, putting an arm round his waist, or tapping him on the shoulder as they go, to assure him of welcome.
3. My Lord, if now I have found favor—The hospitalities offered are just of the
kind that are necessary and most grateful, the refreshment of water, for feet exposed to dust and heat by the sandals, being
still the first observed among the pastoral people of Hebron.
5. for therefore
are ye come—No questions were asked. But Abraham knew their object by the course they took—approaching
directly in front of the chief sheik's tent, which is always distinguishable from the rest and thus showing their
wish to be his guests.
6. Abraham hastened … unto Sarah …
make cakes upon the hearth—Bread is baked daily, no more than is required for family use, and always by the
women, commonly the wife. It is a short process. Flour mixed with water is made into dough, and being rolled out into cakes,
it is placed on the earthen floor, previously heated by a fire. The fire being removed, the cakes are laid on the ground,
and being covered over with hot embers, are soon baked, and eaten the moment they are taken off.
7. Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf—Animal food is never provided,
except for visitors of a superior rank when a kid or lamb is killed. A calf is still a higher stretch of hospitality, and
it would probably be cooked as is usually done when haste is required—either by roasting it whole or by cutting it up
into small pieces and broiling them on skewers over the fire. It is always eaten along with boiled corn swimming in butter
or melted fat, into which every morsel of meat, laid upon a piece of bread, is dipped, before being conveyed by the fingers
to the mouth.
8. milk—A bowl of camel's milk ends the repast.
he stood by them under the tree—The host himself, even though
he has a number of servants, deems it a necessary act of politeness to stand while his guests are at their food,
and Abraham evidently did this before he was aware of the real character of his visitors.
18:9-15. Reproof of Sarah. An inquiry about his wife, so surprising in strangers, the subject of conversation,
and the fulfilment of the fondly cherished promise within a specified time, showed Abraham that he had been entertaining more
than ordinary travellers (Heb 13:2).
10. Sarah heard it in the tent door,
which was behind him—The women's apartment is in the back of the tent, divided by a thin partition from the
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).
Ge 18:16-22. Disclosure of Sodom's Doom.
the men rose … Abraham went with them—It is customary for a host to escort his guests a little way.
17. the Lord said, Shall I hide—The chief stranger, no other
than the Lord, disclosed to Abraham the awful doom about to be inflicted on Sodom and the cities of the plain for their enormous
21. I will go down … and see—language
used after the manner of men. These cities were to be made examples to all future ages of God's severity; and therefore ample
proof given that the judgment was neither rash nor excessive (Eze 18:23; Jer 18:7).
18:23-33. Abraham's Intercession.
drew near, and said,&c.—The scene described is full of interest and instruction—showing in an unmistakable
manner the efficacy of prayer and intercession. (See also Pr 15:8; Jas 5:16). Abraham reasoned justly as to the rectitude
of the divine procedure (Ro 3:5, 6), and many guilty cities and nations have been spared on account of God's people (Mt 5:13;
33. the Lord … left communing … and Abraham returned
unto his place—Why did Abraham cease to carry his intercessions farther? Either because he fondly thought that
he was now sure of the cities being preserved (Lu 13:9), or because the Lord restrained his mind from further intercession
(Jer 7:16; 11:14). But there were not ten "righteous persons." There was only one, and he might without injustice
have perished in the general overthrow (Ec 9:2). But a difference is sometimes made, and on this occasion the grace of God
was manifested in a signal manner for the sake of Abraham. What a blessing to be connected with a saint of God!
Time is short. THE STAKES ARE HIGH.
If you are
not CERTAIN you are a true Christian believer see my other pages.