18:1 The Lord appeared to Abraham 1 by the oaks 2 of Mamre while 3 he was sitting at the entrance 4 to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 18:2 Abraham 5 looked up 6 and saw 7 three men standing across 8 from him. When he saw them 9 he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low 10 to the ground. 11
18:3 He said, “My lord, 12 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 13 18:4 Let a little water be brought so that 14 you may all 15 wash your feet and rest under the tree. 18:5 And let me get 16 a bit of food 17 so that you may refresh yourselves 18 since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” 19 “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”
18:6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take 20 three measures 21 of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 22 18:7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, 23 who quickly prepared it. 24 18:8 Abraham 25 then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food 26 before them. They ate while 27 he was standing near them under a tree.
[18:2] 7 tn Heb “and saw, and look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) draws attention to what he saw. The drawn-out description focuses the reader’s attention on Abraham’s deliberate, fixed gaze and indicates that what he is seeing is significant.
[18:2] 10 tn The form וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ (vayyishtakhu, “and bowed low”) is from the verb הִשְׁתַּחֲוָה (hishtakhavah, “to worship, bow low to the ground”). It is probably from a root חָוָה (khavah), though some derive it from שָׁחָה (shakhah).
[18:2] 11 sn The reader knows this is a theophany. The three visitors are probably the
[18:3] 12 tc The MT has the form אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “Master”) which is reserved for God. This may reflect later scribal activity. The scribes, knowing it was the
[18:4] 15 tn The word “all” has been supplied in the translation because the Hebrew verb translated “wash” and the pronominal suffix on the word “feet” are plural, referring to all three of the visitors.
[18:5] 17 tn Heb “a piece of bread.” The Hebrew word לֶחֶם (lekhem) can refer either to bread specifically or to food in general. Based on Abraham’s directions to Sarah in v. 6, bread was certainly involved, but v. 7 indicates that Abraham had a more elaborate meal in mind.
[18:6] 20 tn The word “take” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the sentence lacks a verb other than the imperative “hurry.” The elliptical structure of the language reflects Abraham’s haste to get things ready quickly.
[18:6] 21 sn Three measures (Heb “three seahs”) was equivalent to about twenty quarts (twenty-two liters) of flour, which would make a lot of bread. The animal prepared for the meal was far more than the three visitors needed. This was a banquet for royalty. Either it had been a lonely time for Abraham and the presence of visitors made him very happy, or he sensed this was a momentous visit.