The Angels’ Visit

10/25/15

Hashem appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre; he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot.
Genesis 18:1
The men set out from there and looked down toward Sodom, Avraham walking with them to see them off.
Genesis 18:16

As Abraham is enjoying a visit from God following his own circumcision, he sees three men in the distance. Eager to share his hospitality, he begs the men to stop a while in his shelter, and prepares them a lavish meal. The three men have news for Abraham. They tell him that in a year’s time, his wife, Sarah, will give birth to a son. Sarah, who is listening to the conversation from inside, is so surprised by the news that she laughs. God confronts Abraham over Sarah’s reaction, and she denies her lapse in faith. Then the men turn away and head towards Sodom.

 

We are told in this passage that Abraham is dwelling in Elonei Mamre, which is located overlooking the Hebron Valley. The Israel Bible discusses the significance of this location throughout history.The archaeological remains of two towers, over 2,000 years old, have been found there. They are thought to date back to King Herod. In the 4th century, the site became home to a Christian church, and a major marketplace. According to the Talmud, that particular market was one of the three most important markets in the Land of Israel.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think God chose to reveal the coming birth of Isaac this way? Why not tell Abraham Himself? Alternatively, why tell him at all?