edited March 2008 in Faith Issues

i have a few questions about Abraham from Genesis Ch 18

Genesis 18:1-4
1 Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre,[a] as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3 and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. 4 Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
-how did Abraham know that the 3 men was God (he called them Lord), these 3 men i think represent the trinity..the Father, Son ,and the Holy Spirit.( if the 3 men r not the trininty wat r they?) How did Abraham c the Father? i remember reading somewhere in the Bible that whoever sees the Father will die(sorry i dont have the exact verse right now)
-in verse 4 y does Abraham use "yourselves"(plural)? wasnt the 3 men the hypostasis of God representing ONE God?..

Genesis 18:10-14
10 And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.”
(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” 13 And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD?
- y didnt God punish Sarah and Abraham for their disbelief in getting children as Elizabeth and Zachariah were?

pls inform me if something is unclear and needs clarification
thank u in advance

pls keep my weakness in ur prayers
-sister in Christ


  • I will try to answer these questions to the best of my ability maybe someone else with more knowledge can answer it better than me,

    Abraham said to them yourselves because even He refers to Himself in the plural, "Let US make man in OUR image, so why wouldn't Abraham address them in the same manner?

    To answer your second question God did not punish Sarah and Abraham for their disbelief because it was never heard of that someone that old to bear a child. Zachariah was punished because he was a High Priest and knew what God could do and knew the stories of the old testament. The same with St. Mary, it was never heard that a virgin would be with child so at first she doubted and question the Archangel but she was not punished, the angel explained to her how it would be possible and she agreed just as God explained to Abraham how he would be able to bear child this late in life

    This is a great question by the way, i would love to hear others interpretations on these verses as well
  • Hello,

    Here's what H.H. Pope Shenouda said about this question.  (pasting just a very small piece of the answer, follow the link below to read the entire answer)

    Biblical Questions

    (aka: So Many Years with the Problems of
    Part I - Biblical Questions)

    Who were the three that Abraham the patriarch hosted
    in Genesis 18? Were they the Holy Trinity? Was
    Abraham's worshipping them an indication of that? He
    talked to them at times in plural and at other times in
    singular, is that a proof for the Trinity?

    We cannot say that these three were the Holy Trinity.
    The three were the Lord and with Him two angels.

    Check this link for the complete answer (go to p. 27):

    Regarding the 2nd question however, I don't know that one :)

  • hey
    thank u soo much..these r great answers and they make alot of sense..thank u i learned alot ..may God bless u for all ur efforts..thank u
    -if any1 has any other answers pls post for my benefit and the benefit of others

    Thank You
    pls keep my weakness in ur prayers
    -sister in Christ
  • jydeacon,
    I think St Mary was just asking (not doubting) because she was a dedicated virgin i.e. not married and not to be married later, while Zachariah was actually married for years.

  • Yeah thats correct, my mistake
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