A Daily Genesis

Genesis 18:9-15

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:9a . .They said to him: Where is your wife Sarah?[/B]

So far, Sarah has been hearing about her impending child only from her husband. But now, the speaker is intent that she should hear the news from somebody a little higher up the food chain.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:9b . . And he replied: There, in the tent.[/B]

At this point, the speaker no doubt intentionally raised his voice a bit to ensure little Miss Eavesdropper would hear what he had to say.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:10 . .Then one said: I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son![/B]

Some versions read: "The LORD said". But the word [I]yhvh[/I] is nowhere in the Hebrew of that verse.

So on the face of it, the stranger is making two predictions. 1) he'll be back around again, and 2) Sarah is going to have a son.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:11 . . Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women.[/B]

Some things can't be postponed indefinitely.

"To everything there is a season: a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecc 3:1)

There is a time in life for children: if it's missed, there's no going back and making up for lost time. Many an independent woman has been painfully awakened by her biological clock-- putting off children to get ahead in her career, and then one day; it's either too late, too inconvenient, or too difficult.

Let's say that a girl puts off conception until she's, say; 32-34. Think about that. By the time her first child is ready for kindergarten, she'll be pushing 40. Mothers that old could actually be classified as late bloomers because the average age of first-time mothers, depending upon where they live, is around 20-24; and in many cultures; it's a lots earlier than that. Let me tell you something that should go without saying: it's much easier to be a young mother than an old one.

And age makes a difference for the children too. As women age, their minds mature bringing them ever closer to that dreaded generation gap; viz: it is much easier for a young mother to relate to her young children than an older woman; who oftentimes can no longer hear the bell, if you know what I mean.

Some things wait for no man. Sunset is one of those things. Relentlessly, hour upon hour, the sun moves across the sky towards its inevitable rendezvous with the western horizon. Our lives are just like that. Sunrise - Sunset. Game over.
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[COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:12a . . And Sarah laughed to herself, saying: Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment[/B]

Sarah was no doubt thinking to herself that if this stranger knew how old she was; he wouldn't be making such a ridiculous prediction.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 18:12b . . with my lord so old?[/B]

Actually, at this time in his life; Abraham himself had some problems and probably could benefit from a little Viagra; if you know what I mean. (cf. Rom 4:19, Heb 11:12)

There's another problem associated with the aging process that doesn't get a lot of press these days in an era of older parents. Men aren't born with all their sperm cells at once the way women are born with all their eggs at once. The men's little guys are manufactured fresh on a daily basis, so as men age, their sperm cells are progressively of a lower quality than the previous batch because the men's bodies are deteriorating with age; subsequently there's a higher risk of birth defects in children fathered by aging men.

There's also the reality of a progressively decreasing sperm count in aging men so that even if their little guys are viable, it's increasingly difficult to put enough soldiers on the front lines to win the battle. But even that's only if elderly men's wells haven't run dry; if you know what I mean. The people in Sarah's day probably knew all this by practical life-experience rather than by scientific study and discovery.
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[COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 18:13-14 . .Then Yhvh said to Abraham: Why did Sarah laugh, saying; Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am? Is anything too wondrous for Yhvh? I will return to you at the time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.[/B]

Yhvh didn't quote Sarah verbatim-- He actually paraphrased her words to say what she meant; rather than what she spoke. That's important to note; and tells me that it really isn't all that important to quote Scripture precisely so long as you don't lose, or change, its meanings. There's a lot of that in the New Testament; and certainly in the Targums too.

It isn't said exactly from whence the voice of Yhvh came: whether it was one of the men speaking or a voice in the air. However, Yhvh did show up and do "as He had spoken." (Gen 21:1)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:15a . . Sarah lied, saying; "I didn't laugh" for she was frightened.[/B]

Sarah hadn't actually laughed out loud, but "to herself". When she realized that one of the men could read her thoughts, she became nervous: and who wouldn't?

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:15b . . But He replied: You did laugh.[/B]

Most men would have jumped right to their wife's defense. Abraham had at least 300 armed men in his camp who would do anything he asked; but knowing by now exactly who these men really were, Abraham kept his cool.

The word used to describe Abraham's visitors is [I]'iysh[/I] (eesh) which is a gender-specific word that means: a man as an individual or a male person. It is also the word used to specify the male gender among the animals taken aboard the Ark. (Gen 7:2)

This passage strongly suggests that Abraham and Sarah saw Yhvh as a fully functioning man. As to whether the person they saw was an actual human being or a human avatar; I don't know and I'm afraid to even hazard a guess.

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