And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They said.—But in Genesis 18:10 “he said,” and in Genesis 18:13; Genesis 18:17; Genesis 18:20, &c, “the Lord (Jehovah) said.” The messenger speaks as one with Jehovah, or as being His representative.
Where is Sarah thy wife?—This question is contrary to Oriental manners, as the women may be referred to only in the most indirect manner. But during the meal Abraham, as he talked with the strangers, had probably begun to recognise in them something more than human.Genesis 18:9. Where is Sarah thy wife? — By naming her, they gave intimation to Abraham, that though they seemed strangers, yet they well knew him and his family: by inquiring after her, they showed a kind concern for the family of one whom they found respectful to them. And by speaking of her, she overhearing it, they drew her to listen to what was further to be said.
The conference concerning Sodom. The human manner of the interview is carried out to the end. Abraham convoys his departing guests. The Lord then speaks, apparently debating with himself whether he shall reveal his intentions to Abraham. The reasons for doing so are assigned. First. Abraham shall surely become a nation great and mighty, and therefore has the interest of humanity in this act of retribution on Sodom. All that concerns man concerns him. Second. Blessed in him shall be all the nations of the earth. Hence, he is personally and directly concerned with all the dealings of mercy and judgment among the inhabitants of the earth. Third. "I have known him." The Lord has made himself known to him, has manifested his love to him, has renewed him after his own image; and hence this judgment upon Sodom is to be explained to him, that he may train his household to avoid the sins of this doomed city, "to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; and all this to the further intent that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what he hath spoken of him." The awful judgments of the Lord on Sodom, as before on the antediluvian world, are a warning example to all who are spared or hear of them. And those who, notwithstanding these monuments of the divine vengeance, will cease to do justice and judgment, may be certain that they will not continue to enjoy the benefits of the covenant of grace. For all these reasons it is meet that the secret of Lord be with him Psalm 25:11.They said unto him, i.e. one of them, in the name of all, said; which he did not for his own satisfaction, for he who knew her name knew also where she was, but to give occasion for the following discourse.
In the tent; in her tent; for men and women had then their several tents or apartments.
and he said, behold, in the tent; for in those times they dwelt in tents, and this was either the tent common to the family, or rather was Sarah's own tent, Genesis 24:67; Sarah was where she should be, in her own apartment, attending to the business of her family, and answered to the description the apostle gives of a good housewife, a keeper at home, Titus 2:5;And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. Sarah thy wife] The knowledge of his wife’s name must have caused Abraham surprise, and gives perhaps the first indication of his guests’ real character.Verse 9. - And they said unto him (i.e. the Principal One of the three, speaking for the others, interrogated Abraham during the progress, or perhaps at the close of, the meal saying), Where is Sarah thy wife? (thus indicating that their visit had a special reference to her). And he said, Behold, in the tent. It is obvious that if at first Abraham regarded his visitors only as men, by this time a suspicion of their true character must have begun to dawn upon his mind. How should ordinary travelers be aware of his wife s name? and why should they do so unusual a thing, according to Oriental manners, as to inquire after her? If thus far their behavior could not fail to surprise the patriarch, what must have been his astonishment at the subsequent communication? Genesis 18:13) and two angels (Genesis 19:1); all three in human form. Perceiving at once that one of them was the Lord (אדני, i.e., God), he prostrated himself reverentially before them, and entreated them not to pass him by, but to suffer him to entertain them as his guests: "Let a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and recline yourselves (השּׁען( sevle to recline, leaning upon the arm) under the tree." - "Comfort your hearts:" lit., "strengthen the heart," i.e., refresh yourselves by eating and drinking (Judges 19:5; 1 Kings 21:7). "For therefore (sc., to give me an opportunity to entertain you hospitably) have ye come over to your servant:" כּן על כּי does not stand for כּי כּן על (Ges. thes. p. 682), but means "because for this purpose" (vid., Ewald, 353).
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