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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



GENESIS 18

 

CHAPTER XVIII

 

Ver. 1.  Sitting, &c. that he might lose no opportunity of exercising hospitality.

 

Ver. 2.  Men in outward appearance, but angels indeed.  Heb. xiii. 2. S. Aug. de C. D. xvi. c. 29.  Some have supposed, that one of them was the Son of God, whom Abraham adored, and who bears throughout the chief authority.  Tres vidit et unum adoravit.  He saw three and adored one, as we read in the Church office.  In the former supposition, which is generally adopted, this adoration was only a civil ceremony, if Abraham considered them as mere men; or it might be mixed with a degree of religious, though inferior veneration, if he imagined they were angels; or in fine, he adored God in his representatives.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Wash ye, or let your feet be washed by me, or by my servants, laventur.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Therefore, Providence has directed you hither.  Abraham promises but little, and gives much, in the true spirit of generous hospitality.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Measures, or one epha; that is, three pecks and three pints, English corn measure. --- Flour, of the finest quality, similæ. --- Hearth, as being soonest ready.

 

Ver. 7.  Himself.  These rich and truly noble people, do not esteem it beneath themto wait on strangers.  They provide abundance, but no dainties.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Eaten apparently.  Tob. xii. 19. or perhaps they consumed the food, as fire may be said to eat.  S. Justin's Dial.

 

Ver. 10.  Time, or season of the year ensuing, if I be alive; which he says after the manner of men, as he had assumed also the human form.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Laughed, as if the promise were incredible. --- My lord, or husband, which title of respect, S. Peter i. C. iii. 6, commends.  D.

 

Ver. 13.  Indeed.  This was the import of Sara's words.  By thus revealing what was secretly done in the tent, he shewed himself to be more than man.

 

Ver. 14.  Hard.  So Gabriel says to the blessed Virgin: there is nothing impossible to God.

 

Ver. 15.  Afraid; which does not entirely clear her of sin: for though she might innocently laugh, if she thought the person who spoke was only a man, yet she ought not to have told an untruth; and if she reflected, that he had disclosed what she supposed no one knew, and thereby manifested his superiority over man, her denial was still more inexcusable.  But she was taken, as it were, by surprise; and therefore the Lord reproves her very gently.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  I will go down, &c.  The Lord here accommodates his discourse to the way of speaking and acting amongst men: for he knoweth all things, and needeth not to go any where for information. --- Note here, that two of the three angels went away immediately for Sodom; whilst the third, who represented the Lord, remained with Abraham.

 

Ver. 25.  With the wicked.  God frequently suffers the just to be here the most afflicted; designing to reward them abundantly hereafter.  But this was not so common in the days of Abraham and Job.  C.

 

Ver. 32.  Ten.  Abraham's chief solicitude was for Lot; though, out of modesty, he does not mention him; trusting, however, in the divine goodness the he would be preserved, unless he had forfeited his justice, he proceeds no farther.  God thus challenges Jerusalem to produce one virtuous man, and the city shall be saved for his sake.  Jer. v. 1.  H.

 

 








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