"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Isaac Born to Sarah
Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7 Commentary
by Roger Nam
In this week’s passage, God makes an appearance to Abraham by the “Oaks of Mamre,” located in the city of Hebron (cf. Genesis 13:18).
This site is already significant as the place where Abraham built an altar after Lot’s departure. So it is not surprising when the Lord makes an appearance along with three men (Genesis 18:2). The sudden arrival obliges Abraham to provide hospitality for the guests. The text emphasizes Abraham’s generosity, both in terms of the quantity of three seahs (about 22 liters) of the “finest flour” as well as the quality of a fattened calf. As the household patriarch, Abraham then gives orders both to Sarah to knead and make cakes, and to the unnamed servant to prepare the fattened calf. Ironically, Abraham politely offers just a “little” bread, reminiscent of Italian and Korean grandparents everywhere disingenuously asking, “Just stay for a ‘little’ bite,” before bringing out a 5000 calorie meal. In addition, Abraham provides water and encourages the guests to wash and rest. These actions are central for establishing a relationship between ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL188: Isaac Born to Sarah
September 20, 2015
This podcast discusses Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Sept. 20, 2015.