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Genesis 18:10

Context
18:10 One of them 1  said, “I will surely return 2  to you when the season comes round again, 3  and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 4  (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 5 

Genesis 18:14

Context
18:14 Is anything impossible 6  for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.” 7 

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (one of the three men introduced in v. 2) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Some English translations have specified the referent as the Lord (cf. RSV, NIV) based on vv. 1, 13, but the Hebrew text merely has “he said” at this point, referring to one of the three visitors. Aside from the introductory statement in v. 1, the incident is narrated from Abraham’s point of view, and the suspense is built up for the reader as Abraham’s elaborate banquet preparations in the preceding verses suggest he suspects these are important guests. But not until the promise of a son later in this verse does it become clear who is speaking. In v. 13 the Hebrew text explicitly mentions the Lord.

2 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic, using the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense.

sn I will surely return. If Abraham had not yet figured out who this was, this interchange would have made it clear. Otherwise, how would a return visit from this man mean Sarah would have a son?

3 tn Heb “as/when the time lives” or “revives,” possibly referring to the springtime.

4 tn Heb “and there will be (הִנֵּה, hinneh) a son for Sarah.”

5 tn This is the first of two disjunctive parenthetical clauses preparing the reader for Sarah’s response (see v. 12).

6 tn The Hebrew verb פָּלָא (pala’) means “to be wonderful, to be extraordinary, to be surpassing, to be amazing.”

7 sn Sarah will have a son. The passage brings God’s promise into clear focus. As long as it was a promise for the future, it really could be believed without much involvement. But now, when it seemed so impossible from the human standpoint, when the Lord fixed an exact date for the birth of the child, the promise became rather overwhelming to Abraham and Sarah. But then this was the Lord of creation, the one they had come to trust. The point of these narratives is that the creation of Abraham’s offspring, which eventually became Israel, is no less a miraculous work of creation than the creation of the world itself.



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