Parsha Vayera

Genesis 18:1 - 22:24

My Master ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Donald Wayne Belk and Mr. Gary Lee Belk, may they rest in peace.

In Genesis 18:1 Hashem {singular} appears to Avraham in the groves of Mamre in the heat of the day. Avraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent in great pain from the bris mila, circumcision, three days earlier. Did Avraham actually see Hashem? No! G-d is a Spirit. G-d cannot be seen as men are seen. Avraham did not see a physical image of Hashem. It does NOT exist! How then did Hashem appear to Avraham? Illumination... Enlightenment... Revelation...

Understand this, Hashem has a way of connecting with each of us. Dreams... Visions... Prophecy... Voices... Each Illuminate... Enlighten... Reveal...

While Hashem was visiting Avraham three men {angels} were standing by him. They suddenly appeared. He did not see them coming even though he was watching for visitors. They were revealed to Avraham while he was engaged in a vision of Illumination... Enlightenment... Revelation... from Hashem. Now, why else would Avraham apparently leave the presence of Hashem to greet three angels? Avraham knew these angels were sent from Hashem. He knew they were messengers. At first they were standing near him in his vision. He did not greet them. Then, in a flash they were gone. {One second? One minute? One hour?} Avraham could see them departing. It would seem that He left the presence of Hashem when he ran to greet them! However Avraham knew Hashem's presence is everywhere. Hashem's presence accompanied Avraham.

In Genesis 18: 3 Avraham addresses the three angels. He said, "'Ah-Do-Naw' (meaning 'My Master') if I have found favor in your eyes, please do not bypass Your servant." Was Avraham worshiping angels? No! Was one of these angels disguised as G-d? No! What's going on?

The oldest text discussing this issue compiled over fifteen hundred years ago states, "Abraham was addressing the chief of the three men who came towards him: according to Midrash they were the angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael." Avraham was speaking with Raphael. Avraham's comment was profane. The reference was not to G-d.

Avraham's comment has caused quite a stir among Christian / Messianics. They believe it to be a Christophaney or a Theophaney, which they believe to be a revelation of Jesus in the Tenach. This is NOT possible. Let's examine why.

This passage appears to be conveniently misunderstood by Christians / Messianics who teach one of the three angels was G-d {Jesus} because the word "'Ah-Do-Naw' means 'My Master'. This is an attempt to alter the truth of this passage as we shall soon see.

In all other instances there are no distinguishing differences in this passage between the angels and the one Christians / Messianics claim to be Master here. This inconsistency is very important to notice and follow. If G-d were disguised as an angel {and He is not} ... and if it had been revealed as such then whoever was acquainted with that fact would from that point forward address G-d as G-d. One would not acknowledge G-d in the disguise of an angel and then after that awareness treat G-d or address G-d on the level of one of His creations, the angels! This would have been extremely disrespectful to the Creator of the universe by Avraham our patriarch.

In actuality we have Hashem, plus one angel whose mission was to inform Avraham of the pending birth of Yitzchok, plus a second angel whose mission was to heal Avraham, plus a third angel whose mission was to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, plus Avraham. In other words, there are five involved in a discussion. This is simple. It's not difficult to understand.

And Hashem appeared to {Avraham} in the plains of Mamre. {Avraham} sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. {Avraham} lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three {Angles} stood by him; {"The Angel Michael to announce the good news concerning Sarah, the Angel Gabriel to overthrow Sodom and the Angel Raphael to heal Avraham." Rashi} when {Avraham} saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the ground,

And {Avraham} said,
"My Lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, pass not away, I beseech you, from your servant; Let a little water, I beseech you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and you comfort your hearts; after that you shall pass on; seeing that you are come to your servant."

And they {all three angels} said,
"So do, as you have said."

Abraham hurried to the tent to Sarah, and said,
"Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes."

And Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it to a young man; and he hurried to prepare it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

And they {all three angels} said to {Avraham},
"Where is Sarah your wife?"

And {Avraham} said,
"Behold, in the tent."

And he {The angel Michael speaking as an agent of Hashem} said,
"I will certainly return to you at this season; and, lo, Sarah your wife shall have a son." {The angel Michael would not return to him, Hashem would.}

And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well advanced in age; and it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am grown old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

And Hashem said to Abraham,
"Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old? Is any thing too hard for Hashem? At the time appointed I will return to you, at this season, and Sarah shall have a son."

Then Sarah denied, saying,
"I laughed not; for she was afraid."

And he {the angel Michael} said,
"No; you did laugh." {In other words if Hashem said you laughed then you did laugh.}

And the {angels} rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.

And Hashem said,
"Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Hashem, to do justice and judgment; that Hashem may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him."


And Hashem said,
Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry, which has come to me; and if not, I will know.

And the men turned their faces from there, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham still stood before Hashem. {Michael returns to the Ha Shaymium, the heavens... Gabriel and Rafael journey onto Sodom. ALL THREE ANGELS LEAVE!}

And Abraham drew near, and said,
Will you also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Perhaps there are only fifty righteous inside the city; will you also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? Be it far from you to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked; and that the righteous should be as the wicked, be it far from you; Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

And Hashem said,
"If I find in Sodom fifty righteous inside the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sakes."

And Abraham answered and said,
"Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak to Hashem, I who am but dust and ashes;
Perhaps there shall lack five of the fifty righteous; will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?"

And {Hashem} said,
"If I find there forty five, I will not destroy it."

And {Avraham} spoke to him yet again, and said,
"Perhaps there shall be forty found there."

And {Hashem} said,
"I will not do it for forty's sake."

And {Avraham} said to him,
"Oh let not Hashem be angry, and I will speak; Perhaps there shall thirty be found there."

And {Hashem} said,
"I will not do it, if I find thirty there."

And {Avraham} said,
"Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak to Hashem; Perhaps there shall be twenty found there."

And {Hashem} said,
"I will not destroy it for twenty's sake."

And {Avraham} said,
"Oh let not Hashem be angry, and I will speak yet but this once; Possibly ten shall be found there."

And {Hashem} said,
"I will not destroy it for ten's sake."

And Hashem went his way, as soon as he had left talking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place. {It was Hashem who went His way, NOT an angel! All three angels were already gone.}


Genesis Chapter 19

And there came two angels to Sodom at evening; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom; and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face to the ground;

And {Lot} said,
"Behold now, my lords, turn in, I beseech you, to your servant's house, and remain all night, and wash your feet, and you shall rise up early, and go on your way."

And they {the Gabriel and the Rafael} said,
"No; we will stay in the street all night."

And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in to him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both old and young, all the people from every quarter;

And they {the men of Sodom} called to Lot, and said to him,
"Where are the men who came in to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may know them."

And Lot went out the door to them, and closed the door after him, And said,
"I beg you, my brothers, do not do so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me, I beg you, bring them out to you, and do to them as is good in your eyes; only to these men do nothing; seeing that they have come under the shadow of my roof."

And they {the men of Sodom} said,
"Stand back."

And they {the Men of Sodom} said again,
"This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he wants to be a judge; now will we deal worse with you than with them."

And they pressed hard upon the man, Lot, and came near to break the door. But the {angels} put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and closed the door. And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

And the {angels} said to Lot,
"Have you here any one else? Sons-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whoever you have in the city, bring them out of this place; For we will destroy this place, because their cry has grown great before the face of Hashem; and Hashem has sent us to destroy it."

Lot went out, and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said,
"Arise, get out from this place; for Hashem will destroy this city."

But to his sons-in-law it seemed that he was joking.

At dawn the angels tried to make Lot hurry, saying;
"Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you will be swept away in the iniquity of the city."

But he lingered, and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; Hashem being merciful to him; and they brought him out, and set him outside the city. And it came to pass,

When they had brought them outside, that he {the angel Gabriel} said,
"Escape for your life; look not behind you, nor stay in the plain; escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed."

{Notice from here until the destruction is completed only one angel speaks. That is Gabriel whose mission was to destroy. Rafael accompanied him but did not participate in the destruction. It was not his mission.}

And Lot said to them,
"Oh, not so, my Lord; Behold now, your servant has found grace in your sight, and you have magnified your mercy, which you have shown to me in saving my life; I can not escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me and I die; Behold now, this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one; Oh, let me escape there, is it not a little one? and my soul shall live."

And {the angel Gabriel} said to him,
"See, I have accepted you concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there; for I can not do any thing till you come there."

Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

Then Hashem rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Hashem out of heaven; And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

But his {Lot's} wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he stood before Hashem; And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

And it came to pass, when G-d destroyed the cities of the plain, that G-d remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived. And Lot went up out of Zoar, and lived in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to live in Zoar; and he lived in a cave, he and his two daughters....

Now after reviewing these conversations we CAN SEE the clear separation between the three angels, Hashem and Avraham, etc. We also notice that Lot addressed the remaining two angels as 'Ah-Do-Nah' twice, meaning "Masters". So this is not what Christians / Messianics claim. It is NOT a Christophaney or a Theophaney.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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