New Defender's Study Bible Notes
18:1 the LORD appeared. This remarkable theophany is highly instructive. The Lord Jesus in pre-incarnate form and two of His angels all appeared in the form of three men, even eating with Abraham. The writer of Hebrews refers to this event when he says that “some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). Later the two angels move on to communicate with Lot in Sodom (Genesis 18:22) while the Lord remained to talk further with Abraham. Thus both the angels and God Himself can, when necessary, assume fully human bodies. Similarly, in His resurrection body, Christ “did eat before them” (Luke 24:43) and He said that, in the resurrection, all believers will be “as the angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). Our immortal bodies will be fully physical bodies, but, like the angels, not subject to the gravitational and electro-magnetic forces which govern our present bodies.
18:8 did eat. It is significant that not only Abraham, but also the three visitors–two of whom were angels, the other being Christ Himself in a theophany–all ate the meat prepared by Sarah and the servant. Whatever nutritional merits vegetarian diets might or might not have, they are not required by Biblical commandment. Note Genesis 9:3,4; I Timothy 4:3-4.
18:14 hard. “Hard” is the same word as “wonderful,” one of the terms used to describe the coming Messiah in Isaiah 9:6. God gave Sarah the faith to believe He could accomplish this wonderful miracle of rejuvenating her body, partly by letting her know He could hear her laugh even when she was out of His sight, and only laughed “within herself” (Genesis 18:12).
18:19 command his children. This is the first specific reference in the Bible to the teaching of children, indicating that such instruction is the primary responsibility of the father and should take the form of commandments, centering first on the ways of the Lord, then on justice and judgment to fellow-men.
18:20 very grievous. The iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full (Genesis 15:16), but these cities of the plain had reached God’s limit, especially in view of their reversion to gross wickedness after the marvelous deliverance God gave them through Abraham and after seeing and hearing the testimony of Melchizedek, and even the witness of Lot.
18:23 destroy the righteous. This is the most remarkable passage of intercessory prayer in the Bible, also indicating how vitally important is the presence of even a tiny godly minority in an ungodly community. This model intercessory prayer continually appeals both to God’s righteous character and His lovingkindness, as the basis for making the request. Abraham thought he knew of ten righteous people in Sodom (Lot and his family of two unmarried sons, two unmarried daughters, two married daughters and their husbands), not realizing that most of Lot’s family had been caught up in the city’s wickedness, and so stopped his intercession at ten.
18:25 Judge of all the earth. God is still the judge of all the earth, not only of the chosen nation, and Abraham recognized this.