HOW MANY? 3? 1? AN EXCERCISE IN PLURALITY (Or not!)
This is a familiar passage but there is a point of study here not commonly seen. The verses switch back and forth from 3rd person singular to plural. Is the LORD separate from the 3? Is he the 3 in one? No commentary here, just food for study. Please see the study on thee/thine and ye/you for more on singular and plural(sometimes otherwise hidden in the text). Click here to go to that page
Gen. 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre:
and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
Gen. 18:2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood
by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
Gen. 18:3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight,
pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:
Gen. 18:4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet,
and rest yourselves under the tree:
Gen. 18:5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your
hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come
to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
Gen. 18:6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said,
Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and
make cakes upon the hearth.
Gen. 18:7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and
good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
Gen. 18:8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had
dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under
the tree, and they did eat.
Gen. 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he
said, Behold, in the tent.
Gen. 18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to
the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And
Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
Gen. 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age;
and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
Gen. 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am
waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
Gen. 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah
laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
Gen. 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I
will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah
shall have a son.
Gen. 18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid.
And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
Gen. 18:16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward
Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the
Gen. 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing
which I do;
Gen. 18:18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty
nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in
Gen. 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his
household after him, and they shall keep the way of the
LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring
upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
Gen. 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and
Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
Gen. 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done
altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me;
and if not, I will know.
Gen. 18:22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went
toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
Gen. 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy
the righteous with the wicked?
Gen. 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt
thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty
righteous that are therein?
S the LORD
P three men; them
S Lord; thy; thee
P your; yourselves
P ye; your; hearts; they
p three measures(one portion for each)
P them; they
S he; I
S The LORD
S The LORD; I
P the men; them
S The LORD; I
S The LORD
S I; me
P the men; their S The LORD