Genesis 18:5 MEANING

Genesis 18:5
(5) Comfort ye your hearts.--Heb., strengthen ye, the original meaning of comfort, a word formed from the Latin fortis = strong, brave. The heart in Hebrew is the sum total of all the powers, mental and bodily, of the whole man.

After that ye shall pass on.--Coming at noon, the travellers after rest and refreshment would continue their journey. It is quite plain that Abraham still regarded them as passing wayfarers.

Therefore . . . --Abraham thus suggests that his tent was pitched near to the route on purpose that he might exercise that hospitality which was and continues to be the sacred duty of an Arab sheik.

Verse 5. - And I will fetch a morsel of bread, - a modest description of what proved a sumptuous repast (vide Vers. 6, 8) - and comfort ye your hearts; - literally, strengthen or support them, i.e. by eating and drinking (Judges 19:5; 1 Kings 21:7) - after that ye shall pass on: for therefore - כִּי־עַל־כֵּן introduces the ground of what has already been stated, something like quando quidem, forasmuch as (Ewald, 'Hebrews Synt.,' § 353), since, or because (Kalisch), and not = עַל־כֵּש־כִּי, for this cause that (Gesenius, 'Gram.,' § 155), or "because for this purpose" (Keil) - are ye come to (literally, have ye passed before) thy servant. The patriarch's meaning is not that they had come with the design of receiving his gifts (LXX., A.V.), but either that, unconsciously to them, God had ordered their journey so as to give him this opportunity (Calvin, Bush, Wordsworth, 'Speaker's Commentary,' Keil), or perhaps simply that since they had passed by his tent they should suffer him to accord them entertainment (Kalisch, Rosenmüller). And they said, So do, as thou but said. Therefore we must believe that Abraham washed the men's feet, and they did eat (Ver. 8). Here is a mystery (Wordsworth).

18:1-8 Abraham was waiting to entertain any weary traveller, for inns were not to be met with as among us. While Abraham was thus sitting, he saw three men coming. These were three heavenly beings in human bodies. Some think they were all created angels; others, that one of them was the Son of God, the Angel of the covenant. Washing the feet is customary in those hot climates, where only sandals are worn. We should not be forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares, Heb 13:2; nay, the Lord of angels himself; as we always do, when for his sake we entertain the least of his brethren. Cheerful and obliging manners in showing kindness, are great ornaments to piety. Though our condescending Lord vouchsafes not personal visits to us, yet still by his Spirit he stands at the door and knocks; when we are inclined to open, he deigns to enter; and by his gracious consolations he provides a rich feast, of which we partake with him, Re 3:20.And I will fetch a morsel of bread,.... A piece or a loaf of bread, as De Dieu shows the word signifies; bread being put for all the necessaries of life:

and comfort ye your hearts; eat to refresh your spirits and renew your strength, that ye may be able to pursue your journey: and

after that ye shall pass on your way; I will retard you no longer:

for therefore are ye come to your servant; not that he thought they came this way on purpose to take some refreshment with him, but so it was ordered by the providence of God; and since it was, he desires that they would accept of his invitation:

and they said, so do as thou hast said; they agreed to it, that water should be fetched to wash their feet, and food for them to eat.

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