Genesis 18:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 18:1, NIV: "The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day."

Genesis 18:1, ESV: "And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day."

Genesis 18:1, KJV: "And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;"

Genesis 18:1, NASB: "Now the LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day."

Genesis 18:1, NLT: "The LORD appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day."

Genesis 18:1, CSB: "The LORD appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day."

What does Genesis 18:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

An unexpected encounter between Abraham and the Lord begins with this verse. It is very different from God's appearance to Abraham in the previous chapter. This time, Abraham may not even be aware, at first, that one of the three men standing near his tent is the Lord in human form.

When the Lord takes human form to interact with people on earth, Bible scholars call it a theophany. Given the second revelation about the birth of Isaac the Lord will give, this appearance cannot have come long after the one in Genesis 17.

Abram is living near Hebron, by the oaks of Mamre, the area first mentioned in Genesis 13. The heat of the day, the middle of the afternoon, would have been a time of rest for most people living in this desert region. Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent, likely waiting for the sun to grow less intense before continuing his day.