Genesis 18:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 18:8, NIV: "He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree."

Genesis 18:8, ESV: "Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate."

Genesis 18:8, KJV: "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."

Genesis 18:8, NASB: "He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate."

Genesis 18:8, NLT: "When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees."

Genesis 18:8, CSB: "Then Abraham took curds and milk, as well as the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served them as they ate under the tree."

What does Genesis 18:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Finally the meal is ready for Abraham's three visitors, one of whom is the Lord in human form. In the previous verses, Abraham rushed to prepare a royal feast. This included an enormous amount of bread made from fine flour (Genesis 18:6) and a young calf quickly slaughtered and prepared (Genesis 18:7). Now Abraham presents the food, along with some curds and milk, likely a kind of yogurt.

Acts of generous hospitality, along with the contents of the meal, would have been standard among the Bedouin people of the time. It would also have been normal for the host to stand back and allow his guests to eat in peace without him. For this reason, some scholars suggest Abraham may not have known, yet, that this stranger was actually the Lord. According to this view, Abraham was merely exhibiting the qualities of a generous and kind-hearted host. At the same time, Abraham's hospitality here is extravagant.

In either case, Abraham will clearly come to understand who his guest is in the following verses.