Genesis 18:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 18:9, NIV: "Where is your wife Sarah?' they asked him. 'There, in the tent,' he said."

Genesis 18:9, ESV: "They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.”"

Genesis 18:9, KJV: "And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent."

Genesis 18:9, NASB: "Then they said to him, 'Where is your wife Sarah?' And he said, 'There, in the tent.'"

Genesis 18:9, NLT: "'Where is Sarah, your wife?' the visitors asked. 'She's inside the tent,' Abraham replied."

Genesis 18:9, CSB: ""Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There, in the tent," he answered."

What does Genesis 18:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the prior verses, Abraham arranged a large meal for three unexpected visitors. His actions exhibit generosity, humility, and grace. Whether or not Abraham knew these men were God and two angels in human form is unknown. However, that fact will become obvious as they continue their conversation.

Starting here, in verse 9, Abraham's visitors have finished the meal, and begin to reveal the purpose of their visit. Their first question shows they know more about Abraham than they have let on. They know of his wife Sarah, and they ask where she is. Abraham replies that Sarah is in the tent. We will soon learn that she is listening intently to this interaction.

As with other questions asked by God or His messengers, the purpose is not to gain information. God and His companions know exactly where Sarah is. And yet, just as parents often "ask" children questions in order to clarify ideas, God has a habit of using questions, rather than statements, in order to force man to acknowledge his situation (Genesis 3:9; Acts 9:4).