Parsha WaYeria (VaYeira)
Beresheeth (Genesis) 18:1-22:24
And YaHuWaH appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, while he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. –Beresheeth (Genesis) 18:1
WaYeria literally means and he appeared, YaHuWaH revealed himself to Abraham through an experience in which he witnessed the demuwth or likeness of YaHuWaH. This is a major point to understand concerning YaHuWaH, that he has appeared to the prophets of old, including his servant Abraham.
The text states that shloshah enoshim or three men were standing opposite his tent door and immediately Abraham runs to serve them, it is believed that this is during the third day of Abraham’s circumcision while the pain is the greatest, yet he is quick to meet them and he bowed to the ground. Abraham prayed “YaHuWaH, if I have now found favour in Your eyes, please do not pass Your servant by.” Abraham desired to wash the feet of the three Malakim or “Messengers” of Yahuwah and to feed them so YaHuWaH permitted him and Abraham hurried to prepare. We know that two of these men are indeed Malakim which are spiritual beings, literally Messengers of YaHuWaH. One of these men however is called by the name of YaHuWaH, this is the manifestation of YaHuWaH often called Malak HaPanim or Messenger of the Face, literally known as HaDebar or “The Word”, he is usually called Malak YaHuWaH or Messenger YaHuWaH, the pre-incarnate Mashyach (Messiah) therefore in the text Abraham calls him YaHuWaH. The other two Messengers are probably Micha’El and Gabri’El but we do not know for certain.
Beresheeth (Genesis) 18:6 So Abraham ran into the tent to Sarah and said, “Hurry, make ready three measures of fine flour, knead it and make cakes.” 7And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hurried to prepare it. 8 And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them, and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.
After the covenant meal YaHuWaH announces, “I will certainly return to you at this time next year, and behold, your wife Sarah shall have a son.” When Sarah heard the announcement while in her tent she laughed within herself because of her old age and the old age of her husband. YaHuWaH asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I truly have a child, since I am old?’ “Is any matter too hard for YaHuWaH? At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah is to have a son.” Sarah denied laughing but YaHuWaH responded, “No, but you did laugh!” We learned in our previous Torah Portion, Lech Lecha that Abraham also laughed the first time he heard this news so therefore his son is to be named Yitshaq which translates “he laughed.” Also it is important to note that though Sarah did not laugh out loud but rather inwardly, that YaHuWaH considers it that she laughed out loud, this is because nothing is hid from him, even the deep thoughts of our heart. The men arose and looked toward the city of Sodom in the fertile plain.
Beresheeth (Genesis) 18:17And YaHuWaH said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18since Abraham is certainly going to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19“For I have known him, so that he commands his children and his household after him, to guard the way of YaHuWaH, to do righteousness and right-ruling, so that YaHuWaH brings to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
YaHuWaH announces to Abraham that he has come to observe the actions of the inhabitants of Sodom because their is a great outcry against their multitude of sins.
Beresheeth (Gensis) 18:22 So the men turned away from there and went toward Sedom, but YaHuWaH still stood before Abraham.
Again this verse is clear, YaHuWaH stood before Abraham while the other two men departed. Immediately Abraham begins to intercede on behalf of his nephew Lot. Abraham inquired of YaHuWaH if he would destroy the city if there were fifty righteous people found, YaHuWaH responded he would spare the city for fifty. Eventually Abraham inquires until he reaches the number ten, if there would be ten righteous beings found in Sodom, YaHuWaH agreed he would not destroy the city for their sakes.
Beresheeth (Genesis) 18:33Then YaHuWaH went away as soon as He had ended speaking to Abraham. And Abraham returned to his place.
The text tells us clearly that only two of the men, who are now identified by the text as malakim (messengers) which are erroneously called by the Greco-Roman title “angels”, arrive in Sodom. Lot recognizing them as Messengers of YaHuWaH bowed to them and invited them to him home. Lot prepared a feast for them including Matzoth or “unleavened bread.”
Beresheeth (Genesis) 19:4Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sedom, both old and young, all the people from every part, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, and let us ‘know’ them.”
The sexual perversion of the cities of Sedom and Amorah was so great that the men of the city wanted to abominate the Messengers of YaHuWaH. The men even attacked Lot but the Messengers of YaHuWaH struck them with blindness. The Messengers then warned Lot to get all of his relatives out of the city for YaHuWaH has heard the cry of the great sins of the city and is going to destroy it. In the end the Messengers had to take Lot, his wife and two daughters and literally drag them out of the city. The Malakim warned, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed.” Lot escaped and entered Tso’ar when the sun rose, and at that moment YaHuWaH rained fire and sulphur on Sedom and Amorah from the “heavens.” Lot’s wife turned back to Sedom and when she did she was caught in the destruction turning into a mound or memorial of salt.
(Ancient ruins of Sedom and Amorah)
Beresheeth (Genesis) 19:27 And Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before YaHuWaH, 28and he looked toward Sedom and Amorah, and toward all the land of the plain. And he looked and saw the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29Thus it came to be, when Elohim destroyed the cities of the plain, that Elohim remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities (Sulpher at Sedom ) in which Lot had dwelt.
Lot’s two daughters were convinced that there was no man on the earth to repopulate it and conspired to bare children through there Father. The oldest daughter convinced the youngest that their father was old and soon there would be no one left on the earth, therefore they should give wine to their father, Lot that he may drink and get drunk so they could lie with him to “preserve his seed.” Both of Lot’s daughters were impregnated by their father and from the oldest daughter comes Moab meaning “from father” father of the Moabites, and from the youngest came Ben Ammi meaning “son of my people”, father of the Ammonites.
Abraham’s travels direct him southward to the Negev, to Gerar, in the territory of Abimelech, king of the Philistines. At the age of ninety Sarah’s beauty again captivates yet another Sovereign as she did previously to Pharaoh. Sarah was presented as Abraham’s sister; therefore she was taken to Abimelech’s palace. YaHuWaH sends a great plague that breaks out in the palace, and the same night Abimelech YaHuWaH spoke to him in a dream, “You are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” For the second time Sarah is returned, untouched, to Abraham with many gifts including his choice of the land.
Exactly one year after the three Malakim visited Abraham and Sarah YaHuWaH remembered Sarah and she conceived Abraham’s Son of Promise, through Sarah “The Queen.” The Promised Son is named Yitshaq meaning “he laughs” just as Sarah announced “YaHuWaH has made me laught, so that all who hear will laught with me.” Yitshaq, the Son of the covenant, was circumcised at eight days old. Abraham was one hundred and Sarah ninety when Yitshaq was born. When Yitshaq was weaned Abraham held a great festival. During the festival Sarah noticed Yishmael, Abraham’s fourteen year old son through the slave girl Haggar. mocking at Yitshaq. For this reason Sarah said to Abraham “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Yitshaq!” Abraham was reluctant to do so at first until YaHuWaH himself confirmed confirmed her words by saying “Let it not be evil in your eyes because of the boy and because of your female servant. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice, for in Yitshaq your seed is called. And of the son of the female servant I also make a nation, because he is your seed.” Therefore Abraham sends out the slave woman and her son. YaHuWaH preserved the two of them from thirsting to death by showing them a well of water. Yishmael grew up in the wilderness and became an expert archer.
After this Abraham dwelt amongst the Philistines “many days” and planted a tamarisk tree in Be’ersheba, and there called on the Name of YaHuWaH, the Everlasting El. YaHuWaH commanded him to sacrifice the Son of Promise, his only son Yitshaq as a burnt offering at the Qodesh Mountain of Moriah in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). While journeying up the mountain Yitshaq carried the wood for the burnt offering and questions where the lamb for sacrifice is. Abraham responds:
On the mountain, Abraham arranged the wood for the sacrifice. There Yitshaq laid down his life allowing himself to be bound (akedah) on the alter. When Abraham stretched for this hand to slay his Son, the Promised Son of the Covenant, the Malak YaHuWaH spoke “Do not lay your hand on the boy, nor touch him. For now I know that you fear Elohim, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” When Abraham lifted his eyes he saw in the thicket a ram caught by the horns in the thicket. Therefore Abraham sacrificed the ram in the stead of his only Son Yitshaq. Therefore Abraham called this place, the place of the future temples in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), “YaHuWaH Yireh” meaning YaHuWaH provides or literally sees.
The Malak YaHuWaH called out yet again saying “By Myself I have sworn, declares YaHuWaH, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, that I shall certainly barak you, and I shall certainly increase your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore, and let your seed possess the gate of their enemies. And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
The Akedah (binding) of Yitshaq is a prophetic foreshadowing of the Messiah to come. The Torah tells us that YaHuWaH actually hates human sacrifice yet he required of Abraham his firstborn and only son through Sarah. The life of Yitshaq, the promised one, the picture of the coming promise of Messiah was required yet Yitshaq’s life would be redeemed. The Messiah to come however would be slain for the sin his people. Yahuwshuwa is the lamb of YaHuWaH, his firstborn and only begotten. YaHuWaH was teaching Abraham through this ceremony what would take place in the future.