VaYera

Genesis 18:1 – 22:24; Haftarah: II Kings 4:1 – 4:37    

Synopsis –

This week we continue to follow Abraham, Sarah and Lot – and the s/Seed – through their missionary journeys. Abraham meet three men at his tent in the oaks of Mamre – but speaks to them as one – we study the revelation of the Triune God here and in chapter 15. We study the intercession of Abraham for cities that are to be destroyed as well as Lot’s hospitality and we study the various signs given to us in the text that tell us that Gn 18-19 happened at the Passover. We continue to study the impact of the prophecy about the s/Seed in the life of the women who carry it: Sarah and Lot’s daughters. We finally reach the “Akeda” – the offering up of Isaac and study its Christological implications.

 

How can we see the Trinity reflected in the story of Abraham and the three men?

What precious teaching can we find regarding laughter in Sarah’s laughter?

How effective was Abraham’s intercession compared to Lot’s?

How can we actually know what time of year (dates) the events of Gn 18-19 happened in?

What truly happened with Lot and his daughters in the cave?

What does Abraham’s conversation with Abimelech reveal to us about evangelization?

How are Isaac and the ram that substitutes for him types of Christ?  

 

We will try to answer these and additional questions in this episode.

Scripture references from the episode

Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,

     you who seek the LORD:

                 look to the rock from which you were hewn,

     and to the quarry from which you were dug.

           2       Look to Abraham your father

     and to Sarah who bore you;

                 for he was but one when I called him,

     that I might bless him and multiply him.

           3       For the LORD comforts Zion;

     he comforts all her waste places

                 and makes her wilderness like Eden,

     her desert like the garden of the LORD;

                 joy and gladness will be found in her,

     thanksgiving and the voice of song.  (Is 51:1–3)

 

“Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite” (2 Ch 3:1)

 

“And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. (2 Sam 24:16–17)

 

“
Wisdom rescued the good man Lot, when the ungodly people of those five cities died in the flames. 7The evidence of their evil can still be seen—the smoke that keeps rising from the desert, those trees with fruit that never ripens, and the pillar of salt that stands as a witness to Lot’s wife, who refused to believe. 8By rejecting Wisdom, these people became blind to what was right, and so they left a permanent witness to their foolishness. 9But she protected those who were obedient to her.” (Wisdom of Solomon 10:6-9
)

 

“Those sinful Egyptians had a terrible hatred for strangers, and so you punished them horribly, but not without first warning them with violent thunderstorms. Years earlier, the people of Sodom had refused to welcome strangers, and they were punished for what they did. But these Egyptians did much worse. They first welcomed our ancestors with a glorious celebration, and then after we had helped their nation, they made slaves of us, even though we were citizens like everyone else. Those people of Sodom were struck blind, just as they reached the door of the home of that good man Lot, and they had to feel their way back through the darkness to their own homes. In the same way, these Egyptians were covered with deep darkness.” (

Wisdom of Solomon 19:13-17
)

 

“And as it came to pass in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat and drink, they married wives and were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it came to pass in the days of Lot. They did eat and drink, they bought and sold, they planted and built. And in the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man shall be revealed. In that hour, he that shall be on the housetop, and his goods  Two women shall be grinding together. The one shall be taken and the other shall be left. Two men shall be in the field. The one shall be taken and the other shall be left in the house, let him not go down to take them away: and he that shall be in the field, in like manner, let him not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose it shall preserve it. I say to you: In that night there shall be two men in one bed. The one shall be taken and the other shall be left” (Luke 17:26-35).

 

External Sources

St. Ambrose of Milan. The Two Books on the Decease of His Brother Satyrus

Abraham, ready to receive strangers, faithful towards God, devoted in ministering, quick in his service, saw the Trinity in a type; he added religious duty to hospitality, when beholding Three he worshipped One, and preserving the distinction of the Persons, yet addressed one Lord, he offered to Three the honour of his gift, while acknowledging one Power. It was not learning but grace which spoke in him, and he believed better what he had not learnt than we who have learnt. No one had falsified the representation of the truth, and so he sees Three, but worships the Unity. He brings forth three measures of fine meal, and slays one victim, considering that one sacrifice is sufficient, but a triple gift; one victim, an offering of three. And in the four kings, who does not understand that he subjected to himself the elements of the material creation, and all earthly things in a sign whereby the Lord’s Passion was prefigured? Faithful in war, moderate in his triumph, in that he preferred not to become richer by the gifts of men, but by those of God.

 

Irenaeus – Against Heresies 4.31.1.

This had happened without Lot’s knowledge and without his having been a slave to pleasure; it was accomplished wholly by divine arrangement, through which the two synagogues born from one and the same father, without carnal pleasure, were evoked. For there was no one else who could give them vital seed and the fruit of children, as it was written.

 

ORIGEN –  HOMILIES ON GENESIS 8.6

That Isaac carries on himself “the wood for the burnt offering” is a figure, because Christ also “himself carried his own cross,”28 and yet to carry “the wood for the burnt offering” is the duty of a priest. He therefore becomes victim and priest. But what is added also is related to this: “And they both went off together.” For when Abraham carries the fire and knife as if to sacrifice, Isaac does not go behind him but with him, that he might be shown to contribute equally with the priesthood itself.

 

The Book of Jubilees 18.13

And Abraham called that place ‘The Lord hath seen’, so that it is said〈in the mount〉 the Lord hath seen: that is Mount Sion.

 

The Book of Jubilees 18.17-19

And Abraham went to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba, and Abraham dwelt by the Well of the Oath. 18 And he celebrated this festival every year, seven days with joy, and he called it the festival of the Lord according to the seven days during which he went and returned in peace. 19 And accordingly has it been ordained and written on the heavenly tablets regarding Israel and its seed that they should observe this festival seven days with the joy of festival.

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