Genesis 18 is the story of Abraham and his three mysterious visitors. This one of the many complicated text in the Bible. Many faiths and researchers have different interpretations of this passage. However, the question, which we must ask, is; what are the scriptures in Genesis 18 trying to say? It is not as clear as other literature text that are read today there are many questions that arise from this passage such as who were there three men? Where was Sarah? How did Abraham know they were messengers from God?
The Passage begins with Abraham out by his tent on a hot day when the lord appears to him. One problem with the interpretation of this is the use of the word " lord" does this mean God himself or a divine being. I believe that the words LORD and God were inter-changeable in the Bible text. It is important to remember that these stories were written many years after they original were told this can be away of speech that it might not been allowed to say the name of God unless in prayer and since this is a story they use the word LORD instead so they would not be sinning. One might wonder what is meant by "the terebinth Mamre" is also translated in other Bible texts as " in the plains of Mamre" I believe this is just a change by translation or that the real definition of the word of terebinth is not known whish I believe can be some problem with the Bible translation in general. But in this case it an ways it is just giving the location of Abraham's tent with him and his wife.
Another common question with this verse arises in the first verse, which says that the Lord appeared to Abraham. Is this a continuation of the previous story or is this the opening of a new story? I think that the is a continuation of the previous. In Chapter seventeen of Genesis " Abraham and his son Ishmael are Circumcised" (Genesis 17:26" it has been explained that, " God so obligated to 'visit' Abraham as he recovered from his circumcision, Bikkur Holim the duty to support the ill, has its origin in a " divine encounter" (Vayera 1) I think this is true because when you continue to read the passage then the three men appear as if no one was there before so that is why I believe that the first versus is a continuation and a connector for the two stories.
The second verse is where the complication of the story begins .It says out of nowhere the three men are standing in front or approaching the tent if Abraham's. The mystery is would have Abraham seen them from a distance? Since there is no telling of this on the story it is safe to assume they just appeared which makes them of great significance. Abraham treated these strangers with great hospitality that was the custom of the Middle East in there times. Does Abraham know right away that these people are messengers of God? Since he states " Sir, if I may ask you this favor does not go past your servant," (Genesis 18:3)