“And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.-“Genesis 18:2
So who were the three men who visited Abraham?
The first simple fact that cannot be ignored is that in the original Hebrew one of the men is called “Yahweh”.
“Yahweh” is God’s personal name.
However, we are also told that no man can look upon God and remain alive.
So this had to be some manifestation of Yahweh.
However, Christians will say that this was Jesus.
I don’t buy that.
Jesus is never referred to by the Father’s personal name Yahweh.
There is a whole lot going on here than meets the eye and it’s about to get even more complicated.
Let’s take a look at verse 3.
“He (Abraham) said, ‘My lords, if it please you, do not go on past your servant.'”
The word for Adonai here is plural.
Adon is singular.
Adonai can have two meanings.
It can be used to refer to God (plural of majesty) or it can simply be used as an honorific title of respect to address a couple of gentlemen.
So which one is it in this case?
Since the context clearly shows Abraham speaking to the three men, I would say this is a form of honorific usage.
What makes things even more interesting is that in verse 2 where it says that Abraham “saw three men”, the Hebrew word for men is “enosh”.
Enosh is a word that only refers to men NEVER to spiritual beings.
The Rabbis seem to be fairly split on the identities of these men.
There is of course no doubt that one of the men is a manifestation of God since He is indeed called YHWH.
However, with regards to the other two men, some of the sages say they were just regular men.
Others say they were spirit beings, maybe angels.
What complicates the situation even more is that the men were eating food Sarah prepared.
Can you imagine Yahweh the father almighty and spiritual beings like angels eating food?
Sources such as Josephus, the Targum Jonathan, and the Talmud couldn’t handle this idea.
So their interpretation was that the three men only seemed to be eating but really weren’t.
Maybe Abraham’s super subservient behavior hints at the supernatural nature of these three visitors?
No such thing.
The high degree of hospitality that he extends towards them was common protocol in the Middle East.
Nevertheless, this is clearly a twilight zone happening.
One of the men is called Yahweh and the three men had supernatural foreknowledge of things that were to occur .
I believe scenes like this show how the Christian teaching of the trinity is fallacious.
I don’t think every manifestation of God in the Scriptures has to be one the trinitarian members of either Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
There are all kinds of physical God manifestations that don’t fit the trinity model.
How about the burning bush that appeared to Moses?
Or the the cloud that led Israel in the desert?
What about the spiritual being that wrestled with Jacob?
An infinite God cannot be boxed into some limited trinity concept.