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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

WARNING: The text used for my commentary is my own paraphrase and must not be
considered “a translation” or authorative in any way. It is, in fact, simply my commentary.

Maps, when used, are from Created using BibleMapper 3.0.
Additional data from
Source of Dates Used

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


פָּרָשָׁה וַיֵּרָא

Parashah Vayera
“He Appeared”
B'resheet 18:1–22:24

Jewish Man Reading Torah Scroll

This week's commentary from First Fruits of Zion (Messianic)
This week's commentary from (Rabbinical)
This week’s commentary from (Christian)

This Week’s Reading Schedule

Review and meditate on
last week’s Parashah

Rishon [1st]: 18:1-14
Sheni [2nd]: 18:15-33

Shlishi [3rd]: 19:1-20
R'vi'i [4th]: 19:21-21:4

Chamishi [5th]: 21:5-21
Shishi [6th]: 21:22-34


Shvi'i [7th]: 22:1-19
Maftir [Concluding]: 22:20-24

Haftarah: Melakhim Beit (2 Kings) 4:1-37
Ketuvei HaShalichim (Apostolic Writings)
  Basar (Gospel): Lukas (Luke) 17:26-37
  Kepherim (Letters, optional)
    Romim (Romans) 9:6-9
    Galitim (Galatians) 4:21-31
    Ivrim (Messianic Jews) 6:13-20; 11:13-19
    Ya'akov (James) 2:14-24
    Kefa Bet (2Peter) 2:4-10 

B'resheet 18:1–22:24


The Blessing of the Torah

Click here to listen to this canted by
Cantor Kenneth B. Cohen
of Temple Sholom, Greenwich, CT.
Aliya: (the one who “goes up” to read)  
   Bar-khu et Adonai ham-vor-ack.
   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised.)
   Ba-rookh Adonai ham-vor-ack ley-oh-lam

   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised for
     all eternity.)
   Ba-rookh Adonai ham-vor-ack ley-oh-lam

   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised for
     all eternity.)
Ba-rookh ah-tah Adonai, Eh-lo-hay-noo
meh-lekh hah oh-lahm,
ah-sher ba-char ba-noo me-kol ha-ah­meem,
v’na-tahn lah-noo et torah-toe,
ba-rookh ah-tah Adonai, no-tane hah-torah.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who has chosen us from all peoples
and given us His Torah.
Blessed are You, O Lord, Giver of the Torah.

~ 18 ~
Listen to Vayera read from the CJB

[Mamre/Hebron [MAP] 1868 BCE]

IV. Parashah Vayera (He appeared) (Gen. 18:1-22:24)

A. Birth of Yitz’chak Promised (Yehovah Visits at Mamre)

1. Avraham’s Hospitality (18:1-8) [Mamre (Hebron)]

Rishon [1st] 1Yehovah [GN] appeared to Avraham by Mamre’s oak grove in the heat of the day, as he was sitting at the entrance to his tent.[1] 2Avraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran[2] from the entrance to his tent to meet them, and he bowed low to the ground. 3He said, “My lord,[3] if I have found favor in your sight, please don’t pass your servant by. 4Let a little water be fetched, so you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5I will bring a bit of bread so you can refresh yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant’s way. After that, you may continue on your way.”

“Yes,” they replied, “do as you have said.”

6So Avraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Prepare three seahs[6] of fine flour, knead it, and bake some bread.” 7Avraham ran to the herd, selected a tender, choice calf, and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8Then Avraham brought butter,[8a] milk, and the calf that had been prepared, and set them before the men. He stood by them under the tree while they ate.[8b]

2. Yitz’chak Promised (18:9-10)

9They asked him, “Where is your wife Sarah?”

“There, in the tent,” he replied.

10Then Yehovah said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and hinneh,[GN] your wife Sarah will have a son!

3. Sarah’s Response (18:11-15)

Sarah was behind Him, listening at the entrance to the tent. 11Now Avraham and Sarah were old, well along in years. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12So she laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13Yehovah asked Avraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Can I really bear a child when I am old?’ 14Is anything too difficult for Yehovah ? At the appointed time[14] I will return to you, in about a year, and Sarah will have a son.


Sheni [2nd] 15Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh,” for she was afraid.

No,” He replied, “but you did laugh.[15]

B. Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (18:16-19:28)

1. HaShem Tells About Sodom (18:16-21) [Mamre (Hebron)]

16When the “men” got up to leave, they looked out over S'domSodom, and Avraham walked along with them to see them off. 17And Yehovah said, “Shall I hide from Avraham what I am ablout to do? 18Avraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and through him all the nations[18] of the earth will be blessed. 19For I have chosen him, so that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of Yehovah by doing what is right and just; in order that Yehovah may bring upon Avraham that which He has promised.20Then Yehovah said, “The outcry against S'domSodom and 'AmoraGomorrah is great. Because their sin is so grievous, 21I will go down now to see if their actions fully justify the outcry that has reached Me. If not, I will find out.[21]

2. Abraham Intercedes (18:22-33)

22Two of the “men” turned away and went toward S'dom, but Avraham remained standing before Yehovah. 23Avraham stepped forward and asked, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty tzadikimrighteous ones within the city? Will You really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty tzadikimrighteous ones who are there? 25Far be it from You to do something like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be that from You! Will not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”

26Yehovah replied, “If I find fifty tzadikimrighteous ones within the city of S'dom, then for their sake I will spare the whole place.[26] 27Avraham answered, “Now that I have ventured to speak to Yehovah although I am but dust and ashes, 28what if the fifty tzadikimrighteous ones lack five? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?”

He replied, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy it.

29Once again Avraham spoke to Him, “What if there are forty found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of the forty, I will not do it.

30Then Avraham said, “Oh, don’t let Yehovah be angry, but let me will speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.

31And Avraham said, “Now that I have ventured to speak to Yehovah,[GN] suppose twenty are found there?”

He replied, “For the sake of the twenty, I will not destroy it.

32Finally Avraham said, “Oh, don’t let Yehovah be angry, but let me speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of the ten, I will not destroy it.

33When Yehovah had finished speaking with Avraham, He departed, and Avraham returned home.


Chapter 19

  1. Here Yehovah appears to Abraham in human form. How can we know that this was God the Son? See John 8:56. [BACK]

  2. Was this mere days after his circumcision, or had he had time to heal? [BACK]

  3. “My lord," Hebrew אֲדֹנָ֗י (’ă·ḏō·nāy), a title of respect common to the time and place. [BACK]

 6. One seah is about 7 liters, 1.9 gallons, 0.8 pecks. [BACK]

 8a. Hebrew חֶמְאָ֜ה (ḥem·’āh), butter or curds (cottage cheese). [BACK]

 8b. Please notice that HaShem and the two angels are eating meat and dairy in the same meal! If HaShem does not object, why do the Rabbis? [BACK] 

14. With God, timing is everything. [BACK] 

15. I believe that God was amused at Sarah’s unbelief, rather than angry, as some teach. [BACK] 

18. The word translated “nations” is גּוֹיִם֙, goyim, which can also be translated “gentiles.” So it is through Avraham that the Gentiles of the nations have been and are being blessed. [BACK]

21. This was obviously an explanation for Avraham’s benefit. HaShem is omniscient (knows everything) and omnipresent (is everywhere); He already knows everything there is to know without going anywhere. [BACK]

26. God surely knew that there were only three righteous out of the entire two cities. I believe that He was going through this exercise with Avraham to teach him that it’s sometimes alright for us to question Him, as long as we do so respectfully (see Isa 1:18). [BACK]

Other commentaries on Genesis 18
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Pulpit Commentary
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Originally posted on Friday, 21 August 2020
Added dates, map references, additional comments on Wednesday, 17 July 2021
Added Parashah indicators and text on Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Page last updated on Monday, 02 October 2023 12:52 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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