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"Hear O' Israel, HaShem is our G-d, HaShem alone"

Genesis 18-19


The missionaries will say that Genesis 18-19 is an instance of the "Trinity" in the Tanach. That Abraham is visited by 3 men, each one 1/3 of the "Trinity" and when 2 leave, Abraham is talking to the L-RD, therefore, the man who did not leave is the 1/3 of the "Trinity" called G-d the Father.

The Reply is: This is simply not supported by the text. Notice that verse 18:16 says "and the men set out from there.." and 18:20 says "Then the L-rd said..." . Note also verse 18:1. The L-rd is with Abraham before the men (angels) get there and after the men (not 2 men, but the men, all three) leave, the L-rd says to Abraham. Clearly, these 3 men are not the L-rd, but mearly his messengers. Each of the three angels sent had a job. One angel was there to announce to Abraham and Sarah that Sarah would give birth next year. Another was there to lead Lot and his family out of Sodom. The third angel was there primarily to destroy Sodom and Gommorrah. Notice that 19:15 is in saying that these are angels: "As dawn broke, the angels urged Lot on..." The Hebrew here is "ha-malachim", meaning angels, messengers of G-d. This is not a "Trinity", G-d is not an angel/messenger, and we are commanded in the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:4) not to worship anything but G-d, not even things from heaven, such as angels.

But what about 18:3, where Abraham says "My L-rd, if I find favor in Your eyes, please not pass away from Your servant"? Who is Abraham talking to here? Before the 3 messengers came, Abraham had been talking to G-d, he is now asking G-d to excuse him so he can speak to his guests, and asking G-d to wait and speak to him when he is done with the guests. Amazing as it may sound to some, hospitality, the serving of G-d's creatures, is seen as serving G-d Himself. Everything we do to help our fellow man or an animal in distress is a service to G-d. Such opportunities to serve often must be done then and there or the opportunity passes. Abraham, in serving his 3 guests, whom he thought at first to be men, was serving G-d.

One more issue that needs to be dealt with is the actual distruction of Sodom and Gommorrah. The angel who had informed Abraham and Sarah that Abraham would father a child with Sarah to be born in 1 year was done with his 1 task and is gone. The 2 messenger's (malachim) who still have tasks to complete arrive at Sodom. The second messenger does his task to save Lot and his family. In verse 19:18, Lot pleads to G-d who has commanded the angels "O' G-d no! My L-rd (Ad-nai, not The Name)..." asking to be able to to a small city nearby. G-d grants Lot's plea and and G-d's messenger tells Lot that he is permitted to arrive at Zoar before Sodom is destroyed. The 3rd messenger is then given permission from G-d to complete his task. The text says (19:24) "And HASHEM had rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah sulfur and fire from HASHEM". If G-d commands an angel, it is the same as if G-d Himself had done it, for without the command, the angel could not do anything, so truely, the destruction came from G-d.

G-d is not His messengers (malachim = messenger or angel), but G-d commands His messengers. I do not know of anyone who would say that G-d is a mere messenger to be commanded by Himself, it simply is not logical. The plain meaning of the text involves 3 messengers from G-d who fulfill His will, but are in no way G-d.

"In the way of righteousness is life;
and in its path there is no death." (Proverb 12:28)


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© Copyright 1997 by G. Shapiro