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Abraham[a] then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food[b] before them. They ate while[c] he was standing near them under a tree.

Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There,[d] in the tent.” 10 One of them[e] said, “I will surely return[f] to you when the season comes round again,[g] and your wife Sarah will have a son!”[h] (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him.[i]

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  1. Genesis 18:8 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  2. Genesis 18:8 tn The words “the food” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the verb has no stated object.
  3. Genesis 18:8 tn The disjunctive clause is a temporal circumstantial clause subordinate to the main verb.
  4. Genesis 18:9 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) often accompanies a gesture of pointing or a focused gaze.
  5. Genesis 18:10 tn Heb “he”; the referent (one of the three men introduced in v. 2) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Some English translations have specified the referent as the Lord (cf. RSV, NIV) based on vv. 1, 13, but the Hebrew text merely has “he said” at this point, referring to one of the three visitors. Aside from the introductory statement in v. 1, the incident is narrated from Abraham’s point of view, and the suspense is built up for the reader as Abraham’s elaborate banquet preparations in the preceding verses suggest he suspects these are important guests. But not until the promise of a son later in this verse does it become clear who is speaking. In v. 13 the Hebrew text explicitly mentions the Lord.
  6. Genesis 18:10 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic, using the infinitive absolute with the imperfect I will surely return. If Abraham had not yet figured out who this was, this interchange would have made it clear. Otherwise, how would a return visit from this man mean Sarah would have a son?
  7. Genesis 18:10 tn Heb “as/when the time lives” or “revives,” possibly referring to the springtime.
  8. Genesis 18:10 tn Heb “and there will be (הִנֵּה, hinneh) a son for Sarah.”
  9. Genesis 18:10 tn This is the first of two disjunctive parenthetical clauses preparing the reader for Sarah’s response (see v. 12).