In Genesis chapter 18 Abraham negotiated with one of the three men who came to his tent.

Verse 18:20 refers to that individual as 'LORD' , and only two of those are called Angels and go on to Sodom.

Since all things material were created by God in Genesis chapter 1, using the word 'Lord' would seem to indicate that that being was non material.

And yet we know that Abraham saw three men, that leads me to wonder if that one with which Abraham negotiated were an apparition.

I was further intrigued by the fact the other two (who are referred to as Angels) continued to Sodom while the 'LORD' did not.

What do Theologians say about this?

  • Ceci., both three men were holistic in the fact that they, bringing-together, had been represententing Israel, Mary and the Church, in which "the Lord" was the former. Oct 16, 2013 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


It was the understanding of many Church Fathers from the early Christians that the LORD who appeared to Abraham, Jacob, Moses and the prophets was Jesus Christ, the word of God, who is distinct from God the Creator.

In "The Dialogue with Trypho" written by Justin Martyr(100-165 AD), Justin explained to Trypho the Jew that one of the three men who visited Abraham was God in human form, who is distinct from God the Creator. Justin said that it was Jesus Christ, who appeared to Abraham, Jacob and Moses, who is called "LORD" in the Scripture, and recorded by Moses in the Scripture.

Dialogue with Trypho, CHAPTER LVI

I replied again, "If I could not have proved to you from the Scriptures that one of those three is God, and is called Angel, because, as I already said, He brings messages to those to whom God the Maker of all things wishes[messages to be brought], then in regard to Him who appeared to Abraham on earth in human form in like manner as the two angels who came with Him, and who was God even before the creation of the world, it were reasonable for you to entertain the same belief as is entertained by the whole of your nation."

"Assuredly," he said, "for up to this moment this has been our belief."

Then I replied, "Reverting to the Scriptures, I shall endeavour to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, and who is called God, is distinct from Him who made all things,--numerically, I mean, not[distinct] in will. For I affirm that He has never at any time done anything which He who made the world--above whom there is no other God--has not wished Him both to do and to engage Himself with."

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