The The Narrative Significance of the Role of Abraham in the Identity of the Visitors in Genesis 18–19


Genesis 18-19

How to Cite

Ndele, M. (2024). The The Narrative Significance of the Role of Abraham in the Identity of the Visitors in Genesis 18–19. Old Testament Essays, 36(3), 709–735.


The identity of the visitor(s) of Abraham and Lot in the Mamre-Sodom story is characterised by ambiguity, which makes it difficult to determine the actual visitor in the narrative. This article therefore employs narrative critical analysis to examine the role of Abraham in relation to the visitor-identity question in the story. Abraham is mentioned in both the Mamre and Sodom accounts and he is arguably the reason for the visit in Gen 18–19. He initiates the departure to Sodom (18:16), he reappears to survey the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (19:27) and, lastly, the Sodom episode concludes with him (19:29). Moreover, there seems to be a special relationship between Abraham and the visitor(s) as shown by the verbsושמרו  (18:19 דבר,( אשר־ (18:19) and ויזכר (19:29). Abraham’s significant role throughout the Mamre-Sodom narrative can be seen as a catalyst for identifying the visitor as probably Yhwh.

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