Parashat Vayera, Was God Himself Speaking to Avraham?


This week’s Parashah, Parashat Vayera (Bereshit / Genesis 18:1-22:24) we read in the opening verses וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא the Lord appeared to him (Avraham) by the oaks of Mamre,” here we find the Lord God almighty visits Avraham along with two men which are believed to be angels from the Lord (18:1-3).  Avraham learns that his wife Sarah is going to bear a son (18:9-15), the Lord speaks to Avraham about the destruction of Sodom and Gemorah and Avraham seeks mercy for these evil cities for the sake of the righteous (18:17-33).  The Lord has mercy on Lot and Lot recognizes the mercy and grace of God הִנֵּה-נָא מָצָא עַבְדְּךָ חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ וַתַּגְדֵּל חַסְדְּךָ אֲשֶׁר עָשִֹיתָ עִמָּדִי לְהַחֲיוֹת אֶת-נַפְשִׁי וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אוּכַל לְהִמָּלֵט הָהָרָה פֶּן-תִּדְבָּקַנִי הָרָעָה וָמַתִּי: 19:19Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die; (NASB), Lot’s daughters commit sexual sin with their father (19:31-38), Avraham encounters Avimelech and Avimelech takes Sarah for his wife and God’s subsequent curse and then the forgiveness of Avimelech and all his household (20:1-18), and God tests Avraham to sacrifice his only son Yitzchak (22:1-18).  As we read the Hebrew text we have the understanding that the Lord has great plans for Avraham saying Shall I hide from Avraham what I am about to do” וְאַבְרָהָם הָיוֹ יִהְיֶה לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל וְעָצוּם וְנִבְרְכוּ-בוֹ כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ: 18:18since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?” After Avraham successfully passes being tested, God says וְהִתְבָּרֲכוּ בְזַרְעֲךָ כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ עֵקֶב אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקֹלִי: 22:18In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.’  The significance of the opening passages to Parashat Vayera in Bereshit / Genesis 18:1-3 and the rest of the Parashah centers around the question on who is the person that Avraham is speaking to, is He the Lord God Almighty?  The Hebrew text says “And Adonai (YHVH) appeared to him.” The verb וירא appears 167 times in the Tanach and 88 times in the Torah, each occurrence of the word requires context, in some cases it refers to the Lord saw (see Bereshit 1) and in others like in our text this week as “appeared” or “made known.”  This week God made Himself known to Avraham, and Avraham recognized that the Lord was speaking to him.  As we study these scriptures this week, can you hear the Lord God Almighty speaking to you too?   Read More here.

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!