Skin So Soft:
Sarah's Hidden Question
Vayera "And appeared"
Genesis 18:1-22:24 
Photo by I an Dooley  on  Unsplash

The Torah portion Vayera is layered with important teaching about the resurrection and angels.  There is even the long-standing question of "Who was the third angel, the one before whom Abraham bows and addresses as 'Adonai'?"  The context itself even hints to the Divine nature of Abraham's guest:

"And the LORD [YHVH] appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day..."

This question has made its rounds, however, and other great insights and questions spring from that first one.  For instance, why did Sarah laugh?  Even the special angel asks that question, although I'm sure he already knew the answer.  Let's back up little.  

The text says that YHVH appeared to Abraham, and Abraham is sitting in the door [opening] of his tent.  According to Jewish tradition, Abraham was in the third day of his recovery from circumcision, and it is traditional to visit a sick person on the third day of his illness. If so,  Abraham's circumcision was in the month of Nissan at at the time of Passover, just like his descendants before their Passover in Egypt.  

Abraham both lifts his eyes (sees prophetically) and sees (understands) that he has Heavenly visitors.   Lifting the eyes implies a prophetic seeing or experiencing, an  understanding  of the future or of standing outside the purely physical realm:

At the opening of his tent ( ohel) , Abraham 

1)  saw with open spiritual eyes, and 
2)   understood  what he saw.  

When he understood, he ran and bowed to the  aretz  (land). A human being is likened to a tent, and its door/opening symbolizes two realms, physical and spiritual.  Abraham is positioned to see the "men" for what they are.  He pitches his tent and makes his altars at key "resurrection" locations in  Eretz  Yisrael, such as Bethel, Mount Moriah, and Hebron.

Abraham's two "seeings" represent Wisdom and Understanding: the two "sights" of the wise (Pr 17:24; 28:11).  Spiritual sight comes from Wisdom, the separation of light and darkness, and Understanding, the building of sight by differentiating between two realms: Heavenly and earthly .  The upper and lower waters of Creation were divided by Understanding.

Wisdom and Understanding lead to the Spirit of Counsel, the spirit of resurrection when plants sprouted from the eretz.  With Wisdom and Understanding, a human being sees through the physical realm back to the resurrection Garden with the Spirit of Counsel, Etzah.  Etz in Hebrew is a tree, a symbol of resurrection, for like a human being, the tree sprouts from a seed buried in the aretz.  

In Jewish tradition, the nakedness experienced by Adam and Eve was the loss of their luminous, glorious skin of the Lower Garden.  Their skin "garments" radiated with the Creator's glory, and when the glory departed because of their disobedience, they were given garments of skin like animals.  They knew that they were naked because they could no longer access the spiritual aspect of their Garden home.  Since then, it has required "lifting one's eyes" to the Lower Garden or a Heavenly visitation to see the lost Garden.

What is important, though, is that through Yeshua, human beings can be restored to that Garden while they await the resurrection of the body to its original glorious, shining skin. While they wait, they are given temporary "robes" for form in the Lower Garden.  Paul attempts to explain this to the Corinthians.  Here are a few excerpts: 

And even if our gospel is veiled,  it is veiled to those who are 
perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of  God. For  we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus'  sake. For  God, who said, " Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves ( 2 Co 4:3-7). 

But having the same  spirit of faith , according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke," we also believe, therefore we also  speak, knowing  that  He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with  you...Therefore,  we do not lose heart, but though  our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Co 4:13-18 )

For we know that  if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the  heavens. For  indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from  heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.  For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life . Now  He who prepared us for this very purpose is God,  who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge (2 Co 

Abraham uses the phrase " al-ken" in addressing the angels, which means "therefore, inasmuch." Count how many times Paul uses "therefore" in the letter to the Corinthians concerning the earth-tent of the body.  Abraham says the angels will pass ( avar) because they "have passed over" him ( avar), using language of his new nationality,  Ivri (Hebrew) to double the use of avar. An Ivri is one who crosses over ( avar) the Great River to resurrection, the Perat River of Eden (Ge 2) mirrored by the earthly Euphrates River.  Avar is an equivalent expression of  pasach, (Pesach).  

Indeed, as two angels move on to rescue Lot and destroy Sodom, Lot bakes them matzah, unleavened bread.  A great resurrection was scheduled for Passover, and Abraham sees it!  "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." (Jn 8:56)  How about Sarah?  Does she "see and understand?"

Maybe something different, but nevertheless something that complements Abraham's vision.  Sarah will HEAR the angel, which implies obedience!

Sarah's tent opening was "behind" the angel, but she is in the same position as Abraham when she hears, in the tent's opening.  There are twin tents:

Abraham  sees  (understands)  from the tent opening, and Sarah  hears  (obeys)  from the tent opening.  

Like a human poised between the physical and spiritual world in the temporary tent, Sarah  heard  the prophecy of resurrection to her and Abraham's bodies.  She became aware of something eternal, immortal, and glorious.  She heard a prophecy of luminous "clothes," a restoration of soft, glorious skin fit for the Lower Garden.   Hearing is a heart of obedience ( Shma Yisrael ...), which is the prerequisite for the commandments, and Sarah laughs.  

The angel drops clues better understood from the Hebrew text.  He says "Return, I will return...and there will be life!"  Sarah hears that the special angel will return...TWICE. The result will be life, chayah:

In fact, Rashi comments that "keh-et chayah" means that when the angel returns, it will be a time when everyone will be living, just like they are that day, a time of life.  If ever there was a resurrection message, Sarah was hearing it!

Sarah laughs, and the grammar of the sentence suggests not that she laughed IN her inward parts, but AT her inward parts.  She asks the question:

Artscroll  translates:  "After I have  withered ( beloti ),  shall I again have  clear skin ( ednah ) ?"  Rashi  says, "a luster of flesh" based on  Bava  Metzia  87a.  So many hidden clues are in her words.  First is her worn-out inward parts and skin, beloti.  According to Strong's and Gesenius' definitions of the root balah, consider what Sarah actually asked:

Sarah asks if her Garden garment, her body, which was fallen and worn out, could be resurrected from the dead.  Paul discusses this "wearing out" in the context of 2 Corinthians 4-5.  The angel assures her that at the moed, the Passover feast at the same time the next year, there will be life!  Next is ednah.  In ednah, you hear the root of Eden, or pleasure.  
The  Gemara  analyzes the verses that describe Sarah at the time: 

"After  I am waxed old [b eloti ] shall I have pleasure [ edna ]" 

Rav  Ḥisda  says:   

"After  the skin had worn out [ nitballa ] and become full of wrinkles, the skin once again became  soft  [ nitadden ] and her wrinkles smoothed out, and Sarah's beauty returned to its place ."

This describes the process of resurrection!  One's youthful beauty returns, and the wrinkles melt away.  They are replaced with the glorious luminescence of Garden bodies.
"Look to Abraham your  father and  to Sarah who gave birth to you in  pain; when  he was but  one I called  him , then  I blessed him and multiplied him ." (Is 51:2)   Again Paul teaches this resurrection in the context of Abraham and Sarah's "twin tents" of seeing and hearing:

But  all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light For  this reason it says,  " Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you ."  ( Eph  5:13-14 ).

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,    so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  that  He might present to Himself the church in all her glory,  having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless ... (Eph 5:25-27)

So yes, Sarah, our inward parts and wrinkly skin will be renewed when Yeshua "return, will return" to shine upon us, and there will be life because of his return and resurrection. 

These decaying bodies are being renewed day by day in the Spirit of Adonai, and we will honor our parents Abraham and Sarah who were one.  They saw and understood.  They heard and obeyed.  

Even so, come quickly, Adon Yeshua, with the Promise of the Father.

For a more thorough study on the Torah portions, see Creation Gospel Workbook Five Volume 1: Bereishit available at  

Passover at Tamar Park 2018

Tour Dates:
April 14 - 25 2019

$2,495 (airfare not included)

Tour Includes:
  • Hotels
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner (except April 24)
  • National Park Passes
  • Masada Lift
  • Galilee Boat
  • Bus transfer to and from Ben Gurion Airport
  • All tips (except housekeeping)
  • All meals at Biblical Tamar Park
Not Included:
  • Lunches
  • Flight/Trip insurance
  • Airline Ticket
At Passover, our tour will focus on the Biblical teaching of resurrection. We will study the process of death, burial, post-mortem experience, and two resurrections from Genesis to Revelation. Specific sites along the journey will offer the opportunities to stand on the ground where biblical events and prophecy of the nations will take place. 

Are you coming?

To read the itinerary and register, go to 


The LaMalah Children's Centre received Fourth Quarter and Sukkot celebration funds, and the new Bosch solar water heater was installed with some roof reinforcement and a little unforeseen extra equipment.  You can see how much they enjoyed Sukkot!  More pictures are posted on our facebook page.  

Thanks also to a donor who made a wonderful contribution toward the Girls' Home in Peru (Restoring

If you'd like to contribute toward monthly support of the Children's Centre (or two other children's homes, one in India and one in Peru) or become a monthly donor, please visit our website at