Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Genesis 18
A number of years after the birth of Ishmael, Abraham received three visitors—visitors who came to confirm the promise of a son to Abraham through Sarah and to warn of the impending destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah and several other towns. As was common at that time and in that place, Abraham offered them a meal. In our age, with all the conveniences we have, most homes can put together some sort of meal in about an hour but look at what Abraham ordered for their meal:
“So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of fine flour and kneed it and bake some bread.
“Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them.” Genesis 18:6-8a NIV
Have you ever thought of the time it would take to prepare all this? Three seahs of flour is about 20 quarts (22 litres). That would make a lot of bread—and it wouldn’t be ready in an hour. And the calf! That calf had to be butchered, eviscerated, skinned and then cooked. A small beef roast can take a couple of hours. How long did the guests have to wait for the veal they were served? Life certainly moved at a slower pace in those days!