"And he (one of the 3 angels) said: I will surely return to you at this time next year, and behold Sarah your wife will have a son” (Genesis 18:10).
Of course, Sarah did have a son - but scripture doesn't record anything about this angel returning a year later.
The phrase ka'et chaya is usually translated as 'at this time next year' - but the Hebrew is a bit fuzzy. A more literal reading would be something like 'at a time of life'.
Rashi, in Sefer HaPardes, suggests that this angel did return to preserve the life of this son who would be born. Many years later, when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, it was this angel who called out to stop him. It was through the intervention of this angel, years later, that Abraham and Sarah did have a son who would carry on their mission.
Often in life, we don't feel that our prayers are being answered. We have to realize that sometimes we may have to wait - the answer might come years later.
By Rabbi Michael Skobac
Rabbi Michael Skobac had been involved with Jews for Judaism (Canada) since 1989 and currently serves as its Director of Education and Counselling. He is a leading authority on missionaries, cults and issues relating to Jewish continuity and Jewish spirituality. Rabbi Skobac's publications include Missionary Impossible; Counter-Missionary Survival Guide; The DaVinci Code: A Jewish Perspetive; and Intermarriage: Is There Ligth at teh End of the Tunnel?
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Republished by Angelique Sijbolts with permission for the Noahide Academy.