Rashi (18;2) relates that Hashem sent Avraham 3 angels-one of which was sent to
tell Sarah that she was going to give birth, another to tell Avraham that Hashem
was going to destroy Sodom, and the third was to heal Avraham. However, none of
these angels were needed! Firstly, Hashem had already promised that Sarah was
going to have a child 3 days earlier (17;16)! Therefore, there was no need for
the first angel to give over the message if Hashem had already said it.
Secondly, Hashem later (Rashi, 18;20) told Avraham that he was going to destroy
Sodom, so there was no need for the second angel to tell Avraham a message in
which Hashem was planning to tell him. And thirdly, Rashi (18;1) states that
Hashem Himself came to heal Avraham-so there was no need to send an angel to do
it as well! Therefore, why did Hashem send the 3 angels-none of them were
Additionally, the torah (18;10) relates that the angel said that he would return
next year at the time in which Sarah would give birth. However, what was the
need for the angel to come back when Sarah would give birth? The whole miracle
of Yitzchak being born was that Sarah was able to become pregnant (as before she
was barren). Once she became pregnant there was no miracle that she was able to
give birth! So why did the angel say that he would come back at the time in
which Sarah would give birth? Of what significance was that time?
Furthermore, Rashi (18:1) states that Hashem telling Avraham to sit down and
that He would stand up was a sign that Hashem was destined to stand in the
assembly of judges while they are sitting. However, why did Rashi bring in this
point at this specific point in time? What does Avraham being a judge and Hashem
standing in the court have to do with the whole storyline?
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig explains that the land of Israel wasn't given directly to
Avraham-but to his descendants-as the torah (12;7) states: "To your offspring I
will give this land." Therefore, it wasn't until Yitzchak was born that Avraham
received ownership over the land of Israel. As a result, the angel said that he
would come back when Yitzchak was born-not because it was a huge miracle that
Yiztchak was born-but because at that point in time Avraham became like a king
as he became the owner of the land of Israel.
However, by giving the land of Israel to Avraham Hashem decreased the power of
the angels as before they were the only ones in whom Hashem consulted before
rendering decisions whereas after Avraham gained ownership over the land of
Israel he too had a say in Hashem's judgments. However, how could Hashem just
take away the power of the angels?
Rabbi Zweig therefore explains that Hashem let the angels get involved in the
transferring of power so that they could feel good about it. Meaning, the
purpose behind Hashem sending all of the angels was that so they could simply be
involved in the process of Avraham gaining power. For this reason, even though
none of the angels were really needed (as Hashem told him that Sarah would give
birth, that he would destroy Sodom, and He Himself came to visit the sick),
Hashem nevertheless sent them in order so that they would be able to handle
sharing a great position of power with Avraham.
Lastly, Rabbi Zweig explains that once Avraham became the owner of the land of
Israel he became like a judge who sits down when rendering judgment in court.
Hashem on the other hand simply looks over judges in court-therefore He told
Avraham that He would stand. The real position of power, however, belonged to
Avraham, as it is the judges who sit down in court who control everything. Rashi
therefore the fact that Avraham would be like a judge in order to teach us that
Hashem sending the angels was in order to give him power, similar to how a judge
has complete power over his court.