Avraham's Guests – Angels or Men/2

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Avraham's Guests – Angels or Men?

Exegetical Approaches

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Overview

Commentators disagree regarding both the identity of the three guests, and in how they understand the relationship between the three parts of the chapter (Hashem's opening revelation, the guests' visit, and Avraham's negotiations with Hashem over Sedom).  The majority of commentators assume that the guests were celestial angels and that their visit was unconnected to the chapter's opening.  Rashi, thus, relates Hashem's initial appearance to the events of the previous chapter, while R. Saadia connects it to Hashem's subsequent announcement regarding the destruction of Sedom.  In contrast to these sources, Rashbam upholds the unity of the chapter, identifying the revelation of Hashem with the appearance of the angels.

Rationalists, however, shy away from the possibility that the guests were supernatural beings. Ralbag, thus, asserts that they were three human prophets who visited Avraham en route to destroying Sedom, and that their visit was distinct from and preceded Hashem's discussion of the city's fate. A final approach, adopted by Rambam and others, prefers to read the story as taking place in a prophetic dream, with neither the guests' visit nor Hashem's discussion with Avraham about the fate of Sedom taking place in the physical realm.

Humans

The three guests were human, even though they were Divinely dispatched and possessed prophetic capabilities.  Their discussion with Avraham was distinct from and chronologically preceded Hashem's revelation in 18:1.

Hashem's revelation – "'וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו ה" – According to R"Y Bekhor Shor and Ralbag, the description of Hashem's revelation to Avraham in 18:1 refers to their dialogue in the second half of the chapter regarding the destruction of Sedom (18:17 and 20ff.).  They, thus, contend that the verse is out of order1 and, in reality, the story of the angels in 18:2-16 preceded the revelation.  Ralbag suggests that the story of the visit is simply a parenthetical aside, placed here because the guests were en route to destroy Sedom, which was the very matter which Hashem wanted to discuss with Avraham.2
Three visitors and two missions – Only one of the guests came to tell Sarah about the birth of Yitzchak, while the two others were sent to destroy Sedom.  Nonetheless, according to Ralbag, all three came to partake of Avraham's hospitality.  He posits that Avraham's words, "סַעֲדוּ לִבְּכֶם... כִּי עַל כֵּן עֲבַרְתֶּם עַל עַבְדְּכֶם", suggest that two of the visitors had actually detoured from their path just so that they could eat with Avraham even though they had no special message for him.3
The disappearance of the third guest – Ralbag asserts that the prophet who announced the birth of Yitzchak did not continue to Sedom, proving how lowly a prophet he was, as he was not privy to that issue.
Why are the guests referred to as both "אֲנָשִׁים" and "‎מַלְאָכִים"? Since the guests were human, it is readily understandable why the guests are referred to as "men" in the majority of the verses.  Regarding the verses which employ the term "‎מַלְאָכִים", R"Y Bekhor Shor asserts that the word  does not necessarily refer to celestial beings but simply means messengers.4  Ralbag attempts to explain why they are called "‎מַלְאָכִים" only when interacting with Lot and not with Avraham by suggesting that prophets are called "‎מַלְאָכִים" only when they are speaking to someone with inferior prophetic powers.5
Angelic or human actions – R"Y Bekhor Shor asserts that the fact that the guests ate and slept proves that they cannot be angels.6  Their seemingly supernatural actions (foreknowledge that Sarah was to give birth, blinding the people of Sedom etc.) can be explained by their prophetic status.7
Prophet visiting a prophet? Abarbanel questions this whole approach, asserting that the visitors could not have been prophets since Avraham was the sole or most important prophet of the time.  Even if there were other prophets,8 they were definitely not greater than Avraham, so what would be the point of their sharing news with him?9  He further questions how they could attribute the destruction of Sedom to themselves, or decide to save Lot on their own, as life and death are in the hands of Hashem alone.10
The name "Hashem" – According to this approach, throughout the chapter, the name Hashem refers to Hashem Himself and not the guests.  Ralbag posits one possible exception, suggesting that "וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל אַבְרָהָם לָמָּה זֶּה צָחֲקָה שָׂרָה" in 18:13 might be one of the guests speaking via prophecy.11  He is referred to as Hashem after the One who sent him.12
"אֲדֹנָי אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ" – The exegetes disagree regarding to whom Avraham was speaking:
  • Hashem – According to R"Y Bekhor Shor, the term "אֲדֹנָי" here refers to Hashem.  Upon seeing the guests, Avraham offered a prayer to Hashem that the group13 would not pass him by without stopping.  This reading easily explains the switch to plural in the following verse ("יֻקַּח נָא מְעַט מַיִם וְרַחֲצוּ רַגְלֵיכֶם"), since only then does Avraham turn to the threesome.
  • Guests – Ralbag, in contrast, asserts that the word "אֲדֹנָי" refers to the guests, and means "my masters".  He follows R. Chiyya in Bereshit Rabbah48:10About Bereshit Rabbah in explaining that Avraham initially spoke to the leader specifically (thus the singular "תַעֲבֹר") and only afterwards to the group (thus the plural in verse 4).14
"וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹט אֲלֵהֶם אַל נָא אֲדֹנָי" – Both Ralbag and R"Y Bekhor Shor maintain that the word "אֲדֹנָי" in this verse refers to the guests.  This works with the beginning of the verse which states that Lot "said to them" ("אֲלֵהֶם"), referring to the guests.  R"Y Bekhor Shor, though, assumes that the next verse ("הִנֵּה נָא מָצָא עַבְדְּךָ חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ") is a prayer directed to Hashem.  Presumably he is motivated by the fact that Lot is speaking of killing and saving lives, something which is only in the hands of Hashem.15
"'וְאַבְרָהָם עוֹדֶנּוּ עֹמֵד לִפְנֵי ה" – This verse is difficult for this approach since it maintains that Hashem did not even appear to Avraham until after the guests left.  Thus it is hard to say that "Avraham was still standing before Hashem".
Why is Avraham not mentioned by name in v.1? This approach does not explain why Avraham is not referred to by name until 18:6.
Polemical motivations – R"Y Bekhor Shor shies away from the alternative approach below that the guests were angels, because he wishes to refute Christian claims that this story buttresses the doctrine of the Trinity.  If the guests are three corporeal people who eat and drink, it is much harder to identify them as three parts of God.  He also points to the fact that only two guests arrive by Lot, to show that these are not a "three-in-one", as one part left.
Philosophical motivations – Ralbag's motivations are more philosophical in nature.  As a staunch rationalist, he explains away all Biblical mentions of angels as being either visions in a dream or as referring to prophets.16

Angels

The guests who came to Avraham were angels. This position subdivides regarding the relationship between their visit and Hashem's revelation to Avraham in 18:1:

Distinct Events

Hashem's revelation to Avraham in 18:1 was distinct from (and interrupted by) the visit of the three angels.

Hashem's revelation – "'וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו ה" – According to all of these sources, Hashem's appearance to Avraham was separate from the visit of the three angels.  They differ, though, regarding its purpose and in how to explain why the text does not share the content of Hashem's speech:
  • Connected to Chapter 17 – Rashi, Ramban, and Seforno all suggest that the revelation is related to Avraham's circumcision in Chapter 17.18  Rashi19 maintains that Hashem appeared to Avraham to visit him as he recuperated,20 while Ramban asserts that the revelation was simply a sign of honor,21 a reward to Avraham for having fulfilled Hashem's commandment.  Finally, Seforno posits that Hashem appeared to participate in the covenant of circumcision.22  According to all these opinions, there was no need for speech as the revelation was the goal itself.
  • Connected to news of Sedom – Both R. Saadia and Abarbanel assert that Hashem's appearance here is connected to His later announcement to Avraham regarding the destruction of Sedom. The content of the revelation is, thus, first transmitted to Avraham in verse 20 when Hashem says "זַעֲקַת סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה כִּי רָבָּה"‎.23 R. Saadia suggests that Hashem appeared before the arrival of the angels, even though he was to speak only later, so that Avraham would feel Hashem's presence as the angels arrived and thereby recognize them as celestial beings.24
Why is Avraham not mentioned by name in v.1? Rashi, Ramban, and Seforno all posit that verse 1 is a continuation of the events of Chapter 17.  Thus, referring to Avraham simply by the pronoun "אֵלָיו" is understandable since he was the subject of the previous verses.25  They, do however, need to explain why the text provides a setting (time and location) for the event which would seem to imply that it is a new story.26
Did Hashem stay?
  • Yes – According to R. Saadia and Abarbanel, Hashem's presence stayed with Avraham throughout the visit of the angels.27  Abarbanel asserts that this explains both how Hashem continuously speaks to Avraham while he interacts with his guests (verses 13 and 20) and how the verse later states that "Avraham was still standing before Hashem".28 
  • No – According to Rashi, Ramban, and Seforno, it would seem that Hashem left after His visit and that there is no connection at all between His initial revelation and the rest of the chapter.29
Calling the angels by the name of Hashem – שם הוייה – According to this approach, which distinguishes between Hashem's revelation and the angels' visit, the name Hashem throughout the chapter refers to Hashem and not the angels.  Thus, it is Hashem who is speaking or referred to in 18:1,13-14,17, 20, 22, 26ff.
Calling the angels by the name of Hashem – שם אדנות – This approach offers two understandings regarding to whom Avraham was speaking when he said, "אֲדֹנָי אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ":
  • Angels – According to most of these sources, in these words Avraham was addressing the angels.30  Ramban and Abarbanel explain that Avraham referred to them by the sacred term "אֲדֹנָי" because he recognized that they were angels.31  Alternatively, R. Saadia contends that Avraham assumed that the angels were prophets and meant, "‎איש האלהים,"‎32 but spoke in short, skipping the word "‎איש".‎33  This position must explain the switch from plural (אֲדֹנָי), to singular (אַל נָא תַעֲבֹר) and then back to plural in verse 4 (רַחֲצוּ רַגְלֵיכֶם).  Rashi and Seforno34 suggest that originally, Avraham was speaking only to the leader, while Ramban35 posits that Avraham addressed all in the plural, but then asked each one individually to stay.36  Afterwards he offered hospitality to all as a group.37
  • Hashem – Both Rashi and Abarbanel bring a second opinion, following R. Elazar in Bavli ShabbatShabbat 127aAbout Bavli Shabbat, that Avraham was addressing Hashem,38 asking Him not to leave despite the guests' appearance.39  This reading easily explains the switch between singular and plural language, since there is a change in addressee from Hashem to the angels.
Purpose of the angel's visit – According to this approach, the angels' visit is distinct from Hashem's desire to share the fate of Sedom with Avraham, and was instead aimed at telling Sarah40 about the impending birth of Yitzchak.  Rashi further suggests that Hashem sent the angels only because he knew that Avraham desired to host guests, while Ramban views their visit as part of Avraham's reward for his circumcision.
The disappearance of the third guest – According to Rashi, each of the angels had a different task, one to announce the birth of Yitzchak, one to destroy Sedom, and one to cure Avraham and save Lot.  After the first angel completed his task, he departed, leaving only two to continue to Sedom.41
Why are the guests referred to as both "אֲנָשִׁים" and "‎מַלְאָכִים"? The commentators offer several possibilities:
  • Interchangeable terms – R. Saadia asserts that the terms are used interchangeably in many places in Tanakh, and one need not question the usage here.42
  • Differing perspective – According to Rashi, since Avraham was used to visiting angels, they were not particularly unique and are called simply "men". However, by Lot, who was not accustomed to them, they are called angels.43
  • Presence of Hashem – Rashi raises a second possibility, that when Hashem accompanies the angels they are called people (in comparison to Him), but when His presence is lacking they are called angels. This, though, begs the question of why Hashem was with the angels in certain parts of the story and not in others.
  • Action-based – According to Abarbanel,44 the angels are called men when they behave like humans, but they are referred to as angels when they do godly acts.45
Angelic or human actions – The supernatural abilities of the guests is easily explained by their being angels.  These sources differ, though in how they explain their eating:
  • Pretense – Rashi and Ramban, following Bereshit Rabbah48:14About Bereshit Rabbah, suggest that the angels simply pretended to eat.
  • Consumption by fire – R. Saadia suggests that the root "אכל" is not limited in meaning to eating with one's mouth, but can also connote other forms of consumption, such as eating by fire or sword.46  Thus, here, the angels might have burned their food.
  • Others ate – R. Saadia also suggests that the verb "וַיֹּאכֵלוּ" refers to Avraham and his servants, but not to the angels.47
Did Avraham recognize them as angels?
  • Yes – According to Ramban and Abarbanel, Avraham knew that they were angels.
  • No – According to R. Saadia, despite Hashem's hints, Avraham mistook the angels for prophets.48
Sarah's laughter – Ramban49 asserts that Sarah was unaware that the men were angels and thus laughed at their announcement.  She did not hear Hashem's rebuke (since Hashem spoke only to Avraham), but Avraham himself chastised her, leading to her denial.  As such, Sarah was not trying to cover up her actions before Hashem, only before her husband.50
"'וְאַבְרָהָם עוֹדֶנּוּ עֹמֵד לִפְנֵי ה" – This verse is not problematic for R. Saadia and Abarbanel who suggest that Hashem's presence had never left Avraham after the initial revelation.  According to the others, though, Avraham was not standing before Hashem at this point of the story:
  • תיקון סופרים – Rashi asserts that the verse should really read, "וה' עודנו עומד לפני אברהם" since Hashem had just come to speak to Avraham about Sedom (in verse 20) as he accompanied the guests.  The text was reversed, though, so as not to dishonor Hashem.
  • Until the angel's arrival in Sedom – According to Ramban, the phrase is related to the immediately preceding term, "וַיֵּלְכוּ סְדֹמָה", and comes to explain that Avraham stood before Hashem to plead for Sedom during the entire time that it took the angels to travel there.

One Event

Hashem appeared to Avraham via the three angels.

Hashem's revelation – "'וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו ה" – According to this position, the first verse of the chapter is a general introduction to the story, and the rest of the chapter provides the details (‎‎כלל ופרט).‎51  Thus, the unit opens by sharing that Hashem revealed Himself, and then explains how this revelation transpired via the three angels visiting Avraham.  As such, there is no missing speech of Hashem; the entire chapter constitutes the revelation.
Why is Avraham not mentioned by name in v.1? Since this position views verse 1 as beginning a new unit,52 it is difficult to understand why Avraham is referred to by a pronoun (implying a continuation) and not by his proper name.  R. D"Z Hoffmann suggests that this teaches that the story is integrally related to the preceding one regarding Avraham's circumcision.  Due to the covenant, Avraham achieved a new level of closeness to Hashem, meriting a visit by angels who could behave as his guests and share with him Hashem's plans.
Calling the angels "Hashem" – According to this approach, the Torah often refers to angels by the name of Hashem, since they are His messengers doing His bidding (‎שלוחו של אדם כמותו).‎53  Thus, these sources posit that throughout the chapters, in many of the places where Hashem's name appears, it refers not to Hashem, but to one (or all) of the angels.54  See the following points for elaboration.
שם הויה – Verses 18:1, 13, 17, 20, 22, 26 ff – Rashbam55 is consistent in reading all occurrences of "Hashem" in the chapters as referring to the angels.  Only in instances where the angels themselves refer back to Hashem in their own speech (in 18:14 and the second occurrence in 19:24), does he say that the word refers to Hashem Himself.56  This reading has several advantages:
  • It easily explains how Sarah heard the rebuke regarding her laughter and why she dared deny laughing.
  • The language of 18:14 is extremely similar to 18:10 since the same person is saying both statements, and simply reinforcing his earlier words.
  • According to this reading, Hashem does not constantly interrupt Avraham's interaction with the angels; it is only they who speak throughout.
  • Even though Avraham had been accompanying the angels, the verse can still say "וְאַבְרָהָם עוֹדֶנּוּ עֹמֵד לִפְנֵי ה'‏" since this implies only that he continued to talk to the third angel after the others left.
  • Only two angels arrive by Lot, because the third remained with Avraham while he prayed for Sedom.
  • There is no contradiction between the angels saying that  they themselves will destroy Sedom and 19:24 which has Hashem destroy it, since Hashem of that verse can be understood to refer to an angel.
שם אדנות – Verses 18:3 and 19:18
  • "אֲדֹנָי אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ" – According to Philo, Shadal, and R. D"Z Hoffmann, the term "אֲדֹנָי" refers to the angels.57  To explain the switch between this plural form and the singular form used in the rest of the verse, R. D"Z Hoffmann suggests that Avraham was really speaking only to the most important of the guests, but out of honor, he originally addressed him using the majestic plural.58  Kirkisani the Karaite suggests that it is "the way of the text" to use either the singular or the plural when speaking of a group.59
  • "אַל נָא אֲדֹנָי" – Shadal assumes that, in this verse too, Lot is addressing the angels.  R. D"Z Hoffmann brings this as an option, but appears to prefer the possibility that Lot is praying to Hashem.60
Purpose of the vision/visit – According to Shadal and the Hoil Moshe, the main goal of the visit was to tell Avraham about the upcoming destruction of Sedom rather than about the birth of Yitzchak.61 They point out that there was no reason to repeat the previously delivered news of the impending birth,62 and the angels mentioned it only tangentially, in response to the fact that Sarah was sitting alone in her tent, presumably lamenting her barrenness.
Why are the guests referred to as both "אֲנָשִׁים" and "‎מַלְאָכִים"? This approach works well with the verses which call the guests "‎מַלְאָכִים", but needs to explain those which call them "אֲנָשִׁים".  Philo suggests that they were so called because they took the form of people,63 but he does not account for the switch in titles.
Angelic or human actions – This approach easily explains how the guests knew that Sarah was to give birth64 and how they could blind the people of Sedom or destroy the city, but it has difficulty explaining the angels' seemingly corporeal actions.  Philo explains that the angels simply pretended to eat and drink.65  Hoil Moshe, though, asserts that despite being angels, while taking on human form, they were able to eat.66
Did Avraham recognize them as angels?
  • Immediately – Hoil Moshe explains the term "נִצָּבִים עָלָיו" to mean that the angels suddenly materialized before Avraham, leading Avraham to realize immediately with whom he was dealing.  He suggests that it is for this reason that Avraham treated them with such respect.67
  • Midway – R. D"Z Hoffmann argues that at first Avraham must not have realized that the guests were angels or he would not have offered them food.68  He suggests that it was only after the angels chastised Sarah for her doubt that Avraham began to realize that the beings before him were not human visitors.69 
The disappearance of the third guest – As Shadal and Hoil Moshe assume that the main job of the angels was to tell Avraham about Sedom, it would seem that one angel would have sufficed.  The Hoil Moshe suggests that there was in fact one central angel, but he was accompanied by two lesser servants.  Most of these sources explain that only two of these arrived by Lot, since the main one was detained while Avraham spoke with him about saving the city.

Divine Prophecy

All of Chapter 18 is merely a description of what Avraham saw in his prophetic vision.  Thus, the coming of the "guests" was merely part of Hashem's revelation and not an event that actually transpired in the physical realm.

Hashem's revelation – "'וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו ה" – According to this approach, 18:1 introduces the story, while the following verses provide the details (כלל ופרט).‎71  Hashem revealed himself to Avraham in a prophetic dream and the visit of the angels occurred as part of that vision.72  As such, the content of the revelation is not missing at all; the entire chapter (and perhaps part of Chapter 19) constitutes the prophecy.
Why is Avraham not mentioned by name in v.1? As this position asserts that the chapter starts a new unit and is not connected to what came before, it is not clear why Avraham is referred to by a pronoun and not by his name.
"כְּחֹם הַיּוֹם" – Both Radak and Ibn Kaspi assert that this detail is included because it was due to the heat that Avraham fell asleep and dreamed of the guests in his prophecy.
Where does the prophecy end? These commentators differ regarding how much of the story occurred as part of the prophecy rather than in real life:
  • Only Chapter 18 included – According to Radak, all of Chapter 18 took place in the vision, but the events of Chapter 19 transpired in reality.73  As evidence, he points to 18:33 ("וַיֵּלֶךְ ה' כַּאֲשֶׁר כִּלָּה לְדַבֵּר אֶל אַבְרָהָם") which appears to signify the end of the prophecy.  Radak is probably also motivated by the desire to show Sedom being destroyed and Lot being saved, for, as Ramban argues, if Chapter 19 was also part of the vision when did this happen?74  Radak's position, though, does not account for the origin of Lot's guests (as previously they had been only part of Avraham's dream).
  • Both Chapters 18 and 19 included – In contrast to Radak, Abarbanel maintains that Hashem's "leaving" Avraham in 18:33 was also part of Avraham's vision, and that the prophecy ended first at 19:28.75  He further asserts that the physical destruction of the city and salvation of Lot are not missing, but are rather described in verse 19:29 (immediately after the conclusion of the prophecy).76  This occurred differently than described in the vision, with Hashem rather than the angels acting, and Lot, on his own, deciding to leave the city. 
  •  Chapter 18 is Avraham's dream while Chapter 19 is Lot's – Ibn Kaspi asserts that 18:33 marks the end of Avraham's prophecy,77 but that 19:1 introduces a similar vision, which Lot received.78  According to this position, there are two distinct sets of angels, one group which appeared to Avraham and a different twosome who were part of Lot's dream.79  The actual destruction of Sedom does not appear in the verses, but did occur.
Was Sarah's laughter part of the vision? These commentators differ regarding whether Sarah laughed as part of Avraham's dream or not:
  • Reality – Radak assumes that Sarah laughed in reality and not as part of the dream.  He asserts that sometimes someone who is standing near a prophet can overhear a portion of the prophecy.80  Thus, Sarah heard the news and laughed in disbelief.
  • Prophecy – Ibn Kaspi and Abarbanel, in contrast, maintain that Sarah's laughter was part of the vision seen by Avraham.  Ramban questions the point of including this if it did not really happen (especially as it makes Sarah appear negative).  Abarbanel implies that this was Hashem's way of rebuking the couple for their earlier laughter (in 17:17).81
Purpose of vision/visit – This position must explain the need to repeat to Avraham the news of the upcoming birth of Yitzchak, if he had just received such a prophecy a few verses beforehand.82  This leads Radak to suggest that the goal was to have Sarah overhear the news,83 while Abarbanel suggests that the vision revealed that it was Avraham's hospitality and generosity that merited him to have children.  According to both, it would seem that the main focus of the prophecy was not the birth announcement, but the news regarding the destruction of Sedom.
Purpose of the vision's details – Ramban questions the Torah's need to report all the details of Sarah and Avraham's hospitality (baking of cakes, cooking of meat etc.) if it was all just a vision.  Ibn Kaspi and Abarbanel respond that prophetic visions, like dreams, reflect one's actions while awake and thus this prophecy, too, showed what Avraham would have done in reality.  Radak, in contrast, concludes that the details were included to teach the reader the appropriate way to show hospitality.84
Why are the guests referred to as both "אֲנָשִׁים" and "‎מַלְאָכִים"? Radak maintains that the guests are called people when they behave like humans, but angels when they act more supernaturally.  Thus, by Avraham, when they appear to eat and wash, and in 19:10 and 16, when they grab Lot (a physical action) they are called men, but when they act to save Lot in 19:15, they are called angels.85
Angelic or human actions – According to these sources, all the actions of the guests in Chapter 18 occurred merely in a vision, so there is no issue of angels eating etc.  According to Radak's position that Chapter 19 happened in reality, the supernatural actions of the characters are explained by their being angels.
The disappearance of the third guest – Ibn Kaspi says that one should not question the difference in number of guests since the two chapters represent distinct visions and there is no reason that they should be the same number.
Calling the angels by the name of Hashem
  • שם אדנות – According to all these sources, the word "אֲדֹנָי" in 18:3 refers to the angels.86  Ibn Kaspi asserts that one should not be troubled by the switch from plural to singular and then back again, because it is natural for people who are speaking to a group to sometimes turn to one individual and at other times,to address the group as a whole.
  • שם הויה – Radak says that the name Hashem in 18:10,13, and the first appearance in 19:24 refers to the angels, who are called after the One who sent them, while in 18:1 and 17, the name refers to Hashem Himself.
"'וְאַבְרָהָם עוֹדֶנּוּ עֹמֵד לִפְנֵי ה" – Radak and Abarbanel explain that this phrase comes to share that, though the guests left, the vision did not end and Avraham continued to prophesy.
Philosophical motivations – Rambam here is consistent with his general rationalist approach regarding angels.  He posits that all "מַלְאָכִים" in Tanakh are either part of a prophetic vision or human prophets.87  Radak is apparently not motivated by the same issues, as he has no problem saying that the guests of Chapter 19 are celestial angels.88