Mamre presents an inner world of exploration whose strands are woven through ancient cultures and traditions. Mamre is a birthplace, itself, literal and ideal. Compressions and rarefactions tell two stories of Abram and Mamre, of survival and an heir.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old Y*hw*h appeared to him and said, ‘I am El-Shaddai. Live in my presence, be perfect, and I shall grant a covenant between myself and you, and make you numerous.’ God spoke to him as follows, ‘... you will become the father of many nations. I shall make you exceedingly fertile. I shall make you into nations, and your issue will be kings.” Genesis 18
“Y*hw*h appeared to him at the oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them, ... Let me have a little water brought, and you can wash your feet and have a rest under the tree. Let me fetch a little bread and you can refresh yourselves before going further ... Then taking curds, milk and the calf which had been prepared, he laid all before them, and they ate while he remained standing near them under the tree ...”
(... only gradually are the three men revealed as angels ...)
Abram accompanied the three as they proceeded on their journey. The two angels went on toward Sodom; while Y*hw*h remained behind and talked with Abram, telling him of the destruction that was about to fall on that city. Abram pleaded that if ten righteous persons could be found, then would it not be better to spare this city. But not even ten could be found and the threatened destruction fell upon it ....
At length all his wanderings came to an end. At the age of 175 years, 100 years after he had first entered the land of Canaan, Abram died, and was buried at Machpelah. The history of Abraham made a wide and deep impression on the ancient world, and references to it are interwoven in the religious traditions of almost all Eastern nations.