18:3י״ח:ג׳
1 א

ויאמר אדני אם נא וגו'. לַגָּדוֹל שֶׁבָּהֶם אָמַר וּקְרָאָם כֻּלָּם אֲדוֹנִים וְלַגָּדוֹל אָמַר אַל נָא תַעֲבֹר, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲבֹר הוּא יַעַמְדוּ חֲבֵרָיו עִמּוֹ, וּבְלָשׁוֹן זֶה הוּא חֹל (שבועות ל"ה). דָּ"אַ קֹדֶשׁ הוּא, וְהָיָה אוֹמֵר לְהַקָּבָּ"ה לְהַמְתִּין לוֹ עַד שֶׁיָּרוּץ וְיַכְנִיס אֶת הָאוֹרְחִים וְאַעַ"פִּ שֶׁכָּתוּב אַחַר וַיָּרָץ לִקְרָאתָם, הָאֲמִירָה קֹדֶם לָכֵן הָיְתָה, וְדֶרֶךְ הַמִּקְרָאוֹת לְדַבֵּר כֵּן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁתִּי אֵצֶל לֹא יָדוֹן רוּחִי בָאָדָם, שֶׁנִּכְתַּב אַחַר וַיּוֹלֶד נֹחַ, וְאִי אֶפְשַׁר לוֹמַר אֶלָּא שֶׁהָיְתָה הַגְּזֵרָה קֹדֶם לַלֵּדָה כ' שָׁנָה, וּשְׁתֵּי הַלְּשׁוֹנוֹת בִּבְ"רַ:

'ויאמר אדני אם נא וגו AND HE SAID, MY LORD, IF NOW etc. — He addressed himself to the Chief of them; calling them all “lords”, (אדני may mean “my lords”), whilst to their Chief he said “Do not I pray thee pass away”, for he knew that if he would not pass by, his companions would certainly remain with him. In this explanation the word אדני has a “profane” sense (does not refer to God, being merely a term of address, “Sirs”) . Another explanation is that the word is “holy” (referring to God): he asked God to wait for him whilst he ran and invited the travellers. For although this is written after the words “and he ran to meet them”, yet the conversation took place beforehand. It, indeed, is the way of the Scriptures to speak in this manner as I have explained in my comment on “My spirit shall not strive” (Genesis 6:3) which is written after the passage. “And Noah begot” (Genesis 5:32) whereas it is impossible to say otherwise than that the decree of a respite of 120 years made in reference to this verse “My spirit shall not strive etc.” was twenty years before the birth of Noah’s sons.) Both these explanations of אדני are to be found in Genesis Rabbah 48:10 (see also Shevuot 35b).