Why did Avraham fall on his face?


Rashi and Targum Yonasan: Because he was not circumcised 1 (and, Rashi adds, was therefore overcome by fear of the Shechinah and lacked strength to stand). 2


Ramban: To prepare to receive a prophecy, both here and again in Pasuk 17, where he prepared for the next prophecy. 3


Seforno: To accept the covenant that Hashem had made with him and to thank Him for it.


Like we find by Bil'am, when Hashem appeared to him (See Bamidbar 24:4).


Chachmah u'Musar (2 p.338): Even though he was waiting for Hashem to command him to circumcise, lack of the Mitzvah harmed him, just like natural damagers harm even b'Ones. All the more so, how much sin blunts a person!


Like we find later in Parshas Korach (Bamidbar 16:22) and (Bamidbar 17:10).

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