Someone recently told me that they were taught as a child that Og was the one who told Sarah about the Akeidah, causing her death. I always understood it as the Satan. Indeed, that's what Midrash Tanchuma Vayeira § 23 says (Rashi to Genesis 23:2 brings similarly, although he doesn't mention the Satan).

I looked all over and found no version of the Midrash that says it was Og, and assumed this person was mistaken. Then I found on Otzar HaChochmah the sefer Kuntres Be'er HaMegillah, which says that Chazal tell us that Og was the one who informed Sarah.

Now, either this sefer is also mistaken, or there's some Midrash that I can't find. Where, if anywhere, does it say that Og told her about the Akeidah?

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    Pirkei d'rabbi Eliezer 32 has Samae"l. Perhaps it's a conflation with the Medrash about Og (hapalit) telling Avraham about Lot's capture (cited by Rashi on Gen. 14:13). – Loewian Nov 21 '19 at 5:31

I suspect that the word עוג in Kuntress Be'er HaMegillah is a typo and should actually read as the abbreviation, עו״ג which means עובד גילולים, an idol worshipper. The Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer 32:8 references a specific angel (the Angel of Death) that would have been working through some human agent. But it does not mention who that specific individual was by name.

But as a point of reference, Sefer HaYashar says something exactly like this at the end of parshat Vayera which says:

הנה השטן בא אל שרה בדמות איש כו׳

Together with other sources it points out that Sarah left her home and went to the city of Chevron looking for Avraham and her son when she became worried at the time of the Akeidah.

Sarah did this because that is the original direction that Avraham indicated he would go when he departed for the Akeidah.

Chevron was at that time a Canaanite city called Kiryat Arba, named after its King and founder, Arba. Arba was the greatest of the Anakim, the giants who originally inhabited the land of Israel according to Yehoshua 14:15 and 15:13. These were individuals who had followed the path of Enosh and his generation and the development of idol worship.

Og was another of those giants, who was the King of Bashan according to Devarim 3:11.

Because they were related, this may have been the association with Og as the individual who told Sarah.

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  • Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer says the Angel of Death was working through some agent? Or that last part is your suggestion. Since when does the Angel of Death work through human intervention? – robev Nov 21 '19 at 18:42
  • @robev In general, angels influence what is already in place in the material world. That's how the system is set up. There are occasional exceptions mentioned in Torah to that rule. But not usually. – Yaacov Deane Nov 21 '19 at 18:48
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    Shach Al Hatorah (beta.hebrewbooks.org/reader/…) says that she asked Achiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the giants in Chevron, and they said they saw Avraham and Yitzchak from afar, with Avraham about to sacrifice Yitzchak. So it could be that the author of the book in the OP confused them with Og (all of them being giants). – Meir Nov 21 '19 at 19:08
  • @Meir That's a good source, but I'm not sure who or what Achiman, Sheshai and Talmai are exactly. They, together with their 4th partner, Shalom, appear in several places in Tanach. They appear to be angelic influences in some contexts. If you read Shach carefully, they seem to be traveling with Samael and Sarah communicates with them prophetically. – Yaacov Deane Nov 21 '19 at 20:15
  • Huh? In the 3 places in Tanach where they appear, they're giants who live in Chevron, and in 2 of those places it describes how the Jews dispossessed/killed them. There's no Shalom with them anywhere. (There is a Shallum together with Achiman in Divrei Hayamim, among the gatekeepers of the Beis Hamikdash, but that's obviously not the same Achiman, any more so than Chanoch the son of Kayin is identical with Chanoch the son of Reuven.) Nor does Shach associate them with Sa"m at all; he just says that Sarah didn't believe the Satan's report, so she went to AS&T to ask them to look. – Meir Nov 21 '19 at 20:30

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