The Birth of Isaac (v. 1-7)
God fulfilled his promise and Sarah had Abraham's son Isaac. He was circumcised at 8 days old.
I don't think I pointed this out before, but it was expressly stated before that all children should be circumcised at 8 days. Seems to be a pretty big deal to them.
Guzik draws a bunch of parallels between Isaac and Jesus
- Both were the promised sons.
- Both were born after a period of delay.
- Both mothers were assured by God’s omnipotence (Genesis 18:13-14; Luke 1:34; 1:37).
- Both were given names rich with meaning before they were born.
- Both births occurred at God’s appointed time (Genesis 21:2; Galatians 4:4).
- Both births were miraculous.
- Both births were accompanied by joy (Genesis 21:6; Luke 1:46-47; 2:10-11).
#2 makes me ask how old Mary was. I have always thought she was a teenager, she was certainly not married. How much delay was there?
#7 aren't most births accompanied by joy?
God Protects Hagar and Ishmael (v. 8-21)
Sarah saw Ishmael laughing and insisted that Abraham kick him and Hagar out.
Wow, Sarah is a bitch!
Guzik says that Abraham wants Ishmael as a backup plan in case something happens to Isaac, and that is why God had them sent away. Perhaps Abraham just sees Ishmael as one of his sons and doesn't want anything bad to happen to him.
Abraham wasn't really happy with this, but God told him to do what Sarah wants and he will take care of Hagar and Ishmael. So Abraham gave Hagar some bread and a skin of water and sent them away.
Even with God's protection, this seems like a small amount of provisions. Sure, she has God's protection so they won't starve, but with that logic why take anything at all?
Abraham was a wealthy man and could certainly spare more provisions, even giving them a donkey or several pack animals. But Abraham realized that without God’s help, no matter what he gave them, it would not be enough. But with God, things would turn out all right.It's funny that I predicted this statement.
When the water in the skin was gone, Hagar assumed they were going to die, so she put her child in some bushes and went away the length of a bowshot. But God talked to her and said everything would be okay, and she found a well full of water and got some for Ishmael. The boy grew up in the wilderness and learned to use the bow very well.
What I find interesting about this story is how old Ishmael is. He has to be at least 14 years old, in Genesis 17:25 he was thirteen and that was before Sarah was even pregnant with Isaac. In between those 2 stories is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the second use of the she's my sister scam. Also, this happened after Isaac was weaned, I don't really know anything about how old a kid is when they are weaned, but if we just assume it takes at least 3 months we can guarantee that Ishmael is at least 14 years old. If we allow for him to breastfeed a little longer, and allow for some more time in between for those other stories to happen, it is likely that Ishmael was 15 or even 16 when this happened. But just for the sake of argument, let's say he's 14.
According to Guzik, weaning happens at three years or later, so Ishmael would have to be 17 or older.
Why is his age important? This story is told as if he's a young child, in verse 14 Abraham puts the child on Hagar's shoulder along with the food and water, this makes me picture a toddler, not a teenager. Also, leaving a 14 year old under a bush to die doesn't really make sense. In fact, the story might sound more believable if the son told the mother to rest while he went out and scavenged some food.
|As evidence in this picture (found here), the image of Ishmael that|
we get from this story is much younger than it should be
A Treaty with Abimelech (v. 22-34)
Abimelech went to Abraham and acknowledged that God is with him and wants a treaty, he said that he has always dealt kindly with Abraham and should get a treaty. Abraham acknowledged this and agreed to the treaty.
At least Abimelech is getting something out of being screwed over last chapter.
Very strange comment from Guzik:
How could this be the same Abimelech of Genesis 20? It isn’t the same. Abimelech is the title of a ruler among the Canaanites, not a specific name.Unfortunately he doesn't elaborate at all. I don't see why it couldn't be the same guy. I looked through a bunch of other commentaries but no one mentioned this at all.
Then Abraham complained that some of Abimelech's men had taken a well from him, and Abimelech swore he knew nothing about it. They made a covenant, and Abraham gave him some sheep and oxen, but set aside 7 ewes. Abimelech asked what that was about, and Abraham said that when he gave those 7 over it would be witness to him digging the well. Then Abimelech left and Abraham planted a tree.
What? I've read this over a few times and don't understand at all. Hopefully the commentaries will shine a light on it.
Unfortunately no, I looked through all of the commentaries that I have bookmarked and no one really explained this.