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1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.

2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.

5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.

7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.

18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.

21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:

23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.

24 And Abraham said, I will swear.

25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.

26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.

27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.

28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.

29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?

30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.

31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.

32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.

Commentary for Genesis 21

Birth of Isaac, Sarah's joy. (1-8) Ishmael mocks Isaac. (9-13) Hagar and Ishmael are cast forth, They are relieved and comforted by an angel. (14-21) Abimelech's covenant with Abraham. (22-34)1-8 Few under the Old Testament were brought into the world with such expectations as Isaac. He was in this a type of Christ, that Seed which the holy God so long promised, and holy men so long expected. He was born according to the promise, at the set time of which God had spoken. God's promised mercies will certainly come at the time which He sets, and that is the best time. Isaac means "laughter," and there was good reason for the name, ch. #17:17; 18:13|. When the Sun of comfort is risen upon the soul, it is good to remember how welcome the dawning of the day was. When Sarah received the promise, she laughed with distrust and doubt. When God gives us the mercies we began to despair of, we ought to remember with sorrow and shame our sinful distrust of his power and promise, when we were in pursuit of them. This mercy filled Sarah with joy and wonder. God's favours to his covenant people are such as surpass their own and others' thoughts and expectations: who could imagine that he should do so much for those that deserve so little, nay, for those that deserve so ill? Who would have said that God should send his Son to die for us, his Spirit to make us holy, his angels to attend us? Who would have said that such great sins should be pardoned, such mean services accepted, and such worthless worms taken into covenant? A short account of Isaac's infancy is given. God's blessing upon the nursing of children, and the preservation of them through the perils of the infant age, are to be acknowledged as signal instances of the care and tenderness of the Divine providence. See #Ps 22:9,10; Ho 11:1,2|.

9-13 Let us not overlook the manner in which this family matter instructs us not to rest in outward privileges, or in our own doings. And let us seek the blessings of the new covenant by faith in its Divine Surety. Ishmael's conduct was persecution, being done in profane contempt of the covenant and promise, and with malice against Isaac. God takes notice of what children say and do in their play; and will reckon with them, if they say or do amiss, though their parents do not. Mocking is a great sin, and very provoking to God. And the children of promise must expect to be mocked. Abraham was grieved that Ishmael should misbehave, and Sarah demand so severe a punishment. But God showed him that Isaac must be the father of the promised Seed; therefore, send Ishmael away, lest he corrupt the manners, or try to take the rights of Isaac. The covenant seed of Abraham must be a people by themselves, not mingled with those who were out of covenant: Sarah little thought of this; but God turned aright what she said.

14-21 If Hagar and Ishmael had behaved well in Abraham's family, they might have continued there; but they were justly punished. By abusing privileges, we forfeit them. Those who know not when they are well off, will be made to know the worth of mercies by the want of them. They were brought to distress in the wilderness. It is not said that the provisions were spent, or that Abraham sent them away without money. But the water was spent; and having lost their way, in that hot climate Ishmael was soon overcome with fatigue and thirst. God's readiness to help us when we are in trouble, must not slacken, but quicken our endeavours to help ourselves. The promise concerning her son is repeated, as a reason why Hagar should bestir herself to help him. It should engage our care and pains about children and young people, to consider that we know not what great use God has designed them for, and may make of them. The angel directs her to a present supply. Many who have reason to be comforted, go mourning from day to day, because they do not see the reason they have for comfort. There is a well of water near them in the covenant of grace, but they are not aware of it, till the same God that opened their eyes to see their wound, opens them to see their remedy. Paran was a wild place, fit for a wild man; such as Ishmael. Those who are born after the flesh, take up with the wilderness of this world, while the children of the promise aim at the heavenly Canaan, and cannot be at rest till they are there. Yet God was with the lad; his outward welfare was owing to this.

22-34 Abimelech felt sure that the promises of God would be fulfilled to Abraham. It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed of God; and we ought to requite kindness to those who have been kind to us. Wells of water are scarce and valuable in eastern countries. Abraham took care to have his title to the well allowed, to prevent disputes in future. No more can be expected from an honest man than that he be ready to do right, as soon as he knows he has done wrong. Abraham, being now in a good neighbourhood, stayed a great while there. There he made, not only a constant practice, but an open profession of his religion. There he called on the name of the Lord, as the everlasting God; probably in the grove he planted, which was his place of prayer. Abraham kept up public worship, in which his neighbours might join. Good men should do all they can to make others so. Wherever we sojourn, we must neither neglect nor be ashamed of the worship of Jehovah.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Genesis 21

  • Joseph M Wisener on Genesis 21:9
    Names of our father god
  • Chris on Genesis 21:9
    Joan, Romans 7 is one of those very personal, intimate revelations Paul gave of his life: his battle between the spirit & the flesh. He could have easily avoided mentioning his struggle & given his readers the impression that he was a great follower of Christ, enjoying daily victory over every sin. But, being led of the Spirit, he had to confess that his apostleship, his meeting with Christ & even his vision of the glory of Heaven, were not enough to raise him to any greater position than we are at today. In fact, he said that he was "given a thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor 12:7) to keep him humble so those privileges wouldn't 'go to his head'.

    So in Romans 7, Paul speaks of his battle in the spirit. He longed to please God in every area of his life, but evil (i.e. the working of the body of sin) was always present with him. And so he struggled, but he found that through all this, that only Jesus Christ could help & deliver him. How so? Two ways: by virtue of Christ's death, Paul & all who believe on Jesus, have their sins dealt with at the Cross. In other words, Satan can no more accuse us before God. And secondly, through Jesus alone, could Paul & us find victory over the flesh. Even though Satan will always niggle at us to make us sin, Christ gives us the power to withstand Satan & the appeals of the flesh. In fact, Paul speaks in Gal 2:20 that he is now crucified with Christ & in Rom 6:6, he tells us that our 'old man' (our old nature) was crucified at the Cross. And if that is the case, we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin & now alive to God through Jesus (Rom 6:11). (onto Page 2).
  • Joan Holland on Genesis 21:9
    When Paul talked about doing the things he didn't want to and not doing the things he wanted to

    He said oh wretched man that I am. Who can set me free? Then thanked for Jesus, the one that can. I have prayed daily for this and ponder and wonder why i am still in bondage knowing it is not His will.
  • Chris - in Reply on Genesis 21:9
    Page 2.

    Can we then resurrect that 'dead' sin nature? Does it even still exist? Sadly, until we get to Heaven, our sin nature will always remain in us, but the victory lies in how we deal with it & how we deal with Satan who appeals to that nature. Can we resurrect that nature? Every time we listen to Satan, we are resurrecting that nature. Every time we listen to God, we are keeping that nature 'in death' & living in the Spirit. And this was the struggle that was with Paul as he wanted to live in the Spirit, but Satan kept attacking him in his old nature.

    So, Joan, the struggle will always continue while we're here on Earth, but Christ gives us the victory. What can you do? You have already pleaded with God for release from your bondage - God hears your cries. Has He put anything else on your heart? I don't know your story, but the Spirit of God is there for you to give it all to Him & to give you victory. If your mind is afflicted, then set your mind on wholesome, spiritual things that are found in God's Word. If it is a lust for something, then turn away from that temptation or remove it from your view altogether & turn to God in prayer & in His Word. When you resist Satan, he will flee (James 4:7) because He knows that you are calling upon the Power of God against him. This is not just theoretical, but very practical as we stand against the wiles of the devil. Talk to the Lord often, wherever you are & in whatever you're doing & when Satan is near to tempt you, run to the Lord Who is listening for your call. And remember, your stand against the enemy can only be done in the Spirit's Power & not in your own strength.
  • Chris - in Reply on Genesis 21:9
    Joan, Romans 7 is one of those very personal, intimate revelations Paul gave of his life: his battle between the spirit & the flesh. He could have easily avoided mentioning his struggle & given his readers the impression that he was a great follower of Christ, enjoying daily victory over every sin. But, being led of the Spirit, he had to confess that his apostleship, his meeting with Christ & even his vision of the glory of Heaven, were not enough to raise him to any greater position than we are at today. In fact, he said that he was "given a thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor 12:7) to keep him humble so those privileges wouldn't 'go to his head'.

    So in Romans 7, Paul speaks of his battle in the spirit. He longed to please God in every area of his life, but evil (i.e. the working of the body of sin) was always present with him. And so he struggled, but he found that through all this, that only Jesus Christ could help & deliver him. How so? Two ways: by virtue of Christ's death, Paul & all who believe on Jesus, have their sins dealt with at the Cross. In other words, Satan can no more accuse us before God. And secondly, through Jesus alone, could Paul & us find victory over the flesh. Even though Satan will always niggle at us to make us sin, Christ gives us the power to withstand Satan & the appeals of the flesh. In fact, Paul speaks in Gal 2:20 that he is now crucified with Christ & in Rom 6:6, he tells us that our 'old man' (our old nature) was crucified at the Cross. And if that is the case, we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin & now alive to God through Jesus (Rom 6:11). (onto Page 2.)
  • Jeffery Allan Dixon on Genesis 21
    Muslims are a cult and not of God at all. They even reject his name and his son and the holy ghost. They follow a pedophile who did nothing but spew hate. The punishment of Hagar and Ishmael was more than just and very much too lenient.
  • Bob Hilt - in Reply on Genesis 21
    J Dixon I would be careful in what you claim about Ishmael since he is a son of Abraham.

    in Genesis 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. The Lord himself said he would make of him a great nation. There are around 200 - 300 million Arabs in the world and looks like the Lord kept his promise to Ishmael.

    There is less than 15 million Jews in the world per the Jewish almanac. So who is blessed of the Lord and a great nation? Looks to me that the Lord kept his promise to Ishmael. I am no fan of Islam and know it is a false theology as is Judaism that also rejects the Lord Jesus as messiah or Christ.

    1 Corinthians 16:22 - If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (CURSED) Maranatha.

    DO JEWS LOVE JESUS OR ARE THEY CURSED? Just curious is all.
  • Chris - in Reply on Genesis 21
    Bob, the Earth will mourn when they see the One Whom they rejected, come in the heavens with Power & great Glory. How much more the Jews (Zech 12:9,10) when they "look upon the One Whom they have pierced...".

    Having worked among Muslims in Pakistan, I have a great respect for them & for their desire to fully submit (= Islam) to God. Most are ordinary folk with the same struggles & hopes as we have, with book(s) to help direct their lives. Even Mohammed had that burning desire to rid the land of idolatry, but of course, his method was to seek out & destroy. However, from apparent dreams & visions, coupled with reference to spurious non-canonized books, & 'Christian' influences about him, the false religion of Islam developed & gained adherents mainly by force. So, we have today generally a peaceful people, but those who want Islam to spread more rapidly by force & to destroy those 'idolators' = Christians (as their prophet of old did), are considered terrorists & thus all Muslims are deemed of similar ilk. And this is a fallacy amongst us in the West, particularly those affected by terrorism. They are a force today & will probably be very much in the fore during the end times, but for now we need to consider them as any other sincere seeker towards things of Eternity, yet on the wrong path & in desperate need for the Saviour, rather than through self-effort towards God.

    So I just put it out there mainly because of a wrong understanding of the Muslim people & our treatment of them; that our thoughts or actions towards them, should be the same as for any outside of Christ: that Jesus be brought to them in a meaningful way, that His Light might be so bright & compelling, that their darkened minds might be drawn to Him.
  • Nello - in Reply on Genesis 21
    It is true the the Arabic nation came from Ishmael but neither he or Hagar were terrorists . Hagar was the property of Sarah and had no free will, she obeyed her owner. Ishmael was a boy teasing as boys do . God had mercy on them because of this . The Arabic nation may not have existed but for the actions of Abraham and Sarah. This story is a warning to Christians the importance of waiting on God
  • BSP on Genesis 21
    Verse 2-Jehovah God’s Word came true exactly as He said. Nothing is beyond God’s power.


 

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