A Daily Genesis

Genesis 17:18-27

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:18 . . And Abraham said to God: O that Ishmael might live by Your favor![/B]

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Well, why bother getting Sarah preggers when Ishmael was already at hand? But at the same time, I think Abraham was worried that Ishmael would be marginalized and treated as an expendable commodity.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:19a . . God said: Nevertheless, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son,[/B]

God had nothing personal against Ishmael; but he was a natural-born son; and not quite what The Lord had in mind for Abraham's future. Abraham's son had to be special; viz: he couldn't be a "wild-burro of a man" nor "his hand against every man's hand". In other words, the son that God wanted had to be a man of peace.
[COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:19b . . and you shall name him Isaac;[/B]

Isaac's name is [I]Yitschaq[/I] (yits-khawk') which means: laughter or mirth; sometimes in a bad way such as mockery. In other places in the Old Testament, Isaac's name is [I]Yischaq[/I] (yis-khawk') which means: he will laugh, or, he thinks it's funny. (perhaps as a memorial to Abraham's mirth at hearing the news of Sarah's imminent pregnancy.)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 17:19c . . and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come.[/B]

Much of the covenant is of little interest to the average Gentile; but one portion of it is very significant. It's this:

"And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen 22:18)

The "seed" in that wording can only refer to Christ seeing as none of the rest of Abraham's posterity ever did something that benefited all the nations of the whole earth; but Christ did.

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1John 2:2)

Gen 22:18 can never be repealed seeing as how its part of an "everlasting" covenant.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:20 . . As for Ishmael, I have heeded you. I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.[/B]

That quite literally came true. Ishmael really did engender twelve chieftains. (Gen 25:12-16)

I don't know why so many people seem to think that Ishmael was only so much trash to throw out and discard, like as if he were second-hand dish water or something. No one should ever forget that he was Abraham's flesh and blood; his first son and Abraham really loved that boy. God blessed him too; and took care of him. He was circumcised in Abraham's home, which made him a permanent member of Abraham's community; so modern Arabs do have a legitimate claim to Abraham as their patriarch; but of course they have no such claim upon Isaac, or upon Isaac's blessings.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 17:21a . . But My covenant I will maintain with Isaac,[/B]

I don't think that set very well with Ishmael. He must have felt a very burning resentment. He and his mom were given the dirty end of the stick, and it was through no fault of their own. It was Sarah. She did it to them. You know, it really isn't very difficult to understand why Ishmael hated Sarah, and later his own little half brother Isaac. That woman wrecked his life. And she's not done yet at this point; the worst is still to come.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:21b . . whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.[/B]

Looks like the Abrahams will be going shopping for a crib, a stroller, and a car seat. Nothing like news of a baby to make the daddies start looking at their budgets. :-)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:22 . . And when He was done speaking with him, God was gone from Abraham.[/B]

Don't you just hate it when a superior lays down the law and then turns on their heel and leaves the room? It immediately tells everyone that their boss's agenda is not open to discussion. You'll either help out; or get out: go along or go away. This matter regarding Ishmael and Isaac was just like that. God was not interested in any more of Abraham's objections.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 17:23 . .Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, and all his home-born slaves and all those he had bought, every male in Abraham's household, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins on that very day, as God had spoken to him.[/B]

That was well over 300 grown men; not counting boys (Gen 14:14).

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:24-27 . . Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

. . .Thus Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on that very day; and all his household, his home-born slaves and those that had been bought from outsiders, were circumcised with him.[/B]

Abraham was typically very prompt and did things in a timely manner. Trouble is; every male in camp was disabled all at once. Thank goodness nobody attacked right then or the PowerPuff Girls would have been forced to man the guns.

[B][SIZE=1]FYI[/SIZE]:[/B] Ishmael was thirteen when he was circumcised. It would be another year before Isaac was born, and possibly three after that before Isaac was weaned; making Ishmael about seventeen or eighteen when Abraham emancipated his mom.

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