Genesis 21:1-21 Two Seeds.

With the news that Sarah was pregnant, I can just hear her and Abraham saying, if not out loud at least to themselves-“finally!” It is ironic that Abraham chose to call his son Isaac, meaning “laughter” (v. 3), and at eight days old he is circumcised (v. 4). The laughter is now in faith (vv. 6-7), now contrasting with the scoffing of Ishmael, which would ultimately lead to the expulsion of the “bondwoman and her son” the ungodly seed (vv. 10-11 Cf. Gal. 3:18; 4:30). It is at this time, as Isaac was weaned, that Abraham held a feast, suggesting that it was a feast that Isaac would, in his own way, be able to participate in (v. 8). This would suggest that this was a covenantal feast, one wherein there was this separation between the children of promise and of bondage (vv. 12-13).

Hagar was given bread and water and sent on her way with Ishmael, and they wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba (v. 14). However, their supplies ran out and Hagar could see death approaching (vv. 15-16). Yet, an angel of God again visits her and reiterates the promise God made earlier, that Ishmael would also become a great nation (vv. 17-18 cf. 16:10). It was something which Abraham was also reminded of (21:13). Hagar was then able to look up and see water, in essence to see that she and her son had a hope and a future (v. 19). And in a unique way God was with Ishmael such that the promise made concerning him would be fulfilled. However, Hagar took a wife for him from among the pagan Egyptians, lived in the wilderness, and went forward as those numbered among the ungodly seed.

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