Genesis 21:15-21– The God who sees

Gen 21:15  And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

Gen 21:16  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.

Gen 21:17  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.

Gen 21:18  Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

Gen 21:19  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.

Gen 21:20  And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.

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

 

Hagar and Ishmael have been kicked out of the family clan of Abraham with some bread and one bottle of water; not much to survive on in those times.

It might seem harsh at first reading, but we must remember that Abraham had the promise of God’s words when it came to his other son.

 

Gen 17:18  And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

Gen 17:19  And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Gen 17:20  And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

Gen 17:21  But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

 

God spoke with him again, and reassured Abraham that Ishmael would be alright.

 

Gen 21:12  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.

Gen 21:13  And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

 

So now Hagar is expecting that she and her son are going to die in the wilderness.  She places her son under the cover of some shrubs so that she didn’t have to see him die.  She was in a very dark place, but….

The Angel of the Lord hears the cry of Ishmael and calls out to her; opens her eyes, and shows her that she is in a better place than she thought.

 

Gen 21:16  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.

Gen 21:17  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.

Gen 21:18  Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

Gen 21:19  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.

 

Now Hagar and her son are ok and we see that he grows up and eventually finds a wife

 

Gen 21:20  And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.

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

 

Genesis 25 gives us the rest of the story of Ishmael

 

Gen 25:12  Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham:

Gen 25:13  And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,

Gen 25:14  And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa,

Gen 25:15  Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah:

Gen 25:16  These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.

Gen 25:17  And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.

Gen 25:18  And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.

 

  1. Nebajoth  – (means First-born or First Fruit in Arabic, pronounced Nabeet
  2. Kedar – pronounced Qaidar in Arabic, the father of the Qedarites, a northern Arab tribe that controlled the area between the Persian Gulf and the Sinai Peninsula.  According to tradition, he is the ancestor of the Quraysh tribe, and thus the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
  3. Adbeel – God’s servant in Arabic, he established a tribe in northwest Arabia.
  4. Mibsam – Smiley in Arabic, and pronounced Mubsem.
  5. Mishma – Obeyed in Arabic, and pronounced Masmou’
  6. Dumah – Means Sand-Hill in Arabic, pronounced Doomah.
  7. Massa – Night Fall in Arabic and pronounced Masa, he is the father of a nomadic tribe that inhabited the Arabian desert towards Babylonia.
  8. Hadar – Rolling-Stone in Arabic, pronounced Haidar.
  9. Tema – The Good News, or The Right Hand Man in Arabic, and pronounced Tayman.
  10. Jetur – Revolt, or Rebel in Arabic, pronounced Yathur.
  11. Naphish – Genuine in Arabic, and pronounced Nafees.
  12. Kefemah – The Front Man, or Scout in Arabic, pronounced Qudamah.

 

Ishmael also had a daughter who married Esau later on.

 

Gen 36:1  Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.

Gen 36:2  Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;

Gen 36:3  And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.

 

In the Midrash Genesis Rabbah, commentators claim that Hagar was in fact Pharaoh’s daughter, making Ishmael the grandson of the Pharaoh and explaining why his sons became princes.

Other Jewish commentators claim that Hagar can be identified with Keturah, the woman Abraham married after the death of Sarah.  According to the story, Abraham sought her out after his wife’s death, or Isaac found her and brought her back to his father.

Evidently, Keturah was her personal name, and “Hagar” was a descriptive label meaning “stranger.”

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/112053/jewish/Hagar.htm

This was the second time that Hagar had an encounter with God, whom she called, “El-Roi”

 

Gen 16:13  And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

 

Notice that she didn’t know Him as the God of Abraham, but as something different, something that probably didn’t gel with the harsh “god” that Abraham followed.  Perhaps she believed that, through the actions of Abraham and Sarah, that they weren’t really following the true God, and that they were following some false one.  Their actions would, to her, be the exact opposite from this “God who sees.”

 

She was an Egyptian, and would have a very good grasp on the many gods they followed.

 

She had been deserted, thrown out into the wilderness to die by a man who was supposedly following the God of the universe, yet this God had saved her.

Which would she believe, the “god” who told Abraham to cast her out to die?

Or this “god” who sees her in her distress, and saves her?

 

Some Islamic traditions state that Hagar’s time here in the wilderness with the well is where and how Mecca was established.

They also suggest that Abraham, on one of his visits to Mecca, asked his son Ishmael to help him rebuild the broken down foundation that was first built by Adam.

 

If she even thought this way, then it would have impacted her theology as well as her sons.

If she and her son had an impact on the religion of Islam, then this might explain the difference between “Allah” and “Yahweh.”

 

Looking at the situation from her perspective, it would not be hard to see why she would not care for the One whom Abraham followed.

This would be an example of how our very actions affect how others see the Father.

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About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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