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Monday, February 13 2012

Ishmael's Kingdom

Ishmael was the actual firstborn son of Abraham. His mother was Hagar, an Egyptian woman that Abraham's wife Sarah arranged to make into a concubine, and a surrogate mother. When Ishmael was conceived, the strife began - between Sarah and Hagar.

"16:1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 16:2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

16:3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. 16:4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. 16:5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

16:6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face." (Genesis 16:1-6 KJV)

Hagar left and headed home - toward Egypt. The LORD (see The Rock Of The Church; also A History Of Jerusalem: Melchizedek's Salem) however appeared to Hagar and commanded her to return to Abraham, for "Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction."

The Negev Desert

"16:7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 16:8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go?

And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

16:9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 16:10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

16:11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren." (Genesis 16:7-12 KJV)

With the confidence and assurance of the promise given to her by the LORD, Hagar returned (the appearance to Hagar was within part of the same area the Israelites would later live for forty years after the Exodus, and where Moses himself had lived for about forty years before that - see Moses Of Midian).

"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? 16:14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

16:15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16:16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram." (Genesis 16:13-16 KJV)

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

Sarah had also been promised by the LORD that she would, in the time set by the LORD, have a child of her own (see Sarah's Promise).

Hagar and Ishmael

"21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 21:7 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." (Genesis 21:1-7 KJV)

The tension that existed between Sarah and Hagar when Hagar had a child but Sarah did not, increased after Sarah's own child was born. It resulted in another driving away of Hagar. The LORD did not make Hagar stay or return then - the time was due for Hagar to do her part in the fulfillment of a prophecy. The Messianic line would be through Isaac, in the land that would later be known as Israel, but Abraham's other "seed" would not be forsaken by the LORD.

"21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 21:10 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.

21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 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. 21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

21:14 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." (Genesis 21:8-14 KJV)

Just as she did the first time, Hagar was headed home for Egypt. But, also like the first time, she didn't have the supplies that she needed to complete the journey. The LORD once again appeared to her, provided her with all that she needed, and blessed Ishmael with the promise "I will make him a great nation."

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

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

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.

21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt." (Genesis 21:15-21 KJV)

Exactly as promised, Ishmael became the progenitor of a family of his own (with Hagar no doubt secure within as a treasured matriarch). He lived a long, prosperous life and then died in the land that the LORD had given to him.

A Caravan In Egypt

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

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, 25:14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 25:15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 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. 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. 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." (Genesis 25:12-18 KJV)

The descendants of Ishmael and Isaac were often in conflict over the centuries afterward, but one of the most well-known incidents of Bible History involving the Ishmaelites (the descendants of Ishmael; the KJV also renders them as "Ishmeelites") and the Israelites (the sons of Jacob, who the LORD renamed as Israel) was when the Israelites sold one of their own brothers, Joseph, to Ishmaelite traders who were passing by on their way to Egypt (see also Why Did They Go To Goshen?).

"37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt." (Genesis 37:23-28 KJV)

"39:1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither." (Genesis 39:1 KJV)

Fact Finder: As one of the "seed" of Abraham, was Ishmael's territory near Egypt a part of the fulfillment of the promise that Abraham's seed would inhabit the lands "from the Nile to the Euphrates"?
See Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates


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This Day In History, February 13

1462: The Treaty of Westminster was completed between Edward IV of England and the Scottish Lord of the Isles.

1542: Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry VIII, was beheaded for alleged adultery.

1575: Henry III of France was crowned at Rheims.

1633: Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition. In 1992, the Vatican acknowledged that the excommunicated Italian astronomer had been right in saying that the earth orbits around the sun, not vice versa as the Church of Rome had earlier taught - a mistake that the leaders of the Church of Rome might not have made if they had based their beliefs on the Word of God e.g. see No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible.

1668: Spain recognized the independence of Portugal under the Treaty of Lisbon.

1689: William of Orange and his wife Mary, daughter of the deposed James II, were declared joint sovereigns of Great Britain and Ireland.

1689: The British Parliament adopted the Bill of Rights.

1759: At a session of the Nova Scotia legislature in Canada, the first vote by secret ballot in the British Empire was held.

1788: In Britain, the trial of Warren Hastings began. Governor-general of India, he was charged with "high crimes and misdemeanors" in a case which took 7 years to complete.

1793: Britain, Prussia, Austria, Holland, Spain and Sardinia formed an alliance against France.

1858: Sir Richard Burton and Captain John Speke became the first (known) Europeans to discover Lake Tanganyika in East Africa.

1895: The Lumiere brothers were granted a patent in France for their machine "to film and view chronophotographic proofs" - one of the earliest projectors.

1909: The "Young Turk" revolution gathered added momentum when the Grand Vizier (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) was overthrown in Constantinople.

1927: Brooks Adams died at age 79. The U.S. historian (and grandson of President John Quincy Adams) developed the theory that "by its nature and substance, U.S. democracy was foreordained to degradation and decay."

1945: The Royal Air Force Bomber Command devastated the German city of Dresden with night missions by 873 heavy British and Canadian bombers. The attacks were followed by 521 American heavy bombers flying daylight missions.

1955: Israel took possession of 4 of the Dead Sea scrolls (listen to our Sermon The Dead Sea Scrolls).

1960: France became the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons.

1961: A supposed 500,000-year-old rock, discovered near Olancha, California, was found to have a modern-day spark plug encased within it. It became known as the Coso Artifact.

1974: Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1970, was deported from the Soviet Union and deprived of Soviet citizenship.

1984: Konstantin Chernenko succeeded Yuri Andropov as General Secretary of the then-declining Communist Party of the Soviet Union (the Soviet Union itself was by then soon to cease to exist).

1990: An agreement was reached to reunite Germany (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).





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