ASV notes on Genesis 21:14-21

Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away into the wilderness of Beersheba with a skin bag of water, Ishmael was about 20 years of age, he was grown up and he and his mother could have been for days in the wilderness before the bag was empty.

They were exhausted and they both wept. Hagar wept, but God heard the voice of Ishmael. Hagar was not of Abraham, and should never have been his wife, but Ishmael was a descendant of Abraham, he was of Abraham and because of Abraham God cared for Ishmael.

An angel called Hagar from heaven and told her not to be afraid and to take Ishmael by his hand and help him up, Hagar did exactly what the angel told her, and then she saw a well with fresh running water, God saved them because of the boy, not her. God blessed them and Ishmael became an archer and Hagar coming from Egypt went there and fetched a wife for his son.

ASV notes on Genesis 21:1-13

God in his grace came to Sarah, what He did we don’t know, but God kept his promise and the laughter Isaac was born. When Isaac was about 3 years old Sarah and Abraham could stop nursing him as a helpless child and start the teaching and demanding period. Today children are being nursed far too long; the children enter school not prepared for it.   

Isaac was now at least 3 years old, probably 5 or 6, that made Ishmael about 19, 20 years old. Ishmael was grown up; he was old enough to know not to mock the 5/6 year old Isaac. The normal scenario would have been that Ishmael bothered Isaac, and Sarah talked to him and Ismael stopped doing it, but when he thought nobody saw him, he did it again.

Then Sarah talked to her maid Hagar, and she also talked to Ishmael, but in a respectful way, Ishmael was about 20 and Hagar knew that God had promised to make him a people. Ishmael also knew he was to become the father of a nation and I think that his high thoughts of himself made him treat Isaac as an inferior.

When the mocking didn’t stop Sarah went to Abraham asking him to send Hagar and her son away from them. This bothered Abraham and he didn’t know what to do, he loved his son Ishmael also. This was just a family matter, quite normal for a family to have some trouble like that, especially if you have two wives.

But God found it important enough to intervene; He spoke to Abraham and told him to listen to Sarah and do as she said. God was to look after both Isaac and Ishmael not because of them, but because of Abraham, God blessed the descendants of His prophet. Abraham was in the center, all around was a blessing for him. It is the same with you today, if you follow Jesus all people around you are blessed too, and they are a blessing to you, it is not because of them, but it is God’s relation to you through Jesus.

ASV notes on Genesis 17:1-5 and questions to consider

שלום חברי

13 years had now passed since Ishmael was born and Abraham, now Abram was 99, and Sarah, now Sarai 89. Abraham had walked with God every day, but this meeting was special, it was an occasion for a change. God met Abraham in a visual form; Abraham actually saw God and heard Him talking.

Abram means an exalted father, a father of many children, but now God changed his name to Abraham, a father of a multitude, God there and then decided that Abraham should be a father of many nations.

YAHAWAH (God’s name) appeared to Abraham describing Himself as God Almighty, El Shaddai, this is not a name, but a description of His personality, His ability, His greatness. God wanted to tell Abraham that being with God, Abraham could accomplish great things because of God’s greatness, being with El Shaddai would be the same as being great in the mighty power of God.

Question to consider, give your opinion by commenting  

  1. How could Abraham hear God’s voice?
  2. How did God change the destiny of Abraham?
  3. What is El Shaddai?
  4. What made Abraham great?


ASV notes on Genesis 17:17-22

When Abraham heard God say that he and Sarah would have a child he fell on his face and laughed, he couldn’t help it, this was ridicules. Abraham doubted God and the laughing came from his heart and he suggested that Ishmael could be the one. But God said that Sarah was the one and she would have a son and God told Abraham to call him Isaac. Isaac means laughter and every time Isaac was mentioned Abraham would remember that he doubted God, and Isaac when he grew up would ask, why am I called laughter.

God also promised that Ishmael would be prosperous and be the father of a great people coming from his twelve sons. Ishmael means God hears, and everyday Abraham an all the people in his camp, by the names Isaac and Ishmael, would be reminded that God acts in spite of doubt and that He always hears everyone, He makes no difference.