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 20:8-13

The dream where God talked to Abimelech scared him and he feared for his life, and got up in the morning and told all his servants about it, and they most certainly brought this further to the people. The respect and fear for the God of Abraham must have affected all in the area when Abraham or some of his met them in their moving around with all the animals looking for food and water. God prepared the way for His prophet.

Abraham as nomad moved from place to place and he gave Sarah a standing order to tell people that she was his sister. Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister; they were both children of Terah and siblings of Nahor and Haran, they had different mothers, not named in the Bible.

ASV mark on Genesis 20:1-7

Now it was time for Abraham to move all his cattle and flocks to another area finding food for them. Abraham was a nomad, moved from place to place, and stayed temporarily where his animals were grazing. This time he ended up in Gerar where he settled his huge camp, here Abimelech was king.

Again, Abraham did it, he told Sarah his beautiful wife to lie and say that he was her brother giving the impression that she was not his wife. Even thou Sarah was close to ninety and probably pregnant she was nice to look at and desirable. The king, Abimelech heard about her beauty and fetched her into his harem were she stayed waiting for the king to call her.

Abimelech wanted to have sex with Sarah, but every time he tried to make it happen God hindered him, God looked after Sarah because she was the wife of the prophet Abraham. God gave Abraham the title prophet; it implies that Abraham spoke the words of God. God protected His prophet and stopped the king from touching his wife. 

The same is true today, if you speak the words of God, God protects you because of the words you speak; speaking the “words of God when in Jesus” makes you a prophet. Abimelech in his intent to have sex with Sarah was innocent, it was Abraham that did wrong, sacrificing his wife making Abimelech sin against God’s prophet.

God sentenced Abimelech to death for trying to touch Sarah, the king was facing the death penalty, he was about to be executed by God, not just Abimelech but also his household was to be killed, God made Abimelech and his people respect Abraham.

God told Abimelech to return the prophets wife to him and then God would pardon Abimelech by Abraham praying for him, saving his life. Abimelech did what God told him in a dream. After this all in the area knew about Abraham and his awesome God.