Hagar

ishmael, child, unto, family, mother and abraham

Page: 1 2

Neh. :19; iv ; Ezek. xxiii :32 ; accom panied, as.is probable on some of the occasions re ferred to in these passages, with violent gestures; and in accordance with this idea the Chaldee and Septuagint versions render it by 'I play,' which is used by. the latter in 2 Sam. ii :14-17, as synony mous with boxing, whence it might very justly be characterized as persecution (Gal. iv :29).

(6) Expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael. This conduct gave mortal offense to Sarah, who from that .moment would be satisfied with nothing short of his irrevocable expulsion from the family, and as his mother also was included in the same con demnation there is ground to believe that she had been repeating her former insolence, as well as instigating her son to his improprieties of be havior. So harsh a measure was extremely painful to the affectionate heart of Abraham ; but his scru ples were removed by the timely appearance of his divine counselor, who said : '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,' adds the Tar gum of Jonathan, 'she is a prophetess.' Accordingly, what she said is called the Script ure (Gal. iv:3o), and the incident affords a very remarkable instance of an overruling Providence in making this family feud in the tent of a pas toral chief 4,000 years ago the occasion of sepa rating two mighty peoples, who, according to the prophecy, have ever since occupied an important chapter in the history of man. Hagar and Ishmael departed early on the day fixed for their removal, Abraham furnishing them with the necessary sup ply of traveling provisions. The Septuagint, which our translators have followed, most absurdly rep resents Ishmael as a child, placed along with the traveling-bags on the heavily-loaded shoulders of Hagar. But a little change in the punctuation, the observance of the parenthetical clause, and the construction of the word 'child' with the verb 'took' remove the whole difficulty, and the passage will then stand thus: '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.

In spite of their instructions for threading the desert, the two exiles missed their way. Overcome by fatigue and thirst, increasing at every step un der the unmitigated rays of a vertical sun, the strength of the young Ishmael, as was natural, first gave way, and his mother laid hint down in complete exhaustion under one of the stunted shrubs of this arid region in the hope of his ob taining some momentary relief from smelling the damp in the shade. The burning fever, however, continued unabated, and the poor woman, forget ting her own sorrow, destitute and alone in the midst of a wilderness, and absorbed in the fate of her son, withdrew to a little distance, unable to witness his lingering sufferings, and there 'she lifted up her voice and wept.' In this distressing situation the angel of the Lord appeared for the purpose of comforting her, and directed her to a fountain, which, concealed by the brushwood, had escaped her notice, and from which she drew a refreshing draught, that had the effect of reviving the almost lifeless Ishmael (Gen. xxi :19).

Of the subsequent history of Ishmael we have no account further than that he established him self in the wilderness of Paran, in the neighbor hood of Sinai, was married by his mother to a countrywoman of her own, and maintained both himself and family by the produce of his bow.

R. J.

For the truthfulness to nature of the story of Hagar, see Blunt's Veracity of the Books of Moses. On Hagar, see Williams' Holy City,i:463 ff ; Weil, Bib. Legends, p. 82.

Page: 1 2