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English Bible Dictionary

Ishmael, son of Abraham by Hagar

 

(whom God hears).

The son of Abraham by Hagar the Egyptian his concubine; born when Abraham was fourscore and six years old. (Genesis 16:15,16) (B.C. 1910.) Ishmael was the first-born of his father. He was born in Abraham's house when he dwelt in the plain of Mamre; and on the institution of the covenant of circumcision, was circumcised, he being then thirteen years old (Genesis 17:26) With the institution of the covenant, God renewed his promise respecting Ishmael. He does not again appear in the narrative until the weaning of Isaac. At the great feast made in celebration of the weaning, "Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had borne unto Abraham, mocking," and urged Abraham to cast him and his mother out. Comforted by the renewal of God's promise to make of Ishmael a great nation, Abraham sent them away, and they departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. His mother took Ishmael a wife out of the land of Egypt." (Genesis 21:9-21) This wife of Ishmael was the mother of the twelve sons and one daughter. of the later life of Ishmael we know little. He was present with Isaac at the burial of Abraham. He died at the age of 137 years. (Genesis 25:17,18) The sons of Ishmael peopled the north and west of the Arabian peninsula, and eventually formed the chief element of the Arab nation, the wandering Bedouin tribes. They are now mostly Mohammedans who look to him as their spiritual father, as the Jews look to Abraham. Their language, which is generally acknowledged to have been the Arabic community so called, has been adopted with insignificant exceptions throughout Arabia. The term "Ishmaelite" occur on three occasions: (Genesis 37:25,27,28; 39:1; Judges 8:24; Psalms 83:6)

 

* See other occurrences of the same term: Ishmael.

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