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Thursday, July 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 21

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

Verses 3-7

A Child Named Laughter

How appropriate the child of promise should be called Laughter, or Isaac (21:3-7). For 25 years, since the promise of a great nation was made, Abraham and Sarah had waited for the child through whom the great nation would come. Without him, the promised land would have had no people to inhabit its borders. The world could not have been blessed. Both his parents had once laughed at the announcement of his coming. His mother now laughed with joy and wanted everyone to join her. Sarah was thankful God had given her "children" to nurse, even though she had only one son. Clearly the singular is included in the plural.

Abraham kept the covenant by having Isaac circumcised (17:10-12). Though Christians do not have to be circumcised in the flesh, it is necessary to cut away fleshly desire to please God. Such is achieved in the act of obedient baptism ( Col_2:10-12 ). Today, those who are circumcised in the heart are Jews, or God's chosen people ( Rom_2:28-29 ).

Verses 8-21

Ishmael Was Cast Out

Sarah and Abraham had a great feast when Isaac was weaned. When Ishmael made fun of Isaac, Sarah demanded he and his mother be cast out. Though it was against the laws of that region, Abraham cast out Ishmael. He did so at the insistence of Sarah and with God's reassurance (21:8-21).

Hagar thought they would die from lack of water. She placed Ishmael under a bush to die. As she sat down to watch, God heard her weeping. He sent an angel to tell her Ishmael would be a great nation. Then, he caused her eyes to be opened to a well nearby. The boy grew up in the wilderness. Eventually, his mother helped him take a wife of the Egyptians.

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 21". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/genesis-21.html. 2014.
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