Genesis 21

1Isaac is born, and circumcised. 6Sarah's joy. 9Hagar and Ishmael are cast forth at Sarah's instance, and by God's direction. 15Hagar in distress is relieved and comforted by an angel. 22Abimelech's covenant with Abraham, 33who calleth upon the Lord in Beer-sheba.

1AND the LORD 1visited Sarah asa he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.

1 God’s visiting is two-fold, either by special mercies and fulfillment of His promises, as Gen. 50:24; Exod. 4:31; Ruth 1:6; Psalm 8:4, and as it is likewise taken in this place. Or, by execution of His threatenings and judgments, Exod. 20:5; Deut. 5:9; Psalm 59:5; Isa. 27:1.

a Gen. 17:19; 18:10.

2Forb Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son 2in his old age, 3atc the set time of which God had spoken to him.

b Gal. 4:23; Heb. 11:11.

2 Other, for his old age, and so likewise verse 7.

3 See Gen. 18:10, 14.

c Gen. 18:10, 14.

3And Abraham 4called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

4 According to God’s command, Gen. 17:19 and see the annotation there.

4And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac 5being eight days old, asd God had commanded him.

5 Hebr. a son of eight days, and so in the next verse.

d Gen. 17:10.

5And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

6¶And Sarah said, God hath made me 6to laugh, so that all that hear 7will laugh with me.

6 Partly for being astonished at such a singularity of this matter; and partly for joy, because many will rejoice at this mercy of God.

7 That is, partake of my rejoicing. See Luke 1:58.

7And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given 8children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

8 That is, a son, a phrase in the plural number being sometimes in Holy Scripture put for the singular, as Gen. 46:7, 23; Num. 26:8.

8And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

9¶And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, 9mocking.

9 Doubtless scoffing at this, that they kept so much ado, or busied themselves so much with Isaac, born so long after him. This mocking proceeded from such bitterness that the apostle terms it a persecution, Gal. 4:29.

10Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Caste out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be 10heir with my son, even with Isaac.

e Gal. 4:30.

10 Hence it appears that Ishmael, doubtless through the instigation or instruction of his mother, had likewise boasted of his right of primogeniture and the inheritance of goods. And this was the matter that provoked Sarah so much as well against the mother, as against the son.

11And the thing 11was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

11 That is, it displeased him exceedingly, for the great love’s sake which he bore to Ishmael, and in regard likewise of the promise which God had given him in his behalf, Gen. 17:18, 20. To be grievous in one’s sight is so much as to say to displease one and be very unacceptable to him. In the next verse also and Gen. 28:8; Exod. 21:8; Num. 11:10.

12¶And 12God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; 13in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; forf in 14Isaac shall thy seed 15be called.

12 Namely, in the night, verse 14.

13 Concerning this business of Ishmael and Hagar.

f Rom. 9:7; Heb. 11:18.

14 That is, the people of God, with whom God’s covenant shall abide, and especially the Messiah, shall not issue from Ishmael, but from Isaac; as likewise the true posterity and generation of Abraham shall be, not they who issue carnally from him according to the course of nature, like Ishmael, but those who shall be his children through the grace and efficacy of the spiritual promise made to him, as Isaac was. See Rom. 9:6, 7, 8.

15 Other, be addressed.

13Andg also of the son of the bondwoman will I make 16a nation, 17because he is thy seed.

g Gen. 16:10; 17:20.

16 See Gen. 16:10; 17:20.

17 That is, because he is your son, and your offspring.

14And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took 18bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the 19child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered 20in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

18 By bread and water is to be understood, all necessary provision for the journey.

19 Ishmael namely, called a lad in verses 12, and 17. The spiritual signification of this entire business, see Gal. 4:23, 24, etc.

20 Located in the south border of Palestine, not far from Gerar, though at this time not so called yet, but afterwards, when king Abimelech made a covenant with Abraham thereabouts. See verse 31.

15And the water was spent in the bottle, and she 21cast the child 22under one of the shrubs.

21 Being not able to lead him further by the hand and being too big for her to carry him, for, he was about seventeen years of age. See verse 18.

22 Namely, to be sheltered there against the heat of the sun, so that it may, as she thought, quietly expire in the shadow.

16And she went, and sat her down over against him a 23good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, 24Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

23 That is, as far as an archer goes off from his mark; or, about a bow-shot.

24 Hebr. that I see not when the child dies, or, the dying of the child.

17And God heard the voice 25of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad 26where he is.

25 Who doubtless cried no less than the mother, in this desolate condition.

26 Hebr. in which, or, in that where he is.

18Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; forh I will make him a great nation.

h Gen. 16:10; 17:20.

19And 27God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

27 Not as if she had not seen before, but that God had so ruled and kept her eyes that she took no heed of that well. Compare Luke 24:31.

20And 28God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became 29an archer.

28 God was favorable to him, and blessed him according to the tenor of His promise, in temporal things. Compare the annotation at Gen. 21 on verse 22.

29 Hebr. a shooting bow shooter, that is, a valiant hunter and warrior. See Gen. 16:12.

21And he dwelt in the wilderness of 30Paran: 31and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

30 See Gen. 14 on verse 6.

31 Observe here the right and authority of parents in bestowing or marrying their children, even only of the mother. Compare Gen. 24:3, 4, etc.

22¶And it came to pass 32at that time, that 33Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, 34God is with thee in all that thou doest:

32 That is, about the time of the aforementioned feast, and the expulsion of Hagar and her son.

33 King at Gerar, spoken of in Gen. 20:2.

34 God the Lord is with His own, blessing them not only in outward and temporal, but also in spiritual blessings, though Abimelech and Phichol had their eyes principally fixed upon the physical and temporal blessings. See the similar phrase Gen. 39:3; Joshua 3:7; 7:12; 2 Chron. 1:1.

23Now therefore swear unto me here by God 35that thou 36wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thoui shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.

35 Understand hereupon, that then woe or punishment shall come upon thee, or God do this or that unto thee. See Gen. 14:23.

36 Or, deceitfully speak, or shalt deal with me.

i Gen. 14:23.

24And Abraham said, I will swear.

25And 37Abraham reproved Abimelech 38because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.

37 Before Abraham swears, he wants to take away all suspicion.

38 Since he had dug it himself, the water having been very hard to come by otherwise, in regard of the dry soil of those parts, and therefore very needful, and much to be valued. Compare Gen. 26:19, 20, 21, etc.; Judges 1:15.

26And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath 39done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.

39 Hebr. word, matter, thing.

27And 40Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them 41made a covenant.

40 Namely, as proof, I. of his gratefulness to the king for the friendship received from him; II. of being satisfied with the king’s answer touching the well; III. of his promise to be true and faithful to him and his own.

41 Hebr. cut, struck. See Gen. 15 on verse 18.

28And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock 42by themselves.

42 Hebr. them alone; also in verse 29.

29And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?

30And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have 43digged this well.

43 And that consequently the same appertains lawfully to me and mine. Abraham’s care proved not in vain. See Gen. 26:15.

31Wherefore he called that place 44Beer-sheba; because there they sware both of them.

44 This name, both here and verse 14, is attributed to this place and the territory about it; but Gen. 26:33 appropriated to a city located in that district which was afterwards allotted to the tribe of Judah; Joshua 15:28; 1 Kings 19:3, yet inhabited by the tribe of Simeon; Joshua 19:2, and was the south border of the land of Canaan, as Dan was the north border, 2 Sam. 17:11; 24:2.

32Thus they made a covenant at Beer-sheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned 45into the land of the Philistines.

45 Understand to Gerar, not far distant from this place.

33¶And 46Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, andj47called there on the name of the LORD, 48the everlasting God.

46 Or, he, namely, Abraham.

j Gen. 4:26.

47 Having received new cause of thankfulness, he performed the public worship of God at that place. See Gen. 4:26.

48 Hebr. the God of eternity.

34And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land 49many days.

49 That is, for a long time, the Lord affording him there security and rest.