Genesis 21

Genesis 21 – Isaac v Ishmael


God returns to get Abraham and Sarah to conceive a child.

In v2 it says ‘at the set time of which god had spoken to him.’ This is one of the details that are particularly vague, and when god told them he would return he actually didn’t set a finite time for his return, see Gen 18:10.


Isaac is born when Abraham is 100 (or at least over 150, see Gen 11:26, 32 and Acts 7:2-4)


v1, ‘the lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken,’ Does god have sex?

I think I am correct in saying that most LDS believe god to have a corporeal body and had sex with Mary and the infamous Heavenly Mother, likely this is another instance they would believe the literal ‘do’ or ‘know.’


v10, Sarah tells Abraham to get rid of Ishmael and his slave mother, Hagar, so they can’t claim to be the heir. She used Hagar as a back up but now that she has a son of her own Hagar is no longer needed.

Thankfully, Abraham is grieved by the decision to get rid of them because it is still his son. In v12 god tells Abraham to not be grieved and to listen to Sarah and get rid of them.


So what does he do? He gives her some bread and some water and sends them on their way into the wilderness. Just what a righteous man of god would be expected to do right? Hopefully you answered NO.


Eventually the water and bread run out and, sensing the end of her and her child, Hagar calls to god to save them. The selfsame god that sent her into the wilderness.

v14 says he gave the water, the bread, and the child to Hagar and sent them away. Seems like a child, or baby. In v15 she casts the child under a shrub to not be near it when it died, again sounds like a baby. In v18 the angel says for her to lift up her child and ‘hold him in thine hand’ but in Gen 17:25 Ishmael was already 13 years old back then when he was circumcised and time had passed since then. Contradiction I’m sure.

The angel and or god make a well appear, they drink, and they prosper in the wilderness. He takes to wife an Egyptian and their story ends.


Abimelech is back and remembering his last encounter with Abraham asks him to swear to not ‘deal falsely’ with him or his descendants again.

Abraham swears to be truthful and gives the king part of his herd to make the covenant. He saves seven ewes to be his witnesses to him digging a well for some reason. How can animals be witnesses?


Abraham planted a grove in a land that he called Beersheba. In v31 it says he names the place Beersheba but in just v14 Hagar and Ishmael were sent out into the wilderness of Beersheba. How could they have been sent to a place that hadn’t been named yet? This is called an anachronism.


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Posted on September 15, 2013, in Genesis. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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