The birth of Ishmael

Gen 15:1-21    God renews his covenant with Abram at Hebron and promises to give the land between Egypt and the River Euphrates to his descendants.

Gen 16:1-6    As his wife Sarai is barren, Abram conceives a child by Hagar, his Egyptian slave girl. But Sarai ill-treats Hagar and she flees south into the desert (see 1 on Map 40).


Ishmael and Isaac

Map 40    Ishmael and Isaac


Gen 16:7-16    The angel of the LORD meets Hagar at a spring in the desert on the road to Shur (The Way of Shur). He tells her to return to Sarai. Hagar realises that God has spoken to her, so she calls the place Beer Lahai Roi (‘The Well of the Living One who sees me’). Hagar returns to Abram at Hebron and Ishmael is born in c.1842BC.

Gen 17:1-8   God renews his covenant with Abram (meaning ‘the father is exalted’). From now on, he is to be called Abraham (meaning ‘father of many’) as he will become “the father of many nations” (Genesis 17:3). This promise is to be an everlasting covenant between God and Abraham’s descendents.

Gen 17:9-27    Circumcision is introduced as a sign of this covenant. Abraham's wife, Sarai, is to be called Sarah as she will become “the mother of many nations” (Genesis 17:16), even though she is already ninety years old.

Gen 18:1-15    Three visitors to Abraham’s tent at Hebron declare that God will soon bless Sarah and she will give birth to a son within a year.

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