Let’s talk a little bit about Ishmael, the name of the child born to Hagar.
First, Ishmael means “God pays attention”, or “God has given heed”.
God tells Hagar that she will have a male child who would eventually become the father of a large number of descendants.
While Ishmael is the patriarch of several races, he is primarily remembered for being the ancestor of the Arabs.
Let us not forget Abram is the true father of both the Arabs and the Israelites.
The two are literally blood brothers.
Both the Arabs and Israelites are from the line of Shem.
The simple truth is that the people the evening TV news typically label as Arabs usually aren’t.
They are usually Egyptians and Persians and other races that actually come from the line of Ham.
Interestingly, we are told that Ishmael is going to be “a wild donkey of a man, with his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, living his life at odds with all his kinsmen.”
Finally, we have these verses in the last paragraph of this chapter.
“And she called the name of the Lord who addresses her El Roi, for she said, ‘Did I not go on seeing here after He saw me?’. Therefore, is the well called Beer-Lahai-Roi which is between Kadesh and Bered.”
What a cryptic set of verses?!
In order to explain, the best I can do is share the general scholarly interpretation.
The general belief system at that time held that one could not see God and live.
So apparently Hagar was expressing gratitude for being given the privilege of interacting with the Angel of the Lord (obviously a supernatural being) and not dying.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN GENESIS CHAPTER SEVENTEEN