The Destinies of Ishmael
Genesis 21:8-13
And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.…

"Cast out this bondwoman and her son" (ver. 10). These were harsh words; it was hard for one so young to have all blighted; it was grievous in Abraham's sight to witness the bitter fate of his eldest born. And yet was it not the most blessed destiny that could happen to the boy? The hot blood of the Egyptian mother which coursed through his veins could not have been kept in check in the domestic circle among vassals and dependants; he was sent to measure himself with men, to cat out his own way in the world, to learn independence, resolution, energy; and it is for this reason that to this very day his dependants are so sharply stamped with all the individuality of their founder. In them are exhibited the characteristics of Abraham and Hagar, the marvellous devoutness of the one with the fierce passions of the other, and together with these the iron will, the dignified calmness of self dependence wrought out by circumstances in the character of Ishmael. And how often is it that in this way the darkest day is the beginning of the brightest life. Reverses, difficulties, trials, are often amongst God's best blessings. From the loss of property is brought out very often the latent energies of character, a power to suffer and to act which in the querulous being without a wish ungratified you would have scarcely said had existed at all. The man compelled to labour gains energy, strength of character, the development of all that is within him. Can you call that loss? The richest resources are not from without, but from within.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

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

WEB: The child grew, and was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

The Allegory of Isaac and Ishmael
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