What is it against Ishmael?

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posted on Apr, 15 2005 @ 08:24 AM
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There are so many derogatory referrences to Ishmael in the Bible, one has to wonder.
Genesis 16:11-12 refers to him as a "wild (censored) of a man". How is this the Bible's answer to the affliction?
Then Genesis 22:2 calls Isaac Abraham's "only son". What happened to Ishmael?
It is also very strange that after God having sanctified Sarah's choice to let Abraham have a son from Hagar, the son is cast out on Sarah's wishes, as she feels jealous because of her own son.
The Bible is also very insistent that only in Isaac will Abraham's covenant be fulfilled.

All this goes contrary to what is said in the Bible elsewhere:
In Genesis 12:2-3, long before any child was born, all families of Abraham are blessed with the covenant.
Then in Genesis 17:4 the covenant is explained again "You shall be the father of a multitude of nations...". Genesis 17:9 then explains to who the covenant shall be passed on: "You and your descendants after you". What is the mark of this covenant? Genesis 17:10 "Every male among you shall be circumcised", and then, for further proof, Genesis 17:13 "So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant." Ishmael is then circumcised. He is obviously a part of the covenant.
Also, what happened when Ishmael was sent away with his mother, when they were almost dead? God provided them with water. They were not left to die.
Then there is the prophecy the people of Kedar (Ishmael's descendant) in Isaiah 42:11. The Bible says that someone will be sent there. That is then also proof that Ishmael's line is not exempt from the covenant. Then there is the prophecy of the person who will stem from Jesse. Jesse was also from Ishmael.
Then there is the law of the 1st born in Deutronomy 21:15-17. The fact that Sarah was jealous of Ishmael doesn't remove his inheritence. The fact that Hagar was Sarah's bondwoman doesn't remove Ishmael's inheritence. Hagar is even called as Abraham's wife. At the very least, Ishmael would be entitled to equally what is entitled to Isaac.
Genesis 21:13 promises a great nation from the son of Abraham's bondwoman (Ishmael) because "he is your seed". This is while only 1 line before, it says "While Isaac shall your seed be called". If it is plainly stated there, that Ishmael is from Abraham's seed, then how can Genesis 22:2 be valid?

Here is my take on this. I know all the Bible literalists will hate me for this, but let me try and explain myself. Consider that these texts came into the hands of some Christian monk much, much after the birth of Jesus. He wanted to cement Jesus's position as God's answer to the covenant with Abraham. He saw that Isaac being the 2nd son, somewhat weakened this, so some additions and deletions were made. The editor did not realise that both sons of Abraham could have been part of the Covenant with Abraham.
Ok, ok, before you all scream at me, let me put forward my points:
First of all is the constant back and forth, sometimes calling Isaac Abraham's "only son", and sometimes Ishmael is also mentioned. It can't be true both ways.
Also, almost everytime Hagar was mentioned, it was accompanied by "bondwoman" and "the Egyptian" (perhaps some racial perception of Egyptians was being put into use?). God doesn't work by class and race. Those are not reasons to exclude someone from the covenant.
Then there is the matter of age. According to Genesis 16:16, Abraham was 86 when Ishmael was born. Then in Genesis 21:5, Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born. So Ishmael would be 14 at the birth of Isaac. According to Genesis 21:8-14, Isaac had just been weaned when Hagar and Ishmael were sent away. Bible scholars say that a child should be weaned at the age of 3. That would make Ishmael 17 when he was sent away with Hagar. Now what follows seems very unlikely for a teenager at 17. According to Genesis 21:14, Ishmael is set on Hagars shoulders. Whaaaat? Why does a 17 year old need to be carried. Then in Genesis 21:15, when the water is gone, Hagar puts Ishmael under a bush. Again...a 17 year old? She then walks away because she "cannot watch the boy die". Huh? A 17 year old boy should be taking care of his mother, not the other way around. Why didn't Ishmael follow his mother? Then Ishmael starts crying. Very odd behaviour for a 17 year old. Then Hagar and Ishmael are saved, and Hagar is commanded to "lift the boy up". How is an old woman carrying a 17 year old? I thought that according to the Bible, at the age of 12, a male is considered an adult, not a boy.
What does this all mean? I believe that Ishmael was still a baby when Abraham was commanded by God to send him and Hagar away. If he was still a baby, Isaac could not have been born yet, and sending Ishmael away was purely a commandment from God, and had nothing to do with Sarah's jealousy. In order to nullify Ishmael from the prophecy (and strengthen Isaac's line- Jesus), some editor degraded the Ishmael's status in the Bible.
God promised an "Everlasting Covenant" to Abraham, so his descendants will continue being king's of nations till the end. The line didn't stop at Jesus, there was also Ishmael. There is also, of course, the theory of the continuation of Jesus's own line, but that wasn't the stress of my post.

So, blast away. I probably made a mistake here and there, explain how I am wrong





[edit on 15-4-2005 by babloyi]

[edit on 15-4-2005 by babloyi]




posted on Apr, 15 2005 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
Then Genesis 22:2 calls Isaac Abraham's "only son".
What happened to Ishmael?


I can only guess that it's because Isaac was by Sarah and was
'legitamate' and not 'illegitamate' by the servant???

Anyways .. the whole 'Abraham in his later years' thing is strange.
Didn't he try to kill Issac by sacrifice? He had the poor kid all tied
up on the altar because 'God' told him to do it. Then at the last
minute ... surprise .. a goat or sheep or something was found in
the bushes and Abraham decided to sacrifice that. (betchya' it
was God jumping in and saving the poor kid's life!!).

100-1 that when Issac got home and told his mom about his day
out with dear ol' dad that Sarah kept her son as far away from
dad as possible. If there had been a military school to send him
to ... she probably would have done it.



posted on Apr, 15 2005 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
Here is my take on this. I know all the Bible literalists will hate me for this, but let me try and explain myself. Consider that these texts came into the hands of some Christian monk much, much after the birth of Jesus.

The Church made very few alterations to the Old Testament -- as you can clearly research for yourself. The Jewish version of the Old Testament is called The Torah. There were a few changes made to enable some books to appear to prophesize Jesus, but they were only a word here and a sentence there.

The reason for the Old Testament being in the Bible is that the original concept (in 200 AD) was to make a book composed of the teachings that Jesus would have read (the Torah) AND writings about his life (New Testament, after a lot of arguments, infightings, bribes, excommunications, etc, etc)


He saw that Isaac being the 2nd son, somewhat weakened this, so some additions and deletions were made. The editor did not realise that both sons of Abraham could have been part of the Covenant with Abraham.

That's not the case. Let's review what happened:

Sarah was barren. In those days, women who couldn't have children were often driven out and were certainly marginalized. She might have been Abraham's chief wife, but he had a number of concubines (lovers that became part of his household) and Sarah had to deal with seeing these women going into her legal husband and bearing his children. It would be obvious to everyone that the failing was hers (Sarah.)

This meant that in the eyes of the community, Sarah had done something to offend Jehovah and was being punished for her wicked ways by not being able to have children. When Abraham died, whichever male child got his property would not want to take care of a barren, deity-cursed woman. Things did not look good for her.

There were laws at that time that said the woman could claim any children born of her slaves. So she gives her slave to Abraham and says "have sex with her and we'll declare her babies to be MY babies." We see this several times in the Bible: slaves do not own their own children and slave children may be done with as the owner pleases.

When Sarah gets pregnant (against all expectations) she suddenly realizes that Ismael will inherit Abraham's goods... all of them. So the son of the slave (who by now knows who his real mother is) will be deciding HER fate after Abraham dies. She seems to hate the slave, Hagar, so it would be likely that Ishmael will throw her and Issac out to starve in the wilderness.

Her only chance is to get Abraham to decide that Issac is his true heir and that Ishmael must go.

Here's a very good sermon on it (good and knowledgeable and easy to read in spite of its being a sermon):
www.sbcrc.org...



posted on Apr, 15 2005 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
I can only guess that it's because Isaac was by Sarah and was
'legitamate' and not 'illegitamate' by the servant???

But Genesis 16:3 certainly describes Hagar as Abrahams wife. As Byrd mentioned, polygamy was not uncommon at the time. The link Byrd posted also shows, this was perfectly legal for that time. God doesn't seem to have anything against Ishmael's heriditary. Ishmael is saved in the desert, and even he is promised "a great nation" (which is basically, the covenant made with Abraham).


Originally posted by Byrd
The Church made very few alterations to the Old Testament -- as you can clearly research for yourself. The Jewish version of the Old Testament is called The Torah. There were a few changes made to enable some books to appear to prophesize Jesus, but they were only a word here and a sentence there.

I wondered about that. Are there copies of the original Torah that are used by the Jews that don't match up with the same chapters of the Old Testament in the Bible?
BTW, what is your take on the weirdness with the teenage Ishmael acting like a baby? You don't think that is an alteration?

It is a nice sermon, though.

[edit on 15-4-2005 by babloyi]



posted on Apr, 15 2005 @ 11:47 AM
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I don't think one can say ishmael was the bastard child of Abraham. They went thru all the proper rituals to make the kid his actual kid, even having Hagar sit on Sarah while giving birth, to emulate the birthing process.

Also, i have ot wonder. The modern antagonism between Jews and Arabs doesn't really even exist before the arabs convert to islam and spread no? And they pick up on this story to explain their founding.

So were, in the pre-islamic times, the paganistic arabs recognized, at least by the jews, to be the 'other great nation' that is desecended from Hagar and Ishmael? If not, who?

When the queen of sheba comes along, is she, say, recognized as being part of that descendancy?



posted on Apr, 15 2005 @ 03:36 PM
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Maybe because he had a kid with his maid? Although it was accepted back then. I dunno. I guess thats why muslims and jews are having a conflict now eh?



posted on Apr, 16 2005 @ 05:27 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Also, i have ot wonder. The modern antagonism between Jews and Arabs doesn't really even exist before the arabs convert to islam and spread no? And they pick up on this story to explain their founding.

I very much doubt that the modern antagonism is because someone thousands of years ago was passed off from being "chosen" while the title was given to someone else. It is a little more complex than that.
According to muslims, God's covenant of being "Father of many nations" was only to Abraham and his line. And now he is- Judaism, Christianity and Islam make up a large part of the population of the Earth. There was nothing about one sect of his people being "Chosen". Palestinians can't lay claim to Palestine because of some ancient decree. It is because that is where they lived.


Originally posted by Nygdan
So were, in the pre-islamic times, the paganistic arabs recognized, at least by the jews, to be the 'other great nation' that is desecended from Hagar and Ishmael? If not, who?


Ishmael's line does have some nice things said about it. There is Kedar at least. Also, there were many "pure jews" of Ishmael's line at Muhammad's time even.





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