The Promised Child Is Born

Terrible Hazing Takes Place

Abraham Is A Good Businessman

Sarah was 100 year old nursing mother when her first born nursed at her breast.

The happiness was real.

Gone was the curse of childlessness.

Silenced was the cruelty of women, who judged her as cursed by the gods, but now she had living proof of God’s favor.

The Hebrew text in v. 4 is rather sweet.

Laughter has God made me is the literal Hebrew, as Hebrew Scholar Robert Alter so wonderfully describes, but it sounds odd in English, so translators often massage it, but the original in this case is beautiful, because in it you can hear Sarah’s voice, and feel her emotions.

People who experience ridiculous joy are not concerned with grammar, and in this case, neither was Sarah.

The baby was called Isaac, the Hebrew word for laughter, and he was circumcised on the 8th day.

Hazing

After Isaac was weaned, Ishmael was found laughing or mocking at Isaac. The details are uncertain, but Sarah immediately felt threatened. The text doesn’t even use his name, Ishmael is simply called, “the son of Hagar the Egyptian.”

Hagar was a slave in Pharaoh’s court, then forced to leave her homeland and work for someone whose language and customs she did not understand. Then she was forced into a sexual encounter with the man of the house, and now years later is suddenly cast away.

Hagar is the victim of reilgious hazing, but God will love her, and God will save her.

Rejected By Man But Not By God

God visits Abraham, who was grieved by Sarah’s request, and missing in Sarah’s request is a simple fact: Ishmael is Abraham’s son.

The Lord turned Hagar’s pain into a great blessing. Ishmael will also be become a great nation, because Abraham is his father.

Something About A Well

Abimelech appears again, and his men have journeyed far beyond their homeland in order to hassle Abraham.

Abimelech’s men are trying to pick a fight with Abraham over a well.

Abraham’s solution is thick with irony, first Abraham gathers 7 ewe lambs, and if you are wondering why, so was Abimelech, it seems Abraham is making it up as he goes.

The lambs are given to Abimelech as a covenant, and the place is called Beersheba.

Beer in the Hebrew text is be ‘ er and means well, and sheba means oath and is also the word for the number 7.

It seems Abraham was having fun.