View Genesis 21 in the note window.
In this chapter we have,
- Isaac, the child of promise, born into Abraham's family,
ver. 1 - 8.
- Ishmael, the son of the bond - woman, cast out of it, ver. 9 - 21.
- Abraham's league with Abimelech, ver. 22 - 32.
- His devotion to God, ver. 33, 34.
2: Sarah conceived - Sarah by faith, received strength to
conceive, (Heb 11:11). God therefore, by promise, gave that strength.
Abraham was old, and Sarah old, and both as good as dead, and then
the word of God took place.
4: He circumcised his son - The covenant being established with him,
the seal of the covenant was administered to him.
6: And Sarah said, God has made me to laugh - He hath given me both
cause to rejoice, and a heart to rejoice. And it adds to the comfort of
any mercy to have our friends rejoice with us in it, See (Lu 1:58).
They that hear will laugh with me - Others will rejoice in this instance
of God's power and goodness, and be encouraged to trust in him.
9: Sarah saw the son of the Egyptian mocking - Mocking Isaac no
doubt, for it is sad, with reference to this, (Ga 4:29), that
he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the
spirit. Ishmael is here called the son of the Egyptian, because
(as some think) the four hundred years affliction of the seed of Abraham
by the Egyptians began now, and was to be dated from hence.
10: Cast out the bond - woman - This was a type of the rejection of the
unbelieving Jews, who, though they were the seed of Abraham, yet,
because they submitted not to the gospel - covenant, were unchurched and
disfranchised. And that, which above any thing provoked God to cast
them off, was, their mocking and persecuting the gospel - church,
God's Isaac, in his infancy.
11: The thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight - it grieved
him that Ishmael had given such provocation. And still more that
Sarah insisted upon such a punishment.
13: The casting out of Ishmael was not his ruin. He shall be a
nation because he is thy seed - We are not sure that it was his eternal
ruin. It is presumption to say, that all these who are left out of the
external dispensation of God's covenant are excluded from all his mercies.
Those may be saved who are not thus honoured.
14: And Abraham rose up early in the morning - We may suppose
immediately after he had in the night - visions received orders to do this.
17: God heard the voice of the lad - We read not of a word be said;
but his sighs and groans, cried loud in the ears of the God of mercy. An
angel was sent to comfort Hagar, who assures her, God has heard the
voice of the lad where he is - Though he be in the wilderness; for wherever
we are, there is a way open heavenwards; therefore lift up the lad, and
hold him in thy hand - God's readiness to help us when we are in trouble
must not slacken, but quicken our endeavours to help ourselves. He repeats
the promise concerning her son, that he should be a great nation, as a
reason why she should bestir herself to help him.
31: Beer - sheba - That is, the well of the oath, in remembrance of
the covenant that they sware to, that they might be ever mindful of it.
33: And Abraham planted a grove - For a shade to his tent, or perhaps
an orchard of fruit trees; and there, though we cannot say he settled, for
God would have him while he lived to be a stranger and a pilgrim, yet he
sojourned many days. And called there on the name of the Lord
- Probably in the grove he planted, which was his oratory, or house of
prayer: he kept up publick worship, to which probably his neighbours
resorted, and joined with him. Men should not only retain their goodness
wherever they go, but do all they can to propagate it, and make others good.
The everlasting God - Though God had made himself known to Abraham as
his God in particular; yet he forgets not to give glory to him as the
Lord of all, the everlasting God, who was before all worlds, and
will be when time and days shall be no more.