Ishmael means “wild man”.

Ishmael is the first born son of Abram/Abraham through Hagar (Sarai’s/Sarah’s maid-servant). Ishmael was not the son of promise to Abram, and God’s covenant would not be fulfilled through Ishmael’s line.

God proclaimed that Ishmael would be a hostile man, a source and recipient of conflict. As friction grew within their household, Abraham and Sarah sent Hagar and young Ishmael away into the wilderness. Even so, God sustained Hagar and was with Ishmael. Ishmael lived in the Wilderness of Paran and became an archer. Many years later, Ishmael would join his half-brother Issac to bury their father Abraham. Ishmael lived to be 137 years of age, and God blessed him to be the progenitor of twelve princes and a great nation, just as he had promised to Hagar.

Key verses: Genesis 16:3,4, 8-12; 17:18-21; 21:8-21; 25:16-18

Related Posts