1 And Yahweh visited Sarah as he had said, and Yahweh did unto Sarah as he had spoken.

Abraham seems to have been taught representatively, that the son of the woman was to be in his origin a son of power, that is, of God, and not of the will of man; he was taught this representatively by the case of Isaac. Isaac was as much a Son of Power as Adam and Jesus, in relation to the flesh.

Had there been no preternatural interposition of Spirit power, there would have been no Adam, Isaac, nor Jesus. Now Isaac was a type of Christ; for Moses writes that Ail-Shaddai said to Abraham,

"in Isaac shall be chosen for thee a seed."

Isaac in his generation, or circumstance of his begettal; and in his figurative sacrifice and resurrection, was the representative of the Christ to his father Abraham; by which he was taught:

That Christ the Son of Woman, was to be of preternatural paternity; and therefore, Son of Power or God; and to descend from Isaac; That he was to be killed as a sacrifice; and

That he was to be raised from the dead.

These things were expressed, and implied in the representation; so that, had the question been put to Abraham, 

"What thinketh thou of the Christ? Whose Son is he?" 

He would have replied: "He shall be Son of God."


10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out [garash] this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

Cast out = drive out (forcefully). The law of divorcement not appointed until Moses law Deut 24.

Abraham sent her away (shalach) v14. This was not hardeness of heart - Elohim told him to do it. He dealt as kindly as the situation allowed in the circumstances, grieving the departure of his son Ismael v11. It was not garash (the harsher form of putting her away) as Sarah invoked.

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

From which we learn that a thing may be of God and yet very unwelcome to the beloved of God for whose benefit it is devised. This will help every godly man to entertain a comforting reservation with regard to every evil circumstance-a reservation to this effect:

"Well I do not see the object of this, but God is wiser than man; let the will of God prevail."

The commonest and most distressing domestic incident may be the hand of God in our affairs, if those affairs are committed to him in prayer and obedience.

"In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."

Here are two points: first, for Abraham's sake, Ishmael was favoured [v13]. The righteous are a blessing to all connected with them, because God regards their connections for their sakes. This principle constantly appears throughout the whole Scriptures. Lot was saved for Abraham's sake (Gen. 19:20); Rahab's family for her sake (Joshua 6:25); the kings of Judah for David's sake, even when David was long dead (1 Kings 11:12; 2 Kings 8:19; 19:34).

On this principle, Sodom would have been saved if there had been ten righteous men in it (Gen. 18:32). On this principle the Lord's people are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13). On this principle, too, we are forgiven and saved for Christ's sake, if we conform to what is required of us (Eph. 4:32; Acts 13:38-39).

Ways of Providence Ch 3

12 And Elohim said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Why could they not live together in peace? Because peace can only be built on one foundation -- Divine truth.

Was Sarah right or wrong in her demand? We know that Hagar had no proper place in the inner circle of that household. She was an Egyptian and a bondwoman. This was a chosen family, through whom God was not only commencing to work out a great plan, but was portraying in allegory the whole cycle of that plan -- the bond and the free -- the Flesh and the Spirit.

And Hagar had commenced the enmity by openly despising Sarah. Hagar and Ishmael showed cruel enmity against Sarah and her son, the true seed. They were not a good element in the household. Paul says Ishmael persecuted Isaac. He that was after the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit.

It was necessary that Hagar and Ishmael should go. The whole affair had been a sad error. God instructs Abraham to do as Sarah desires. We must conclude that in principle Sarah was correct, and that this was the only possible solution. Sarah had suffered much from the matter, although it is true the original error was hers.

it is the handling of the case that may seem unnecessarily hard. It appears that Hagar is divorced and thrust out to wander in the wilderness with a small child, and with scanty provisions.

But is this the correct picture? In the first place, God Himself expressly took over and guaranteed the care of Ishmael. He told Abraham to send him away, and promised that He would make a great nation of him. And Ishmael was not, as it might appear, a small helpless child, but was about seventeen years old.

And there is no reason to suppose that Hagar did not have a definite destination and was not properly supplied to reach there. We can take it as a practical certainty that Abraham would make such provision, not only from his own general nature, but from his particular feeling for his son. Every impulse of Abraham under the circumstances would be to reduce the hardship attendant upon this final parting. But in God's purpose, Hagar lost her way, that certain things might be revealed to her.

And so finally, after many trials, the long-promised seed has come, the unfortunate and long-suffered barrier of Hagar between Abraham and Sarah has been removed, and it begins to appear that the long testing and development of Abraham's faith and character is coming to an end.

Bro Growcott - Shall a child be born

13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

If we follow the history of Ishmael's descendants, we find them become a nation, and a nation that has played a very important part in history; but we do not find on the face of that history anything that would apparently answer to the idea that Ishmael's national development was a divine work.

Read as merely natural men read it, it would appear a perfectly natural affair throughout-that is an affair left to chance; but here we have the certainty before us that it was not an affair of chance. It was a matter divinely regulated and fostered for Abraham's sake, whence arises the conclusion that affairs of human action may be perfectly natural and uninfluenced on the face of them (like Abimelech's abstention), and yet be the subject of divine manipulation.

It is merely a question whether the affair comes within the range of divine manipulation, and not a question of appearance. The question is determinable first by the other question whether a divine purpose has been declared, as in the case of prophecy; or, secondly, whether the Lord's people are involved, by prayer or otherwise.

Ways of Providence Ch 3

16 And she [Hagar] went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

Since the expulsion of Israel by the Romans, Jerusalem and her children are in the situation of Hagar and her son, while wandering in the wilderness of Beersheba. She is divorced from the Lord as Hagar was from Abraham, and "being desolate, she sits upon the ground", and bewails her widowhood (Isaiah 3:26).

But, there is to be "a restitution of all things." Jerusalem is to become a free woman as Sarah was; and to take her stand in the midst of the earth, as 

"the city whose architect and builder is God." 

She will then

 "remember the reproach of her widowhood no more. For her Maker will be her Husband; the Lord of Hosts is His name; and her Redeemer the Holy One of Israel (even Jesus) the God of the whole earth shall He be called''.

She will then be the metropolis of the world, and her citizens, or children, will be more numerous than those she rejoiced in under the law, as a married wife. The period of her glory will have arrived; the twelve tribes be again the united, peaceful, and joyous, inhabitants of the land; the "greater than Solomon," their King; and His city, "the heavenly Jerusalem," which "is free, and the mother of us all."

Elpis Israel 2.2.

32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

The literal expresses what was done in the institution and confirmation of promises. The promises to be fulfilled were stated; animals were then slain and divided, or "cut up", and separated into two parcels, between which the parties concerned passed. The words of the promise were then sworn to, and the parties of the first and second parts, sitting down together, "cut up the meat provided, or eat it in a sacrifice; not as a priestly offering but as an immolation by private persons, at their own cost."

Thus the victim slain and the promise made and confirmed being elements of the same transaction, came each of them to be styled berith, "an eating," or covenant. In illustration of this exposition, see Gen. 15:9-18; 21:22-32; 26:26-30; 31:43-54.

Phanerosis - Angelic Supervision of World events

34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.

How long he continued there may be learned from the following considerations. In his speech before the Sanhedrin, Stephen says,

"When Abraham's father was dead, he removed him into this land wherein ye dwell"

(Acts 7:4);

that is, he returned from Philistia to

"Hebron in the land of Canaan" (Gen. 23:1, 2).

Now Terah, Abraham's father, was seventy years old when Abraham was born; so that when Isaac was born at Beer-sheba, Terah was a 170. But Terah lived 205 years, and then died at Haran ; and it was after his death that Abraham removed to Hebron where Sarah died aged 127. Now she died two years after Terah; so that it was in this two years that Abraham left Philistia.

But Stephen says, it was when Terah died he moved to Canaan, which makes the "many days" he sojourned in the Philistines' land, 35 years from the birth of Isaac. This simple statement of facts removes a difficulty which has puzzled chronologers exceedingly. Moses says Terah died in Haran aged 205 (Gen. 11:32); and Stephen is made to say that Abraham removed from Haran to Canaan when Terah died, thereby making Sarah a resident of the country only two years!

This is the fault of the English version, which renders KAKEITHEN, "from thence" instead of afterwards, as it ought to be.

"Abraham," said Stephen, "dwelt in Haran , and afterwards. How long after? "When his father was dead, he removed him. Where from? From Beer-sheba of the Philistines. Where to? To Hebron "in this land wherein ye dwell." 

Thus Moses and Stephen agree.

Elpis Israel 2.2.