Is Ishmael a legitmate son of Abraham?
Thank you for asking a question on www.thisisyourbible.com
(All quotations from the King James Version unless stated otherwise).
Genesis 17:23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.
Ishmael was circumcised as were all the males in Abraham’s retinue. As a son of Abraham he was to be made a great nation, but the covenant was to be established through Isaac, the child of promise.
Genesis 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
At Isaac’s weaning, Sarah saw Ishmael mocking Isaac. As a consequence, and with God’s instruction, Ishmael and Hagar were sent away from Abraham.
Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. 11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. 12 And God 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. 13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
Because Ishmael was Abraham’s son God took care of him as he had promised Abraham.
Genesis 21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
A record of Ishmael’s descendents is given in Genesis 25:12-17.
The promises made to Abraham concerning the inheritance of the Canaan and his seed come through Isaac not Ishmael.
Genesis 25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
God repeated the promise to Isaac.
Genesis 26:2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Paul confirms the Old Testament record.
Romans 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Hebrews 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
The seed that came through Abraham via Isaac, Jacob, Judah and David is Jesus Christ the promised Messiah (Greek – Christ).
Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
The blessing for all nations is through Jesus Christ, the redeemer promised by God. Only by belief of the gospel and baptism into Christ can we have remission of sins and be raised from the dead to eternal life at his return.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Salvation does not come through the line of Ishmael.
If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free Bible study course on www.thisisyourbible.com? You may take this course either online or by regular mail.
This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort. You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,