[Ĭsh’mael] – god heareth.
1. The son of Abraham, by Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian maid. Ishmael was born when Abraham was eighty-six years of age, and was circumcised when he was thirteen years of age, along with his father and his servants. He received the divine promise that he would beget twelve princes and become a great nation. He died at the age of 137
Gen. 16:11: – 11 The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael,for the LORD has heard of your misery.
Gen. 16:16: – 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
Gen. 17:18: – 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
Gen. 17:26: – 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.
Gen. 25:9: –9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite
Gen. 25:17: – 17 Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people.
Gen. 28:9: – 9 so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
Gen. 36:3: – 3 also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth.
Ishmael was the founder of the tribal family called Ishmaelites, sometimes referred to as Midianites
Gen. 37:25: – 25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
Gen. 37:28: – 28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
The Man Who Became an Outcast
Ishmael, who was some fourteen years older than Isaac, was not his father’s heir and did not share his father’s property. Abraham was tenderly attached to Ishmael (Gen. 17:18: –18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”), and the casting out of the boy and his mother by Sarah was a great grief to Abraham. Such a hard transaction was necessary to keep the inheritance unbroken for Isaac’s possession. “To thee will I give it”
Gal. 3:16: – 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
Gel. 4:30: – 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”
Ishmael’s name is a monument of God’s goodness in answering prayer. “God shall hear.” What did He hear? He heard the moaning of Hagar’s broken heart. God said concerning Ishmael: “I will make him a great nation” (Gen. 21:18: –18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation).
The names of Ishmael’s twelve sons have been preserved but there is no record of any good they achieved
Gen. 25:13: – 13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,
Gen. 25:16: – 16 These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps.
Paul tells us that the record of Hagar and Ishmael is an allegory (Gal. 4:24: –24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar). Hagar and Sarah represent two covenants – Jewish and Christian. Hagar represents the law, and Ishmael, because he was born of the bond woman, typifies those who are under the law. Isaac, because of his super-natural birth, represents those born anew by the Spirit of God.
The casting out of Ishmael has been productive of bitter fruit, surviving in the religion of Mohammed. The wild hearts beat on in the bosoms of those who form the Arab world. Little did Sarah know, when she persuaded Abraham to take Hagar that she was originating a rivalry which has run in the keenest strife through the ages, and which oceans of blood have not stopped.
The Moslem Arabs claim descent from Ishmael. Ishmael’s mother and wife were Egyptian, which differentiates them from pure Hebrew. Arabian tribes springing from Ishmael are scattered throughout the Arabian peninsula. When Ishmael received his name, the Lord said that he would be “a wild man,” or “a wild-ass man” as the Hebrew expresses it.
2. An ancestor of Zebadiah who was one of Jehoshaphat’s judicial officers (2 Chron. 19:11: –11 “Amariah the chief priest will be over you in any matter concerning the LORD, and Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the tribe of Judah, will be over you in any matter concerning the king, and the Levites will serve as officials before you. Act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well.”).
3. A Son of Azer and a descendant of Saul through Jonathan
1 Chron. 8:38: – 38 Azel had six sons, and these were their names: Azrikam, Bokeru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.
1 Chron. 9:44: – 44 Azel had six sons, and these were their names: Azrikam, Bokeru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. These were the sons of Azel.
4. A son of Jehohanan and one of the military officers associated with Jehoiada in the revolution to raise Joash to the throne (2 Chron. 23:1: –1 In the seventh year Jehoiada showed his strength. He made a covenant with the commanders of units of a hundred: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri).
5. A son of Pashbur and one of the priests persuaded by Ezra to put away his foreign wife (Ezra 10:22: –22 From the descendants of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad and Elasah).
6. A son of Nethaniah, a member of the royal house of David who took part in the murder of Gedaliah. His vile conduct and character are fully described by
Jeremiah 40:8-16: – 8 they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite, and their men.
9 Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serve the Babylonians,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.
10 I myself will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine, summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars, and live in the towns you have taken over.”
11 When all the Jews in Moab, Ammon, Edom and all the other countries heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, as governor over them,
12 they all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from all the countries where they had been scattered. And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.
13 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah
14 and said to him, “Don’t you know that Baalis king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.
15 Then Johanan son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life and cause all the Jews who are gathered around you to be scattered and the remnant of Judah to perish?”
16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Don’t do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”
Ezra. 10:41: – 41 Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah.