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Who is Ishmael?
        ISH'MAEL
        (whom God hears). 1. The son of Abraham by Hagar. Previous to his birth, when his mother, being ill-treated by Sarah, had fled from the house, the angel of the Lord announced to her that her seed should be innumerable, and that her offspring should be of a belligerent and wild disposition: "He will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man's hand, and every man's hand against him." Gen 16:12. Ishmael was circumcised at the age of 13. Gen 17:25. Subsequently, the jealousy of Sarah was aroused by Ishmael's mocking at Isaac, Gen 21:9, and she demanded that the offender and his mother be sent away from the home. Abraham, granting Sarah's request, sent the bondwoman and her son off, after supplying them with water and bread. Departing, they went off into the wilderness of Beer-sheba. The stock of water became exhausted, and the lad, overcome with fatigue and thirst, sunk down, apparently to die. God appeared for their deliverance, directed Hagar to a fountain of water, and renewed his promise to make of him a great nation. Ishmael remained in the wilderness and became a hunter. Gen 21:13-20. At length he married an Egyptian woman, and so rapidly did his progeny multiply that in a few years afterward they are spoken of as a trading nation. Gen 37:25. The last we see of the first-born son of Abraham is at the cave of Machpelah, where he joins with Isaac in interring the remains of his father. Gen 25:9. Ishmael no doubt became a wild man of the desert, the progenitor of the roaming Bedouin tribes of the East, so well known as robbers to this day that travellers through their territory must be well armed and hire a band of robbers to protect them against their fellow-robbers. Ishmael is also the spiritual father of the Mohammedans, who are nothing but bastard Jews. They apply to themselves the promise of a large posterity given to Ishmael. Gen 21:13, Gen 21:18. 1. A descendant of Saul. 1 Chr 8:38; 1 Chr 9:44. 2. A Judite. 2 Chr 19:11. 3. A Judite, one of the captains who assisted Jehoiada to set Joash on the throne, 2 Chr 23:1. 4. A priest who had a foreign wife. Ezr 10:22. 5. Ishmael, "the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal "of Judah, murdered, at Mizpah, Gedaliah, the governor of Judyea, appointed by Nebuchadnezzar, who, although warned by Johanan, had unsuspiciously received him. Every circumstance contributed to increase the baseness of the deed -- the generous incredulity of Gedaliah, the fact that the murder took place immediately after a feast given by Gedaliah to Ishmael and other prominent Jews who had conspired with him, and the slaughter of all the attendant Jews and also of some Chaldaean soldiers. The secrecy of the deed was so profound that the town knew nothing of it until the second day, when Ishmael hypocritically received eighty devotees who came bearing offering and incense to the house of the Lord, and murdered all but ten of them, who purchased their lives by promise of money. This carnival of blood being over, Ishmael surprised the town and carried away to the Ammonites the inhabitants, including the daughters of Zedokiah. But Johanan followed him, met him in battle at "the great waters" -- probably the Pool of Gibeon -- defeated him, rescued the prisoners, and compelled Ishmael to flee to the Ammonites. See Jer 41; 2 Kgs 25:23, 2 Kgs 25:25. See also Gedaliah. The motives of Ishmael were partly corrupt, since he had been tampered with by Baalis, king of the Ammonites, and partly mistaken patriotism, bitter hatred, and craven fear of the Chaldaeans.


Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'ishmael' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary".
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