Genesis 21 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Genesis 21)
21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his a old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

(a) Therefore the miracle was greater.

21:7 And she said, b Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born [him] a son in his old age.

(b) She accuses herself of ingratitude, that she did not believe the angel.

21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, c mocking.

(c) He derided God's promise made to Isaac which the apostle calls persecution (Galatians 4:29).

21:12 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 d called.

(d) The promised seed will be from Isaac, and not from Ishmael, (Romans 9:7; Hebrews 11:18).

21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make e a nation, because he [is] thy seed.

(e) The Ishmaelites will come from him.

21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave [it] unto Hagar, putting [it] on her shoulder, and the child, and f sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

(f) True faith renounces all natural affections to obey God's commandment.

21:17 And God g heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he [is].

(g) For his promise sake made to Abraham; and not because the child had discretion and judgment to pray.

21:19 And God h opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

(h) Unless God opens our eyes, we can neither see, nor use the means which are before us.

21:20 And God was i with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.

(i) Concerning outward things God caused him to prosper.

21:24 And Abraham said, I will k swear.

(k) So that it is a lawful thing to take an oath in matters of importance, to justify the truth, and to assure others of our sincerity.

21:26 And Abimelech said, l I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I [of it], but to day.

(l) Wicked servants do many evils unknown to their masters.

21:32 Thus they made a m covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

(m) Thus we see that the godly, concerning outward things may make peace with the wicked that do not know the true God.

21:33 And [Abraham] planted a grove in Beersheba, and n called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

(n) That is, he worshipped God in all points of true religion.