Information Related to "The Blessings of Abraham (Part 3 of 4) - Abraham's conflict between Isaac and Ishmael"

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The Blessings of Abraham (Part 3 of 4) - Abraham's conflict between Isaac and Ishmael

article by William (Skip) Miller

Abraham had many choices to make in his life; he also faced challenges that you and I would never want to face.


Ishmael was 13 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. I remember quite a few things that happened to me when I was 13, but not something like this. Perhaps his ordeal was made easier because his dad and quite a few other mature males were circumcised that same day also (Genesis 17:25-26).

Shortly after that separation ceremony, God explains to Abraham that he and Sarah will have their own son. They probably were not in much of a mood for celebration. In fact, it seems, their response is the original expression of irony and sarcasm. God as prototypical writer does not miss a trick. Who laughed more, Abraham or Sarah (Genesis 17:17, Genesis 18:12-13)?

Though the Bible does not say exactly, we believe that the original Hebrew indicates this particular miracle occurred about one year later with Abraham and Sarah having their part to play in the miracle. So, Sarah and Abraham have a son; all is well and the day is done. Sarah, however, did not enjoy the thought that Ishmael was looking to become the one inheritor of everything she and Abraham had accumulated. By this time, the promises had become sizeable and she and Abraham surely discussed the fullness of the incredible promises that lay seemingly forever on the horizon. The physical reality of two tents, two sons, but only one husband and patriarch caused her much concern.

Abraham’s inner conflict

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Keywords: Abraham Ishmael sacrifice of Isaac trial testing faithfulness 


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