Bible stories: Abraham Sarah Issac Rebekah Hagar Ismael
Abraham going up to offer Issac as a sacrifice
Abraham having been the recipient of many blessings, and of still greater promises, it pleased Jehovah to make a trial of the patriarch's faith in these promises, and in Himself. God had promised him that through Isaac, his only son, he should become the ancestor of a mighty nation, and He now commanded Abraham to take Isaac to the summit of Mount Moriah, and slay him there, and offer him as a burnt offering to the Lord. The patriarch unhesitatingly prepared to comply with this command, which seemed to be in itself a complete annulment of all the promises of Jehovah. As he was in the act of taking his son's life in obedience to the Divine command, his hand was stayed by Jehovah, who, as a reward for his faith and unhesitating obedience, renewed the covenant with him, in its special blessings to the children of Abraham, and in its full spiritual extension to all the families of the earth, and for the first time Jehovah confirmed his promise with an oath.
Isaac meets Rebekah
After the burial of Sarah, Abraham appears to have returned to Beersheba. Here Isaac, who was tenderly attached to his mother, became such a prey to melancholy in consequence of her loss, that Abraham determined that his son should marry, hoping that the society and love of a wife would prove the best solace for his grief. He chose for him a wife of his own kindred, and despatched his oldest and most trusted servant to Haran, in Mesopotamia, the residence of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. The journey was successful, and the servant, acting under the direction of the Almighty, chose for his young master's bride, the beautiful Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel. Son of Nahor. The proposed alliance proving acceptable to the maiden and to her family, the servant escorted her to the home of Isaac, who dwelt by the well of La-hai-roi, in the extreme south of Palestine. The scene of Isaac's meeting with Rebekah, as described in Genesis xxiv., seems to exhibit his character as that of quiet, pious contemplation. He was forty years old at the time of his marriage.
Hagar and Ismael in the desert
Sarah having become well stricken in years, and having abandoned the hope of becoming the mother of Abraham's heir, gave her handmaid Hagar, an Egyptian woman, to Abraham, and Hagar bore Abraham a son, whose name was called Ishmael. After the birth of Isaac, which occurred during Abraham's abode at Beersheba, Ishmael aroused the anger of Sarah by "mocking" the infant "heir of the promises," and she demanded of her husband that both Ishmael and his mother should be "cast out." Abraham was reluctant to do this, but, comforted by the assurance of Jehovah that He would make Ishmael the father of a great nation, the patriarch sent them away, and they departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. Here, their water being exhausted, Ishmael came near perishing by thirst, but was miraculously saved by the Lord. Under the protection of the Almighty, Ishmael grew, "and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer." He became the father of twelve sons, from whom as many Arab tribes were descended.