What is the role of Ishmael in the Bible and Salvation History?
He's always been an individual who's story and purpose has intrigued me. I would love to see a hub on it!
Ishmael represents those that reject the salvation of God. His hand was against everyone and everyone was against him. His conception was not God's program. It was because Abraham and Sarah did it their way, leading to Ishmael. So, he represents the works of the flesh.
Contra-wise, Isaac was the child of promise, received by faith. He represents the spiritual birth of a person. Sarah and Abraham did not get Isaac because of their own schemes and plans. It was all God, just like the grace unto salvation that He gives us each.
This picture in the Bible does not necessarily speak of the personal destiny of Ishmael. It is a picture, but it does not mean that Ishmael will be in hell. He may have been a believer personally and thus in a saint in Heaven today.
The offspring of two women represents two covenants: Ishmael, the offspring of Agar "the bondmaid," a slave, symbolizes the Old Covenant (works of the flesh). Isaac, the offspring of Sarah "a free woman" symbolizes the New Covenant (the spirit, a new promise).
When Abraham and Sarah tried to help God by acting in their own flesh, Ishmael was the result. Since Ishmael was born after the flesh, God did not recognize Ishmael as the promised seed. Therefore, just as the "flesh" failed, so did the Old Covenant. Out of Ishmael came Islam.
When Abraham trusted God and obeyed, Isaac was born. Isaac represents a new-birth, born after the spirit and not the flesh, the new promise by God born of a "free woman," thus representing the New Covenant. And as the children of the free woman, we share in that inheritance. Paul said, we are not children of the bondwoman but like Isaac, we are the children of the free (Gal 42-31). Therefore, we are no longer under bondage (the old law which represents works of the flesh) but free by the new promise of God.
If real history is of any interest to you, then you may know that Ishmael’s mother was not as slave, but a daughter of the king of Egypt.
In fact, Ishmael, the firstborn son of Abraham, also became a king. He ruled the kingdom of Isin from c.1953 to 1933 BC. From Sumerian archeological excavation he is known as Ishme-Dagan / Icme-Dagan.
Ishmael ruled for 20/18 years, he is known for rebuilding the temple at Ur.
Genesis 25:16 (KJV) lists him as a father of twelve princes.
“16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.”
Because Ishmael's daughter, Basemath, married the firstborn son of Isaac, his descendants became part of the Covenant.
Basemath and Esau had a son (Gen. 36) whose name was Reul, name meaning - Friend of God. One of Reul's grandsons was Job, praised by God as the best of His creation.
“Sumerian civilisation, already on the wane due to the collapse of agriculture and a depopulation of southern Mesopotamia, was ended in circa 2004 BC when Third Dynasty Ur was defeated by Elam.
The Amorites, who had been settling in Mesopotamia for some centuries, effectively became the successors to the Sumerians, assimilating their culture and founding city states of their own; Babylon, Ebla,Hamath, and Isin.
Isin (modern Ishan al-Bahriyat) already existed under the rule of Ur's Third Dynasty, but there are no records of any of its rulers from the Sumerian period. Instead, it achieved independence as Ur declined. One of the final king's officials, Ishbi-Erra, moved to Isin and established himself as a ruler there, continuing many of Ur's traditions and ceremonies.”
http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingLists … iaIsin.htm
After Ishmael’s / Ishme-Dagan’s death, the kingdom of Isin was ruled by his son in law, Esau, known from the king’s list as Lipit-Ishtar / Lipit-Ectar.
Esau, the firstborn son of Isaac (Gen. 25) ruled the kingdom of Isin for 11 years, from c.1933 until 1922 BC, when he was killed by his brother Jacob / Israel. (Book of Jubilee; Testament of Twelve Patriarchs).
Thank you for this. I am currently reading "A History of the Ancient World". So this was of great interest to me.
History is interesting subject - connecting it to the Bible makes it fascinating.
If you will follow the history of Ishmael' descendants, you will notice that his twelve sons are known in the Bible as Haggarites (not Ishmaelites), after their grandm
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