The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!

Subscribe to The Center for Messianic Learning
Like this page? Share it. MeWe Logo ParlerLogo WimKin Logo CloutHub Others:Bookmark and Share

Mobile Users: The page will display properly if you hold your device in “landscape”
position and use your touch gesture to resize the page to fit your screen.

Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 21 ~

Parashah 4: Vayera (continued)
(“He Appeared,” Gen. 18:1-22:24)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

[Gerar [MAP] ca 1866 BCE*]

E. Birth of Yitz'chak (21:1-7)

1. Yitz'chak is Born (21:1-5)

1Now יְהוָה֒ [GN] [YeHoVaH] paid attention to Sarah as He had said, and יְהוָה֒ did for Sarah what He had promised. 2Sarah conceived and bore Avraham a son in his old age, at the appointed time[2] Elohim[GN] had promised him. 3And Avraham gave the name Yitz'chakIsaac - “he laughs” to his son whom Sarah had borne to him. 4Avraham circumcised his son Yitz'chak when he was eight days old, as Elohim had commanded him.[4]

(v) 5Avraham was one hundred years old when his son Yitz'chak was born.

2. Sarah’s Joy (21:6-7)

 6Sarah said, “Elohim has made me laugh, and everyone who hears of this will laugh with me.” 7She added, “Who would have told Avraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

[Gerar? [MAP] ca 1864 BCE]

F. Expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael (21:8-21)

1. Ishmael and Hagar Sent Away (21:8-14)

8The child grew and was weaned. Avraham held a great feast on the day that Yitz'chak was weaned.[8] 9But Sarah saw that the son [Ishmael] whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Avraham  mocking [her son, Yitz'chak].[9] 10So she told Avraham, “Cast out this slave woman[10] and her son! The son of this slave woman will never share the inheritance with my son, Yitz'chak.”

11This matter greatly distressed Avraham because it concerned his son [Ishmael]. 12But Elohim said to Avraham, “Don’t be distressed about the lad and your maid-servant. Listen to everything that Sarah tells you, for it is through Yitz'chak that your descendants will be reckoned. 13But I will also make a nation of the maid-servant’s son because he is your offspring.”[13] 14Avraham go up early in the morning, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulder, and sent her away with the youth. She left and wandered in the wilderness of Be'er-shevaBeersheba - “well of the oath” or “well of seven”.

[Beer-Sheba? [MAP]]

2. HaShem Provides Water (21:15-19)

 15When the water in the skin was gone, she left the youth [in the shade] under one of the shrubs. 16Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die.”[16] And as she nearby, she lifted up her voice and wailed.

17Then Elohim heard the voice of the youth,[17] and the Angel of Elohim[GN] called to Hagar from the heavens, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. For Elohim has heard the voice of the youth where he lies. 18Get up, help the lad up, and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

19Then Elohim opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.[19a] So she went, filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.[19b]

3. Ishmael Grows to Manhood (21:20-21)

20Elohim was with the lad, and he grew up, settled in the wilderness, and became a great archer. 21While he was living in the Wilderness of Pa'ran,[21] his mother acquired a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

[Be'er-sheva [MAP] ca 1845-1831 BCE]

G. Avraham and Abimelech Settle Their Dispute (21:22-34)

1. The Treaty Decided (21:22-26)

(vi) 22At that time it came about that Avimelech“my father is king” and PikholPhicol, “strong”, the commander of his army, said to Avraham, “Elohim is with you in all that you endeavor. 23So swear to me here before Elohim that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my chbildren, nor with my descendants. Show to me and to the land in which you have lived as a foreigner the same kindness that I have shown to you.”

24Avraham answered, “I swear it.” 25But when Avraham complained to Avimelech about a well that Avimelech’s servants had seized by force, 26Avimelech said, “I don’t know who has done this. You didn’t tell me, and I haven’t heard about it before today.”

2. The Dispute Resolved (21:27-34)

27So Avraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Avimelech, and the two men made a treaty. 28Avraham separated seven ewe lambs out of the flock, 29And Avimelech asked him, “Why have you separated out these seven ewe lambs?”

30Avraham answered, “I want you to accept these seven ewe lambs from me as my witness that I dug this well.” 31So that place was called Be'er-shevaBeersheba - “well of the oath” or “well of seven”, because it was there that the two of them swore an oath. 32After they had made their treaty at Be'er-sheva, Avimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, got up and returned to the land of the P'lishtimPhilistines. 33Avraham planted a tamarisk tree in Be'er-sheva, and there he called upon the name of יְהוָה֒ El Olamthe Everlasting God. 34And Avraham lived a long time as a foreigner in the land of the P'lishtim.

Chapter 22


 2. The Church has forgotten how important HaShem’s Appointed Times are to Him. [RETURN]

 4. Gen 17:10-14. [RETURN]

 8. It was the custom to make a joyous feast on the occasion of weaning the child to give thanks to the Almighty that the child had survived the most perilous stage of infancy. According to Jewish rabbinical traditions, weaning could take place anywhere between 18 months and 5 years of age. In one important biblical parallel, Samuel was weaned prior to being taken to Eli the priest to serve HaShem (1Sam 1:24). Just to be safe, I have assumed that he was three years old when I set the time for this event. See also Exod 2:7-9; Song 8:1. [RETURN]

 9. Mocking: Heb. מְצַחֵֽק (mə·ṣa·ḥêq), to laugh, mock, play, to jest, make sport, toy with, make a toy of. Ishmael would have been somewhere between 16 and 18 years old at this time. How immature of him to be making fun of a three-year-old. [RETURN]

10. Slave-woman: Heb הָאָמָ֥ה (hā·’ā·māh), maid-servant, female slave, maid, handmaid, concubine. [RETURN]

13. The vast majority of the inhabitants of the Arab world are the direct descendants of Ishmael. The map shows the countries that are almost totally Arabic. It does not include the nations that have recently seen a huge influx of Arab Muslim immigration. But note the size of Israel in relation to the Arab world. Some say that if the Arab world were the size of an American football field, Israel would be a postage stamp on the 50-yard line. This begs the question, why are the Islamic nations so afraid of Israel? [RETURN]

16. Ishmael was probably at least 15 or 16 years old at the time, a full adult in that culture. He should have been looking out for his mother, not being babied by her. [RETURN]

17. How interesting that HaShem heard the voice of the youth, when it was Hagar who was crying out, weeping and wailing. There is apparently something that the Scripture does not tell us at this point. [RETURN]

19a. We might wonder why Hagar didn’t see the well of water earlier, since all she had to do was to “lift up her eyes” to see it. Maybe she gave in to her grief too early. Is God trying to tell us here that sometimes we give up too soon? [RETURN]

19b. At the age of 15 or 16, Ishmael should would been considered a man, and he should have been caring for his mother instead of her taking such care of him. Was he a “mamma’s boy” or was he so weak from heat and thirst? Perhaps he had been taking care of his mother and had given her all the water in the skin. Scripture is silent, so we just don’t know. [RETURN]

21. The Wilderness of Pa'ran [MAP] is a wilderness area bounded on the north by Israel, on the west by the Etham Wilderness, on the south by the Sinai Desert, and on the east by the Arabah Valley; the exodus was through this area and probably all 18 stops were in this area. The word Pa'ran (פָארָן) means “place of caverns.” [RETURN]

Originally posted on Wednesday, 26 August 2020
Added dates, map references, and comments on Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 05 June 2022 10:30 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

Blue Letter Bible Search Tool

Range Options:

e.g. Gen;Psa-Mal;Rom 3-9