|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:9-13 Let us not overlook the manner in which this family matter instructs us not to rest in outward privileges, or in our own doings. And let us seek the blessings of the new covenant by faith in its Divine Surety. Ishmael's conduct was persecution, being done in profane contempt of the covenant and promise, and with malice against Isaac. God takes notice of what children say and do in their play; and will reckon with them, if they say or do amiss, though their parents do not. Mocking is a great sin, and very provoking to God. And the children of promise must expect to be mocked. Abraham was grieved that Ishmael should misbehave, and Sarah demand so severe a punishment. But God showed him that Isaac must be the father of the promised Seed; therefore, send Ishmael away, lest he corrupt the manners, or try to take the rights of Isaac. The covenant seed of Abraham must be a people by themselves, not mingled with those who were out of covenant: Sarah little thought of this; but God turned aright what she said.
Verse 10. - Wherefore she said - though with an admixture of sinful feelings, non dubito arcane Spiritus instinctu gubernatam fuisse ejus linguam et mentem (Calvin); vide Galatians 4:30 - unto Abraham, Cast out - by some kind of legal act (as divorce: cf. Leviticus 21:7, 14; Leviticus 22:13; Isaiah 57:20), which should insure the disinheriting of Ishmael (Bush); though probably- this is to import later Mosaic legislation rote the records of primitive tunes - this bondwoman - a term ill befitting Sarah, who had given Hagar to her husband as a wife (Genesis 16:3) - and her son (who was Abraham's offspring, though not the promised seed; a consideration which should have mitigated Sarah's anger): for the son of this bondwoman (a repetition evincing the bitter ness of her contempt and the intensity of her choler) shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. Notwithstanding the assurance (Genesis 17:21) that the covenant was made with Isaac, Sarah was apprehensive lest Ishmael should contrive to disinherit him; an act of unbelief into which she was manifestly betrayed by her maternal fears and womanly jealousy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore she said unto Abraham, cast out this bondwoman and her son,.... Hagar, Sarah's handmaid and bondservant, and her son Ishmael; by this it appears that Hagar was concerned in this affair, and set her son on to mock Isaac, at least she encouraged him in it, buoying: him up with his being the firstborn, and having a right to the inheritance; wherefore Sarah saw plainly that there would be no peace nor comfort for her and her son, unless Hagar and her son were turned out of doors, for which she moves Abraham; and this not merely in a passion, but by divine direction and influence, as is evident from God's approbation of it:
for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac; which he would seem to be, if continued, and would think himself so, and there would be continual bickerings about it; wherefore, to put it out of all doubt who was heir, she desires that he and his mother both might be cast out of the house, which would be a clear determination of this matter. Sarah may seem to take upon her too much, to be so peremptory, as to declare who should, and who should not be heir, which more properly belonged to Abraham, whom she called her lord, Genesis 18:12; but what will sufficiently free her from any charge of this kind is the revelation of the divine will, and the promise of God that so it should be; namely, that the covenant God had so often renewed with Abraham should be established with Isaac, and not with Ishmael, Genesis 17:19. Now what was the design of God, in guiding Sarah to make such a motion as this to Abraham, is taught us by the Apostle Paul, who makes these two women to be types and figures of the two covenants, and their sons of those that are under them, see Galatians 4:22.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman—Nothing but the expulsion of both could now preserve harmony in the household. Abraham's perplexity was relieved by an announcement of the divine will, which in everything, however painful to flesh and blood, all who fear God and are walking in His ways will, like him, promptly obey. This story, as the apostle tells us, in "an allegory" [Ga 4:24], and the "persecution" by the son of the Egyptian was the commencement of the four hundred years' affliction of Abraham's seed by the Egyptians.
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