And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.Genesis 21:1. The Lord visited Sarah — That is, was present with her in his mercy, power, and faithfulness, to perform his gracious promise of giving her a child.
For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.Genesis 21:2. Sarah conceived — By faith Sarah received strength, (Hebrews 11:11,) to conceive seed, God, according to his promise, giving that strength. Abraham was old, and Sarah old, and both as good as dead, and then the promise took place.
And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.Genesis 21:4. He circumcised his son — The covenant being established with him, the seal of the covenant, according to God’s command, was administered to him.
And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.Genesis 21:6. Sarah said, God has made me to laugh — Not through diffidence and irreverence, as my own distrustful heart before made me to laugh; but through excess of holy joy. He hath given me both cause and a heart to rejoice. And it adds to the comfort of any mercy to have our friends rejoice with us in it, Luke 1:58. They that hear will laugh with me — Will rejoice in this instance of God’s power and goodness; and be encouraged to trust in him.
And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.Genesis 21:7. Sarah should have given children suck — She says children, expecting, it seems, that, having received of God new strength, she would have more than one child. Here all mothers are taught their duty, which is to give their children suck if they be able. Not to do this is a sin against the God of nature, which no rank in life, no fortune nor business, can or will excuse.
And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.Genesis 21:9. Sarah saw the son of the Egyptian, mocking — Mocking Isaac, no doubt, for it is said, with reference to this, Galatians 4:29, that “he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the spirit.”
Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.Genesis 21:10. Cast out the bond-woman — This was a type of the rejection of the unbelieving Jews, who, though they were the seed of Abraham, yet, because they submitted not to the gospel covenant, were unchurched and disfranchised. And that which above any thing provoked God to cast them off, was, their mocking and persecuting the gospel church, God’s Isaac, in its infancy.
And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.Genesis 21:11. The thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight — Because of his affection to his son, and God’s promise concerning him. He who, at God’s command, which he was bound to obey, afterward so cheerfully gave up Isaac, was not so ready to part with Ishmael, to gratify the passion of an angry woman. And probably he would have denied her desire, if God had not interposed. It is remarkable that it is not said the thing was grievous because of his wife; probably he hardly considered Hagar as properly his wife: or, at least, had not the affection for her a man ought to have for his wife. Hereby we may learn the excellence of God’s institutions, who appointed only one woman for one man, that each might, under God, have the entire interest in the other’s affections; and we may observe the evil of men’s inventions which brought polygamy into the world, whereby a man’s affections are divided into several and contrary streams. But probably it grieved Abraham that Ishmael had given such provocation, as well as that Sarah insisted on such a punishment.
And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.Genesis 21:13. The casting out of Ishmael was not his ruin. He shall be a nation because he is thy seed — We are not sure that it was his eternal ruin. It is presumption to say, that all those who are left out of the external dispensation of God’s covenant are excluded from his spiritual mercies. Those may be saved who are not thus honoured.
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.Genesis 21:14. Abraham rose up early in the morning — Immediately, it seems, after he had received orders in the night visions to do this: and took bread and a bottle of water — All necessary provision seems to be here included, of which it is probable they had sufficient to have served them till they had come to Hagar’s friends in Egypt, if they had not lost their way. Ishmael, it is thought, was more than sixteen years of age at this time, yet the provisions were put upon Hagar’s shoulders, as being more inured to labour, and the lad was committed to her care.
And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.Genesis 21:17-19. God heard the voice of the lad — We read not of a word that he said; but his sighs and groans, though not proceeding from true repentance, but extorted from him by his pressing calamity, cried aloud in the ears of the God of mercy. An angel was sent to comfort Hagar, and assure her that God had heard the voice of the lad. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thy hand — God’s readiness to help us when we are in trouble must not slacken, but quicken our endeavours to help ourselves. He repeats the promise concerning her son, that he should be a great nation, as a reason why she should bestir herself to help him. She saw a well of water — Which, it seems, was near at hand, but had not been observed by her before. Thus she obtained the relief she most wanted.
Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.Genesis 21:20-21. God was with the lad — This accounts for his preservation and support in that wilderness, in which, had not God been with him in an extraordinary manner, in answer to Abraham’s prayer, in all probability he must have perished.
And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:
Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
And Abraham said, I will swear.
And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.Genesis 21:31. Beer-sheba — That is, the well of the oath, or the well of the seven, (for the word equally signifies either,) alluding to the seven ewe- lambs which Abraham set by themselves and gave to Abimelech. Probably when a covenant was solemnly made and confirmed by an oath, seven lambs or sheep were wont to be offered.
Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.Genesis 21:33. And Abraham planted a grove — For a shade to his tent, or perhaps an orchard of fruit-trees; and there, though we cannot say he settled, for God would have him while he lived to be a stranger and a pilgrim, yet he sojourned many days. And called there on the name of the Lord — Probably in the grove he planted, which was his oratory, or house of prayer: he kept up public worship, in which, probably, some of his neighbours joined with him. Men should not only retain their goodness wherever they go, but do all they can to propagate it, and make others good. The everlasting God — Though God had made himself known to Abraham as his God in particular, yet he forgets not to give glory to him as the Lord of all, the everlasting God, who was before all worlds, and will be when time and days shall be no more.
And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.