Genesis 21:1
And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had spoken.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XXI.

BIRTH OF ISAAC, AND REJECTION OF ISHMAEL.

(1) And the Lord (Jehovah) visited Sarah as he had said.—See Genesis 17:19, where it is Elohim who gives the promise. So here in Genesis 21:2 the name Elohim is interchanged with Jehovah.

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.21:1-8 Few under the Old Testament were brought into the world with such expectations as Isaac. He was in this a type of Christ, that Seed which the holy God so long promised, and holy men so long expected. He was born according to the promise, at the set time of which God had spoken. God's promised mercies will certainly come at the time which He sets, and that is the best time. Isaac means laughter, and there was good reason for the name, ch. 17:17; 18:13. When the Sun of comfort is risen upon the soul, it is good to remember how welcome the dawning of the day was. When Sarah received the promise, she laughed with distrust and doubt. When God gives us the mercies we began to despair of, we ought to remember with sorrow and shame our sinful distrust of his power and promise, when we were in pursuit of them. This mercy filled Sarah with joy and wonder. God's favours to his covenant people are such as surpass their own and others' thoughts and expectations: who could imagine that he should do so much for those that deserve so little, nay, for those that deserve so ill? Who would have said that God should send his Son to die for us, his Spirit to make us holy, his angels to attend us? Who would have said that such great sins should be pardoned, such mean services accepted, and such worthless worms taken into covenant? A short account of Isaac's infancy is given. God's blessing upon the nursing of children, and the preservation of them through the perils of the infant age, are to be acknowledged as signal instances of the care and tenderness of the Divine providence. See Ps 22:9,10; Ho 11:1,2.Isaac is born according to promise, and grows to be weaned. "The Lord had visited Sarah." It is possible that this event may have occurred before the patriarchal pair arrived in Gerar. To visit, is to draw near to a person for the purpose of either chastising or conferring a favor. The Lord had been faithful to his gracious promise to Sarah. "He did as he had spoken." The object of the visit was accomplished. In due time she bears a son, whom Abraham, in accordance with the divine command, calls Isaac, and circumcises on the eighth day. Abraham was now a hundred years old, and therefore Isaac was born thirty years after the call. Sarah expressed her grateful wonder in two somewhat poetic strains. The first, consisting of two sentences, turns on the word laugh. This is no longer the laugh of delight mingled with doubt, but that of wonder and joy at the power of the Lord overcoming the impotence of the aged mother. The second strain of three sentences turns upon the object of this admiring joy. The event that nobody ever expected to hear announced to Abraham, has nevertheless taken place; "for I have borne him a son in his old age." The time of weaning, the second step of the child to individual existence, at length arrives, and the household of Abraham make merry, as was wont, on the festive occasion. The infant was usually weaned in the second or third year 1 Samuel 1:22-24; 2 Chronicles 31:16. The child seems to have remained for the first five years under the special care of the mother Leviticus 27:6. The son then came under the management of the father.CHAPTER 21

Ge 21:1-13. Birth of Isaac.

1. the Lord visited Sarah—The language of the historian seems designedly chosen to magnify the power of God as well as His faithfulness to His promise. It was God's grace that brought about that event, as well as the raising of spiritual children to Abraham, of which the birth of this son was typical [Calvin].God visits Sarah; she conceives and bears a son, Genesis 21:1,2. He is named Isaac, Genesis 21:3; circumcised the eighth day, Genesis 21:4. Sarah’s joy and thanks, Genesis 21:6,7. Abraham makes a feast at the weaning of Isaac, Genesis 21:8. Ishmael mocks; Sarah sees it, Genesis 21:9. She complains to Abraham, and desires to have him cast out, Genesis 21:10. Abraham is grieved, Genesis 21:11. God commands it; the reason, Genesis 21:12; promises a blessing to Ishmael for his sake, Genesis 21:13. Abraham sends Hagar and her son away; they wander in the wilderness, are like to perish for want of water, Genesis 21:14-16. God calls to her, Genesis 21:17; repeats his promise to Ishmael, Genesis 21:18; opens her eyes; she sees a well, Genesis 21:19. They dwell there, and Ishmael is an archer, Genesis 21:20; marries an Egyptian, Genesis 21:21. Abimelech convinced that God was with Abraham, desires a covenant, Genesis 21:22,23. Abraham consents, Genesis 21:24. Abimelech’s servants having taken a well from him, Abraham reproves him for it, Genesis 21:25. He pleads ignorance, Genesis 21:26. Both of them make a covenant, Genesis 21:27-32. Abraham plants a grove, and calls on the Lord the everlasting God, Genesis 21:33,34.

The Lord visited Sarah, i.e. performed his gracious promise of giving her strength to conceive and bear a child. God’s visitation of a person in Scripture use, is the manifestation and execution of his purpose or word towards that person, and that either for evil, and so it is an inflicting of evils threatened, as the word visiting is used, Exodus 20:5 Psalm 59:5; or for good, and so it is used for the actual giving of mercies promised, as here, and Genesis 50:24 Exodus 4:31 Ruth 1:6.

And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said,.... To Abraham, Genesis 17:16; in a way of mercy and kindness, by fulfilling his promise, giving strength to conceive and bear a child; see 1 Samuel 2:21,

and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken; which intends the same thing in different words; and the repetition is made to cause attention to God's fulfilment of his promise, who is always faithful to his word, even in things very difficult and seemingly impossible, as in the present case: hence the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it, God did a wonder or wonders for Sarah in causing her to conceive when she was so old, and in such circumstances as she was.

And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. visited] Cf. 1 Samuel 2:21; Luke 1:68. The word is used for the dealings of God, sometimes, as here, in blessing, and sometimes in punishment.

The two clauses of this verse are identical in meaning: the first probably refers to Genesis 18:10-14 (J): the second to Genesis 17:16; Genesis 17:21 (P). If the second clause is from P, the substitution of “Jehovah” for “God” is probably either editorial, or a transcriptional error.Verse 1. - And the Lord - Jehovah; not because the verse is Jehovistic (Knobel, Bleek, et alii), but because the promise naturally falls to be implemented by him who gave it (vide Genesis 18:10) - visited - remembered with love (Onkelos), ἐπισκέψατο (LXX.; cf. Genesis 50:24; Exodus 4:31; 1 Samuel 2:21; Isaiah 23:17); though it sometimes means to approach in judgment (vide Exodus 20:5; Exodus 32:34). Alleged to be peculiar to the Jehovist (the term used by the Elohist being זָכַר: Genesis 8:1; Genesis 19:29; Genesis 30:20), the word occurs in Genesis 1:24, which Tuch and Bleek ascribe to the Elohist - Sarah as he had said (Genesis 17:21; Genesis 18:10, 14), - God's word of promise being ever the rule of his performance (cf. Exodus 12:25; Luke 1:72) - and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken - i.e. implemented his promise; the proof of which is next given (cf. Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). "What sawest thou," i.e., what hadst thou in thine eye, with thine act (thy false statement)? Abimelech did this publicly in the presence of his servants, partly for his own justification in the sight of his dependents, and partly to put Abraham to shame. The latter had but two weak excuses: (1) that he supposed there was no fear of God at all in the land, and trembled for his life because of his wife; and (2) that when he left his father's house, he had arranged with his wife that in every foreign place she was to call herself his sister, as she really was his half-sister. On the subject of his emigration, he expressed himself indefinitely and with reserve, accommodating himself to the polytheistic standpoint of the Philistine king: "when God (or the gods, Elohim) caused me to wander," i.e., led me to commence an unsettled life in a foreign land; and saying nothing about Jehovah, and the object of his wandering as revealed by Him.
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