Genesis 21:21
And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(21) A wife out of the land of Egypt.—However natural this might be on Hagar’s part, it would never theless strengthen the heathen element in Ishmael and his descendants. We find, nevertheless, that he was subsequently on friendly terms with Isaac (Genesis 25:9; Genesis 28:8-9). For Paran, see Genesis 14:6.

21:14-21 If Hagar and Ishmael had behaved well in Abraham's family, they might have continued there; but they were justly punished. By abusing privileges, we forfeit them. Those who know not when they are well off, will be made to know the worth of mercies by the want of them. They were brought to distress in the wilderness. It is not said that the provisions were spent, or that Abraham sent them away without money. But the water was spent; and having lost their way, in that hot climate Ishmael was soon overcome with fatigue and thirst. God's readiness to help us when we are in trouble, must not slacken, but quicken our endeavours to help ourselves. The promise concerning her son is repeated, as a reason why Hagar should bestir herself to help him. It should engage our care and pains about children and young people, to consider that we know not what great use God has designed them for, and may make of them. The angel directs her to a present supply. Many who have reason to be comforted, go mourning from day to day, because they do not see the reason they have for comfort. There is a well of water near them in the covenant of grace, but they are not aware of it, till the same God that opened their eyes to see their wound, opens them to see their remedy. Paran was a wild place, fit for a wild man; such as Ishmael. Those who are born after the flesh, take up with the wilderness of this world, while the children of the promise aim at the heavenly Canaan, and cannot be at rest till they are there. Yet God was with the lad; his outward welfare was owing to this.The fortunes of Ishmael. God cares for the wanderers. He hears the voice of the lad, whose sufferings from thirst are greater than those of the mother. An angel is sent, who addresses Hagar in the simple words of encouragement and direction. "Hold thy hand upon him." Lay thy hand firmly upon him. The former promise Genesis 16:10 is renewed to her. God also opened her eyes that she saw a well of water, from which the bottle is replenished, and she and the lad are recruited for their further journey. It is unnecessary to determine how far this opening of the eyes was miraculous. It may refer to the cheering of her mind and the sharpening of her attention. In Scripture the natural and supernatural are not always set over against each other as with us. All events are alike ascribed to an ever-watchful Providence, whether they flow from the ordinary laws of nature or some higher law of the divine will. "God was with the lad." Ishmael may have been cured of his childish spleen. It is possible also his father did not forget him, but sent him a stock of cattle with which to begin the pastoral life on his account. "He became an archer." He grew an archer, or multiplied into a tribe of archers. Paran Genesis 14:6 lay south of Palestine, and therefore on the way to Egypt, out of which his mother took him a wife. The Ishmaelites, therefore, both root and branch, were descended on the mother's side from the Egyptians.20, 21. God was with the lad, &c.—Paran (that is, Arabia), where his posterity has ever dwelt (compare Ge 16:12; also Isa 48:19; 1Pe 1:25).

his mother took him a wife—On a father's death, the mother looks out for a wife for her son, however young; and as Ishmael was now virtually deprived of his father, his mother set about forming a marriage connection for him, it would seem, among her relatives.

In the wilderness of Paran; in the borders of that wilderness, by comparing Genesis 14:6, for the innermost parts of it were uninhabitable by men or beasts, as ancient writers note.

His mother took him a wife; by which we see both the obligation that lies upon parents, and the right that is invested in them, to dispose of their children in marriage in convenient time. Compare Genesis 24:4 28:2 Judges 14:2.

Out of the land of Egypt, rather than out of Canaan, concerning whose accursed state and future destruction she had been informed in Abraham’s house.

And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran,.... So called from Paran, a city in Arabia Petraea; it reached from the wilderness of Shur to Mount Sinai: the account Adrichomius (q) gives of it is this; Paran or"Pharan is a wilderness, very large, desolate, impassable, and without water, containing, from Mount Sinai to Kadeshbarnea, a journey of eleven days; its land can neither be ploughed nor sown, is wholly dry, barren, and uncultivated; uninhabitable to men, destitute of villages, houses, and cottages; where neither men are seen, nor beasts nor birds; yea, neither trees nor any grass, only rocks and high rough stony mountains; it is taken sometimes for the first part of the desert of Arabia, near Mount Sinai, and sometimes for the last part, towards the land of promise; sometimes it is called the desert of Sin, and sometimes the desert of Sinai, from the mount; but this name Pharan seems to be the most general of the names of this very long desert:''this is the wilderness the Israelites wandered in thirty eight years; what this writer says of it must be understood only of some parts of it, otherwise Ishmael could not have lived in it:

and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt: her own country, for she was an Egyptian, Genesis 16:1; and where they dwelt was not far from it: according to the Jewish writers, he had two wives; the first he divorced, and then married the Egyptian; his first wife, they say (r), he sent for, and took out of the plains of Moab, whose name was Aishah, and the other Phatimah; so the Targum of Jonathan here,"and he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, and took to wife Adisha (or Aisha), whom he divorced, and then his mother took him Phatimah to wife, out of the land of Egypt:''the names of Ishmael's wives seem to be taken from the Arabic writers; for Aishah, or Ayesha, was the name of a daughter of Abubeker, and one of the wives of Mahomet, and Phatimah the name of one of his daughters.

(q) Theatrum Terrae, S. p. 116. (r) Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c. 30.)

And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
21. the wilderness of Paran] Mentioned in Numbers 10:12; Numbers 12:16; Numbers 13:3. It seems to have been the wild mountainous country south and east of Kadesh, and west of Edom, the modern et-Tih.

out of the land of Egypt] Hagar herself was an Egyptian, cf. Genesis 16:1. For the parent taking a wife for the son, cf. Genesis 24:3; Genesis 34:4; Genesis 38:6; Jdg 14:2. The preliminary steps for a marriage are taken by the parents of the parties; here, in the absence of the father, the mother selects the bride.

Genesis 21:21Having been miraculously saved from perishing by the angel of God, Ishmael grew up under the protection of God, settled in the wilderness of Paran, and "became as he grew up an archer." Although preceded by יגדּל, the רבה is not tautological; and there is no reason for attributing to it the meaning of "archer," in which sense רבב alone occurs in the one passage Genesis 49:23. The desert of Paran is the present large desert of et-Tih, which stretches along the southern border of Canaan, from the western fringe of the Arabah, towards the east to the desert of Shur (Jifar), on the frontier of Egypt, and extends southwards to the promontories of the mountains of Horeb (vid., Numbers 10:12). On the northern edge of this desert was Beersheba (proleptically so called in Genesis 21:14), to which Abraham had removed from Gerar; so that in all probability Hagar and Ishmael were sent away from his abode there, and wandered about in the surrounding desert, till Hagar was afraid that they should perish with thirst. Lastly, in preparation for Genesis 25:12-18, it is mentioned in Genesis 21:21 that Ishmael married a wife out of Egypt.
Genesis 21:21 Interlinear
Genesis 21:21 Parallel Texts

Genesis 21:21 NIV
Genesis 21:21 NLT
Genesis 21:21 ESV
Genesis 21:21 NASB
Genesis 21:21 KJV

Genesis 21:21 Bible Apps
Genesis 21:21 Parallel
Genesis 21:21 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 21:21 Chinese Bible
Genesis 21:21 French Bible
Genesis 21:21 German Bible

Bible Hub

Genesis 21:20
Top of Page
Top of Page