God, Hagar, and Ishmael

Hello all,

I have been struggling with understanding the relationship between Hagar, her son Ishmael, and God. Did God really not care as much about Hagar and Ishmael when compared to Abraham, Sarah and Isaac? Also, why is Ishmael usually reflected in a negative light? Does the Bible say he is evil, or did he follow and trust God?

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@Ajax93 Interestingly enough, for me Hagar is a perfect example of the mercy of God on all people by her own testimony. After she was evicted from the household and did not know what to do, the Lord met her and gave her guidance. She then said You are the God who sees me. What a powerful statement! The God who sees us when we are cast off; the God who sees us when no one else does the God who is with all who call upon His name.

Genesis 16:13-14 - She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

Regarding Ishmael, I think he has gotten a bad reputation because of the way he is often contrasted with Isaac, who was the child of God’s promise, and sometimes associated with Islam (a claim that is likely not true regardless). In reality, we see that God blesses Ishmael at Abraham’s request. I am not sure the text gives us enough information to know if Ishmael chose to worship the God of Abraham or the gods of the nations…

Genesis 17:20 - And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:


And he was the father of the people of the east(the wise men)? Ishmael I mean. Hope this is true. I am not which scriptures support this.

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Got Questions says that the Arabs are some of the descendants of Ishmael; this according to the descendants mentioned in Genesis 25. There are prophecies of the Arabs being blessed when Jesus returns in Ezekiel 47; Isaiah 14 and 19. Maybe that is the Lord remembering Ishmael.

But many think that the wise men were descendants of the Babylonians and Persians; the Persian tribes were a different tribe from the Arabs and the Persian Empire didn’t encompass what is now Saudi Arabia.

That the wise men were descendants of the Persian Empire would make sense. This is because the people of Judah were exiled in Babylon for 70 years - and during that time, Daniel became a high administrator in the Babylonian court. Daniel’s prominence continued when Cyrus the Great of the Medo-Persian Empire conquered Babylon. When Cyrus allowed the people of Judah to return and rebuild Jerusalem, most of them chose to remain in Persia. The Old Testament would be a book known among the scholars in the Persian Empire because Daniel was well respected there (and still is in Iran today). (The Persian Empire became the Parthian Empire of the first century). Knowledge of the OT would explain how the wise men knew the prophecies of the Messiah. Balaam had given the prophecy of the Messiah and the star, “I see Him but not now; I behold Him but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a sceptre will rise out of Israel.” Numbers 24:17.