And Hagar took seed and bore Abraham a son, and he called his name Ishmael, and he
caused that there should be a great feast prepared to honor the child. And before
many witnesses Abraham blessed the child and established that he should be as a prince
among many people.
Summary: Abraham was told by God that he and his wife Sarah would have a son through
whom a great covenant would established. However, the two began to doubt that they
could have a child due to their old age. According to scripture, Sarah was persuaded
by the Son of the Morning to offer her handmaiden, Hagar, to Abraham so that the
covenant could be fulfilled (B:27:33-54). Abraham agreed, and Hagar conceived and
gave birth to a son named Ishmael (B:28:1-2).
The birth of Ishmael caused contention among the family of Abraham (B:28:3-4). During
Ishmael’s thirteenth year, Abraham was visited by God, and reminded of the promise
that he and Sarah would have a son together (B:28:5-21). God promised to bless Ishmael,
proclaiming Ishael would become the father of twelve princes who would rule over
the desert tribes (B:28:22-25, 47). Abraham was later counseled by the angel, Abiel,
to provide Hagar and Ishmael a plentiful contribution from his herds and flocks,
and send them away from the dwelling place of Abraham (B:28:47-52). The angel also
foretold of enmity arising between the houses of Ishmael and Isaac, as a result of
Abraham’s sin (B:28:45-46,53-54).
But the Fallen One answered, saying: “Do not despair, neither grieve in your heart,
for if you would that Abraham should have a son then give unto him your handmaiden,
Hagar. She shall bear Abraham a son whereby God shall keep all his word.
Then shall your reproach be taken away from before the eyes of men and your shame
covered before God.
For shall not the son of Abraham be unto you a son also, seeing that Hagar is but
Such were the words spoken to Sarah whereby she might tempt Abraham to sin towards
God. And Abraham returned from among the flocks and Sarah went unto her tent to consider
all the words which were spoken unto her.