The Story of Ismael

The Story of Ismael,


Even though the firstborn was Ishmael, it is made clear to Abraham that the one who was destined for the covenant made with him and who would be the heir of the promised land, should be Isaac. In the Bible, in Genesis, it is textually stated:

“And God said unto him, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.

And as for Ishmael, I have also heard thee: behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly: twelve princes shall he beget and I will make of him a great nation.

And I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this time next year. And he made an end of speaking with him and God went up from being with Abraham.”

Genesis 17:19-22

Ishmael lived in the wilderness of Paran, located south of Canaan, grew older and also grew stronger. In due time, he proceeded to marry a woman of Egyptian origin and thus made the foundation of Ishmael and also became the father of twelve princes.

He procreated a daughter, who in time became the wife of Esau the son of Isaac.

The other brothers of Ishmael

With the passing of the years, Sarah, Abraham’s wife, dies, at the age of 127 years. Some versions arise about her death. It is related to the sacrifice that Abraham made to his son. He marries again, with a woman named Keturah.

Together with Keturah he then procreates 6 more sons, who would be the half-brothers of Ishmael and whose names were:


Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. Subsequently, the descendants of Dedan were Letús and Leum, who were people of Asur. As for Median, his sons were:


Later, Abraham gave everything he owned to Isaac. However, before he died, he gave some gifts to those who were the children of his concubines. And, in addition, he proceeded to separate them from his son Isaac, which he did by sending all of them eastward.

So Abraham had a life that lasted 175 years when he died.

The sons of Isaac and Ishmael were in charge of burying him, in the cave of Machpelah, located in the cap of Ephron. This field was purchased by Abraham from the Hittites, where he and his wife Sarah were buried.

After Abraham’s death, God blessed Isaac, who established his residence in Beer Lachai Roi. An extremely important subject…

The sons of Ishmael

From Ishmael’s marriage were procreated 12 sons, of whom it is said that they were the twelve princes promised by God to Abraham, responding to his requests. Their names were:

  • Nabayoth the firstborn of Ishmael.
  • Kedar
  • Abdel
  • Mibshan
  • Mishmah
  • Dumah
  • Masar
  • Hadar
  • Temah
  • Jetur
  • Nafis
  • Cedema

The names have been arranged according to their camps and villages. These twelve sons of Ishmael were cataloged as twelve princes within the vicinity of their village.

The life of Ishmael lasted 137 years.

His place of residence was the area located from Javilah to the south, in the eastern part of Egypt, on the road to Assyria.

The descendants of Ishmael forged their settlement in places located in the vicinity, close to their relatives. Eventually, they ended up living on what was the border of Egypt with the Persian Gulf.

Likewise, it was recorded by the prophet Mohammed that the head of his genealogy was Ishmael. In fact, according to Islam, the construction of Mecca was carried out by Ishmael, together with his father.

The vision of Islam

Muslims have a version of this mystical character.

For them, everything related to Abraham’s sacrifice was Ishmael and not Isaac, since the dates corresponding to the sacrifice and circumcision are not specified in the Bible.

“Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin. Ishmael, his son, was thirteen years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised. On the same day Abraham was circumcised and Ishmael his son.

And all the males of his household, the servant born in the house and the one bought for money abroad, were circumcised with him.”

Genesis 17:24-27.

The Circumcision

It is good to remember that Abraham was one hundred years old at the time of Isaac’s birth. After a year had passed, Isaac was born and circumcision was performed on him after he was eight days old.

“Abraham proceeded to circumcise his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded. And it also indicates that Abraham was one hundred years old at the time his son Isaac was born.”

Genesis 21:4-5

For Muslims, what refers to circumcision and sacrifice, were performed precisely at that time and it is, therefore, that it was practiced a year before Isaac was born.

Thus recalling that quotation where God tells Abraham to “take your son, your only son”, which can be considered a rather ambiguous phrase.

The descendants of Ishmael, as well as the prophet Mohammed and the rest of the Muslims, are, at present, completely faithful to the covenant of circumcision.

In their prayers, which they practice five times during the day, Muslims include in their prayers both Abraham and all his descendants, including Isaac. Together with Muhammad and the rest of his descendants…

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