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As God had promised, Sarah gave birth to a son at the age of 91. She and Abraham were very happy. Abraham named the boy Isaac and cut off his foreskin.
All was well in the Abraham clan until Sarah remembered Abraham's bastard, Ishmael, and his slave-mother, Hagar. She said to her husband, "Drive away this slave together with her son. The son of this slave will not share the inheritance with my son Isaac!"
Commentary: Readers may remember that fifteen years earlier, Sarah had encouraged Abraham to impregnate Hagar, but after the girl became pregnant, Sarah jealously tortured her until she ran away. Hagar eventually returned after God encouraged her to submit to Sarah's abuse.
Abraham was struck by a rare pang of conscience at the thought of sending his lover/slave and son alone into the desert. No worries, God reassured him, kick the bastard out. Isaac is the important one. But I'll make sure that Ishmael does OK for himself too, since he's your seed.
So Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael packing. To provide for them, he generously gave Hagar a skin of water and some bread. The two set out into the desert. When the water ran out, Hagar set Ishmael down under a bush to die, and she began to weep.
Commentary: One is left to assume that the 14-year-old Ishmael was light as a baby and possibly retarded. Between Sarah's abusiveness and Abraham's penny-pinching, I can only speculate about the treatment that led to this condition.
God heard Hagar's weeping and sent an angel speak to her. The angel promised Hagar that Ishmael would survive and found a great nation. God then opened Hagar's eyes, and she found a well from which to drink. She and Ishmael settled in the desert, and he became an expert archer.
Commentary: Either Ishmael had a big growth spurt, or he used a very small bow.
Hagar found an Egyptian wife for her stunted archer boy, and they all lived happily after.
Meanwhile, back at the Abraham ranch, old Abe had a spat over a disputed well with his friend, King Abimelekh of the Philistines. The two men met and came to an agreement. Abraham got his well back, and he gave Abimelekh some sheep and cattle. Abraham planted a tree and named the place of the well Beer-sheba, which means "pointless digression."