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Abraham, Part 5: Can The ‘Wild Man’ Ishmael Be Tamed?

Or is Israel's neighborhood a self-consuming fire?

P. David Hornik


May 26, 2013 - 7:00 am
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Abraham and Sarah, the progenitors of the Jewish people, were for a long time a childless couple. After they lived that way in Canaan for ten years, Sarah suggested in desperation that Abraham have a child with her Egyptian maid Hagar. As Sarah puts it, “that I may obtain children by her.”

The child born to Abraham and Hagar is Ishmael, of whom an angel of God says:

…he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him….

Abraham, though, develops intense concern for the “wild man.” Sometime after Abraham and Sarah — by God’s intervention — finally have a son of their own, Isaac, Sarah sees Ishmael “mocking.” She reacts by demanding that Abraham expel Ishmael and Hagar for good.

Although Abraham is deeply pained to do so, God reassures him that — as in the case of Isaac — “also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a great nation, because he is thy seed.”

Indeed, God has already told Abraham earlier:

…as for Ishmael…: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

But my covenant will I establish with Isaac….

Ishmael, then, appears to be loved and valued both by Abraham and by God; but not to have equal status with Isaac.

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All Comments   (39)
All Comments   (39)
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Modern Science, the Scientific Method and the Renaissance owes its existence to Islam.
Watch the BBC Documentary: Science and Islam and PBS Documentary: Islam - An Empire of Faith.
Like the Quran Says, the unbelievers are trying to extinguish the Light of Islam from their mouths. Their missiles and drones are puffs. Islam shall return.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That documentary is a joke, all it takes is for a thinking man to study history to know that.
Probably filmed by muslims to try and justify the filthy ideology of islam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
islam, destroyed science. islam created nothing and preserved nothing.
islam will be eradicated, as it should be.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Hornik - What is the chosen-ness of the Israelite/Jew? It is in the performance of the commandments. What distinguishes Jew from Christian or Jew from Muslim is obeying the commandments. It is through such obedience that we bring God into our midst. That is because every action we take as Jews is filtered through the prism of the commandments, be it from the mundane to the magnificent. When I use my dairy flatware for dairy meals and meat flatware for meat meals, I remind myself of the Torah commandments; and when I sound the shofar on Rosh HaShannah and fast on Yom Kippur I remind myself of the Torah commandments. That is what the chosen-ness of the Jews is about. And I said, its purpose I think is to remind us that God is always present. As the late Rav Soleveitchik said - in other religions much is promised but little is required, but in Judaism, much is required but little is promised.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I respect that view. I define the chosenness more broadly--exuding light in various regards.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" If there’s anything that gives me hope — and I’m not steeped in it these days — it’s Israel’s success in fostering relative moderation among its Arab citizens. "

Too bad you closed an excellent article with the same old liberal bull and galutish syndrome of expressing your hopes for the future based upon another's opinion of you.
My hope for the future is based upon what we as a people have and will accomplish. Your fantasy regarding loyal arab citizens is jut that- a fantasy. They will smile at you, work with you , take your money, build their homes and never stop dreaming of the day they can conquer you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The hope I expressed is of the Arab and Muslim culture becoming unbearably frustrated with its failures and hence genuinely self-reflective and reformist. Yes, it may be a fantasy, or it may not; I can't see far into the future. Certainly there are instances of cultures evolving and improving over time. At this time, large parts of the Egyptian and Turkish populations are rejecting and rebelling against Islamist governments. This doesn't mean that, even if these revolts were to succeed, these societies would turn into Canada tomorrow. But we are not prohibited from expressing hope about some possible positive future evolution of the difficult societies that surround Israel, or from saying even a single tentative positive word about them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The answer is yes. It has been prophesied. The taming however may take the form of annihilation, via armegeddeon, consumed by fire.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You moved the goal posts a bit on me EJOI.

It is my understanding the main reason for Noah's flood was the Nephilim, and murder on the earth. Moses sent spies into the land, but the spies reported the Nephilim, and were afraid. Thus, 40 years to make them strong, and get rid of the generation that did not believe G-d powerful enough.

The malenkites were Moloch worshipers among other things, and it is not our place to judge what G-d does. Sodom was destroyed for more than homosexuality, and only G-d can tell their hearts. Our cities have earned the same destruction.

G-d's laws are just. G-d could make us worship him, but we have to choose, and G-d loved us so much, he died for us on a cross to show his laws are just. A price must be made for sin. The word made flesh holds the deed to this earth that was lost by Adam.

I understand your point/points, and I support your right to believe as you wish. This world system, and it's ruler stand against all that G-d has ordered. All religions except true Christianity offer nothing but works as a way to Heaven. As fallen creatures we can do nothing to earn Heaven. We must accept G-d's love, also called grace. Otherwise, we stand before G-d with nothing to atone for our sin.

Once, America had a chance to go down a more correct road. A road following G-d's laws, but JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther were murdered. Now, we have gone down this road for over 50 years. G-d will not be mocked.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I never even mentioned the Flood (that was Waxwing who mentioned the Flood), and those people broke God's laws, so they did end up dying, I agree.

I have no intention of mocking God (He can bend reality on a whim, and he will interfere with it as he pleases due to being all powerful), but nor am I naive enough to believe that God is loving. Rulers don't "love," and Justice isn't predicated on "love," either. Real rulership and justice, especially the punishment aspect, is always predicated on hate. My history classes have taught me that. Such was the case with King Henry VIII when he issued guilty verdicts on criminals, and such was the case with various rulers that were taught to us in history. If God actually loved us, he would have incinerated our capacity for Free Will, leave us complete and total robots in exchange for exterminating all sin when Jesus was nailed on the Cross (think how Neo ended up destroying Smith in the Matrix Revolutions). Heck, had he even loved us and sought a relationship with us, he would have made us exactly like him (not just being made in his image, but also having all his abilities, all his knowledge, literal copies of him, instead of deliberately making us weaker and dumber than him.). Besides, considering how he had Archangel Gabriel create Islam to attack and exterminate us despite Jesus's sacrifice, I'm not so sure whether God actually was sincere in his decision. The Agnus Dei and Glory to God in the Highest both stated that God took away the sins of the world, yet for some reason, sin still exists. God was supposed to take away our sins, meaning to the extent that he exterminated our free will. God's dominance is absolute, and we are nothing more than slaves to him, created as such by his will. That much is certain. Relationships naturally include equal standing, meaning we have to have the same kinds of powers and knowledge as God to truly be equal, nothing more, nothing less. God deliberately made us weaker and dumber than him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
EJ01 No disrespect but your lack of real knowledge of what the Bible tells us of God and His nature and His desires for mankind are astounding for one who seems to speak with authority. God making man as literal copies of Himself? Really? That's on the level of can God make a stone so big that He cannot lift it. And the exterminating all sin thing, read the last chapter or to of the book of Revelations, it's in there. Not at all sure where the God having Gabriel create Islam comes from, sure isn't in the Bible. God, or Christ, paid the penalty of sin, He didn't take it away, it can't be made to not exist or to not have a penalty. "Relationships naturally include equal standing" ??? Where did you pull that nonsense from? The world is full of people in relationships with nothing even close to equal powers and knowledge. I mean OMG, what a bunch of nonsense you have spouted. "And professing themselves to be wise they became as fools". EJ01, today you have jumped to the head of that line.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Never said anything about being wise anyways, so don't tread that proverb on me.

And as far as exterminating sin, I know about it being in the Book of Revelations, but I'm specifically referring to Agnus Dei and Gloria, where one of the verses is "Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us" as if he had already done that.

As far as the Gabriel and Islam thing, that wasn't in the bible itself, but it was mentioned in the Quran, and its widespread enough that even Christians have professed this as well, certainly Religious courses, anyway. The angel appeared to Mohammad on Mount Mira (allegedly, anyways), and claimed itself to be Gabriel.

And I do have knowledge on the content of the Bible, actually. I know Adam and Eve were initially created by God, but then Satan, disguised as a Serpent, tricked Eve into eating from the forbidden tree of knowledge, and likewise got Adam involved in eating it indirectly, infecting us with sin, Adam and Eve, upon the discovery, then ended up kicked out of the Garden of Eden by God, and the Serpent along with them, with God also foreshadowing the conception of Jesus via the Virgin Mary in the process. God then proceeded to flood the Earth sometime later, only allowing Noah, his family, and two of each animal to board the boat known as the Ark for forty days and forty nights until they came across land via a dove, with God promising to not flood the Earth again, even supplying a rainbow as a token gesture. Sometime later, Abraham was then called to God, and Abraham, as noted in the article, ended up fathering both Issac and Ishmael, the latter of whom along with Hagar, as noted in the article above, ended up exiled due to Sarah's (Issac's mother) demands, and, after tests which included nearly killing his son to appease God, only for an angel to stop him, sacrificing a trapped ram in his stead. A while later, Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed by God due to various vices they had committed, and there not being even ten decent people present, with Lot's wife also perishing in the process due to looking back. The Israelites eventually settled in Egypt, became enslaved, Moses then proceeded to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, with God playing a large role in it by inflicting seven plagues on the Egyptians until they caved and let them be released, only for the Pharaoh to back out of his agreement, resulting in the splitting of the Red River and then wiping out the Pharaoh's army deployed to retrieve them. They then travelled through the desert, with the Israelites frequently complaining, with God eventually supplying manna one night. He then had Moses deliver the ten commandments as well as the laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Eventually, Israel demanded a king, like other nations, and while their first king did somewhat well, Solomon, their next king, fared terribly, leading to the Babylonian Exile and eventual freeing. Saul then disobeyed a direct command to commit genocide against the Malenkites, sparing the king (temporarily, until Simon told him off at God's behest), and then Goliath came, David took him out with a slingshot and a dagger, Saul went insane, David became king upon escaping Saul's wrath, and ran a kingdom. We also have Elijah hearing God calling out to him, and Jonah being eaten by a large fish sent by God to ensure Jonah warned a city to repent for its sins, which he did, and the city did just that, sparing it from meeting the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah.

New Testament had Jesus being born by God's Will to the Virgin Mary, narrowly surviving Herod's attempt at killing him and any children less than a year old due to his prophesized status as the Son of God and the King of the Jews. Jesus then grew up as a carpenter, began preaching his Father's will, the Pharosees and Sadducees were upset by this, had organized a mob to have him crucified, Jesus complied to being killed on the Cross after conquering 40 days of fasting and succeeding in dissuading Satan's temptations, and being betrayed by Judas. He was nailed to the cross, and died, rose again three days later. Thomas did not believe he returned until Jesus exposed his survival to his followers the second time around. Jesus then continued preaching God's word to his disciples and then eventually ascended to Heaven, Jesus then left Peter to lead the church, acting as the rock. Before he left, he also left a vision to his followers as to what was present. Then there's the book of revelations that talks about the end of the world, as well as Satan being fully defeated by Jesus and God once again.

There, that's quite a bit I've stated, and that's just the summarized detail. I have done readings for the Bible, Old and New Testaments at mass, so I definitely know what I'm talking about.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your words remind me much of a good friend from my college days. He studied Christianity as part of his religion minor and to him it is just one of many religions, none more true than the other. Islam by the way is a construct of satan, Allah is not the same god as known and worshiped by Abraham and Isaac, and shown to us by His Son, so anything contained in the Quran are lies. My friend did indeed know much but he was not and is not a believer so the Spirit has never been in him to guide his learning. I pray that God will lead you to a saving knowledge of His Son, the Christ. Then your eyes will be opened.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Heck, the mere fact that I even EXIST is enough to prove God's existence, as well as that of his son Jesus and the holy spirit. And I mean this literally: I was the byproduct of a sex therapy program between my mom and dad. They had chemical imbalances in their systems that made them literally incompatable of conceiving life otherwise, so they took a type of sex therapy to ensure they had a kid. I was that kid, and ultimately the only one before it was revealed that such an attempt actually worsened my Mom's chemical balance. I'm effectively artificial, in other words, probably not even natural-born, not different from a clone, I guess. If I were natural-born, then that sex therapy probably wouldn't have been necessary for my existence. And I know God most likely willed me into existence, anyway.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, I am a believer in God and Christ (at least in the sense that they exist). I wouldn't have even gone to church, much less try almost obsessedly to follow the ten commandments if I weren't (and believe me, I do try to make sure I follow God's will). However, the only thing I feel for them is fear, as I very much realize they'll destroy me on a whim if I disobey them or fail them. Heck, I also would NEVER, EVER turn to atheism or even agnosticism, as I know what atheists often did to Christians or any other religious group (ie, they persecute them, lop their heads off, kick the heads, stab them, put them into gulags, torture them, all of those things.). The French Revolution and the various Communist revolutions have taught me that. I definitely believe in God, however, I am also terrified of him, and I doubt love will ever come into the foreground, knowing some things he did.

I was exposed to the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was still a very young child. That scene was burned into my mind regarding how God is ultimately destructive. My parents at the time didn't even know I saw it (they were watching it, I was supposed to be asleep, I ended up waking up early, and... well, you can guess what happened next). I tried during my teenage and even young college years to put it away, I even believed that I had gotten rid of that traumatic fear for good by my Junior year. Unfortunately, it returned I suspect during 2011. Being exposed to the Architect's speech in The Matrix Reloaded (which the entire trilogy was supposed to have religious elements, with even Christians, even someone like Father Barron, stating it had a lot of Christian allegories), with the Architect effectively acting as the Matrix's version of God (when I was a college student), really did not help either, nor did my finding a picture bible that depicted a lot of destruction in the section for the Book of Revelations help (when I was a bit older than Raiders, but still a young kid). Then there's Sinners at the Hands of an Angry God, which really disturbed me regarding how God acted in that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

I do not believe you are correct. If G-d created us to rule over us, and made laws to control us, why are we not in line with G-d's laws? Why is there war, murder, homosexuality...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You've forgotten that God himself advocated war and death: He ordered Saul to commit genocide against the malenkites or whatever their name was. He also was personally responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, using his own powers.

And the fact that he imposed us with the 10 commandments, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers proves that he seeks to control us. Think about it, if he wanted us to be free, why did he make those laws in the first place? Had I been in God's position, and I wanted humanity to be free, I'd have them act with complete, mindless anarchy at the expense of myself, even leading to my (permanent) destruction and leaving them to wipe each other out shortly thereafter (think of a combination of the Days of Rage and the French Revolution), since that's what freedom truly is (and BTW, I as a human hold complete disgust to the concept of anarchy, and I am completely certain that God holds that kind of disgust towards it as well).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Noah was chosen to obey God. Only 8 souls survived. God had destroyed the old power structure. Abraham was chosen to obey God. But something changed. This showed God was looking for something more than to obey.
the door to Love God and share in God;s power was open as if God was looking for new rulers to replace the old order.
How will these new rulers become worthy? A good example is in the story of Joseph thrown rejected by his family ,made a slave,then thrown in prison and then made worthy to rule because of his faithfulness.
Then came Moses raised to become Pharaoh. But he was rejected to enter the promised land. 40 years in the desert was needed to make them worthy. Worthy for what?
The answer to that question proves how God was always looking for those persons worthy to replace the old order destroyed in Noah's day to rule with him in heaven. No nation or tribe could ever be the worthy people for such a lofty goal
Jesus came to the 12 read about Matthew 10. All power came down from heaven and they were sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. But the promise would be how despite having all power and all authority they would be made losers like Joseph and face death because the cream of the crop to rule in heaven were now being chosen to replace the old order and they would suffer as rejects just as the Jews suffered since Babylon captivity and in great danger from the gentiles.
Saint Paul was chosen to open up the door to even the gentiles become the cream of the crop to rule with God in heaven after they become losers on the earth.
2000 years have now gone by and what is God's plan now? By belief is how God's heaven and God's saints in heaven will in total rule the earth .
All power and authority will be given to those chosen on earth to do this I believe although I prefer to believe they remain lambs and the great angels and saints do the battles as they increase in great faith with holy tongues on fire
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Joel 2

oel 2

New International Version (NIV)

2 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.

Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand—
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness.
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army comes,
such as never was in ancient times
nor ever will be in ages to come.

3 Before them fire devours,
behind them a flame blazes.
Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,
behind them, a desert waste—
nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses;
they gallop along like cavalry.
5 With a noise like that of chariots
they leap over the mountaintops,
like a crackling fire consuming stubble,
like a mighty army drawn up for battle.

6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;
every face turns pale.
7 They charge like warriors;
they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
not swerving from their course.
8 They do not jostle each other;
each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
without breaking ranks.
9 They rush upon the city;
they run along the wall.
They climb into the houses;
like thieves they enter through the windows.

10 Before them the earth shakes,
the heavens tremble,
the sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars no longer shine.
11 The Lord thunders
at the head of his army;
his forces are beyond number,
and mighty is the army that obeys his command.
The day of the Lord is great;
it is dreadful.
Who can endure it?
Rend Your Heart

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
and leave behind a blessing—....."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The relationship between man and God is personal, individual, and involves
this world only in the choice each man makes to follow or ignore the will of
God. As someone said: 'God did not put me here to make the world a better
place, but to make me a better man.'
The Jews are indeed special, but their status is more readily explained by
extraterrestrial and/or paranormal factors than by supernatural ones;
Please don't believe me on this point - read your Bible as history and decide
for yourselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry, but I doubt that God wanted individual, personal relationships with his creations. For one thing, "personal individual relationships" is extremely selfish and narcissistic in nature. It's basically a me-first attitude and not caring for anyone else, or worse, serving God at the absolute expense of others, just like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast's views on himself, or Kuzco's "its all about ME" attitude from The Emperor's New Groove (in the beginning, at least). No, God created us specifically to rule over us. Laws were created solely as a measure of control.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree - look out at the vastness that is the Universe and ask yourself if God is a personal God. There simply is no evidence of this except in the religious books and experiences of those in the stories of the Bible and Koran and other ancient writings in India and ancient Sumeria and later civilizations that sprang from it.

We've been left to our own devices - there is no good - no evil - everything simply is what it is. Evil is nothing more than the absence of good just like darkness is the absence of light. No Divine Hand to guide us daily. Kind of like a parent that dumps their children in a sandlot to play as they will. How else can you explain it when disaster strikes and many people are killed? The Hand of God? Nonsense! The person who wrote in the Bible that 'The rain falls on the just and unjust alike' knew that much.

If you wish to change mankind learn to change yourself first. Until you learn to understand yourself it would be naive to try to change others. Its like the blind leading the blind.

Good start: Read The Prophet.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Speaking to a person in great need about an hour ago I did not tell them Jesus fly over my head twice but the right words came to me to share with the hurting person then Lilith , the Queen of Sheba , Mary Magdeline and Saint Faustina brought me so much love as I now prepare for my next mission for God. Sometimes a small appearing mission for God ends up close to the greatest appearing mission ,how it affects me and the people around me yet sometimes my own garden get blown away so it seems as long as I see this restored again and good news convince me hell is temporary condition
Restoration always comes I believe
"When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. "
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Universal Church makes the claim Jews lost their chosen favor with G-d. Not true Christianity.

Those who curse Israel will be cursed. Those who bless Israel will be blessed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You do realize that this technically means the Jews who curse Israel will be cursed themselves, right? There are more than a few Jewish people here in America who seem dedicated to pushing against Israel or supporting people who are clearly against Israel and are anti-Semetic (for example, several of them on J-street, possibly Steven Spielburg and most certainly George Soros, who is at least ethnically Jewish). In that sense, the Universal Church (I don't know whether you mean the Catholic church or not, as "Catholic" does mean "Universal"). Still, Israel must survive, and this isn't even someone who is Jewish stating this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" mission rooted in the transcendent"

war ,human sacrifice ,the poison arrow have always been the normal in human relations and every" Garden of Eden" overthrown. Why has that happened?
But God gave the Jew the Holy Temple not fruit and veggies from the Garden of Eden. Why is that?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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