Muslims believe that God made a covenant with Ishmael and also with Isaac. As you may know, Abraham is the 'father' of the Jewish, Christian, & Muslim religions. Ishmael was Abraham's first born son (his mother was an Egyptian slave). Ishmael was born when Abraham was 86 years old.
Genesis 16: 15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
Then, Abraham's wife, Sarah, became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
Genesis 21: 5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
From the Bible, we know that an angel appeared to Hagar and told her to name her child Ishmael.
Genesis 16:11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
We also know that God told Abraham that Sarah would bear a son whom he should name Isaac.
Both the Bible and the Quran record this history. I had learned all this in parochial school years ago, but there is one major difference in the story that was never pointed out to me until recently. While discussing religion over the holiday, I was told that Muslims (at least this one) believe Jewish scribes changed the story in Genesis and that Ishmael is actually, also, a son who received a birthright. He said that is why the story in the Bible about Hagar's exile doesn't make sense. When I argued that it did make sense, he picked up the Bible & showed me what he was talking about.
As noted above, Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born & 100 years old when Isaac was born. That would make Ishmael 14 when Isaac was born. The story in the Quran claims that Hagar & her child were exiled when Ishmael was a baby (to the place where Mecca is today.)
The story in the Bible says that Hagar & Ishmael were exiled after Isaac was born. In fact, they were exiled on the day Isaac was weaned. Let's guess that Isaac was probably 2-3 years old at that time, which would make Ishmael 16-17 years old.
Yet, this is how the Bible describes the exile of Hagar & Ishmael:
Genesis 21: 14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
Imagine my surprise. Why had this never been pointed out to me before? This is so obviously inconsistent with the beginning of the story:
Genesis 21: 8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.
Edited by flicka (12/05/10 07:05 PM)
"A lot of things were acceptable--until we stopped accepting it." -- Al Sharpton '12