Story Nine

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
AFTER Sŏd́om and Go-mŏŕ˗rah were destroyed, Ā́ bră˗hăm moved his tent and his camp away from that part of the land, and went to live near a place called Ḡḗ rar, in the southwest, not far from the Great Sea. And there at last, the child whom God had promised to Ā́ bră-hăm and Sā́ rah was born, when Ā́ bră˗hăm his father was a hundred years old.
They named this child Ī́ s̞aac, as the angel had told thetas he should be named. And Ā́ bră-hăm and Sā́ rah were so happy to have a little boy, that after a time they gave a great feast to all the people, in honor of the little Ī́ s̞aac.
You remember the story about Sā́ rah's maid Hā́ gar, the Ḗgy̆ptian woman, and how she ran away from her mistress, and saw an angel by a well, and afterward came back to Sā́ rah, and had a child whose name was Ĭsh́ ma-el. So now there were two boys in Ā́ bră˗hăm's tent, the older boy, Ĭsh́ ma-el, the son of Hā́ gar, and the younger boy, Ī́s̞aac, the son of Ā́bră-ham and Sā́rah.
Ĭsh́ ma-el did not like the little Isaac, and did not treat him kindly. This made his mother Sā́ rah very angry, and she said to her husband:
"I do not wish to have this boy Ĭsh́ ma-el growing up with my son Ī́ s̞aac. Send away Hā́ gar and her boy, for they are a trouble to me.”
And Ā́ bră-hăm felt very sorry to have trouble come between Sā́ rah and Hā́ gar, and between Ī́ s̞aac and Ĭsh́˗ma-el; for Ā́ bră-hăm was a kind and good man, and he was friendly to them all.
But the Lord said to Ā́ bră-hăm, "Do not be troubled about Ĭsh́ ma-el and his mother. Do as Sā́ rah has asked you to do, and send them away. It is best that Isaac should be left alone in your tent, for he is to receive everything that is yours. I the Lord will take care of Ĭsh́ ma-el, and will make a great people of his descendants, those who shall come from him.”
So the next morning, Ā́ bră-hăm sent Hā́ gar and her boy away, expecting them to go back to the land of Ḗ ġy̆pt, from which Hā́ gar had come. He gave them some food for the journey, and a bottle of water to drink by the way. The bottles in that country were not like ours, made of glass. They were made from the skin of a goat, sewed tightly together. One of these skin bottles Ā́ bră˗hăm filled with water, and gave to Hā́ gar.
And Hā́ gar went away from Ā́ bră-hăm's tent, leading her little boy. But in some way she lost the road, and wandered over the desert, not knowing where she was, until all the water in the bottle was used up; and her poor boy, in the hot sun and the burning sand, had nothing to drink. She thought that he would die of his terrible thirst, and she laid him down under a little bush; and then she went away, for she said to herself:
"I cannot bear to look at my poor boy suffering and dying for want of water.”
And just at that moment, while Hā́ gar was crying, and her boy was moaning with thirst, she heard a voice saying to her: "Hā́ gar, what is your trouble? Do not be afraid. God has heard your cry, and the cry of your child. God will take care of you both, and will make of your boy a great nation of people.”
It was the voice of an angel from heaven; and then Hā́ gar looked, and there close at hand was a spring of water in the desert. How glad Hā́ gar was, as she filled the bottle with water, and took it, to her suffering boy under the bush!
After this, Hā́ gar did not go down to Ḗ ġy̆pt. She found a place near this spring, where she lived and brought up her son in the wilderness, far from other people. And God was with Ĭsh́ma-el, and cared for him. And Ĭsh́ ma-el grew up in the desert, and learned to shoot with the bow and arrow. He became a wild man, and his children after him grew up to be wild men also. They were the Arabians of the desert, who even to this day have never been ruled by any other people, but wander through the desert and live as they please. So Ĭsh́ ma-el came to be the father of many people, and his descendants, the wild Arabians of the desert, are living unto this day in that land, just as the Jews, who are the descendants of Ī́ s̞aac, are living all over the world.