He was an infant.
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.
Genesis 21:14  KJV


He was a young man.
25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
Genesis 17:25 KJV

5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him…
And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
And Sarah saw the son [Ishmael] of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
Genesis 21:5, 8-9  KJV


SAB Contradiction 239



Noone would have a problem with Ishmael’s age, hearing the story of Isaac’s birth and weaning. And yes, the SAB-critic has a serious problem; or better he has no problem, he likes to saddle Christians with a problem. But is it a real problem? If not, then the SAB-critic is only throwing a boomerang. Ow!


The story

Abram was promised to receive a son, but he and Sarai remained without children. So Sarai proposed Abram to marry also her bondwoman Hagar. A short time later Ishmael was born, son of Hagar. However, many years later Sarah (formerly Sarai) also bore a child Isaac. The day that Isaac’s breast feeding finished was an occasion for a party. Then Sarah saw how Ishmael laughed about her son Isaac and she required Ishmael to be sent away with his mother. At first Abraham refused, but later on he followed Sarah’s will and sent away Hagar and her son; probably to one of his other settlements. How old was Ishmael at that time? Was he an infant then?


What about the words?

Genesis 21:14
Jèlèd, meaning: child, male child, boy. However it can also be used to stress the special relationship with an elder. And that is the case here: “… and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the [their] child, and sent her away.” There is no indication of age here, but relationship.
Moreover some verses earlier (21:12) Ishmael is called:
Na’ar, meaning: young man (male of marrying age as long as he is a bachelor – Lexicon Koehler-Baumgartner, 1953). It is clear that the Bible gives in Genesis 21 a description of Ishmael as a grown up young man and not at all an infant as the SAB-critic suggests. And here we see the boomerang returning to him.

The age of Ishmael: He was 13 years when he was circumcised (Genesis 17:25); he was 14 years at the birth of Isaac (Genesis 16:16, 21:5); when Isaac was weaned circa 5 years later (Genesis 21:8) Ishmael was circa 19 years of age and absolutely not an infant.


No Bible Contradiction