I have been debating (actually arguing and exchanging insults
) with a Muslim poster at an anti-Islamic forum for a few days. This Muslim guy claims that Ishmael was an infant when Sara asked Abraham to cast Hagar and her son out of the house. His argument relies on the personal interpretation of the following verses:Genesis 21:14-16
So Abraham rose up in the morning, and taking bread and a bottle of water, put it upon her shoulder, and delivered the boy, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Bersabee. And when the water in the bottle was spent, she cast the boy under one of the trees that were there
. And she went her way, and sat overagainst him a great way off, as far as a bow can carry, for she said: I will not see the boy die: and sitting overagainst, she lifted up her voice and wept.
The Muslim poster suggests that Ishmael cannot have been at the age of 13 or 14 at that time because of Hagar's awkward action of throwing him under a shrub.
More, the Muslim guy insists that Abraham did not live with Sara and Isaac, quoting the following verses to support his theory:Genesis 21:33-34
And Abimelech and Phicol, the general of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Palestines. But Abraham planted a grove in Bersabee, and there called upon the name of the Lord God eternal
. And he was a sojourner in the land of the Palestines many days.
He says this verse means that Abraham lived in Beersheba even before the test of holocaust. Genesis 23:1-2
And Sara lived a hundred and twenty-seven years. And she died in the city of Arbee which is Hebron
, in the land of Chanaan: and Abraham came to mourn and weep for her
Why did Sara die in Hebron and not in Beersheba? When did she separate from Abraham's place in Beersheba and go to Hebron? What was the reason?
I only told the Muslim scholar that the account in Genesis emphasizes Abraham and Isaac's burial in the same place as Sara. I added that Hebron was the place where Sara and Abraham had a tent and were visited by angels for the annunciation of Isaac's birth. Does anyone know why there is an implicit separation between Sara and Abraham in Genesis? How does Orthodox Christianity explain that? Are there any Jewish traditions that shed some light on this issue and endorsed by Orthodoxy? How old was Ishmael when sent away with his mother?
Thanks for your help from now.