Genesis 21:18
Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
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(18) Hold him in thine hand.—Literally, strengthen thine hand in him, hold him firmly. As Jerome remarks, the boy thus going hand in hand with his mother must have been her companion in her journey, and not a burden upon her shoulder. We must add that the words do not refer to what she was to do immediately, but to the future. She was not simply to lead him to the water, but to be his brave and faithful protector, such as we learn that she really became.

21:14-21 If Hagar and Ishmael had behaved well in Abraham's family, they might have continued there; but they were justly punished. By abusing privileges, we forfeit them. Those who know not when they are well off, will be made to know the worth of mercies by the want of them. They were brought to distress in the wilderness. It is not said that the provisions were spent, or that Abraham sent them away without money. But the water was spent; and having lost their way, in that hot climate Ishmael was soon overcome with fatigue and thirst. God's readiness to help us when we are in trouble, must not slacken, but quicken our endeavours to help ourselves. The promise concerning her son is repeated, as a reason why Hagar should bestir herself to help him. It should engage our care and pains about children and young people, to consider that we know not what great use God has designed them for, and may make of them. The angel directs her to a present supply. Many who have reason to be comforted, go mourning from day to day, because they do not see the reason they have for comfort. There is a well of water near them in the covenant of grace, but they are not aware of it, till the same God that opened their eyes to see their wound, opens them to see their remedy. Paran was a wild place, fit for a wild man; such as Ishmael. Those who are born after the flesh, take up with the wilderness of this world, while the children of the promise aim at the heavenly Canaan, and cannot be at rest till they are there. Yet God was with the lad; his outward welfare was owing to this.The fortunes of Ishmael. God cares for the wanderers. He hears the voice of the lad, whose sufferings from thirst are greater than those of the mother. An angel is sent, who addresses Hagar in the simple words of encouragement and direction. "Hold thy hand upon him." Lay thy hand firmly upon him. The former promise Genesis 16:10 is renewed to her. God also opened her eyes that she saw a well of water, from which the bottle is replenished, and she and the lad are recruited for their further journey. It is unnecessary to determine how far this opening of the eyes was miraculous. It may refer to the cheering of her mind and the sharpening of her attention. In Scripture the natural and supernatural are not always set over against each other as with us. All events are alike ascribed to an ever-watchful Providence, whether they flow from the ordinary laws of nature or some higher law of the divine will. "God was with the lad." Ishmael may have been cured of his childish spleen. It is possible also his father did not forget him, but sent him a stock of cattle with which to begin the pastoral life on his account. "He became an archer." He grew an archer, or multiplied into a tribe of archers. Paran Genesis 14:6 lay south of Palestine, and therefore on the way to Egypt, out of which his mother took him a wife. The Ishmaelites, therefore, both root and branch, were descended on the mother's side from the Egyptians.15. the water was spent, &c.—Ishmael sank exhausted from fatigue and thirst—his mother laid his head under one of the bushes to smell the damp while she herself, unable to witness his distress, sat down at a little distance in hopeless sorrow. i.e. Support or sustain thy languishing child with thy hand; for I will bless him, and thy care shall not be in vain.

Arise, lift up the lad,.... She had set herself down at some distance, and now she is bid to rise up and go to the place where she had left her son, and raise aim up from the ground, on which he lay along:

and hold him in thine hand: or take hold on him with thine hand, and hold him up with it, he being so weak that he could not sit up without being supported:

for I will make him a great nation: which is a renewal of a promise before made both to her and to Abraham, Genesis 16:10; and by this Hagar is assured that he would recover and live, and become a man and the father of children, who in time would become a great nation; See Gill on Genesis 16:10, Genesis 17:20, Genesis 21:13, this shows that the Angel of God here speaking is God himself, or a divine Person, since none but he could make him a great nation.

Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
18. a great nation] Cf. Genesis 21:13 and Genesis 16:10.

Verse 18. - Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand. Literally, bind fast ray hand to him, i.e. give him thy support now, and take cars of him till he reaches manhood. Cf. God's promise to Israel (Isaiah 42:6). For I will make him (literally, to) a great nation (vide Ver. 13; and cf. Genesis 16:10; Genesis 17:20). Genesis 21:18Then God heard the voice (the weeping and crying) of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, "What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the boy, where he is" (באשר for אשׁר בּמקום, 2 Samuel 15:21), i.e., in his helpless condition: "arise, lift up the lad," etc. It was Elohim, not Jehovah, who heard the voice of the boy, and appeared as the angel of Elohim, not of Jehovah (as in Genesis 16:7), because, when Ishmael and Hagar had been dismissed from Abraham's house, they were removed from the superintendence and care of the covenant God to the guidance and providence of God the ruler of all nations. God then opened her eyes, and she saw what she had not seen before, a well of water, from which she filled the bottle and gave her son to drink.
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