Genesis 21:5
And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born to him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
21:1-8 Few under the Old Testament were brought into the world with such expectations as Isaac. He was in this a type of Christ, that Seed which the holy God so long promised, and holy men so long expected. He was born according to the promise, at the set time of which God had spoken. God's promised mercies will certainly come at the time which He sets, and that is the best time. Isaac means laughter, and there was good reason for the name, ch. 17:17; 18:13. When the Sun of comfort is risen upon the soul, it is good to remember how welcome the dawning of the day was. When Sarah received the promise, she laughed with distrust and doubt. When God gives us the mercies we began to despair of, we ought to remember with sorrow and shame our sinful distrust of his power and promise, when we were in pursuit of them. This mercy filled Sarah with joy and wonder. God's favours to his covenant people are such as surpass their own and others' thoughts and expectations: who could imagine that he should do so much for those that deserve so little, nay, for those that deserve so ill? Who would have said that God should send his Son to die for us, his Spirit to make us holy, his angels to attend us? Who would have said that such great sins should be pardoned, such mean services accepted, and such worthless worms taken into covenant? A short account of Isaac's infancy is given. God's blessing upon the nursing of children, and the preservation of them through the perils of the infant age, are to be acknowledged as signal instances of the care and tenderness of the Divine providence. See Ps 22:9,10; Ho 11:1,2.Isaac is born according to promise, and grows to be weaned. "The Lord had visited Sarah." It is possible that this event may have occurred before the patriarchal pair arrived in Gerar. To visit, is to draw near to a person for the purpose of either chastising or conferring a favor. The Lord had been faithful to his gracious promise to Sarah. "He did as he had spoken." The object of the visit was accomplished. In due time she bears a son, whom Abraham, in accordance with the divine command, calls Isaac, and circumcises on the eighth day. Abraham was now a hundred years old, and therefore Isaac was born thirty years after the call. Sarah expressed her grateful wonder in two somewhat poetic strains. The first, consisting of two sentences, turns on the word laugh. This is no longer the laugh of delight mingled with doubt, but that of wonder and joy at the power of the Lord overcoming the impotence of the aged mother. The second strain of three sentences turns upon the object of this admiring joy. The event that nobody ever expected to hear announced to Abraham, has nevertheless taken place; "for I have borne him a son in his old age." The time of weaning, the second step of the child to individual existence, at length arrives, and the household of Abraham make merry, as was wont, on the festive occasion. The infant was usually weaned in the second or third year 1 Samuel 1:22-24; 2 Chronicles 31:16. The child seems to have remained for the first five years under the special care of the mother Leviticus 27:6. The son then came under the management of the father.3, 4. Abraham called the name of his son … Isaac … and circumcised—God was acknowledged in the name which, by divine command, was given for a memorial (compare Ge 17:19), and also in the dedication of the child by administering the seal of the covenant (compare Ge 17:10-12). circ. 1807 No text from Poole on this verse. And Abraham was an hundred years old when son Isaac was born unto him. So that this was years after his departure from Haran, and coming into the land of Canaan, for then he was seventy five years of age, Genesis 12:4; and this exactly agrees with the account of Demetrius, as related by Polyhistor, an Heathen writer (o), who makes Isaac to be born just twenty five years from Abraham's coming into the land of Canaan, and who must be now an hundred years old, being ninety nine at the time the Lord appeared unto him, and promised him a son at the set time the next year, Genesis 17:1. This is observed, both to show the wonderful favour to Abraham, and the faithfulness of God in the exact performance of his promise: according to Bishop Usher (p), Isaac was born A. M. 2108, and before Christ 1896, and probably at Beersheba, see Genesis 21:33.

(o) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 21. p. 425. (p) Annales Vet. Test. p. 9.

And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 5. - And Abraham was an hundred years old (cf. Genesis 17:1, 17), when his son Isaac was born unto him. Literally, at the time of bearing to him (ἐν τῷ τεκεῖν) Isaac (vide Gesenius, 'Gram.,' § 143). Thus Abraham had waited twenty-five years for the fulfillment of the promise - a remarkable instance of faith and patience (Romans 4:20), as Isaac's birth was a signal display of Divine power (Romans 4:17; Hebrews 11:12). Whether Isaac was born at Gerar or at Beersheba cannot with certitude be inferred. After this reparation, God healed Abimelech at Abraham's intercession; also his wife and maids, so that they could bear again, for Jehovah had closed up every womb in Abimelech's house on Sarah's account. אמהות, maids whom the king kept as concubines, are to be distinguished from שׁפחות female slaves (Genesis 20:14). That there was a material difference between them, is proved by 1 Samuel 25:41. כּל־רחם עצר כּל does not mean, as is frequently supposed, to prevent actual childbirth, but to prevent conception, i.e., to produce barrenness (1 Samuel 1:5-6). This is evident from the expression "He hath restrained me from bearing" in Genesis 16:2 (cf. Isaiah 66:9, and 1 Samuel 21:6), and from the opposite phrase, "open the womb," so as to facilitate conception (Genesis 29:31, and Genesis 30:22). The plague brought upon Abimelech's house, therefore, consisted of some disease which rendered the begetting of children (the coitus) impossible. This might have occurred as soon as Sarah was taken into the royal harem, and therefore need not presuppose any lengthened stay there. There is no necessity, therefore, to restrict ויּלדוּ to the women and regard it as equivalent to ותּלדנה, which would be grammatically inadmissible; for it may refer to Abimelech also, since ילד signifies to beget as well as to bear. We may adopt Knobel's explanation, therefore, though without approving of the inference that Genesis 20:18 was an appendix of the Jehovist, and arose from a misunderstanding of the word ויּלדוּ in Genesis 20:17. A later addition Genesis 20:18 cannot be; for the simple reason, that without the explanation give there, the previous verse would be unintelligible, so that it cannot have been wanting in any of the accounts. The name Jehovah, in contrast with Elohim and Ha-Elohim in Genesis 20:17, is obviously significant. The cure of Abimelech and his wives belonged to the Deity (Elohim). Abraham directed his intercession not to Elohim, an indefinite and unknown God, but to האלהים; for the God, whose prophet he was, was the personal and true God. It was He too who had brought the disease upon Abimelech and his house, not as Elohim or Ha-Elohim, but as Jehovah, the God of salvation; for His design therein was to prevent the disturbance of frustration of His saving design, and the birth of the promised son from Sarah.

But if the divine names Elohim and Ha-Elohim indicate the true relation of God to Abimelech, and here also it was Jehovah who interposed for Abraham and preserved the mother of the promised seed, our narrative cannot be merely an Elohistic side-piece appended to the Jehovistic account in Genesis 12:14., and founded upon a fictitious legend. The thoroughly distinctive character of this event is a decisive proof of the fallacy of any such critical conjecture. Apart from the one point of agreement-the taking of Abraham's wife into the royal harem, because he said she was his sister in the hope of thereby saving his own life (an event, the repetition of which in the space of 24 years is by no means startling, when we consider the customs of the age) - all the more minute details are entirely different in the two cases. In king Abimelech we meet with a totally different character from that of Pharaoh. We see in him a heathen imbued with a moral consciousness of right, and open to receive divine revelation, of which there is not the slightest trace in the king of Egypt. And Abraham, in spite of his natural weakness, and the consequent confusion which he manifested in the presence of the pious heathen, was exalted by the compassionate grace of God to the position of His own friend, so that even the heathen king, who seems to have been in the right in this instance, was compelled to bend before him and to seek the removal of the divine punishment, which had fallen upon him and his house, through the medium of his intercession. In this way God proved to the Philistine king, on the one hand, that He suffers no harm to befall His prophets (Psalm 105:15), and to Abraham, on the other, that He can maintain His covenant and secure the realization of His promise against all opposition from the sinful desires of earthly potentates. It was in this respect that the event possessed a typical significance in relation to the future attitude of Israel towards surrounding nations.

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