Genesis 17:18

18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

Genesis 17:18 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
English Standard Version (ESV)
18 And Abraham said to God, "Oh that Ishmael might live before you!"
New Living Translation (NLT)
18 So Abraham said to God, “May Ishmael live under your special blessing!”
The Message Bible (MSG)
18 Recovering, Abraham said to God, "Oh, keep Ishmael alive and well before you!"
American Standard Version (ASV)
18 And Abraham said unto God, Oh that Ishmael might live before thee!
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
18 Then Abraham said to God, "Why not let Ishmael be my heir?"
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
18 So Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael could live in Your presence!"
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
18 Abraham said to God, "I wish Ishmael could receive your blessing!"

Genesis 17:18 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 17:18

And Abraham said unto God
Being told he should have a son by Sarah, that should be his heir, he is concerned for Ishmael what would become of him; and who, being grown up, had doubtless a large share in his affections, and it is highly probable he began to think he was the promised seed, since he had lived to such an age, and had no other son, and Sarah was past bearing children: but now perceiving it would be otherwise, he puts up a petition for Ishmael, whom he did not neglect upon the promise of another, and to show his love to him, and regard for his welfare:

O that Ishmael might live before thee;
he prays that his life might be preserved, and that it might be spent in the fear, worship, and service of God; so the Targum of Jonathan,

``O that Ishmael might live and worship before thee,''

and to the same sense Jarchi also; that he might enjoy the favour of God, his gracious presence and communion with him; that he might live a holy spiritual life here, acceptable and well pleasing to God, and possess eternal life hereafter: for we must take this prayer in as large a sense as we can suppose the heart of a father to be drawn forth in it for the good of his child; though it may greatly respect his sharing with the promised son in his blessings, and particularly regards the propagation of his offspring, or his living in his posterity at least; this was what the Lord took notice of, and answered him in.

Genesis 17:18 In-Context

16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”
18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.

Cross References 2

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