And he said
The same that put the question, Jehovah himself, as appears by what follows: I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life;
not by a personal appearance as now, but by the fulfilment of his promise which he had before given to Abraham, that he should have a son by Sarah, and now renews it; and this would be about the same time in the next year, perhaps at the spring of the year, which may be called "a time of life", when all things revive, which in the winter season seem to be dead; a fit emblem this of the case and condition of Abraham and Sarah, both as they now were, and afterwards would be; for, though their bodies were as it were dead and unfit for generation, yet nature would revive in them again: unless it be understood of the whole time of the conception, quickening, and birth of an infant, at the usual time a woman goes with child, which is nine months, when the infant is a perfect living child. All the Targums paraphrase it,
``in which ye shall be alive,''safe and well, and so most of the Jewish commentators; as if it was a promise to Abraham and Sarah, that they should live to see the promise made good next given; but this seems not so agreeable as either of the former, see ( 2 Kings 4:16 ) : and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son;
``and Ishmael stood behind it,''the tent door; and the former adds, and hearkened to what the angel said.