We received the following question [All caps were turned into sentence case and lowercase.]:

The following issue can destroy Islam [meant not to include Islam], Zionist racist Israel and the teachings of the church and not the way of Jesus which is perfect. Research the below small thesis to see if there is any truth to it.

Read the following passages from the bible as it has implications on the war against terror/Islam and the claim of Israel that God gave them the land. If the child is an infant than the Judeo-Christian version becomes null and void and we are wasting our time and resources i.e. we could save trillions of dollars and create a more peaceful world rather than fighting against Islam the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

The covenant with Abraham and his descendants is central to Judaism/Christianity/Islam.

Please note this is not a competition between faiths but an attempt to decipher fact from fiction.

Genesis 21:14 Contemporary English version se below link


Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar an animal skin full of water and some bread. Then he put the boy on her shoulder and sent them away.

Genesis 16:16
And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ish'mael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ish'mael to Abram.

Genesis 21:5
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

At Genesis 22 Abraham had only 2 sons others came later. The Quran mentions that it was Ishmael that was sacrificed [almost] hence the reference in genesis 22:2 your only son can only mean someone has substituted Ishmael [meant Isaac] names for Isaac [meant Ishmael]!!

By doing some kindergarten arithmatic using Arabic numbers (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
Not roman numerals (I, II, III,IV,V,VI,VII,VIII,IX,X) NB no concept of zero in roman numerals.

100 years old – 86 years old = 14 add 3 years for Issac's weaning

That would make Ishmael 17 years old in genesis 21:14-21
But it is a description of an infant.

Carefully read several times the above passage and then tell me the mental picture you get between the mother child interactions what is the age of the child. If the mental picture is that of a 17 year old child being carried on the shoulder of his mother, being physically placed in the bush, crying like a baby, mother having to give him water to drink, than the Islamic [meant Jewish] viewpoint is null and void. Why is there no verbal communications between mother and (17 year old) child?

Genesis: 21:14 - 21
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the (17 year old) child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the (17 year old) child under one of the bushes. Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Let me not look upon the death of the (17 year old) child." And as she sat over against him, the (17 year old) child lifted up his voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the (17 year old) lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the (17 year old) lad where he is. Arise, lift up the (17 year old) lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation." Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the (17 year old) lad a drink. And God was with the (17 year old) lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The age of Ishmael at this stage is crucial to the Abrahamic faiths. If he is 17 than the Judeo/Christian point of view about the Abrahamic covenant is correct [meant incorrect]. This has devastating theological consequences of unimaginable proportions.

This makes the conflict between Ishmael and Isaac and there descendants a work of fiction. I would strongly suggest it is clear cut case of racial discrimination and nothing to do with God almighty. The scribes have deliberately tried to make Isaac the only son and legitimate heir to the throne of Abraham??

Please can you rationally explain this anomaly?

I have asked many persons including my nephews and nieces - unbiased minds with no religious backgrounds but with reasonable command of the English language about this passage and they all agree that the child in the passage is an infant.
As the description of Ishmael in genesis 21:14-21 is that of an infant it can be assumed someone has moved this passage from an earlier part of scripture!!! And have got there knickers in a twist.

Hello Ahmedinajad,

Thank you for being patient.

The translation of Genesis 21:14 in the Contemporary English Version (CEV) is in error. We don't recommend that version as a primary source (only to be used when comparing versions). We use the King James Version (Authorized) for the most part, because those who most avoid the fullest interpretation of the words of Jesus Christ (among them the self-styled Christian-Zionists) often use that version exclusively. We use it to show them how they are making a huge mistake in holding with certain of their traditional-Protestant interpretations that neglect the fullest context of Jesus's use of figurative language. Their interpretations lead to the error of authorizing war (among other evils) in the name of Jesus, which is an abominable and wholly blasphemous thing to do. Otherwise, we find the New American Standard Bible (NASB) to be as solid a version as any other, to date.

Abraham didn't put Ishmael on Hagar's shoulder.

Genesis 21:14; King James Version (KJV):
"And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba."

New American Standard Bible (NASB):
"So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba."

Also, the exact determination of Ishmael's age is not possible since we don't know the month of his birth or the month of the year in which his mother and he were sent away. Also, we don't know Isaac's exact age at the time of his weaning.

As for Ishmael coming across to you as a baby, put yourself in Ishmael's sandals. How dejected would you feel being cast away by your flesh father? How weak would your body feel? Would you cry? Would you feel like giving up? He was in his mid to late teens. It was a crushing blow. Then, they ran out of water. There you are a son who, along with your slave mother, has been sent out into the desert by your own father only to run out of water. You think you're going to die. You think your mother is going to die out there, because your father didn't say no to his wife. (The scripture does say that God told Abraham that Ishmael and Hagar would survive and flourish, which happened. Why did Mohammed come along and be upset?)

Nothing in the verses leads us to read that Ishmael was a baby in those verses and that the verses were moved. We just feel the humanity of the situation and see all the errors all the way around. That's the compassion of real Christianity. Everyone was acting selfishly. The errors went back to when Sarah first had a bondservant (a slave). Think about it. The whole situation engendered hard feelings.

This issue you've raised in general is missing the full point of the scriptures and the message of Jesus. Jesus didn't come to argue in favor of the Jews title to the land in the way in which most Jews have been asserting that right. He came to fulfill the law and the prophets. In doing that, the symbolic temple of stone was leveled and replaced by Jesus himself and in fact by everyone who accepts Jesus's message and way of life he calls others to live. The Abrahamic Covenant as interpreted by the Pharisees and Sadducees then and today is not, we repeat, not, central to real Christianity.

What you ought to do is read the Gospel of John and the other Gospels.

You should come to see is that The Bible is very revealing about the errors of the people who now call themselves non-real-Christian Jews. The Bible is very self-deprecating, unlike today's false Zionist who speak as if they can do no wrong no matter how abhorrent their behavior. It doesn't always appear that way, because at the same time there is a strong current running through The Bible that seeks to project a different view that is one that suggests that the Jews can do evil and not repent and still hold what is promised. They are mistaken. What is promised comes of repenting and finally not backsliding. Those two views are in direct competition one with the other. If you will read Jesus with this in mind, you will see that he holds with the first view, even while not taking all credit away from the Patriarchs and others. It is deep. It is not a shallow thing. Look carefully. It's there to be had.

To win over the current generation of Jews is to get them to read their own scripture (history) correctly. They aren't doing that. The scripture doesn't need to be ripped apart in an attempt to justify Mohammed and his Qur'an for all the Arabs and Persians and others to come together in spirit with the Jews. The only reason for anyone to continue doing that is for the sake of selfishness (supremacy) against the selfishness of many of the current generation of Jews. Do you see that? Does it make sense to you? Can you follow it? Many people can't or just don't want to.

The land (Heaven) is everyone's by rights, by inheritance under a giving and sharing, providing, God as the father spirit, (who, even though we say Father, certainly doesn't lack the understanding of the maternal instinct).

The way to lose the inheritance is by selfish behavior that comes out of a selfish heart or emotional base (one's spirit). We see this clearly and plainly in The Bible. It is what the current crop of certain Jews are ignoring to their peril. Those are the neoconservatives and false-Zionists. They are liars. They hold with Machiavelli, who taught lying as an art form for selfish gain by duping the masses. We detest it. It is evil, and God hates it. Machiavelli didn't invent it though. The Bible is loaded with liars being exposed who had done exactly what Machiavelli later held up as the right path.

Abraham was a stranger in the land that God promised him. We are all strangers on the Earth in that sense when that sense is understood not on a parochial (local) level but on an existential level (all existence). The law of God is universal. It applies everywhere. The only thing wrong is that beings are disobeying.

The argument between Judaism and Islam is parochial. The right of the non-Jewish people in the Promised Land, as "Promised Land" is used by certain Jews, does not rise or fall on the lower level of understanding that was prevalent at the time of Abraham but rather the right of all the people is understood through Jesus's teachings that were enlightened. The real Promised Land is Heaven on Earth and all of Heaven everywhere. It is for all to whom it has been given to understand and who will live accordingly — according to Jesus's way.

That way is giving and sharing all, total pacifism, and doing no harm but rather doing only good. To know what is truly good, one must learn the fullest context of Jesus's message one is able to comprehend. Mohammed didn't teach this.

If you want to go on thinking that Mohammed was right, well, that's your freewill choice. If you believe Mohammed, then many things are authorized in your mind, which are correctly prohibited by Jesus. If you want to think that the real teachings of Jesus were consistent with what Mohammed said, we can't help you. You won't ever live with Jesus.

We don't hold with Mohammed. We don't accept his Qur'an as truth. We accept Jesus's Sermon on Mount as being the right teaching. Mohammed rejected Jesus's Sermon on the Mount.

We could go on about why Islam isn't the narrow way to God, but it is for each individual heart to decide between Jesus and Mohammed. We choose the teachings of Jesus. Mohammed fought the wrong battle. He should have accepted real Christianity rather then leading people to (among other errors) attack caravans for plunder, which attacking he did, as you know. That's what the Bush administration has done toward Iraq — attacked it and occupied it to plunder the accursed oil.


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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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