Ishmael


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Ishmael

Ishmael (ĭshˈmāĕl) [Heb.,=God hears], in the Bible. 1 Son of Abraham and Hagar; ancestor of 12 tribes in N Arabia. Through Sara's jealousy he and his mother were sent into the desert, where the angel of the Lord encountered them at a spring. Ishmael married an Egyptian and fathered 12 sons and a daughter. He was the half-brother of Isaac and was Esau's father-in-law. In Islam, Ishmael is considered a prophet. The spring is traditionally identified with a Meccan well near the Kaaba, which Muslims believe was built by Ishmael and Abraham. Muslims recognize Arabs as Ishmael's descendants, thus distinguishing them from the Israelites, the descendants of Isaac. The Bible does not clarify the peoples called Ishmaelites (or Ishmeelites); the term is generally regarded as referring to caravan traders. 2 In First Chronicles, descendant of Saul. 3 Ancestor of the Zebediah of Jehoshaphat's court in Second Chronicles. 4 Ally of Jehoiada in Second Chronicles. 5 Priest separated from his foreign wife in the Book of Ezra. 6 Assassin of Gedaliah.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ishmael

 

according to Biblical legend, the son of Abraham and his concubine Hagar. When his wife Sarah gave birth to Isaac, Abraham drove Hagar and Ishmael into the desert at Sarah’s urgent request. Ishmael became the forefather of the Arabs. The image of Ishmael occupies an important place in Arab historical legends and in the Koran, where Ishmael is regarded as one of the prophets and precursors of Muhammad.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ishmael

the only one to escape when the Pequod is wrecked by the white whale. [Am. Lit.: Melville, Moby Dick]
See: Escape

Ishmael

“the wanderer” aboard Ahab’s ship. [Am. Lit.: Moby Dick]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ishmael

1. the son of Abraham and Hagar, Sarah's handmaid: the ancestor of 12 Arabian tribes (Genesis 21:8--21; 25:12--18)
2. a bandit chieftain, who defied the Babylonian conquerors of Judah and assassinated the governor appointed by Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 25:25; Jeremiah 40:13--41:18)
3. Rare an outcast
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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But this, too, was no= t enough for Jews suffering in the Exile, and Rabbi Moshe Isserles =96 16th= -century co-author of the classic Jewish-legal code Shulchan Arukh =96 adde= d yet another stanza, praying for deliverance from a future adversary, the = descendants of Ishmael.