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Genesis 21:9

And ContentiousWoman is seeing אֶת-the builder of Hagar of Dual-Strait, whom she has borne to Father-of-Tumult, is he-who-laughs.723



Ishmael vs. Isaac?

This has been speculated on ever since Paul’s letter where he seemed to allude to this passage as Ishmael persecuting Isaac in Gal. 4:24-29. There is no actual narrative of persecution between Ishmael and Isaac. The reality is that text here becomes surprisingly more enigmatic when we learn that Sarah saw that Ishmael [El-Hears] is he-who-laughs. The Hebrew is מְצַחֵֽק mtsacheq, the participle masc. sing. form of Isaac’s own name, יִצְחָק Yitschaq given to him in Gen. 17:19. The two instances of mtsacheq are here and in Gen. 26:8 where Isaac [He-Laughs] is laughing with his wife. Translators have always “tropically defined” words like these because of such contexts thus rendering this simple word as mocking and caressing, two rather contradictory ideas.