Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This picture was adapted from here.
This is the history of the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham through Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian servant. Here is a list, by their names and clans, of Ishmael's descendants: The oldest was Nebaioth, followed by Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
These twelve sons of Ishmael became the founders of twelve tribes that bore their names, listed according to the places they settled and camped. Ishmael finally died at the age of 137 and joined his ancestors in death.
< = = = Are these names important to know?
Tough question, neither the Torah because they are not the children of the promise or other literature tracks them exactly so they are lost except for the records God Keeps. That said, you will recall God promised and God did make them a great nation. You will recall:
"This son of yours will be a wild one--free and untamed as a wild donkey! He will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live at odds with the rest of his brothers."
However, God also said:
As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will cause him to multiply and become a great nation. Twelve princes will be among his descendants.
The bottom line, because of the diaspora, the scattering of the Jewish peoples, there is probably more blood of Abraham in many of the Middle Eastern Islamic people than in the Jews. They are descendants of Abraham not just through Ismael, but also through the sons of Keturah. Never underestimate them Issy, God has richly blessed them for the sake of Abraham. Never forget Abraham's request of God:
And Abraham said to God, "Yes, may Ishmael enjoy your special blessing!"
Nonetheless, the sons and daughters of the promise God made to Abraham come through the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is what matters.
Ishmael's descendants were scattered across the country from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt in the direction of Asshur, the first capital of Assyria. The clans descended from Ishmael camped close to one another.