The entire Book of Genesis, is about the reversal of the iron law of primogeniture, about the election through some devious twist of destiny of a younger son to carry on the line.
A Literary Approach to the Bible, Robert Alter in: Beyond Form Criticism: Essays in Old Testament Literary Criticism (Sources for Biblical and Theological Study Old Testament Series) Vol. 2 Hardcover – Illustrated, June 30, 1992
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth ; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul ; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet ; and especially whenever my hypos (greek "under" depression) get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword ; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.
Pirke d’Rabbi Eliezer (“Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer”) is a midrash that retells and expands upon the stories of the Torah, from the creation of the world through the story of Miriam’s leprosy. It incorporates discussion on topics like redemption, Messiah, and calculating the end of days. Traditionally considered to have been authored by Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus in the time period of the Mishnah (the first and second centuries CE), the work was likely edited in the eighth or ninth century.
Composed: Talmudic Israel/Babylon, c.630 - c.1030 CE
The Muslim Ishmael
It is appropriate at this point to present a brief synopsis of the place of Ishmael in Islam. Contrary to what is commonly thought, the Qur’an does not contain much information about Ishmael. Only twelve Qur’anic verses mention Ishmael by name. Nine of them list him among other holy men from ancient time. There, he is described among those having “preference above the worlds” (6:86). He is listed alongside Idris and Zul-Kifl as “one of constancy and patience” (21:85). He is commemorated together with Zul-Kifl and Elisha as “of the company of the good people” (38:48). All three references are found in Meccan Suras (i.e., early in Muhammad’s life). In 2:125 (Medinan Sura, i.e., later life of Muhammad), God commands Abraham and Ishmael to purify his house (Kacba) for those who want to use it as a place of prayer and worship. In 2:127-29 (Medinan), Abraham is shown together with Ishmael as raising the foundations of the house and asking God to make them submit to him (Muslims). In 2:133 Ishmael is described along with Abraham and Isaac as a monotheist submitting to one God. In 2:136 and 4:163 (Medinan), Ishmael is included among those who have received revelation from God.
The only place where Ishmael is mentioned by himself is in Sura 19:54-55 (Meccan), where he is described as “true to his promise,” “a messenger,”“a prophet,” one who “enjoined upon his people the prayer and almsgiving,” and “was in his Lord’s eyes approved.” Nowhere in the above-mentioned verses is Ishmael given a distinctive place. The only Qur’anic reference that points to Abraham’s relationship to Ishmael is a passing statement of thanksgiving, where Abraham praises God for giving him in his old age, his two sons Ishmael and Isaac (Sura 14:39). Other than that, the Qur’an does not refer to the direct genealogical link between Abraham and Ishmael and does not speak of the family relationship between them as the Bible does (Gen. 16:1— 16; 17:9; 21:8-21; 25:12-18).
Sura 37:102-7, which speaks about Abraham’s attempt to sacrifice his son, is a controversial passage. Since it does not refer to the name of his son, many have assumed that Ishmael is implied there as the son offered to God, because it is not until verses 112-13 that Isaac’s birth is announced. However, there is no unanimous agreement, and Muslim tradition is evenly divided between those who identify Isaac and those who see Ishmael as the sacrificed son. However, today, this is not a debated issue in Muslim circles, for it is generally assumed that Ishmael was the sacrificed son, hence the major Muslim holiday of Adha (“the sacrifice”).
Hagar is a pivotal figure in biblical theology. She is the first person in scripture whom a divine messenger visits and the only person who dares to name the deity. Within the historical memories of Israel, she is the first woman to bear a child. This conception and birth make her an extraordinary figure in the story of faith: the first woman to hear an annunciation, the only one to receive a divine promise of descendants, and the first to weep for her dying child. Truly, Hagar the Egyptian is the prototype of not only special but all mothers in Israel.
Phyllis Trible, Texts of Terror: Literary-feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984. p. 28 see
وماتت هاجر، فتزوج إسماعيل امرأة من جرهم، قال: فاستأذن إبراهيم سارة أن يأتي هاجر، فأذنت له، وشرطت عليه ألا ينزل، وقدم إبراهيم - وقد ماتت هاجر - إلى بيت إسماعيل، فقال لامرأته: أين صاحبك؟ قالت: ليس ها هنا، ذهب يتصيد، وكان إسماعيل يخرج من الحرم فيتصيد، ثم يرجع، فقال إبراهيم هل عندك ضيافة؟ هل عندك طعام أو شراب؟ قالت: ليس عندي وما عندي أحد، قال إبراهيم: إذا جاء زوجك فأقرئيه السلام، وقولي له، فليغير عتبة بابه.
وذهب إبراهيم وجاء إسماعيل، فوجد ريح أبيه فقال لامرآته: هل جاءك أحد؟ قالت: جائني شيخ صفته كذا - وكذا المتسخفة بشأنه - قال:فما قال لك؟ قالت قال لي أقرئي زوجك السلام. وقولي له: فليغيرعتبة بابه، فطلقها وتزوج أخرى.
فلبث إبراهيم ما شاء الله أن يلبث، ثم استأذن سارة أن يزور إسماعيل، فأذنت له واشترطت عليه ألا ينزل، فجاء إبراهيم حتى انتهى إلى باب إسماعيل، فقال لامرأته: أين صاحبك؟ قالت: ذهب يتصيد و يجيء الآن إن شاء الله، فانزل يرحمك الله! قال لها: هل عندك ضيافة؟ قالت: نعم، قال: هل عندك خبرا او بر أو شعير أو تمر؟ قال: فجاءت باللبن واللحم، فدعا لهما بالبركة،
فلو جاءت يومئذ بخبز أو بر أو شعير أو تمر لكانت أكثر أرض الله براً وشعيراً وتمراً
فقالت: انزل حتى أغسل رأسك، فلم ينزل، فجاءته بالمقام فوضعته عن شقه الأيمن، فوضع قدمه عليه فبقي أثر قدمه عليه، فغسلت شق رأسه الأيمن، ثم حولت المقام إلى شقه الأيسر، فغسلت شقه الأيسر،
فقال لها: إذا جاء زوجك فأقرئيه السلام، وقولي له: قد استقامت عتبة بابك. فلما جاء إسماعيل وجد ريح أبيه، فقال لامرأته: هل جاءك أحد؟ قالت:نعم شيخ أحسن الناس وجهاً وأطيبهم ريحاً، فقال لي: كذا وكذا، وقلت له كذا وكذا، وغسلت رأسه، وهذا موضع قدميه على المقام، قال: وما قال لك؟ قالت: قال لي: إذا جاء زوجك فأقرئيه السلام، وقولي له: قد استقامت عتبة بابك، قال ذلك إبراهيم.
جاء - يعني إبراهيم - فوجد إسماعيل يصلح نبلا له من وراء زمزم، فقال إبراهيم: يا إسماعيل، إن ربك قد أمرني أن أبني له بيتاً، فقال له إسماعيل: فأطع ربك فيما أمرك، فقال إبراهيم: قد أمرك أن تعينني عليه قال: إذاً أفعل: قال: فقام معه، فجعل إبراهيم يبنيه وإسماعيل يناوله الحجارة ويقولان رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
فلما ارتفع البنيان وضعف الشيخ عن رفع الحجارة قام على حجر، وهو مقام إبراهيم، فجعل يناوله ويقولان: رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
فلما فرغ إبراهيم من بناء البيت الذي أمره الله عز وجل ببنائه، أمره الله أن يؤذن في الناس بالحج، فقال له:
" وَأَذِّنْ فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَ
ىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِنْ كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ
When Hagar died, Ishmael married a Jurhumite woman. Abraham asked Sarah’s permission to go and visit Hagar, and Sarah permitted it, but she made it conditional that he not settle down there. Abraham set out—Hagar had already died—to Ishmael's house. He said to Ishmael's wife, “Where is your husband?” She answered, “He is not here. He went hunting.” Ishmael would often leave the Sanctuary to go hunting. Abraham asked, “Do you have any accommodation? Do you have any food or drink?” She answered, “I have nothing, and there is no one with me.” Abraham said, “When your husband comes, give him greetings and tell him to change the threshold of his door.”
Abraham left, and when Ishmael came back he found the scent of his father. So he said to his wife, “Did anyone come to you?” She answered, “An old man of such-and-such description came to me”—as though she were making light of him. Ishmael said, “What did he say to you?” She answered, “He told me, ‘Give your husband greetings and tell him to change the threshold of his door.’” So he divorced her and married another.
Abraham stayed in Syria (i.e., the Levant) as long as God willed, and then asked Sarah’s permission to visit Ishmael. She permitted him but made it conditional that he not settle down there. Abraham came to Ishmael’s door and said to his [new] wife, “Where is your husband?” She answered, “He went hunting but will return soon, God willing, so stay, and may God be merciful to you!” He asked her, “Do you have any accommodation?” She answered, “Yes.” He said, “Do you have bread or wheat or barley or dates?” She brought milk and meat, and he prayed for blessing on both of them.
Had she brought bread or wheat or barley or dates on that day, [that place] would have been the most plentifully supplied on earth with wheat and barley and dates.
She said, “Stay so that I may wash your head.” But he would not stay, so she brought him the maqām and placed it on his right side. He set his foot on it and the mark of his foot remained on it. She then washed the right side of his head. Then she moved the maqām to the left side and washed the left side.
He said to her, “When your husband comes home, give him greetings and say to him, ‘The threshold of your door has been put in order.’” When Ishmael came, he found the scent of his father and said to his wife, “Did someone come to you?” She answered, “Yes, an old man, the handsomest and best-smelling. He said to me such-and-such, and I answered such-and-such, and I washed his head, and this is the place of his feet on the maqām.” He asked, “What did he say to you?” She answered, “He said to me, ‘When your husband comes, give him greetings and tell him that the threshold of your door has been put in order.’” Ishmael said, “That was Abraham.”
He came—that is, Abraham —and found Ishmael mending his arrows behind Zamzam and said to him, “O Ishmael! Your Lord has commanded me to build Him a House.” Ishmael replied, “Then obey your Lord and do what He commanded you to do.” Then Abraham said, “He has commanded that you assist me with it.” Ishmael responded, “Then I'll do it!” They began together, Abraham doing the building while Ishmael handed him the stones, and both of them saying, “O Lord! Accept this from us, for You are the Hearer, the Knower” (Q.2:127).
When the building had become tall and the old man was too weak to lift the stones so high, [Ishmael] came upon a stone that was the maqām Ibrāhīm. He began to give it to him, while both were saying, “Accept this from us, for You are the Hearer, the Knower” (Q.2:127).
When Abraham had finished building the House that God had commanded be built, God commanded that he proclaim the pilgrimage among humankind, saying to him, “And proclaim the pilgrimage unto humankind. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine” (Q.22:27).
Prof. Rabbi Reuven Firestone
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the [Mosaic] Law, do ye not hear the [Mosaic] Law?
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar.
25 For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Galatians 4: 21-31
Supersessionism, also called replacement theology or fulfillment theology is a Christian theology which asserts that the New Covenant through Jesus Christ has superseded or replaced the Mosaic covenant exclusive to the Jews. Supersessionist theology also holds that the universal Christian Church has succeeded ancient Israel as God's true Israel and that Christians have succeeded the ancient Israelites as the people of God. see
The Emergence of a Double Sibling Trope
In his 1998 essay “The Banishment of Ishmael: The Akedah that Preceded Akedat Yitzhak,” Professor Uriel Simon [1929–], a biblical scholar at Bar-Ilan University and an observant Jew, demonstrates the structural parallelism between the two biblical chapters, points out the moral sensitivity of scripture, and arrives at a fairly modest conclusion: the recognition by the present-day siblings that the akedot imposed on their father were in fact a source of blessing for both should enable them to remember that despite their diverging destinies they are sons of the same father and serve the same god.
“Isaac and Ishmael? The Sibling Challenge to Israel’s Oedipalized Binding,” Religion and Literature 45:2 (Summer 2013): 109-129
“The Jews here are actually a single big refugee camp, and so are the Arabs. And now the Arabs live day by day with the disaster of their defeat, and the Jews live night by night with the dread of their vengeance.” see — Amos Oz
Ishmael in Moby Dick
Melville frequently employs biblical allusions as keys to understanding in the novel, and he does so here. The biblical Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-16; 21:10 ff.) is disinherited and dismissed from his home in favor of his half-brother Isaac. The name suggests that the narrator is something of an outcast, a drifter, a fellow of no particular family other than mankind. Ishmael confirms his independent ways by telling us that he seeks no special rank aboard ship and would not want to be either a cook or a captain; he says he has enough responsibility just taking care of himself. Ishmael speaks of no family or even a last name. This is consistent with the ending of the book in which only Ishmael survives