By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called … (Hebrews 11:17-18)
Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. (Genesis 25:1-2)
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. (Galatians 4:22)
When Isaac was offered (chapter 22 of Genesis), Abraham had not yet remarried (chapter 25), meaning Abraham had only two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. However, Ishmael had been born as the result of sin and was not the son of promise. 1 When the Bible speaks of Abraham’s only begotten son, it qualifies it with the phrases: “whom thou lovest” or “of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called…” These phrases distinguish Abraham’s only legitimate son of promise from Ishmael.
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- Galatians 4:23: “But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.” ↩