Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai…And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived…
And the angel of the LORD said unto [Hagar], I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude…Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
And Abram was fourscore and six years old when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): The angel declares what kind of person Ishmael will be.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): He will be a wild man—a “wild ass of a man,” so the Hebrew word is: rude, and bold and fearing no man; untamed, untractable, living at large, and impatient of service and restraint. “His hand will be against every man,”―this his sin, and “every man’s hand against him,”―that is his punishment.
JOHN GILL (1697-1771): And such a one Ishmael was.
JOHN CALVIN: He does not, however, speak of Ishmael’s person, but of his whole progeny; for what follows is not strictly suitable to one man.
ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): From Ishmael proceeded the various tribes of the Arabs…They were anciently, and still continue to be, a very numerous and powerful people.
JOHN GILL: And such the wild Arabs are to this day, who descended from him. “His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him;” signifying, that he would be of a quarrelsome temper and warlike disposition, continually engaged in fighting with his neighbours, and they with him in their own defence. And such the Arabs his posterity always have been, and still are, given to rapine and plunder, harassing their neighbours by continual excursions and robberies, and pillaging passengers of all nations, which they think they have a right to do.
ADAM CLARKE: The country which these free descendants of Ishmael may be properly said to possess, stretches from Aleppo to the Arabian Sea, and from Egypt to the Persian Gulf.
JOHN GILL: And a late traveller into those parts observes, that they are not to be accused of plundering strangers only―but [also] for those many implacable and hereditary animosities which continually subsist among themselves, literally fulfilling to this day the prophecy of the angel to Hagar; the greatest as well as the smallest tribes are perpetually at variance with one another, frequently occasioned upon the most trivial account, as if they were from the very days of their first ancestor naturally prone to discord and contention.
ADAM CLARKE: Had the Pentateuch no other argument to evince its Divine origin, the account of Ishmael and the prophecy concerning his descendants, collated with their history and manner of life during a period of nearly four thousand years, would be sufficient.
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): As for Ishmael’s posterity, Mohammed had his generation from this wild ass―Mohammed came of these Arabians.
JOHN CALVIN: Mohammed invented a new form of religion.
PHILIP MAURO (1859-1952): For our immediate purpose it is necessary only to call attention to the remarkable fact that in Islam we have a movement energized by prodigious spiritual powers of evil, a Satanic caricature of the Kingdom of God, being led by a false prophet and based upon a false Bible―the Koran―and seeking to gain the sovereignty of the world.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): The Koran. This is the Mohammedan’s holy book. A man must have a strange mind who should mistake that rubbish for the utterances of inspiration. If he is at all familiar with the Old and New Testaments, when he hears an extract from the Koran, he feels that he has met with a foreign author—the God who gave us the Pentateuch could have had no hand in many portions of the Koran!
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): Mohammed’s Koran is such a great spirit of lies that it leaves almost nothing of Christian truth remaining, so how could it have any other result than that it should become a great and mighty murderer, with both lies and murders under the show of truth and righteousness―where the spirit of lies is, there is also the spirit of murder.
JOHN TRAPP: Mohammed’s laws run thus―Avenge yourselves of your enemies; marry as many wives as you can maintain; kill the infidels, etc. But we have not so learned Christ.
C. H. SPURGEON: Christ is meek, as opposed to the ferocity of spirit manifested by zealots and bigots. Take, for a prominent example of the opposite of meekness, the false prophet Mohammed. The strength of his cause lies in the fact that he is not meek. He presents himself before those whom he claims as disciples, and says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am neither meek, nor lowly in heart; I will have no patience with you; there is my creed, or there is the scimitar—death or conversion, whichever you please.”
MARTIN LUTHER: The Turks think their Mohammed much higher and greater than Christ, for [they think] the office of Christ has ended and Mohammed’s office is still in force. From this anyone can easily observe that Mohammed is a destroyer of our Lord Christ and His kingdom, [because] if anyone denies that Christ is God’s Son and has died for us, and still lives and reigns at the right hand of God, what has he left of Christ? Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Baptism, the Sacrament, Gospel, Faith and all Christian doctrine and life are gone, and there is left, instead of Christ, nothing more than Mohammed with his doctrine of works, and especially of the sword.
C. H. SPURGEON: How opposite this is to Christ! Although [Christ] hath a right to demand man’s love and man’s faith, yet He comes not into the world to demand it with fire and sword.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): False religions, like Mohammedanism, have often been spread by the sword. False Christianity, like that of the Roman Church, has often been enforced on men by bloody persecutions. The real Gospel of Christ requires no such aids as these. It stands by the power of the Holy Spirit. It grows by the hidden influence of the Holy Spirit on men’s hearts and consciences. There is no clearer sign of a bad cause in religion than a readiness to appeal to the sword.
C. H. SPURGEON: The Mohammedans’ religion might be sustained by scimitars, but Christians’ religion must be sustained by love*―Christ’s might is under persuasion; His strength is quiet forbearance, and patient endurance; His mightiest force is the sweet attraction of compassion and love. He knoweth nothing of the ferocious hosts of Mohammed; He bids none of us draw our sword to propagate the faith, but saith, “Put up thy sword into its scabbard; they that take the sword shall perish by the sword.” “My kingdom is not of this world, else might my servants fight.”
J. C. RYLE: “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” 2 Corinthians 10:4; “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts,” Zechariah 4:6. The cause of truth does not need force to maintain it.
PHILIP MAURO: A student of conditions in Moslem lands writes on theme of “Islam in Change,” and from a broad survey of the facts, he reaches the conclusion that “Christianity and Islam face each other for world decision”―the whole world is dividing itself into two great camps; the Christianized nations against the pagans; the western peoples against “the kings of the east.”
MARTIN LUTHER: No one can openly confess Christ or preach or teach against Mohammed. What kind of freedom of belief is it when no one is allowed to preach or confess Christ?
JOHN WYCLIFFE (1330-1384): I believe that, in the end, truth will conquer.
*Editor’s Comment: A deluded Islamic martyr demonstrates his false ‘faith’ by screaming “God is great,” and kills himself while he murders as many innocent people as he can; a true Christian martyr, being murdered for his real faith, demonstrates the grace and longsuffering love of God in Christ Jesus, by pleading for his murderers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”