*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Genesis 21:5-8 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 21:5
  • Genesis 21:6
  • Genesis 21:7
  • Genesis 21:8

Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Sarah was very happy at Isaac’s birth. Isaac grew, and a feast was given when he was weaned.

When Isaac was born, Abraham was one hundred years old. God’s promise to give Abraham an heir was made 25 years earlier (Genesis 12:4).

The name Isaac in Hebrew is Yishaq and means “he laughs” or “laughter.” Sarah rightly attributes the child to God, God has made laughter for me. Everyone who hears will laugh with me. Previously Sarah’s laughter was an indication of unbelief (Genesis 18:12-13). Now the laughter is an expression of joy at the birth of Isaac in Sarah’s old age. God can create laughter or joy where otherwise there would be none.

Sarah reflects on God’s blessing, Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age. Even after having a child has become a reality, Sarah can hardly believe it. She is nearly a century old and is nursing her own newborn baby. It is an incredible miracle. An incredible moment of appreciating God’s fulfillment of promise. Only God could enable her to have a child.

A brief passage of time occurs. Isaac grew and was weaned. When a baby is weaned, he no longer breastfeeds, and begins to eat solid foods. Depending on the child and mother, this can occur between ages 1-3. It represents the idea of new independence in the child as their nursing days come to an end. It also shows the continued health of the miracle baby, Isaac, born to elderly parents, yet growing and progressing steadily as a normal child. Abraham celebrates his son’s growth by making a great feast on the day Isaac is weaned.

Biblical Text:
5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” 8 The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

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