11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi. 12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.
Before we dive into the story of Isaac we have this summation of Ishmael, his life, and his family. Ishmael became a father to twelve sons, twelve princes who had towns and castles, powerful men in their own right. It is an interesting parallel that Ishmael’s legacy expands with twelve sons and Isaac’s legacy will be defined by twelve grandsons.
Of course, Ishmael’s line would eventually become the Islamic people, who have had a long and complicated relationship with the Israelites. But all of that drama would come later. For the duration of the Bible the Israelites competed more with the descendants of Lot (Moabites and Ammonites), Esau (Edomites), and Keturah (Midianites) than they did with the descendants of Ishmael.
So, this is where we take our leave of Ishmael and the nation that came from him. From here on out our focus is solely on Isaac and his posterity.