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Vayera 21:9–21 speaks repeatedly of Hagar's son without once naming him. In no particular order, Rashi (:17), pseudo-Yonasan (:11), the Rav miBartinura (:14), Ramban (:9), Chizkuni (:14), Toldos Yitzchak (R' Yitzchak Karo), and Ralbag (beur hamilos :17) mention in passing, as if it's obvious, that this was Yishmael, and, indeed, we know of no other son of Hagar's. I wonder, though,

  • whether any Jewish commentaries suggest that this was not Yishmael, and
  • whether there's indication from the text of the Chumash (besides our not knowing of any other son of Hagar's) that this was Yishmael.
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The Ramban explains why the posuk does not mention Yishmael by name –  Michoel Oct 31 '12 at 4:15
    
As does this sefer –  Michoel Oct 31 '12 at 4:25
    
As I mentioned in my comment to Raffy's answer, the passage makes it pretty clear. If we cannot easily understand that this must be Yishma'el, then how do we understand that "the lad" and "Hagar's son" are the same person? How do you know the passage isn't talking about a different person in each instance? Furthermore, how can we be certain that this is the same Hagar who married Avraham at the behest of Sarah? Maybe that's why Sarah was displeased? –  Seth J Oct 31 '12 at 18:25
    
@SethJ, in context within the parasha (not Vayera but the paragraph), obviously (or, at least, very likely) the lad and the boy and the son are the same. How do we know his name, though? –  msh210 Oct 31 '12 at 18:50
    
If you are going so far as to say that Hagar and Avraham had a second son not mentioned by the Torah, and that the Parashah is therefore ambiguous, you will have to address my second question to you, viz. which Hagar is the Parashah discussing? –  Seth J Oct 31 '12 at 18:57

2 Answers 2

Hagar only had one son from Avraham at the time. This is evident from Rashi to 22:2: "Take your only son." "Both are the only one to their mothers."

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+1, very nice! Of course, that doesn't preclude the existence of midrashim or commentaries that differ with it. –  msh210 Nov 5 '12 at 7:47

Posuk 9 says '...whom she had born to Avrohom'. Avrohom only had one child from Hagar.

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Didn't the question say "besides our not knowing of any other son of Hagar's"? (That's actually a stronger statement than yours. You say that Hagar only had one child through Avraham; the question excludes any child of Hagar at all. But that's really besides the point.) –  Double AA Oct 31 '12 at 17:44
    
@DoubleAA, but, but, but the passage speaks of "the lad" as "Avraham's son", multiple times. Pasuk 9 is only one example. See Pesukim 11 and 13 as well. WADR to msh210, the question is flawed. The fact that so many commentators (7 mentioned in the question) seem to assume that it's obvious should further the point. Bullet point 1 asks for other commentaries, which this does not answer. But bullet point 2 asks if there is any indication from the text. Yes! The mention of him as Avraham's son (not just Hagar's)! –  Seth J Oct 31 '12 at 18:17
    
@SethJ, I guess I should have said in the question "besides our not knowing of any other son of Avraham and Hagar's" (which is really what I'd meant) rather than "besides our not knowing of any other son of Hagar's". That is some indication, certainly, but I was looking for something further. –  msh210 Oct 31 '12 at 18:48
    
@SethJ Your points are strong, but that doesn't make this a good answer; it makes the question a weak (and possibly unanswerable) question. –  Double AA Oct 31 '12 at 18:51

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