Beraishis 21 (17) Hashem judges Yishmoel “בַּאֲשֶׁר הוּא שָׁם " - “in that condition in which he now is”. The ministering angels according to the Medrash said, “Master of the Universe, for him whose descendants will at one time kill your children with thirst will You provide a well?”

What were the angels suggesting? If they wanted Yishmoel to die, then their foreknowledge of his “descendants will at one time kill your children with thirst” would not be knowledge since it would not happen. So were the angels only looking for a less generous way of providing water, say, by finding a water-bottle instead of a well?

Related: Why was Yishmael saved?

Why does there seem to be different standards for future sinners?

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    Presumably they suggested to kill him so his descendants wouldn't kill Jews. Foreknowledge can't change?
    – robev
    Oct 20 at 18:59
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    Reminds me of what my Rebbi once mentioned about Moshe killing the Egyptian. Moshe saw that no good descendants would come of him, so he killed him. No kidding! Obviously if he's murdered he won't have future descendants...
    – robev
    Oct 20 at 19:00
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