Genesis 16:12- The hand of Ishmael-

One of the most intresting verses in Genesis 16 is verse 12 as written-

וְה֤וּא יִהְיֶה֙ פֶּ֣רֶא אָדָ֔ם יָד֣וֹ בַכֹּ֔ל וְיַ֥ד כֹּ֖ל בּ֑וֹ וְעַל־פְּנֵ֥י כָל־אֶחָ֖יו יִשְׁכֹּֽן׃

“He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone’s hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen”

Let’s examine some interpretations-

Rashi suggests: HIS HAND SHALL BE AGAINST EVERY ONE — a highwayman (Listim). Ishmael will use his hand in order to be a thief.

Bechor Shor says that everyone will buy from Ishmael products and he will sell them products. Ishmael used his hand in order to negotiate in trade.

Malbim interprets the hand as the hand that Ishmael will use in order to fight against everyone.

Genesis Rabbah took take the word Kol (everyone) and bo(him) and created the word kalbo (his dog). The dog and Ishmael are equal according to this Midrash since both ate carcasses.

In Modern Hebrew we use this expression in a positive way in oder to describe a scholar that can do few things together and have success in all of them.

And what do you think about the hand of Ishmael?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s