When someone is not loved in a text -there’s always a simple way to show it for the readers.
First, the author will give the character nicknames and will not call it by its name. Second, when we will read about him the number of words will be less than the heroes. Third, when the character is going to do something that other did, it won’t look good in the eyes of the readers/commentaries.
Whenever I read Genesis 21:9 I ask myself what was the sin of Ishmael as written:
וַתֵּ֨רֶא שָׂרָ֜ה אֶֽת־בֶּן־הָגָ֧ר הַמִּצְרִ֛ית אֲשֶׁר־יָלְדָ֥ה לְאַבְרָהָ֖ם מְצַחֵֽק׃
“Sarah saw the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham playing”
What was the play that caused Sarah to drive Ishmael and his mother away?
The traditional commentaries tried to suggest that there was worshipping idols or murder or quarrelling with Isaac about the inheritance (Rahsi, Eben Ezra and Midrashim, or that Ishmael mocked and claimed that surely Sarah must have become pregnant from Avimelech (Seforno).
The root that is shared to Abraham, Sarah and Ishmael (to laugh)is in a different Binyan (Piel) for Ishmael. Is this the reason that for Abraham and Sarah it’s not a sin or half-sin and for Ishmael it’s a sin that cannot change his destiny?
What do you think?