12These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. 17(These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.) 18 They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. He settled over against all his kinsmen.
The genealogy of Ishmael is given in this chapter but it is left to hang there. Ishmael’s story drops off. The emphasis is on Isaac and his line. The ultimate interest is in Christ Himself and that is where all this is heading.
All these genealogies make sense when we get to the genealogy given by Matthew. The whole thing is about Jesus. Then couple it up with Galatians 3:7 and Romans 9:6-12 and Hebrews and the prophecies and there is a marvelous account unfolding here. And we are still a part of it and that is what is so mind warping.
Read all this and see the intricate weaving of a plan by God through the Jews, even their sin and rebellion and captivity and reclamation. God is the God of history and He unfolds a plan throughout the Scriptures that ought to make us rejoice. What God did in accomplishing His purposes in the Scriptures, He is still doing in accomplishing His purposes in bringing all people from all nations, languages and tribes, to Himself and to glory.
What a wonder that we are part of a plan by the One who orchestrates whole kingdoms to bring it to pass. Glory!