The Arabs in Bible prophecy
The Arab nations are descended from Ishmael, the son of Abraham, who lived about four thousand years ago in the Middle East. The Jews are descended from Isaac, another son of Abraham. Thus these two peoples, Arab and Jew, so often at loggerheads, have Abraham as their common ancestor.
Also reckoned among the Arab nations are those who occupy Jordan, Syria and Iraq. These nations are descended from Lot, Abraham's nephew and Esau Abraham's grandson and brother of Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes (the nation) of Israel. There was bitter hostility between Esau and Jacob and this has persisted among their descendants down to the present day.
(FOR PRE ISLAMIC MENTION OF ISHMAEL, AND ADNAN AND JAQTAN, SEE EARLIER IN THIS BLOG).
Ishmael's mother was an Egyptian called Hagar and an angel spoke to her about the character of her son before he was born. It was the first prophecy about the Arabs. He said:
"Behold, thou art with child, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael...and he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man and every man's hand against him" (Genesis 16:11-12).
Wildness and inter-tribal conflict have characterised the Arabs throughout their history. Many of them, like the Bedouins, have lived nomadic lives. Attempts to unite the Arab world have always been frustrated by their own fiercely independent behaviour and their propensity to engage in long and bloody feuds.