1946. And thou shalt call his name Ishmael. This signifies the state of the life. In ancient times names were bestowed on sons and daughters that were significant of the state in which the parents were, especially the mothers when they conceived, or while they were with child, or when they brought forth; or the state in which the infants were when born, so that the names were significative. From what Ishmael had his name is here explained, namely, "because Jehovah hearkened to the affliction," referring to his mother's state. But what Ishmael represents is described in the verse following.