Metaphysical meaning of Ishmael (mbd)
Ishmael, ish-må-el (Heb.)--whom God hears; understanding of God; whom God understands; who is obedient to God.
Son of Abraham by Sarah's Egyptian handmaid, Hagar (Gen. 16:11).
Meta. The fruit of the thoughts of the natural man at work in the flesh. (See Paul's interpretation of the allegory concerning Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Hagar, and Ishmael, in Galatians 4:21-31.) However, God hears even the outer, personal man, since he too must be redeemed from error and corruption (see Genesis 21:17).
Ishmael could also be said to signify the consciousness that recognizes God but, because of the seeming opposition of the outer world, does not express according to the highest standard. In other words Ishmael represents personality. Personality has its real source in I AM, but goes wrong in its activity. In its struggle to attain light, understanding, in contacting the outer or manifest world, it becomes involved in error.