Josephus suggests, and Jerome, apparently following him, affirms, that the name is identical with that of the Ishmaelite tribe of Nebaioth (Gen.
17 would make him an Ishmaelite.
25 Israelite should be Ishmaelite, as in the parallel passage 1 Chron.
foretell an Ishmaelite and accordingly is automatically disqualified from being the prophet whose coming was foretold in that verse.
When, for example, Hagar, the "Egyptian," is the ancestress of Ishmaelite tribes, the evidence makes it very unlikely that the term is to be understood in the strict ethnical sense; and there are other passages more suitably interpreted on the hypothesis that the wider extension of the term was once familiar.