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Genesis 16

Birth of Ishmael.#In the previous chapter Abraham was given a timetable of possession of the land, but nothing was said about when the child was to be born. In this chapter, Sarah takes matters into her own hands, for she has been childless ten years since the promise (cf. 12:4 with 16:16). The story is about the two women, Sarah the infertile mistress and Hagar the fertile slave; Abraham has only a single sentence. In the course of the story, God intervenes directly on the side of Hagar, for she is otherwise without resources. 1Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no children. Now she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar.#Gn 11:30. 2Sarai said to Abram: “The Lord has kept me from bearing children. Have intercourse with my maid; perhaps I will have sons through her.” Abram obeyed Sarai.#The custom of an infertile wife providing her husband with a concubine to produce children is widely attested in ancient Near Eastern law; e.g., an Old Assyrian marriage contract states that the wife must provide her husband with a concubine if she does not bear children within two years. #Gn 21:8–9; Gal 4:22. 3Thus, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, his wife Sarai took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. 4He had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant. As soon as Hagar knew she was pregnant, her mistress lost stature in her eyes.#Because barrenness was at that time normally blamed on the woman and regarded as a disgrace, it is not surprising that Hagar looks down on Sarah. Ancient Near Eastern legal practice addresses such cases of insolent slaves and allows disciplining of them. Prv 30:23 uses as an example of intolerable behavior “a maidservant when she ousts her mistress.” #1 Sm 1:6; Prv 30:23. 5#Gn 21:10–19. So Sarai said to Abram: “This outrage against me is your fault. I myself gave my maid to your embrace; but ever since she knew she was pregnant, I have lost stature in her eyes. May the Lord decide between you and me!” 6Abram told Sarai: “Your maid is in your power. Do to her what you regard as right.” Sarai then mistreated her so much that Hagar ran away from her.
7The Lord’s angel#The Lord’s angel: a manifestation of God in human form; in v. 13 the messenger is identified with God. See note on Ex 3:2. found her by a spring in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur,#Ex 15:22. 8and he asked, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She answered, “I am running away from my mistress, Sarai.” 9But the Lord’s angel told her: “Go back to your mistress and submit to her authority. 10I will make your descendants so numerous,” added the Lord’s angel, “that they will be too many to count.”#Gn 17:20; 21:13, 18; 25:12–18. 11Then the Lord’s angel said to her:
“You are now pregnant and shall bear a son;
you shall name him Ishmael,#Ishmael: in Hebrew the name means “God has heard.” It is the same Hebrew verb that is translated “heeded” in the next clause. In other ancient Near Eastern texts, the name commemorated the divine answer to the parents’ prayer to have a child, but here it is broadened to mean that God has “heard” Hagar’s plight. In vv. 13–14, the verb “to see” is similarly broadened to describe God’s special care for those in need.
For the Lord has heeded your affliction.
12He shall be a wild ass of a man,
his hand against everyone,
and everyone’s hand against him;
Alongside#Alongside: lit., “against the face of”; the same phrase is used of the lands of Ishmael’s descendants in 25:18. It can be translated “in opposition to” (Dt 21:16; Jb 1:11; 6:28; 21:31), but here more likely means that Ishmael’s settlement was near but not in the promised land. all his kindred
shall he encamp.”#Gn 21:20; 25:18.
13To the Lord who spoke to her she gave a name, saying, “You are God who sees me”;#God who sees me: Hebrew el-ro’i is multivalent, meaning either “God of seeing,” i.e., extends his protection to me, or “God sees,” which can imply seeing human suffering (29:32; Ex 2:25; Is 57:18; 58:3). It is probable that Hagar means to express both of these aspects. Remained alive: for the ancient notion that a person died on seeing God, see Gn 32:31; Ex 20:19; Dt 4:33; Jgs 13:22. she meant, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after he saw me?”#Gn 24:62. 14That is why the well is called Beer-lahai-roi.#Beer-lahai-roi: possible translations of the name of the well include: “spring of the living one who sees me”; “the well of the living sight”; or “the one who sees me lives.” See note on v. 13. It is between Kadesh and Bered.
15Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram named the son whom Hagar bore him Ishmael.#Gn 16:2; Gal 4:22. 16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
1Now Sarai (My Princess) Avram’s (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) wife bore him no children: and she had an female servant, [from] Mitzrayim (People of the Black Land), whose name was Hagar (Flight).
2And Sarai (My Princess) said unto Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation), Behold now, the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) has restrained me from bearing: I pray youi, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) listened to the voice of Sarai (My Princess).
3And Sarai (My Princess) Avram’s (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) wife took Hagar (Flight) her maid the Mitzrayimi (People of the Black Land), after Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) had dwelt ten years in the land of Kena’an (merchant; trader; or that humbles and subdues), and gave her to her husband Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) to be his wife.
4And he went in unto Hagar (Flight), and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5And Sarai (My Princess) said unto Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation), My wrong [be] upon youi: I have given my maid into youri bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) judge between me and youi.
6But Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) said unto Sarai (My Princess), Behold, youri maid [is] in youri hand; do to her as it pleases youi. And when Sarai (My Princess) dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
7And the angel of the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur [wall] (wall).
8And he said, Hagar (Flight), Sarai’s (My Princess) maid, from what place came youi? and to where will youi go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai (My Princess).
9And the angel of the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) said unto her, Return to youri mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10And the angel of the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) said unto her, I will multiply youri seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11And the angel of the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) said unto her, Behold, youi [are] with child, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Yishma’el (He Will Hear God; God hears [EL]); because the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) has heard youri affliction.
12And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
13And she called the name of the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) that spoke unto her, Youi God-EL Ro’I [The Powerful Living Word Sees Me]: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that sees me?
14For what reason the well was called Be’er-Lachai-Ro’i (well of the living One seeing me); behold, [it is] between Kadesh (to be consecrated, consecrated, sanctified) and Bered (hail, grizzled).
15And Hagar (Flight) bore Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) a son: and Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) called his son’s name, which Hagar (Flight) bore, Yishma’el (He Will Hear God; God hears [EL]).
16And Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) [was] eighty and six years old, when Hagar (Flight) bore Yishma’el (He Will Hear God; God hears [EL]) to Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation).