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Genesis 16

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.

Genesis 16

16
CHAPTER 16
1Therefore Sarai, the wife of Abram, had not engendered [to him] free children; but she had a servantess of Egypt, Hagar by name,
2and Sarai said to her husband, Lo! the Lord hath closed me, that I should not bear child; enter thou [in] to my servantess, if in hap I shall take children, namely of her. And when he assented to her praying,
3she took Hagar the Egyptian, her servantess, after ten years after that they began to inhabit the land of Canaan, and she gave Hagar as [a] wife to her husband.
4And Abram entered [in] to Hagar; and Hagar saw that she had conceived, and she despised her lady.
5And Sarai said to Abram, Thou doest wickedly against me; I gave my servantess into thy bosom, which seeth that she [hath] conceived, and despiseth me; the Lord deem betwixt me and thee.
6And Abram answered and said to her, Lo! thy servantess is in thine hand; use thou her as thee liketh. Therefore for Sarai tormented her, she fled away.
7And when the angel of the Lord had found her beside a well of water in wilderness, which well is in the way of Shur in desert,
8he said to her, From whence comest thou Hagar, the servantess of Sarai, and whither goest thou? Which answered, I flee from the face of Sarai, my lady.
9And the angel of the Lord said to her, Turn thou again to thy lady, and be thou meeked under her hands.
10And again he said, I multiplying shall multiply thy seed, and it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11And afterward he said, Lo! thou hast conceived, and thou shalt bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, for the Lord hath heard thy torment;
12this shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against all men, and the hands of all men shall be against him; and he shall set his tabernacles even against all his brethren.
13Forsooth Hagar called the name of the Lord that spake to her, Thou God that sawest me; for she said, Forsooth here I saw the hinder things of him that saw me.
14Therefore she called that well, The well of him that liveth and seeth me; that well is betwixt Kadesh and Bered.
15And Hagar childed a son to Abram, which called his name Ishmael.
16Abram was eighty years and six, when Hagar childed Ishmael to him.