The story about Hagar and Ishmael
1-3Abram and Sarai lived in that Canaan country, and after they were there for 10 years, they still had no kids. Sarai had a woman from Egypt working for her, called Hagar. She was Sarai’s slave. That means Sarai owned Hagar, and Hagar had to do everything that Sarai told her to do.
Sarai was sad because she had no kids, but she got an idea about how to get a baby for herself. So she said to Abram, “God has stopped me from having my own kids. But listen. I want you to sleep with Hagar, like she is your wife. You see, she belongs to me, so if she has a baby, that baby will really belong to me.” So Abram did that, just like Sarai said. 4He slept with Hagar like she was his wife.
Then Hagar found out that she was going to have a baby, so she started rubbishing Sarai all the time, because Sarai didn’t have any kids. 5So Sarai said to Abram, “I blame you for this trouble. I gave Hagar to you, and now she is going to have a baby, and she is rubbishing me all the time. I reckon God knows that I am right, and you are wrong.”
6But Abram said to Sarai, “Hagar belongs to you. You are her boss, so do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai started to treat Hagar in a really bad way. So Hagar left Abram and Sarai’s camp and ran away.
7Hagar started walking through the desert, along the road that went to a town called Shur, near Egypt. She sat down next to a water-hole there in the desert. God’s angel messenger went to her there. 8He said, “Hagar, you belong to Sarai, so why are you sitting out here in the desert? Where are you going?”
Hagar said, “I’m running away from my boss, Sarai. She is too hard on me.”
9God’s angel messenger said to her, “Don’t do that. Go back to your boss, and do what she says.” 10And the angel also said, “God is going to give you a really big family. You will have a son, and later on lots of people will be born into his family, and they will be a real big family, so that nobody will be able to count all those people.” 11The angel said, “You are going to have a baby boy, and you will name him Ishmael, because that name means God listens. You see, God listened to you. He heard about your trouble, and he will help you. 12And Ishmael, your son, he will live like a wild donkey. He will go anywhere he wants to, and he will fight against everybody, and everybody will fight against him. He will not live close to his relatives.”
13Then Hagar said to herself, “I have seen the God that sees me, and he looks after me.” So she gave God a name, she called him the God that sees me. 14So that’s why people call that water-hole the water-hole that belongs to the one that is alive and sees me. That water-hole is between a place called Kadesh and a place called Bered.
15Soon after that, Hagar had a baby boy, and Abram named him Ishmael.#Galatians 4:22 16Abram was 86 years old at the time when Ishmael was born.
Learn More About Plain English Version
© 2021, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. All rights reserved.
Hagar and Ishmael
1Abram's wife Sarai had not been able to have any children. But she owned a young Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, 2and Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has not given me any children. Sleep with my slave, and if she has a child, it will be mine.”#16.2 Sleep … mine: It was the custom for a wife who could not have children to let her husband sleep with one of her slave women. The children of the slave would belong to the wife. Abram agreed, 3and Sarai gave him Hagar to be his wife. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan for ten years. 4Later, when Hagar knew she was going to have a baby, she became proud and treated Sarai hatefully.
5Then Sarai said to Abram, “It's all your fault!#16.5 It's … fault: Or “I hope you'll be punished for what you did to me!” I gave you my slave woman, but she has been hateful to me ever since she found out she was pregnant. You have done me wrong, and you will have to answer to the Lord for this.”
6Abram said, “All right! She's your slave—do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai began treating Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
7Hagar stopped to rest at a spring in the desert on the road to Shur. While she was there, the angel of the Lord came to her 8and asked, “Hagar, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
She answered, “I'm running away from Sarai, my owner.”
9The angel said, “Go back to Sarai and be her slave. 10-11I will give you a son, who will be called Ishmael,#16.10,11 Ishmael: In Hebrew “Ishmael” sounds like “God hears.” because I have heard your cry for help. And someday I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all. 12But your son will live far from his relatives; he will be like a wild donkey, fighting everyone, and everyone fighting him.”
13Hagar thought, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?”#16.13 Have … it: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. So from then on she called him, “The God Who Sees Me.”#16.13 The God Who Sees Me: Or “The God I Have Seen.” 14That's why people call the well between Kadesh and Bered, “The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.”#16.14 The Well … Me: Or “Beer-Lahai-Roi” (see 25.11).
15-16 # Ga 4.22. Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to their son, and he named him Ishmael.
Learn More About Contemporary English Version Interconfessional Edition
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
© 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.