Abram, 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 was hateful to Sarai.
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, and you can do whatever you want with her.” But 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 later 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).
15-16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave birth to their son, and he named him Ishmael.#Ga 4.22.
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© British and Foreign Bible Society 2012
1Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 3And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. 5And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. 6But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
7And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 10And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy 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 that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 14Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
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