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.
This chapter is not available in this version. Please choose a different chapter or version.