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.
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B'resheet (Gen) 16
1Now Sarai Avram’s wife had not borne him a child. But she had an Egyptian slave-girl named Hagar; 2so Sarai said to Avram, “Here now, Adonai has kept me from having children; so go in and sleep with my slave-girl. Maybe I’ll be able to have children through her.” Avram listened to what Sarai said.
3It was after Avram had lived ten years in the land of Kena‘an that Sarai Avram’s wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to Avram her husband to be his wife. 4Avram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she conceived. But when she became aware that she was pregnant, she looked on her mistress with contempt. 5Sarai said to Avram, “This outrage being done to me is your fault! True, I gave my slave-girl to you to sleep with; but when she saw that she was pregnant, she began holding me in contempt. May Adonai decide who is right — I or you!” 6However, Avram answered Sarai, “Look, she’s your slave-girl. Deal with her as you think fit.” Then Sarai treated her so harshly that she ran away from her.
7The angel of Adonai found her by a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur, 8and said, “Hagar! Sarai’s slave-girl! Where have you come from, and where are you going?” She answered, “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai.” 9The angel of Adonai said to her, “Go back to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10The angel of Adonai said to her, “I will greatly increase your descendants; there will be so many that it will be impossible to count them.” 11The angel of Adonai said to her, “Look, you are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son. You are to call him Yishma‘el [God pays attention] because Adonai has paid attention to your misery. 12He will be a wild donkey of a man, with his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, living his life at odds with all his kinsmen.”
13So she named Adonai who had spoken with her El Ro’i [God of seeing], because she said, “Have I really seen the One who sees me [and stayed alive]?” 14This is why the well has been called Be’er-Lachai-Ro’i [well of the one who lives and sees]; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
15Hagar bore Avram a son, and Avram called the son whom Hagar had borne Yishma‘el. 16Avram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Yishma‘el to Avram.
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