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1 Now Sarai Abrams wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaide, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

2 And Sarai said vnto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee go in vnto my maid: it may bee that I may obtaine children by her: and Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

3 And Sarai Abrams wife, tooke Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten yeeres in the land of Canaan, and gaue her to her husband Abram, to be his wife.

4 And he went in vnto Hagar, and she conceiued: And when shee saw that shee had conceiued, her mistresse was despised in her eyes.

5 And Sarai said vnto Abram, My wrong be vpon thee: I haue giuen my maid into thy bosome, and when shee saw that she had conceiued, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD iudge betweene me and thee.

6 But Abram said vnto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; doe to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, shee fled from her face.

7 And the Angel of the LORD found her by a fountaine of water, in the wildernesse, by the fountaine, in the way to Shur:

8 And he said, Hagar Sarais maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou goe? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistresse Sarai.

9 And the Angel of the LORD said vnto her, Returne to thy mistresse, and submit thy selfe vnder her hands.

10 And the Angel of the LORD said vnto her, I will multiply thy seede exceedingly, that it shall not be numbred for multitude.

11 And the Angel of the LORD said vnto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt beare a sonne, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.

12 And he will be a wilde man; his hand will be against euery man, and euery mans hand against him: & he shal dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

13 And shee called the name of the LORD that spake vnto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Haue I also here looked after him that seeth me?

14 Wherefore the well was called, Beer-lahai-roi: Behold, It is betweene Cadesh and Bered.

15 And Hagar bare Abram a sonne: and Abram called his sonnes name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.

16 And Abram was fourescore and sixe yeeres old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

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Commentary for Genesis 16

Sarai gives Hagar to Abram. (1-3) Hagar's misbehaviour to Sarai. (4-6) The Angel commands Hagar to return, The promise to her Birth of Ishmael. (7-16)1-3 Sarai, no longer expecting to have children herself, proposed to Abram to take another wife, whose children she might; her slave, whose children would be her property. This was done without asking counsel of the Lord. Unbelief worked, God's almighty power was forgotten. It was a bad example, and a source of manifold uneasiness. In every relation and situation in life there is some cross for us to bear: much of the exercise of faith consists in patiently submitting, in waiting the Lord's time, and using only those means which he appoints for the removal of the cross. Foul temptations may have very fair pretences, and be coloured with that which is very plausible. Fleshly wisdom puts us out of God's way. This would not be the case, if we would ask counsel of God by his word and by prayer, before we attempt that which is doubtful.

4-6 Abram's unhappy marriage to Hagar very soon made a great deal of mischief. We may thank ourselves for the guilt and grief that follow us, when we go out of the way of our duty. See it in this case, Passionate people often quarrel with others, for things of which they themselves must bear the blame. Sarai had given her maid to Abram, yet she cries out, My wrong be upon thee. That is never said wisely, which pride and anger put into our mouths. Those are not always in the right, who are most loud and forward in appealing to God: such rash and bold imprecations commonly speak guilt and a bad cause. Hagar forgot that she herself had first given the provocation, by despising her mistress. Those that suffer for their faults, ought to bear it patiently, #1Pe 2:20|.

7-16 Hagar was out of her place, and out of the way of her duty, and going further astray, when the Angel found her. It is a great mercy to be stopped in a sinful way, either by conscience or by providence. Whence comest thou? Consider that thou art running from duty, and the privileges thou wast blest with in Abram's tent. It is good to live in a religious family, which those ought to consider who have this advantage. Whither wilt thou go? Thou art running into sin; if Hagar return to Egypt, she will return to idol gods, and into danger in the wilderness through which she must travel. Recollecting who we are, would often teach us our duty. Inquiring whence we came, would show us our sin and folly. Considering whither we shall go, discovers our danger and misery. And those who leave their space and duty, must hasten their return, how mortifying soever it be. The declaration of the Angel, "I will," shows this Angel was the eternal Word and Son of God. Hagar could not but admire the Lord's mercy, and feel, Have I, who am so unworthy, been favoured with a gracious visit from the Lord? She was brought to a better temper, returned, and by her behaviour softened Sarai, and received more gentle treatment. Would that we were always suitably impressed with this thought, Thou God seest me!

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Genesis 16

  • Nez
    I believe god put haga in sarea life for that purpose he knows all of our thoughts also remember sarea told her husband to go into her
  • THE FAMILY UPON THE SOLID ROCK
    God's favor upon men tend to contradict human good will explanations.
  • Samuel
    Where is it found that hangar was between Sarah knees in conception?
  • James Lee
    Things always seem to go wrong when we humans attempt to help the Lord.
    The waiting truly is the hardest part.
  • TE.
    Really. It is true. When God' favour is upon us, we need not despise other people because God can remove that fovour from us. but because He is a mercyfull God, He didn't do that to Hagar.

    We also need to wait upon the Lord and be still before Him.
  • Teenu
    Very true. He knows and is always with us in every walk of life.

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