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Genesis 16:10-12 New English Translation (NET Bible)

10 I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the angel of the Lord added,[a] “so that they will be too numerous to count.”[b] 11 Then the angel of the Lord said to her,

“You are now[c] pregnant
and are about to give birth[d] to a son.
You are to name him Ishmael,[e]
for the Lord has heard your painful groans.[f]
12 He will be a wild donkey[g] of a man.
He will be hostile to everyone,[h]
and everyone will be hostile to him.[i]
He will live away from[j] his brothers.”


  1. Genesis 16:10 tn Heb “The angel of the Lord said, ‘I will greatly multiply your descendants….’” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  2. Genesis 16:10 tn Heb “cannot be numbered because of abundance.”
  3. Genesis 16:11 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) focuses on her immediate situation: “Here you are pregnant.”
  4. Genesis 16:11 tn The active participle refers here to something that is about to happen.
  5. Genesis 16:11 sn The name Ishmael consists of the imperfect or jussive form of the Hebrew verb with the theophoric element added as the subject. It means “God hears” or “may God hear.”
  6. Genesis 16:11 tn Heb “affliction,” which must refer here to Hagar’s painful groans of anguish.sn This clause gives the explanation of the name Ishmael, using a wordplay. Ishmael’s name will be a reminder that “God hears” Hagar’s painful cries.
  7. Genesis 16:12 sn A wild donkey of a man. The prophecy is not an insult. The wild donkey lived a solitary existence in the desert away from society. Ishmael would be free-roaming, strong, and like a bedouin; he would enjoy the freedom his mother sought.
  8. Genesis 16:12 tn Heb “His hand will be against everyone.” The “hand” by metonymy represents strength. His free-roaming life style would put him in conflict with those who follow social conventions. There would not be open warfare, only friction because of his antagonism to their way of life.
  9. Genesis 16:12 tn Heb “And the hand of everyone will be against him.”
  10. Genesis 16:12 tn Heb “opposite, across from.” Ishmael would live on the edge of society (cf. NASB “to the east of”). Some take this as an idiom meaning “be at odds with” (cf. NRSV, NLT) or “live in hostility toward” (cf. NIV).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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