16 Abram’s wife Sarai had not been able to have any children. But she owned a young Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, 2 and 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.”[a] Abram agreed, 3 and Sarai gave him Hagar to be his wife. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan for ten years. 4 Later, when Hagar knew she was going to have a baby, she became proud and was hateful to Sarai.
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “It’s all your fault![b] 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.”
6 Abram 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.
7 Hagar 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 8 and asked, “Hagar, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
She answered, “I’m running away from Sarai, my owner.”
9 The angel said, “Go back to Sarai and be her slave. 10-11 I will give you a son, who will be called Ishmael,[c] 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. 12 But your son will live far from his relatives; he will be like a wild donkey, fighting everyone, and everyone fighting him.”
13 Hagar thought, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?”[d] So from then on she called him, “The God Who Sees Me.”[e]14 That’s why people call the well between Kadesh and Bered, “The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.”[f]
15-16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave birth to their son, and he named him Ishmael.
16.2Sleep. . . 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.
16.5It’s. . . fault: Or “I hope you’ll be punished for what you did to me!”
16.10,11Ishmael: In Hebrew “Ishmael” sounds like “God hears.”
16.13Have. . . it: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
16.13The God Who Sees Me: Or “The God I Have Seen.”
16.14The Well. . . Me: Or “Beer-Lahai-Roi” (see 25.11).
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