Sarai, Abram's wife, hadn't yet produced a child.
Sarai said to Abram, "God has not seen fit to let me have a child. Sleep with my maid. Maybe I can get a family from her." Abram agreed to do what Sarai said.
So Sarai, Abram's wife, took her Egyptian maid Hagar and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. Abram had been living ten years in Canaan when this took place.
He slept with Hagar and she got pregnant. When she learned she was pregnant, she looked down on her mistress.
Sarai told Abram, "It's all your fault that I'm suffering this abuse. I put my maid in bed with you and the minute she knows she's pregnant, she treats me like I'm nothing. May God decide which of us is right."
"You decide," said Abram. "Your maid is your business." Sarai was abusive to Hagar and she ran away.
An angel of God found her beside a spring in the desert; it was the spring on the road to Shur.
He said, "Hagar, maid of Sarai, what are you doing here?" She said, "I'm running away from Sarai my mistress."
The angel of God said, "Go back to your mistress. Put up with her abuse."
He continued, "I'm going to give you a big family, children past counting.
From this pregnancy, you'll get a son: Name him Ishmael; for God heard you, God answered you.
He'll be a bucking bronco of a man, a real fighter, fighting and being fought, Always stirring up trouble, always at odds with his family."
She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, "You're the God who sees me!" "Yes! He saw me; and then I saw him!"
That's how that desert spring got named "God-Alive-Sees-Me Spring." That spring is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
Hagar gave Abram a son. Abram named him Ishmael.
Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave him his son, Ishmael.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)