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Genesis 16:5

5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.”

Read Genesis 16:5 Using Other Translations

And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.
And Sarai said to Abram, "May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!"
Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The LORD will show who’s wrong—you or me!”

What does Genesis 16:5 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Genesis 16:5

And Sarai said to Abram
Being affronted with the behaviour of her maid to her, she applies to Abram for the redress of her grievance, judging it, perhaps, below her dignity to enter into an altercation with her maid:

my wrong [be] upon thee;
in her passion imprecating evil on him, as a just punishment upon him for suffering wrong to be done her by her maid; or, "is upon thee" F9; pointing at his duty, and suggesting to him what he ought to do; that it was incumbent on him as her husband to right her wrongs, and do her justice, and vindicate her from the calumnies and reproaches of her servant; and tacitly complaining of him, and accusing him with indolence and unconcern at the injury done her, being silent when it became him to check her insolence and chide her for it: or, "is for thee" F11; for thy sake; it was for the sake of Abram chiefly, that he might have a son and heir, which he was very solicitous, that she gave him her maid to wife; the consequence of which was, that she was now insulted and abused by her, and so suffered wrong for his sake; and the rather she might be tempted to say it was on his account, as she might be jealous of a growing affection in him to Hagar, and that he showed greater respect to her, being likely to have a child by her, and so connived at her haughtiness and arrogance:

I have given my maid into thy bosom;
to be his wife, ( Micah 7:5 ) ; Sarai had no reason to upbraid Abram with this, since it was not at his solicitations she gave her to him, but it was her own motion:

and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes;
when she found herself with child, and hoped to bring forth a son, that should be heir to Abram's large possessions, and inherit the land of Canaan, given to his seed, she began to think highly of herself, and looked with disdain upon her mistress, set lightly by her, made no account of her, showed her no respect, carried it haughtily to her, as if she was beneath her, and as if she had more authority in the house, and a better claim to the affection of Abram, and deserving of more honour and respect, as she was favoured of God with conception, a blessing Sarai never enjoyed:

the Lord judge between me and thee:
which was very rashly and hastily said, as if Abram was not inclined and was unwilling to do her justice, and therefore she appeals to God against him, as an unrighteous man, and desires that he would interpose, and by his providence show who was in the right and who in the wrong: or "the Lord will judge" F12; expressing her confidence not only in the justness of her cause, but in the appearance of divine Providence in her favour; believing that the Lord would arise and help her, and defend her against the insults made upon her, and resent the injury done her.


FOOTNOTES:

F9 (Kyle yomx) "injuria mea super te est", Cocceius; so Ainsworth.
F11 "Vel injuria mea est propter te", Cocceius; "quid si legamus propter te?" Drusius.
F12 (jpvy) "judicabit", Junius & Tremellius.
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