Genesis 16:1-6

Hagar and Ishmael

1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar;
2 so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.
4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.
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.”
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

Genesis 16:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
ESV
1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar.
NLT
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar.
MSG
1 Sarai, Abram's wife, hadn't yet produced a child.
CSB
1 Abram's wife Sarai had not borne him children. She owned an Egyptian slave named Hagar.

Genesis 16:1-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 16

This chapter gives an account of Abram's marrying his maid, at the instance of his wife Sarai, Ge 16:1-3, who, upon conceiving, despised her mistress; of which complaint is made to Abram, who leaving his maid to his wife, to deal with her as she pleased, dealt harshly by her, and therefore fled from her, Ge 16:4-6; when she was met by an angel, who advised her to return and submit herself to her mistress, and told her her seed would be greatly multiplied, gave a name to the child she went with, and described his temper and disposition, Ge 16:7-12; and then we have the name of God that spoke to her, and of the place where the discourse passed between them, Ge 16:13,14; and the chapter is concluded with the birth of Ishmael, and the age of Abram at his birth, Ge 16:15,16.

Genesis 16:1-6 In-Context

1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar;
2 so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.
4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.
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.”
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.
8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”
10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

Cross References 13

  • 1. S Genesis 11:29
  • 2. S Genesis 11:30; Luke 1:7,36; Galatians 4:24-25
  • 3. Genesis 21:9; Genesis 24:61; Genesis 29:24,29; Genesis 31:33; Genesis 46:18
  • 4. ver 3-4,8,15; Genesis 21:14; Genesis 25:12
  • 5. Genesis 29:31; Genesis 30:2
  • 6. Genesis 19:32; Genesis 30:3-4,9-10
  • 7. S Genesis 12:5
  • 8. S Genesis 12:4
  • 9. S ver 1
  • 10. Genesis 30:1; 1 Samuel 1:6
  • 11. Genesis 31:53; Exodus 5:21; Judges 11:27; 1 Samuel 24:12,15; 1 Samuel 26:10,23; Psalms 50:6; Psalms 75:7
  • 12. Joshua 9:25
  • 13. Genesis 31:50
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