Genesis 21:16-18

16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she[a] began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.
18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

Genesis 21:16-18 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 21

This chapter gives an account of the conception, birth, circumcision, and weaning of Isaac, Ge 21:1-8; of the mocking of Ishmael, and of the casting out of him and his mother from Abraham's house, at the request of Sarah, which, though grievous to Abraham, he complied with at the direction of God, Ge 21:9-13; of the provision Abraham made for their departure, and of the supply they met with in the wilderness from God, where Ishmael was brought up, and where he married, Ge 21:14-21; and of a covenant between Abraham and Abimelech, king of Gerar, Ge 21:22-32; and of Abraham's planting a grove, and calling on the name of the Lord, Ge 21:33; and the chapter is closed with this observation, that Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days, Ge 21:34.

Genesis 21:16-18 In-Context

14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.
16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.
18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.

Cross References 6

  • 1. Jeremiah 6:26; Amos 8:10; Zechariah 12:10
  • 2. Exodus 3:7; Numbers 20:16; Deuteronomy 26:7; Psalms 6:8
  • 3. S Genesis 16:7
  • 4. Genesis 22:11,15
  • 5. S Genesis 15:1
  • 6. ver 13; S Genesis 17:20

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew; Septuagint "the child"