Sarai, Abram's wife, was not able to have children. She owned an Egyptian slave named Hagar.
So Sarai said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Why don't you sleep with my slave? Maybe I can build a family through her." Abram agreed with Sarai.
After Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years, Abram's wife Sarai took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar realized that she was pregnant, she began to be disrespectful to Sarai, her owner.
So Sarai complained to Abram, "I'm being treated unfairly! And it's your fault! I know that I gave my slave to you, but now that she's pregnant, she's being disrespectful to me. May the LORD decide who is right--you or me."
Abram answered Sarai, "Here, she's your slave. Do what you like with her." Then Sarai mistreated Hagar so much that she ran away.
The Messenger of the LORD found her by a spring in the desert, the spring on the way to Shur.
He said, "Hagar, Sarai's slave, where have you come from, and where are you going?" She answered, "I'm running away from my owner Sarai."
The Messenger of the LORD said to her, "Go back to your owner, and place yourself under her authority."
The Messenger of the LORD also said to her, "I will give you many descendants. No one will be able to count them because there will be so many."
Then the Messenger of the LORD said to her, "You are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son. You will name him Ishmael [God Hears], because the LORD has heard your cry of distress.