Genesis 16:14

14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi*;[a] behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

Genesis 16:14 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 16:14

Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi
That is, the fountain where the angel found her, ( Genesis 16:7 ) ; this, from the appearance of God to her at it, was afterwards called by her and others by this name, which signifies "the well of him that liveth and seeth me"; that is, of the living and all seeing God, and who had taken a special care of her, and favoured her with a peculiar discovery of his love to her: or this may have respect to herself, and be rendered, "the well of her that liveth and seeth"; that had had a sight of God, and yet was alive; lived though she had seen him, and after she had seen him, and was still indulged with a sight of him. Aben Ezra says, the name of this well, at the time he lived, was called Zemum, he doubtless means Zemzem, a well near Mecca, which the Arabs say F26 is the well by which Hagar sat down with Ishmael, and where she was comforted by the angel, ( Genesis 21:19 ) :

behold, [it is] between Kadesh and Bered;
Kadesh is the same with Kadesh Barnea in the wilderness, ( Numbers 13:3 Numbers 13:26 ) ( Joshua 14:7 ) . The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan call it Rekam, the same with Petra, the chief city of Arabia Petraea, inhabited in later times by the Nabathaeans, the posterity of Ishmael: and Bered is nowhere else mentioned, it is called by Onkelos Chagra or Hagra, by which he interprets Shur, ( Genesis 16:7 ) ; and by the Targum of Jonathan it is called Chaluza, a noted town in Idumea, the same with Chelus, mentioned with Kades in the Apocrypha;

``And to all that were in Samaria and the cities thereof, and beyond Jordan unto Jerusalem, and Betane, and Chelus, and Kades, and the river of Egypt, and Taphnes, and Ramesse, and all the land of Gesem,'' (Judith 1:9)

and so Jerom F1 speaks of a place called Elusa, near the wilderness of Kadesh, which in his times was inhabited by Saracens, the descendants of Ishmael; and this bids fair to the Bered here spoken of, and seems to be its Greek name, and both are of the same signification; for Bered signifies hail, as does Chalaza in Greek, which the Targumists here make Chaluza; between Kadesh and Barath, as Jerom F2 calls it, Hagar's well was shown in his days.


F26 See Pitts's Account of the Mahometans, c. 7. p. 103.
F1 In Vita Hilarionis, fol. 84. 1.
F2 De loc. Heb. fol. 89. E.

Genesis 16:14 In-Context

12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Beerlahairoi: that is, The well of him that liveth and seeth me