Genesis Chapter 16

"The Birth of Ishmael to Abram, by Hagar."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by

Genesis 16:1 "Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Eqyptian, whose name was Hagar."

Sarai was still barren, and much time has passed and Abram still does not have the son that God promised to him. So we can see Sarai is going to do something about it, and try to help God out. She simply thinks that God has forgotten them.

Genesis 16:2 "And Sarai said unto Abram, "Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her." And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai."

Abram found no problem with that, for this time he listened to his wife, and acted on her wishes.

Genesis 16:3 "And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife."

This was strictly within the laws of Khammurabi, which Abram brought from the land of Ur.

Genesis 16:4 "And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes."

Pride took over in the heart of Hagar when she was in front of Sarai; and this will cause trouble in the household. Sarai is now trying to blame Abram because she has no children. Now Hagar thinks she is better than Sarai, and this hurts Sarai. With the problems growing between the two women, Abram gets it all dumped on him.

Genesis 16:5 "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."

Genesis 16:6 "But Abram said unto Sarai, "Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee." And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face."

Abram will have nothing to do with the fighting between his two wives, and turns the decision making back to Sarai. In turn Sarai beat Hagar, and put so much pressure on Hagar that she left Abram's house.

Genesis 16:7 "And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur."

"The Angel of the Lord" in the Hebrew text is "Spirit of God". This messenger met Hagar as she is almost back home to her fathers, and spoke to her.

Genesis 16:8 "And He said, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go?" And she said, "I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai."

Genesis 16:9 "And the angel of the Lord said unto her, return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands."

God's message to Hagar is that she should go back to Sarai and use a little bit of common sense. Tell her that "this is her idea to start with, and tell her that I was only trying to please you."

Genesis 16:10 "And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude."

It is from Hagar, and this child Ishmael that some of the Arab nations came.

Genesis 16:11 "And the angel of the Lord said unto her, "Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction."

We see that with God's love and counsel, the union between Abram and Hagar was blessed.

Genesis 16:12 "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."

History proves that this prophecy is correct. The child Ishmael has grown into nations, and with his half brothers, the sons of "Keturah", they have grown into what we call the Arab world today. It is common to see that when they are not fighting outsiders, they are fighting each other. To this day, the conflict between the Arab nations, and the nations of the "promised seed", Isaac, and the Israelites goes on.

Genesis 16:13 "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?"

Translated, what Hagar said is; "I've seen God and I live to tell about it."

Genesis 16:14 "Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold it is between Kadesh and Bered."

Genesis 16:15 "And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael."

Genesis 16:16 "And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram."

Abram was eighty six years old when Ishmael was born. Isaac will not be born for another fourteen years. Though the wives of Abram tried to make the promises of God come true through Hagar, they just complicated the issue. Yet, Abram never lost sight of the fact that God was still in control. He did his utmost to please God, and this is the same simplicity that Christ taught. If you please God he blesses you, and God always pays His debts.

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