Book Of Genesis – Advance Study-Part-25

Genesis 16:1 “Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had
an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name [was] Hagar.” 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.”

This scheme that Sarai came up with caused nothing but trouble. First
of all, this would not be Sarai’s child. Sarai had lost faith that she would
ever have a child, and decided to help God out. Anytime you get ahead of God
and start figuring out the details yourself, you wind up with a mess. This
was no exception. Even mixing the blood of Abram with an Egyptian, too, was
not pleasing to God. Egypt is a type of the world. This union between Hagar
and Abram could be nothing but worldly (opposed to God’s plan). Any child
from this union would have to be of the flesh. The poor maid was caught in a
trap not of her making. Abram could have said no. He did not have to obey
Sarai. In doing what she said, he got all of them in a mess.
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.”

The only thing to add here is we should look at the worldly aspect of
his, even the 10 in the number of years (10-world). Abram was allowing his
flesh to rule him.

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.”
She (Hagar) suddenly felt her importance. Her affair with Abram had
resulted in pregnancy. She was angry and jealous of Sarai. Two women cannot
share one man. In Genesis, when God made Adam and Eve, He said they two
shall become one flesh. Marriage where more than two people are involved
cannot work. It is not compatible with the plan God made from the beginning.
Jealousy between these two women reigned in this household.

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.”
At least in this verse, Sarai was admitting that she was wrong. Just
like so many people who do wrong, Sarai did not want to take the blame. She
tried to shift her blame to Abram. With Hebrew women, it was a disgrace, not
to have children, and they were looked down on. Children were considered a
blessing from God. Not having children was considered a curse. Whether this
was what Hagar was feeling for Sarai, or not, was not evident. Perhaps,
Hagar had in her mind to take the place of Sarai with Abram. Sarai, in the
last sentence, was asking God to decide whether she was at blame, or whether
it was Abram’s fault that all of this happened.

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 just backed away here. This is Sarai’s maid. Sarai punished Hagar
some way for her attitude. Whatever the punishment, it was severe enough
that Hagar fled in fear.

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.” 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.”
It seems that Hagar had fled out in a deserted place. She, probably,
knew there was water there, and came to get a drink. She had run from the
only home she had known. She was pregnant, and nowhere to go. The father of
the child had turned his irate wife on her. The nearest thing she had as a
benefactor was Sarai, and she had misbehaved toward her mistress and had
been punished. What would she do? Where could she go? She was out here all
alone feeling sorry for herself. And then, who appeared but the angel
(ministering Spirit of God). This word that was here translated angel, in
other places it is translated prophet, priest, teacher, ambassador, king or
messenger. This did not say an angel. It said the angel. It seems that God
had seen her predicament and sent help. As if he did not know, he asked
Where did you come from, and where are you going? Here was the first time,
since she conceived, that she admitted who Sarai was (her mistress).
Genesis 16:9 “and the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy
mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.”

In short he said, go back and apologize for your behavior.
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.” 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.”

God promised Hagar that she, also, would have a multitude of
descendents. She, now, knew that she was to have a boy child. She was to
name him Ishmael, which means (God will hear). His name was this because God
heard Hagar’s cries, not Ishmael’s. In a way, she was innocent in this mess.
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.”

This wild man’s descendents live in the midst of their Israelite
brethren even today, and truly they do hate each other. They battle
continuously, and it has been going on ever since Genesis in the Bible.
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?” Genesis 16:14 “Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi;
behold, [it is] between Kadesh and Bered.”

Hagar realized that God provided the well, and that this was God (El)
who was instructing her to go back to Sarai. I believe this means she was
aware that she did not get God’s permission to leave. The name that was
given the well means (well of the living One). Wells are very valuable in
this area and Jewish people of today use the Bible to find these old wells.
Genesis 16:15 “And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s
name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.”

Remember, Ishmael means (God will hear). This son is of the flesh, not
of the promise.

Genesis 16:16 “And Abram [was] fourscore and six years old, when Hagar
bare Ishmael to Abram.”

There is very little to note here, except that Abram was 86 years old
when this son by the servant girl, Hagar, was born.