1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid (not necessarily a slave. Cp. 1 Sam. 25:41), an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. (Hagar = flight. See v. 3.)
2 And Sarai said to Abram, "Behold now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing: I pray you, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her." And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan (these 10 years to be taken into account in any calculations), and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. (This was strictly in accordance with the enactment of Khammurabi [‡ 146] which Abram had brought from Ur.)
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.
5 And Sarai said to Abram, "My wrong be upon you: I have given my maid into your bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD (Yahaveh) judge between me and her."
6 But Abram said to Sarai, "Behold, your maid is in your hand; do to her as it pleases you." And when Sarai dealt hardly with her (Heb. afflicted her. The Code of Khammurabi [‡ 119] forbade her being sold. Sarah could only lay tasks on her), she fled from her face.
7 And the angel of the LORD (1st occ. = messenger = 2nd Person, as being sent. Elohim = as being being commissioned by oath) found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. (Shur = wall. The nearest way to her native land. Shur was the name of the great fortified wall shutting Egypt from Palestine.)
8 And he said, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, from what place came you? and where will you go?" And she said, "I flee from the presence of my mistress Sarai."
9 And the angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands."
10 And the angel of the LORD said to her, "I will multiply your seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude."
11 And the angel of the LORD said to her, "Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael (= who God hears); because the LORD has heard your affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him (true today and for over 3,000 years. Cp. 21:29. Isa. 21:13. Jer. 3:2. Ezra 8:31. Ps. 10:8,9); and he shall dwell in the face (i.e. on the face of the same country) of all his brethren." (Esp. with the Midianites [37:28], Midian being his half-brother, by Keturah [cp. Judg. 8:22,24]. Cp. the fulfillment in 25:18.)
13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke to her, You GOD (El) see me: for she said, "Do I see, here, even after the Vision?" (I.e. "Do I live, after seeing God?")
14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi (= the well of living after seeing); behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son (through infirmity of Sarah's faith. So the Law [parenthetically] "because of transgression" [Gal. 3:19]. Levitical law given, as Ismael was, until Christ the anti-type of Isaac should be born [Gal. 4:1-5, 19,31]): 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.