Genesis 16:1-6 Q: Was Abram’s faith defective? A: Yes, and no. It was not defective in regard to the substance of the promise, but yes, it was defective in regards to the method in which they proceeded (Calvin) Some things we cannot feel to be true until we believe them to be true, and act as if they are true
Genesis 16:1-6 “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” But the method he used – Hagar – instead of his wife Sarai, was at fault
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: If as verse 3 says, they have lived in the land for ten years (and they left Haran when Abram was 75), how old were they when Hagar was given to Abram? A: Abram was approximately 85, and Sarai was 75 Q: Why was this time element written in the record? A: Probably to account for their impatience in waiting for the fulfillment of the promised child Q: How much longer would they have to wait for a child? Fifteen years: Abram would be 100; Sarai 90
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: In Genesis 16:3, Hagar is called Abram’s ‘wife’? Were they married? A: The word for Abram’s ‘wife’ Sarai, and the word for ‘wife’ for Hagar are from the same Hebrew word, and the meaning must be made from the context. The Hebrew word has a variety of meanings, including “female, adulterer, wife, concubine” etc.
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: Was Sarai’s barrenness ordained by God? A: Yes, apparently it was. Barrenness among the Hebrews was regarded as a dishonor and reproach, as well as being single Genesis 19:31 – Lot’s two daughters, who seduced him Genesis 19:31 – Lot’s two daughters, who seduced him Genesis 30:1, 23 – Rachael, ‘give me children or I die’; ‘so she conceived and bora a son and said, ‘God has taken away my reproach’ Leviticus 20:20 – “…they shall die childless…” (man sleeps with his uncle’s wife…)
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: In the Bible, is having children seen as a stamp of Divine approval and favor? Genesis 24:60 – Rebekah (Isaac’s wife) blessed Exodus 23:25-26 – “But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days” Deut. 7:14 – “You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle…”
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: Did Hagar expect to displace Sarai in her position as Abram’s wife? A: Probably she did; at least she became insolent when she knew she was bearing his child.
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: What does Sarai mean by ‘my wrong (when Hagar became pregnant) be upon thee (Abram)’ (KJV)? “My injury is upon thee” – the relationship with Hagar and her baby has injured you as well as me? “My injury is upon thee” – the relationship with Hagar and her baby has injured you as well as me? “You are the cause of my injury” – since he caused the pregnancy, and her pride and position were hurt? “You are the cause of my injury” – since he caused the pregnancy, and her pride and position were hurt? “May the injury done to me (by the pregnancy) return upon thee” – the language of passionate irritation, indicating a change of mind regarding her previous action and a desire to both impute its guilt to Abram, and lay its bitter consequences on him? “May the injury done to me (by the pregnancy) return upon thee” – the language of passionate irritation, indicating a change of mind regarding her previous action and a desire to both impute its guilt to Abram, and lay its bitter consequences on him?
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: When Sarah says, “the Lord judge between me and thee” is she swearing, using God’s name irreverently? A: It sounds like it. “An irreverent use of the Divine name on the part of Sarai” (Calvin) “An irreverent use of the Divine name on the part of Sarai” (Calvin) “a speech arguing great passion” (Ainsworth) “a speech arguing great passion” (Ainsworth)
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: When Abram says, ‘do to her [Hagar] as it pleases you’, what is his intention? A: He is apparently setting aside his feelings toward the child he has caused, in order to maintain harmony in his disquieted household [with Sarai] (Calvin) This may be proof that he was already feeling guilty, and was convicted by God of his sin in lying with Hagar This may be a husband’s penitence for having given in to her passionate plea for a baby through Hagar
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: Is this an unjustifiable wrong inflicted on the mother of the child of faith [Isaac] that he again anticipates [through Sarah]? A: Yes, probably he realized his error, and how he had mistreated Sarai, by giving in to her emotional request. Q: Did Hagar go back to being a slave, and was she punished harshly by Sarai? A: Undoubtedly so, perhaps with her back showing the stripes of being whipped…
Genesis 16:1-6 “The entire conduct of Sarai, in giving Hagar to her husband, evinced certain truly engaging features in her personal and wifely character, which must not be overlooked in forming an estimate of her peculiar action; such as genuine humility in yielding to another the honor of being the mother of Abram’s seed, and intense devotion to her husband in submitting for his sake to a displacement which must have carried anguish to her breast” (Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 1, p. 226)
Genesis 16:1-6 “ The history of Hagar has its two sides---that which is turned towards God and illustrates Divine grace, that which is turned towards man and illustrates human infirmity and sinfulness. Jehovah brought forth compassionate bestowments of revelation and promise out of his people’s errors. Abram and Sarai both sinned. Hagar sinned. The angel of the Lord, representative of the continuous gracious revelation of Jehovah as a Covenant God, appeared in the cloud of family sorrow, drawing once more upon it the rainbow of promise. Until the heir [Isaac] came there was a call for patience.” (Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 1, p. 227)
Genesis 16:1-6 Hebrews 10:35: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But My righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Genesis 16:1-6 Unbelief appeared at work in Genesis 16: In Abram’s weakness of faith and the flesh In Sarai’s harshness to a girl she had wronged In Hagar’s pride and rebellion (she is a member of this household as well as Sarai is, and a partaker of the covenant blessings---although the baby would belong to Sarai when it is born). “In the wilderness appeared the messenger of grace” and by returning to the household, Hagar brings blessing
Genesis 16:1-6 Q: Are these two women [Sarai and Hagar] the only wives that Abram will take? A: No. Apparently after Sarah died (Genesis 23) Abraham [his name has been changed by God], he marries another woman, Keturah. She bears him six sons. (Genesis 25:1-2)
Genesis 16:7-10 7 The angel of the L ORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, [NOT “WIFE OF ABRAM”] where have you come from, and where are you going?”
Genesis 16:7-10 Hagar was running towards her own country; for she was in the way to Shur, the main road to Egypt. It were well if our afflictions would make us think of our home, the better country. But Hagar was now out of her place, and out of the way of her duty, and going further astray, when the angel found her. (MHC) Note, 1. It is a great mercy to be stopped in a sinful way either by conscience or by Providence.
Genesis 16:7-10 Note 2. God suffers those that are out of the way to wander awhile, that when they see their folly, and what a loss they have brought themselves to, they may be the better disposed to return. Hagar was not stopped till she was in the wilderness, and had set down, weary enough, and glad of clear water to refresh herself with. God brings us into a wilderness, and there meets us. Hos. 2:14 [whose wife left him, and became a prostitute] “Therefore, behold, I will allure her. Bring her into the wilderness, and speak kindly to her”
Genesis 16:7-10 “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. 9 Then the angel of the L ORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” (NIV)
Genesis 16:7-10 Those who are forsaking God and their duty would do well to remember not only [from where] they have fallen, but [to where] they are falling. (Matthew Henry Commentary) Jer. 2:18-19 “But now what are doing on the road to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates? Your own wickedness will correct you, and your apostasies will reprove you; know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God” John 6:68 “Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life”
Genesis 16:9 The angel of Jehovah sent her back, with suitable and compassionate counsel: "Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hand” Go home, and humble yourself for what you have done amiss, and beg pardon, and resolve for the future to behave yourself better.” [The Angel of Jehovah] makes no question but she would be welcome, though it does not appear that Abram sent after her. Those that have left their place and duty, when they are convinced of their error, must hasten their return and reformation, however mortifying it may be to do so. (MHC)
Genesis 16:7-10 Q: Who is this Angel of the Lord? 1.An Angel – a classification of created beings, serving the purposes of Almighty God? 2.The Pre-incarnate Son of God, the LORD Jesus Christ? 1.The OT references foreshadow His coming in the flesh 2.He is identified as the Deity 1.Gen. 16:7 with Hagar [the first mention in the OT] 2.Gen. 22:11-18 with Abram, and two ‘angels’ / Sodom 3.Jacob, Moses, the Nation Israel, Balaam, Gideon, Manoah/Samson, Elijah, David (1 Chron. 21:15-17) all see Him 4.He slew 185,000 Assyrians in one night (2 Kings 19:35) 5.He clearly anticipates the fuller revelation of the Trinity in the NT
Q: Is Ishmael born and a young man when these events occur? A: NO. Hagar is pregnant, but Ishmael is not born yet. Genesis 21:9-12 – “Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she ad borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.” And the matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son [Ishamael]. But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named”
Genesis 16:7-10 Q: Where is ‘Shur’? Hagar intended to escape to Egypt by the road from Hebron (where they were living), going past Beersheba, which was the main highway from Palestine to Egypt. It is in the northwestern portion of the desert of Arabia (Ex. 15:22).
Review: Genesis 16:7-10 7 The angel of the L ORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. 9 Then the angel of the L ORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” (NIV)
Genesis 16:11 11 The angel of the L ORD also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the L ORD has heard of your misery. Q: What does the name ‘Ishmael’ mean? A: “God hears”
Genesis 16:12 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” Q: What does it mean to be a ‘wild donkey of a man’? A: The figure is a wild and untameable animal, roaming at will in the desert; depicting a Bedouin’s boundless love of freedom as he rides about in the desert, spear in hand, on a camel or horse [or donkey]; frugal, reveling in the varied beauty of nature, despising city/town life in all forms (K & D, p. 220)
Genesis 16:12 Q: What does it mean that ‘his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him’? A: A state of constant feuding with one another and with neighbors. Q: What does it mean about where he will live? A: The Ishmaelites would maintain an independent standing before (or in the presence of) the other descendants of Abraham. History has confirmed this promise through Bedouin Arabs and their enmity with the Israelites/Jews.
Genesis 16:12 Q: Who were these people, and where did they settle? A: Between the Euphrates, the Straits of Suez, and the Red Sea, including Northern Africa and Southern Asia.
Genesis 16:13 13 She gave this name to the L ORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Q: What does Hagar mean? Literally, “Thou art a God of seeing; for she said, Have I also seen here after seeing?” Believing that a person must die before seeing God (Exodus 20:10; 33:20, etc.) Hagar is astonished that she has seen God and remained alive.
Genesis 16:13 Jehovah God allowed Himself to be seen. The well she was at was given the name Beer-lahai-roi which means ‘the well of the Living One who sees me’ (or ‘the Omnipresent Providence’)