Genesis 16:1

Now Sarai Abram’s wife bore him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar

(the previous Chapter sets out the faithfulness of God, this Chapter, the faithlessness of Abraham).


Genesis 16:2a

And Sarai said unto Abram

(meaning that it wasn’t the Lord who spoke to Abraham)

Genesis 16:2b

Behold now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing

(proclaims the impatience of unbelief; the “flesh” quickly tires of waiting for the Divine promise)

Genesis 16:2c

I pray you, go in unto my maid

(the path of Faith is full of dignity, the path of unbelief full of degradation)

Genesis 16:2d

it may be that I may obtain children by her

(tired of waiting, they no longer set their hopes upon God, but rather upon the Egyptian slave girl).

Genesis 16:2e

And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai

(which means that the Patriarch was not hearkening to the Voice of the Lord).


Genesis 16:3a

And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian

(the Epistle to the Galatians declares that Sarah and Hagar represent the two principles of Law and Grace; Hagar represents salvation by works; Sarah Salvation by Faith; these principles are opposed to one another; Ishmael is born as the result of man’s planning and energy; Isaac is born as the result of God’s planning and energy; in the birth of Ishmael, God had nothing to do with it and, as regards the birth of Isaac, man was dead; so it is today, salvation by works entirely depends on man’s capacity to produce them; Salvation by Faith upon God’s ability to perform them; under a covenant of works, God stands still in order to see what man can do; under the Covenant of Grace, man stands still to see what God has done; the two covenants are opposed; it must be either Hagar or Sarah; if Hagar, God has nothing to do with it; if Sarah, man has nothing to do with it — Williams)

Genesis 16:3b

after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

(As stated, ten being the number of completion, is it possible that, at this time, God had planned to bring forth Isaac? Or better yet, how much do our failures of faith hinder in our lives that which God desires to do? Or worse still, how much does it delay us with what He desires to do?)


Genesis 16:4

And he (Abraham) went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes

(she began to act unkindly toward Sarah, actually with contempt!).


Genesis 16:5a

And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon you

(Abraham and Sarah think that, by their clever plan, they can hasten and bring to pass the Divine Promise; the result is misery; he succeeds in his plan, Ishmael is born; but better were it for Abraham and the world had he never been born! It is disastrous when the self-will plans of the Christian succeed)

Genesis 16:5b

I have given my maid into your bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and you.

(Sarah now sees her wrong, but too late! Works of the flesh, and this definitely was a work of the flesh, always bring on dissension.)


Genesis 16:6

But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, your maid is in your hand; do to her as it pleases you. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face

(the Scripture doesn’t tell us what Sarah did).


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

(every evidence is, this “Angel of the Lord” is none other than a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ).


Genesis 16:8



Genesis 16:9

And the Angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands

(had she not obeyed, she would no doubt have died in the wilderness).


Genesis 16:10

And the Angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply your seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

(However, the Lord said nothing about Faith, because there was no faith in the heart of Hagar, and neither would there be any in the heart of her son, Ishmael.)


Genesis 16:11

And the Angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael; because the LORD has heard your affliction.

(The fault of her situation did not belong with Hagar, but rather with Abraham and Sarah; however, she ultimately forfeited what the Lord could have done for her by opposing His Plan, which was Isaac. “Ishmael” means “God hears;” however, it has nothing to do with Ishmael, but rather the plight of Hagar.)


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.

(These predictions describe the Arab people perfectly. They cannot get along with anyone in the world, and they cannot even get along among themselves. The descendants of Ishmael dwell in the presence of all his brethren [Israel], but do not subdue them and, in fact, never will subdue them!)


Genesis 16:13a

And she called the name of the LORD Who spoke unto her

(Hagar recognized that the Angel was, in fact, the Lord, actually the God of Abraham)

Genesis 16:13b

your God sees me: for she said, Have I also here looked after Him Who sees me?

(Hagar gave the name to the Lord of “El Roi,” which means, “You are a God Who permits Himself to be seen.” As is obvious, she truly had a wonderful Revelation, but, sadly and regrettably, her self-will overrode her faith. She wanted her son, Ishmael, to be the heir of Promise, but that was not to be. She would even go so far, even as we will see, to try to kill Isaac. And so do all who reject the Cross follow in her footsteps.)


Genesis 16:14

Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

(“Beer-lahai-roi” means “Well of the Living-Seeing God.”)


Genesis 16:15

And Hagar bore Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bore, Ishmael.

(Hagar, without doubt, related to Abraham all that had happened, placed herself under the authority of Sarah, and Abraham was then careful to name the boy what the Lord had said —“Ishmael.”)


Genesis 16:16a

And Abram was fourscore and six years old

(onescore= 20 years, so 20 years times 4 = 80, plus six years totals 86)

Genesis 16:16b

when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

(Abraham would yet have to wait some 14 years before the Promise would be fulfilled. As previously asked, I have to wonder if this lapse of faith did not prolong the waiting period for the Promise to be realized!)



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