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Bible Commentaries

Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books

Genesis 16

Verses 1-16

Planning for God

Like so many after her, Sarai ran out of patience. She thought of a plan to achieve the end God had in mind. In the land of the Chaldees, a woman who could not bear children could give one of her slaves to her husband. Any child born of such a union would be counted as the wife's child. If the slave began to think of herself as being her mistress' equal, she could treat her again as a slave but not sell her.

Sarai had an Egyptian slave named Hagar. She gave Hagar to Abram. When it was obvious she was with child, Hagar began to treat Sarai in a disrespectful way. Sarai complained to Abram and he put the unruly servant back under her control. Harsh treatment drove Hagar away from the camp. The Angel of the Lord met her at a spring on the way back to Egypt. He directed her to return to the camp and place herself under her mistress. As the angel promised, she bore a son named Ishmael when Abram was eighty-six years old. Ishmael became the father of a vast multitude (16:1-16).

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 16". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". 2014.