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Genesis Chapter 16

1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

2 Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my servant. It may be that I will obtain children by her." Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

3 Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.

4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

5 Sarai said to Abram, "This wrong is your fault. I gave my servant into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, she despised me. May The LORD judge between me and you."

6 But Abram said to Sarai, "Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes." Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.

7 The LORD's angel found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain on the way to Shur.

8 He said, "Hagar, Sarai's servant, where did you come from? Where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai."

9 The LORD's angel said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands."

10 The LORD's angel said to her, "I will greatly multiply your offspring, that they will not be counted for multitude."

11 The LORD's angel said to her, "Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your affliction.

12 He will be like a wild donkey amongst men. His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. He will live opposed to all of his brothers."

13 She called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, "You are a God who sees," for she said, "Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?"

14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

15 Hagar bore a son for Abram. Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.

16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.


Verse 14 (Beer Lahai Roi)
Beer Lahai Roi means "well of the one who lives and sees me".

Version: World English Bible

Genesis Chapter 16 Guide

The previous story makes it evident that the principle of faith is the true philosophy of life. It builds on God and is satisfied with Him. It thus becomes the source of all righteousness. Faith, therefore, is the highest activity of reason.

All this stands out in even more startling vividness by contrast in the story contained in this chapter. Here we have the account of the second deflection from faith in the conduct of Abram. It is a sad one and the issue of the failure continued through the following history. The failure of faith consisted in Abram attempting, at the instigation of Sarai, to further the purposes of God by human cleverness and contrivance. The seed was promised and when there appeared no likelihood of the promise being fulfilled on the human level, there was deflection from the divine line for raising seed through Hagar.

The harvest of this folly Abram began to reap almost immediately in the division of his own household and the bitterness that sprang up therein between Sarai and Hagar, and the ultimate flight of Hagar through Sarai's harsh dealing with her. The far-reaching result is found in the story of the posterity of Ishmael as a constant source of trouble to the posterity of Isaac. Where faith fails, evil is wrought, the issues of which are far-reaching.

There is a very beautiful part to this story, however, in the tenderness of God toward Hagar, the wronged one; and in her recognition of Him and consequent naming of the well in the wilderness by which she had in all probability sunk down exhausted. It was called "Beer-lahai-roi," that is, "The Well of the Living One who seeth Me."

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.