“You are now 1 pregnant
and are about to give birth 2 to a son.
You are to name him Ishmael, 3
for the Lord has heard your painful groans. 4
16:12 He will be a wild donkey 5 of a man.
He will be hostile to everyone, 6
and everyone will be hostile to him. 7
He will live away from 8 his brothers.”
1 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) focuses on her immediate situation: “Here you are pregnant.”
2 tn The active participle refers here to something that is about to happen.
3 sn The name Ishmael consists of the imperfect or jussive form of the Hebrew verb with the theophoric element added as the subject. It means “God hears” or “may God hear.”
4 tn Heb “affliction,” which must refer here to Hagar’s painful groans of anguish.
sn This clause gives the explanation of the name Ishmael, using a wordplay. Ishmael’s name will be a reminder that “God hears” Hagar’s painful cries.
5 sn A wild donkey of a man. The prophecy is not an insult. The wild donkey lived a solitary existence in the desert away from society. Ishmael would be free-roaming, strong, and like a bedouin; he would enjoy the freedom his mother sought.
6 tn Heb “His hand will be against everyone.” The “hand” by metonymy represents strength. His free-roaming life style would put him in conflict with those who follow social conventions. There would not be open warfare, only friction because of his antagonism to their way of life.
7 tn Heb “And the hand of everyone will be against him.”
8 tn Heb “opposite, across from.” Ishmael would live on the edge of society (cf. NASB “to the east of”). Some take this as an idiom meaning “be at odds with” (cf. NRSV, NLT) or “live in hostility toward” (cf. NIV).