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Genesis 21:14-16

Context

21:14 Early in the morning Abraham took 1  some food 2  and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, 3  and sent her away. So she went wandering 4  aimlessly through the wilderness 5  of Beer Sheba. 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved 6  the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot 7  away; for she thought, 8  “I refuse to watch the child die.” 9  So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably. 10 

1 tn Heb “and Abraham rose up early in the morning and he took.”

2 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.

3 tn Heb “He put upon her shoulder, and the boy [or perhaps, “and with the boy”], and he sent her away.” It is unclear how “and the boy” relates syntactically to what precedes. Perhaps the words should be rearranged and the text read, “and he put [them] on her shoulder and he gave to Hagar the boy.”

4 tn Heb “she went and wandered.”

5 tn Or “desert,” although for English readers this usually connotes a sandy desert like the Sahara rather than the arid wasteland of this region with its sparse vegetation.

6 tn Heb “threw,” but the child, who was now thirteen years old, would not have been carried, let alone thrown under a bush. The exaggerated language suggests Ishmael is limp from dehydration and is being abandoned to die. See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 2:85.

7 sn A bowshot would be a distance of about a hundred yards (ninety meters).

8 tn Heb “said.”

9 tn Heb “I will not look on the death of the child.” The cohortative verbal form (note the negative particle אַל,’al) here expresses her resolve to avoid the stated action.

10 tn Heb “and she lifted up her voice and wept” (that is, she wept uncontrollably). The LXX reads “he” (referring to Ishmael) rather than “she” (referring to Hagar), but this is probably an attempt to harmonize this verse with the following one, which refers to the boy’s cries.



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