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Genesis 16:2

Context
16:2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Since 1  the Lord has prevented me from having children, have sexual relations with 2  my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her.” 3  Abram did what 4  Sarai told him.

Genesis 16:5-7

Context
16:5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! 5  I allowed my servant to have sexual relations with you, 6  but when she realized 7  that she was pregnant, she despised me. 8  May the Lord judge between you and me!” 9 

16:6 Abram said to Sarai, “Since your 10  servant is under your authority, 11  do to her whatever you think best.” 12  Then Sarai treated Hagar 13  harshly, 14  so she ran away from Sarai. 15 

16:7 The Lord’s angel 16  found Hagar near a spring of water in the desert – the spring that is along the road to Shur. 17 

Genesis 16:9-11

Context

16:9 Then the Lord’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit 18  to her authority. 16:10 I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the Lord’s angel added, 19  “so that they will be too numerous to count.” 20  16:11 Then the Lord’s angel said to her,

“You are now 21  pregnant

and are about to give birth 22  to a son.

You are to name him Ishmael, 23 

for the Lord has heard your painful groans. 24 

Genesis 16:13

Context

16:13 So Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me,” 25  for she said, “Here I have seen one who sees me!” 26 

1 tn Heb “look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) introduces the foundational clause for the imperative to follow.

2 tn Heb “enter to.” The expression is a euphemism for sexual relations (also in v. 4).

sn The Hebrew expression translated have sexual relations with does not convey the intimacy of other expressions, such as “so and so knew his wife.” Sarai simply sees this as the social custom of having a child through a surrogate. For further discussion see C. F. Fensham, “The Son of a Handmaid in Northwest Semitic,” VT 19 (1969): 312-21.

3 tn Heb “perhaps I will be built from her.” Sarai hopes to have a family established through this surrogate mother.

4 tn Heb “listened to the voice of,” which is an idiom meaning “obeyed.”

sn Abram did what Sarai told him. This expression was first used in Gen 3:17 of Adam’s obeying his wife. In both cases the text highlights weak faith and how it jeopardized the plan of God.

5 tn Heb “my wrong is because of you.”

6 tn Heb “I placed my female servant in your bosom.”

7 tn Heb “saw.”

8 tn Heb “I was despised in her eyes.” The passive verb has been translated as active for stylistic reasons. Sarai was made to feel supplanted and worthless by Hagar the servant girl.

9 tn Heb “me and you.”

sn May the Lord judge between you and me. Sarai blamed Abram for Hagar’s attitude, not the pregnancy. Here she expects to be vindicated by the Lord who will prove Abram responsible. A colloquial rendering might be, “God will get you for this.” It may mean that she thought Abram had encouraged the servant girl in her elevated status.

10 tn The clause is introduced with the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh), introducing a foundational clause for the coming imperative: “since…do.”

11 tn Heb “in your hand.”

12 tn Heb “what is good in your eyes.”

13 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Hagar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn In the Piel stem the verb עָנָה (’anah) means “to afflict, to oppress, to treat harshly, to mistreat.”

15 tn Heb “and she fled from her presence.” The referent of “her” (Sarai) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

16 tn Heb “the messenger of the Lord.” Some identify the angel of the Lord as the preincarnate Christ because in some texts the angel is identified with the Lord himself. However, it is more likely that the angel merely represents the Lord; he can speak for the Lord because he is sent with the Lord’s full authority. In some cases the angel is clearly distinct from the Lord (see Judg 6:11-23). It is not certain if the same angel is always in view. Though the proper name following the noun “angel” makes the construction definite, this may simply indicate that a definite angel sent from the Lord is referred to in any given context. It need not be the same angel on every occasion. Note the analogous expression “the servant of the Lord,” which refers to various individuals in the OT (see BDB 714 s.v. עֶבֶד).

17 tn Heb “And the angel of the Lord found her near the spring of water in the desert, near the spring on the way to Shur.”

18 tn The imperative וְהִתְעַנִּי (vÿhitanni) is the Hitpael of עָנָה (’anah, here translated “submit”), the same word used for Sarai’s harsh treatment of her. Hagar is instructed not only to submit to Sarai’s authority, but to whatever mistreatment that involves. God calls for Hagar to humble herself.

19 tn Heb “The Lord’s angel said, ‘I will greatly multiply your descendants….” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

20 tn Heb “cannot be numbered because of abundance.”

21 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) focuses on her immediate situation: “Here you are pregnant.”

22 tn The active participle refers here to something that is about to happen.

23 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.”

24 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.

25 tn Heb “God of my seeing.” The pronominal suffix may be understood either as objective (“who sees me,” as in the translation) or subjective (“whom I see”).

26 tn Heb “after one who sees me.”

sn For a discussion of Hagar’s exclamation, see T. Booij, “Hagar’s Words in Genesis 16:13b,” VT 30 (1980): 1-7.



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