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(1.00) (Gen 17:15)

tn Heb “[As for] Sarai your wife, you must not call her name Sarai, for Sarah [will be] her name.”

(0.81) (Gen 16:9)

tn The imperative וְהִתְעַנִּי (vehitʿanni) is the Hitpael of עָנָה (ʿanah, 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.

(0.71) (Gen 16:1)

sn On the cultural background of the story of Sarai’s childlessness see J. Van Seters, “The Problem of Childlessness in Near Eastern Law and the Patriarchs of Israel,” JBL 87 (1968): 401-8.

(0.71) (Gen 16:6)

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

(0.71) (Gen 16:2)

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

(0.70) (Gen 16:3)

sn To be his wife. Hagar became a slave wife, not on equal standing with Sarai. However, if Hagar produced the heir, she would be the primary wife in the eyes of society. When this eventually happened, Hagar become insolent, prompting Sarai’s anger.

(0.51) (Gen 16:4)

tn Heb “and she saw that she was pregnant and her mistress was despised in her eyes.” The Hebrew verb קָלַל (qalal) means “to despise, to treat lightly, to treat with contempt.” In Hagar’s opinion Sarai had been demoted.

(0.51) (Gen 16:2)

sn 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.

(0.51) (Gen 16:5)

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.

(0.51) (Gen 16:2)

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.

(0.50) (Gen 12:16)

sn He did treat Abram well. The construction of the parenthetical disjunctive clause, beginning with the conjunction on the prepositional phrase, draws attention to the irony of the story. Abram wanted Sarai to lie “so that it would go well” with him. Though he lost Sarai to Pharaoh, it did go well for him—he received a lavish bride price. See also G. W. Coats, “Despoiling the Egyptians,” VT 18 (1968): 450-57.

(0.44) (1Sa 1:2)

sn We do not know how Elkanah came to have two wives. A man whose brother had died without leaving children had, by custom, to marry his sister-in-law to raise up a son in his brother’s name (Deut 25:5). Childlessness, more than one wife, and rivalry are recurrent themes in the stories of Genesis. Sarai gave her servant Hagar to Abraham in an arrangement that would consider the child to be Sarai’s (Gen 16:2). Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah, but then also married Rachel, who initially could not have children (Gen 29:23-25; 30:1). This situation recalls the stories from Genesis and the dysfunction of the Patriarchs’ families.

(0.40) (Gen 17:15)

sn Sarah. The name change seems to be a dialectical variation, both spellings meaning “princess” or “queen.” Like the name Abram, the name Sarai symbolized the past. The new name Sarah, like the name Abraham, would be a reminder of what God intended to do for Sarah in the future.

(0.40) (Gen 16:5)

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.

(0.40) (Gen 11:29)

sn The name Sarai (a variant spelling of “Sarah”) means “princess” (or “lady”). Sharratu was the name of the wife of the moon god Sin. The original name may reflect the culture out of which the patriarch was called, for the family did worship other gods in Mesopotamia.

(0.35) (Gen 16:1)

sn The passage records the birth of Ishmael to Abram through an Egyptian woman. The story illustrates the limits of Abram’s faith as he tries to obtain a son through social custom. The barrenness of Sarai poses a challenge to Abram’s faith, just as the famine did in chap. 12. As in chap. 12, an Egyptian figures prominently. (Perhaps Hagar was obtained as a slave during Abram’s stay in Egypt.)

(0.25) (Psa 107:38)

tn “Bless” here carries the nuance “endue with sexual potency, make fertile.” See Gen 1:28, where the statement “he blessed them” directly precedes the command “be fruitful and populate the earth” (see also 1:22). The verb “bless” carries this same nuance in Gen 17:16 (where God’s blessing of Sarai imparts to her the capacity to bear a child); 48:16 (where God’s blessing of Joseph’s sons is closely associated with their having numerous descendants); and Deut 7:13 (where God’s blessing is associated with fertility in general, including numerous descendants). See also Gen 49:25 (where Jacob uses the noun derivative in referring to “blessings of the breast and womb,” an obvious reference to fertility) and Gen 27:27 (where the verb is used of a field to which God has given the capacity to produce vegetation).

(0.25) (Gen 12:13)

sn Tell them you are my sister. Abram’s motives may not be as selfish as they appear. He is aware of the danger to the family. His method of dealing with it is deception with a half truth, for Sarai really was his sister—but the Egyptians would not know that. Abram presumably thought that there would be negotiations for a marriage by anyone interested (as Laban does later for his sister Rebekah), giving him time to react. But the plan backfires because Pharaoh does not take the time to negotiate. There is a good deal of literature on the wife-sister issue. See (among others) E. A. Speiser, “The Wife-Sister Motif in the Patriarchal Narratives,” Oriental and Biblical Studies, 62-81; C. J. Mullo-Weir, “The Alleged Hurrian Wife-Sister Motif in Genesis,” GOT 22 (1967-1970): 14-25.

(0.25) (Gen 1:28)

tn As in v. 22 the verb “bless” here means “to endow with the capacity to reproduce and be fruitful,” as the following context indicates. As in v. 22, the statement directly precedes the command “be fruitful and multiply.” The verb carries this same nuance in Gen 17:16 (where God’s blessing of Sarai imparts to her the capacity to bear a child); Gen 48:16 (where God’s blessing of Joseph’s sons is closely associated with their having numerous descendants); and Deut 7:13 (where God’s blessing is associated with fertility in general, including numerous descendants). See also Gen 49:25 (where Jacob uses the noun derivative in referring to “blessings of the breast and womb,” an obvious reference to fertility) and Gen 27:27 (where the verb is used of a field to which God has given the capacity to produce vegetation).



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