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CHAPTER 16 Jan. 8 
Abram Seeks an Heir through Hagar
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2Sarai said to Abram, See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my handmaid. It may be that I will obtain children by her. Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. 4He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. 5Sarai said to Abram, This wrong is your fault. I gave my handmaid into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you. 6But 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. 7The angel of Yahweh found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8He said, Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid, where did you come from? Where are you going? She said, I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9The angel of Yahweh said to her, Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands. 10The angel of Yahweh said to her, I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude. 11The angel of Yahweh said to her, Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction. 12He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers. 13She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, You, God, see me, for she said, Have I even stayed alive after seeing Him? 14Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. 15Hagar bore a son for Abram. Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram. 


16:2 “Abram listened to the voice of Sarai” is framed in the language of Adam hearkening to Eve's voice. We can only take this incident- and the less than honourable treatment of Hagar afterwards- to be another trough in Abraham's faith graph. All historical and cultural evidence from the time points to Abraham's action as being most unusual. In the case of a barren wife, the man chose himself a second wife. It's almost unheard of in contemporary records for a man to have his wife chose him a woman to have a child by- let alone for it to be one of her slavegirls. This historical background provides a window into Abraham's faithful commitment to Sarah- for it's significant that he's not recorded as taking another wife. Instead, his fine faith and character slips up in a moment of weakness by giving in to Sarah for a moment.
16:13 The common Hebrew word for 'to see', especially when used about God's 'seeing', means also 'to provide'. When Hagar said “You God see me, she was expressing her gratitude for His provision for her. The fact God sees and knows all things means that He can and will therefore and thereby provide for us in the circumstances of life; for He sees and knows all things.