Genesis 16
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1  Now Sarai Avrams wife bore him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

א  וְשָׂרַי אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם לֹא יָלְדָה לוֹ וְלָהּ שִׁפְחָה מִצְרִית וּשְׁמָהּ הָגָר.

2  And Sarai said unto Avram: ‘Behold now, Hashem hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall be builded up through her.’ And Avram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

ב  וַתֹּאמֶר שָׂרַי אֶל אַבְרָם הִנֵּה נָא עֲצָרַנִי יְהוָה מִלֶּדֶת בֹּא נָא אֶל שִׁפְחָתִי אוּלַי אִבָּנֶה מִמֶּנָּה וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָם לְקוֹל שָׂרָי.

3  And Sarai Avrams wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Avram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Avram her husband to be his wife.

ג  וַתִּקַּח שָׂרַי אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם אֶת הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית שִׁפְחָתָהּ מִקֵּץ עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים לְשֶׁבֶת אַבְרָם בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַתִּתֵּן אֹתָהּ לְאַבְרָם אִישָׁהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה.

4  And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

ד  וַיָּבֹא אֶל הָגָר וַתַּהַר וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וַתֵּקַל גְּבִרְתָּהּ בְּעֵינֶיהָ.

5  And Sarai said unto Avram: ‘My wrong be upon thee: I gave my handmaid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: Hashem judge between me and thee.’

ה  וַתֹּאמֶר שָׂרַי אֶל אַבְרָם חֲמָסִי עָלֶיךָ אָנֹכִי נָתַתִּי שִׁפְחָתִי בְּחֵיקֶךָ וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וָאֵקַל בְּעֵינֶיהָ יִשְׁפֹּט יְהוָה בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶיךָ.

6  But Avram said unto Sarai: ‘Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her that which is good in thine eyes.’ And Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֶל שָׂרַי הִנֵּה שִׁפְחָתֵךְ בְּיָדֵךְ עֲשִׂי לָהּ הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינָיִךְ וַתְּעַנֶּהָ שָׂרַי וַתִּבְרַח מִפָּנֶיהָ.

7  And the angel of Hashem found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

ז  וַיִּמְצָאָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה עַל עֵין הַמַּיִם בַּמִּדְבָּר עַל הָעַיִן בְּדֶרֶךְ שׁוּר.

8  And he said: ‘Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid, whence camest thou? and whither goest thou?’ And she said: ‘I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.’

ח  וַיֹּאמַר הָגָר שִׁפְחַת שָׂרַי אֵי מִזֶּה בָאת וְאָנָה תֵלֵכִי וַתֹּאמֶר מִפְּנֵי שָׂרַי גְּבִרְתִּי אָנֹכִי בֹּרַחַת.

9  And the angel of Hashem said unto her: ‘Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.’

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה שׁוּבִי אֶל גְּבִרְתֵּךְ וְהִתְעַנִּי תַּחַת יָדֶיהָ.

10  And the angel of Hashem said unto her: ‘I will greatly multiply thy seed, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

י  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה הַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה אֶת זַרְעֵךְ וְלֹא יִסָּפֵר מֵרֹב.

11  And the angel of Hashem said unto her: ‘Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because Hashem hath heard thy affliction.

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה הִנָּךְ הָרָה וְיֹלַדְתְּ בֵּן וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ יִשְׁמָעֵאל כִּי שָׁמַע יְהוָה אֶל עָנְיֵךְ.

12  And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.’

יב  וְהוּא יִהְיֶה פֶּרֶא אָדָם יָדוֹ בַכֹּל וְיַד כֹּל בּוֹ וְעַל פְּנֵי כָל אֶחָיו יִשְׁכֹּן.

13  And she called the name of Hashem that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said: ‘Have I even here seen Him that seeth Me?’

יג  וַתִּקְרָא שֵׁם יְהוָה הַדֹּבֵר אֵלֶיהָ אַתָּה אֵל רֳאִי כִּי אָמְרָה הֲגַם הֲלֹם רָאִיתִי אַחֲרֵי רֹאִי.

14  Wherefore the well was called ‘Be’er-lahai-roi’; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

al kayn ka-RA la-b’-AYR b’-AYR la-KHAI ro-EE hi-NAY vayn ka-DAYSH u-VAYN BA-red

יד  עַל כֵּן קָרָא לַבְּאֵר בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי הִנֵּה בֵין קָדֵשׁ וּבֵין בָּרֶד.

16:14   Wherefore the well was called ‘Be’er-lahai-roi’

No longer able to bear her suffering in the home of her mistress Sarah, Hagar runs to the desert in search of relief and solitude. According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, when Hagar subsequently encounters the angel she realizes that one is never alone or out of God’s sight. The well where this encounter takes place is therefore named ‘be’er lakhai roi,’ the well of the Living One who sees me. Specifically in the Land of Israel, God’s presence and watchful eye is strongly felt as it says in Deuteronomy (11:12) ‘the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it.’


15  And Hagar bore Avram a son; and Avram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.

טו  וַתֵּלֶד הָגָר לְאַבְרָם בֵּן וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָם שֶׁם בְּנוֹ אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה הָגָר יִשְׁמָעֵאל.

16  And Avram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Avram.

טז  וְאַבְרָם בֶּן שְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וְשֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים בְּלֶדֶת הָגָר אֶת יִשְׁמָעֵאל לְאַבְרָם.

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Comments ( 4 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • It is interesting to see Hagar seeming to have some kind of connection to God speaking into her heart here. She listened and went back to submit to her mistress.

  • Verse 13 is very interesting – and your translation is excellent. The RSV is completely wrong as it says "Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?" and the Hebrew doesn't say that at all. Very, very interesting that Hagar says she actually saw God.

  • You say: "Specifically in the Land of Israel, God’s presence and watchful eye is strongly felt as it says in Deuteronomy (11:12) ‘the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it.’" I say: Ameen!!!

    • I think it's different when Israel was under Egypt, Persia, Greek, Romans that the land was almost forgotten. It will happen again very soon until they will call upon his name "The name of our Messiah."

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Genesis 16