Genesis 16


Verse 1, Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. - The place is Mamre (close of chapter 14 and opening of chapter 18)

1.       This whole thing is looking for the promise of a Savior.

2.       Described in Gal. 4:21-31.

a.       Ishmael - Son of the flesh.  Agar (Hagar) is Mt. Sinai in Arabia - the law was received at Mt. Sinai.

b.       Isaac - Son of the promise.  Jerusalem - grace of God.

3.       God takes a sin (an unjust thought or deed) and uses that for His own glory and honor - an example of the wondrous grace of salvation.

a.       This was not what Sarai and Abram intended.

b.       Could we have a better example of the two ways of salvation?

1.       Salvation by works (flesh - Ishmael).

2.       Salvation by promise (grace - Isaac).


Verse 2, And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

1.       Blaming God for his troubles.

2.       A human answer to a spiritual problem.

3.       Ill advice from a loved one.

a.       Ought to get our advice from God.

b.       Polygamy doesn't work very good.


Verse 3, And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

1.       A marriage ceremony

2.       10 years in Canaan - a long time to wait.  Sarai is 74 or 75 years old, and Abram is 85 years old (16:16).

3.       Why would Sarai propose this?

a.       Many wives a common thing - Be like the world.

b.       Perverted sense of doing God service.

4.       Why did Abram accept?

a.       Natural lusts.

b.       15:4 - heir of thine own bowels.  Sarai is not mentioned.  Perhaps Abram thought, this is God's will, especially since Sarai mentioned it.  (It must be remembered that nothing is God's will that goes against His Word!)


Verse 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.

1.       Marriage consummated.

2.       Hagar conceived.

3.       Hagar hates Sarai - probably jealous.  Hagar thinks Abram will love her more, since Sarai is childless.


Verse 5, And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

1.       Sarai says it's Abram's fault.

a.       Verse 2 - It's God's fault.

b.       Gen. 3:12-13 - Adam and Eve blaming somebody else.

c.       We all have a nature to blame others for our troubles.

2.       Says it was her idea, but Abram did it.

3.       Sarai desires the Lord to judge Abram.


Verse 6, But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.

1.       Looks like Abram should have stood behind his 2nd wife, as well as the first.  "thy maid" - angel of Lord called Hagar "Sarai's Maid", verse 8.

2.       Sarai was mean to her.

3.       This caused Hagar to leave.


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

1.       Wilderness of Shur - South of Canaan toward Egypt.

2.       Hagar was going back home.

3.       Found - not as if she was lost, but God appeared to her in order to give her new direction.


Verse 8 & 9, And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. {9} And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

1.       All of the circumstances do not change the position of Hagar.  She is still called "Sarai's Maid", not "Abram's wife".

2.       Circumstances don't change our position in this life, we're still servants.


Verse 10, And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.


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

Ishmael means God (is) hearing.


Verse 14, Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

The well "Beer - Lahairoi" is the same well where Isaac lived (Genesis 24:62, 25:11).


Verse 12,13,  And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. {13} And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?


Verse 15,16, And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. {16} And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.