Genesis 16:1-16    Birth of Ishmael (First of the Arabs)

1 “Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. 3 Then Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. 4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The LORD judge between you and me." 6 So Abram said to Sarai, "Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please." And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.

 

7 Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai." 9 The Angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand." 10 Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, "I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude." 11 And the Angel of the LORD said to her:

 

"Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son.

You shall call his name Ishmael,

Because the LORD has heard your affliction.

12 He shall be a wild man;

His hand shall be against every man,

And every man's hand against him.

And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

 

13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?" 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

 

15 So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.”   NKJV

 

Facts revealed:

Y      It is human nature to jump to conclusions when we receive a promise from God but, He does not give us all the details and there is a time delay before He caries out His promise.

Y      God had told Abram that his heir would be from his own body [Genesis 15:4], but God had not given the time or the name of the mother because God was waiting for a time when the birth would have to be recognized as a miracle from God.   

Y      Sarai knew about the promises and, in human impatience, suggested a reasonable conclusion that seemed right at the time.  She reasoned that the promise must not include her given that they had been in the land for ten years and they were still childless, and she was already 75 years old herself. 

²   The original promise was to make of Abram a great nation. [Genesis 12:2]       

²   The second promise was to make Abram’s descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth.  [Genesis 13:16]   

²   The third promise was to make Abram’s descendants as numerous as the stars in the heaven.  [Genesis 15:5]    

Y      Abram thought it reasonable and accepted Sarai’s suggestion because he did not know what God had in mind either; he only knew that the promise involved himself and time was running out for him to father children.

Y      So doing what seemed right in their own eyes and what seemed necessary to fulfill God’s promise, Abram took Hagar to wife and she conceived.

Y      Again, according to human nature Hagar gloated about her success as superior to Sarai’s inability to bear a child, which in Hagar’s eyes established her superiority over Sarai in the family.

Y      As is human nature, this established rivalry between Sarai and her mistress-servant relationship which was shattered, causing Sarai to react with resentment.

Y      Abram confirmed that the servant-maid relationship should still be in place and said, “Indeed your maid is in your hand, do to her as you please.”  This did not bring harmony but abuse.

Y      The natural result was for Hagar to run away.

Y      But God intervening, sent “The Angel of Yehowah” to her by a spring of water.

Y      It is interesting to consider what is revealed of God in this event.

²   The “Angel of the Lord” is God Himself whom, I believe to be God the Word since  no one has seen God at any time but God is revealed through His Son” [John 1:18] in reference to Messiah Jesus Who is God the Word.

²   God told Hagar to return and submit herself under her mistress, Sarai.  This is in keeping with the requirement in the New Testament for God’s people to submit themselves under human authority.  [Hebrews 13:17]   

²   The Angel of the Lord (Angel of Yehowah) spoke in the first person saying, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”  This is a statement only God Himself can make. [see verse 10]   

Y      The Angel of Yehowah gave a prophecy that is being fulfilled in our world today concerning the Arabian people:

 

"Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son.

You shall call his name Ishmael,

Because the LORD has heard your affliction.

He shall be a wild man;

His hand shall be against every man,

And every man's hand against him.

And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

Y      Ishmael is the father of Arabs and he did dwell in the presence of all his brethren who were the descendants of Abraham (born to Keturah) to whom Abraham gave presents and sent east into the Arabian peninsula to be with Ishmael.  [Genesis 25:1-6]   

Y      The Arabs are wild men whose hand is against every man in the terrorism of the world today and every man’s hand is against the Arab terrorists.

Y      The world’s terrorism is also a fulfillment of the text in Revelation that says “Peace is taken from the earth.”    [Revelation 6:3-4]   

Y      Hagar called the name of the Lord Who spoke to her, El Roi (God Who Sees) saying, “Here I have also seen Him Who sees me.”

Y      Accordingly, the spring was named Beer Lahai Roi (well of the One Who Lives and Sees Me)

Y      It is located between Kadesh and Bered.  This is near the location where Moses sent out the twelve spies to spy out the land of Canaan before they spent 40 years in the Wilderness.  [Numbers 13:1-26]   

Y      Hagar did as the Lord instructed her and Ishmael was born when Abram was 86 years old.