Old Testament

Genesis 16
Hagar and Ishmael
161Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore no children for him. She had a servant girl,[] an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go to my servant girl. It may be that I can build up a family through her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
3After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took her servant girl, Hagar the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. 4He went to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, she looked down on her mistress. 5Sarai said to Abram, “This wrong that I am suffering is on account of you. I gave my servant girl into your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked down on me. May the Lord judge between me and you.”
6But Abram said to Sarai, “Look, your servant girl is in your hands. Do to her whatever seems good to you.” Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her presence.
7The Angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a flowing spring in the wilderness, beside the spring on the way to Shur. 8He said, “Hagar, servant girl of Sarai, where did you come from? Where are you going?”
She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
9The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority.” 10The Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants, so that they will be too many to count.” 11The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Listen, you are expecting a child and will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael,[] because the Lord has heard your affliction. 12He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. He will dwell in hostility toward[] all of his brothers.”
13She called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees,” for she said, “Here have I really seen him who sees me?”[] 14That is why the well was called Be'er Lahai Roi.[] It is right there between Kadesh and Bered.
15Hagar gave birth to a son for Abram. Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael for him.


  • 16:1 Or female slave. Shiphchah is allegedly the lower level word for a female servant who serves as an attendant to the lady of the house.
  • 16:11 In Hebrew Ishmael sounds like God heard.
  • 16:12 Or far away from
  • 16:13 Or Have I been permitted to see even a glimpse of him who sees me?
  • 16:14 Be'er Lahai Roi means well of the one who lives and sees me.