Genesis 16:1-17:27 Reading the Passage

Don’t Try to “Help” God – Genesis 16:1-17:27

16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children; but she had a maidservant, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. (2) And Sarai said to Abram, Listen, Jehovah has prevented me from bearing children; so I ask you, please go and sleep with my maidservant; it may be that I shall have children by her. And Abram agreed to what Sarai suggested.

(3) Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her maidservant—after Abram had been living for ten years in the land of Canaan—and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. (4) And he slept with Hagar and she conceived. But when Hagar realized that she was pregnant, her mistress became despised in her eyes.

(5) Then Sarai said to Abram, You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my maidservant into your arms; and when she saw that she had become pregnant, she despised me. May Jehovah judge between me and you. (6) But Abram said to Sarai, Look, your maidservant is in your hands; do to her whatever seems right to you. So Sarai treated Hagar harshly, and she fled from Sarai’s presence. (7) Then the angel of Jehovah found her by a spring of water in the wilderness—by the spring that is on the way to Shur. (8) And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maidservant, from where have you come? And where are you going? And she said, I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.

(9) And the angel of Jehovah said to her, Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her. (10) The angel added, I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count. (11) Furthermore the angel of Jehovah said to her, You are pregnant. You shall give birth to a son, and you shall name him Ishmael, because Jehovah has paid attention to your misery. (12) He shall be like a wild donkey among men. His hand shall be against every one, and every one’s hand against him; and he shall live in hostility against all his brothers.

(13) And she gave this name to Jehovah who spoke to her, You are a God who permits himself to be seen; for she said, Have I here looked upon him who sees me? (14) Therefore that well was called Beer-lahai-roi;, it is located 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.

17 And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Jehovah appeared to Abram and said to him, I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless. (2) I will confirm my covenant between me and you, and I will multiply your offspring exceedingly. (3) Then Abram fell on his face, and God spoke with him, saying, (4) As for me, this is my covenant with you: you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. (5) No longer shall your name be Abram, but from now on your name shall be Abraham; because I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. (6) And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations come from you, and kings shall come from your lineage. (7) I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (8) And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land in which you are presently a sojourner—all the land of Canaan—for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (9) Furthermore, God said to Abraham, As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you, and your descendants after you throughout their generations. (10) This is the sign of my covenant that you shall keep—the covenant between me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. (11) You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. (12) Every male in your household that is eight days old shall be circumcised—every male throughout your generations, including the one who is not your offspring, whether it be the one that is born in your household or the one that is purchased from any foreigner. (13) Both he that is born in your household and he that is bought with your money must be circumcised. The sign of my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. (14) The uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that man shall be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant.

(15) And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai, your wife, you shall no longer call her Sarai, but from now on her name shall be Sarah. (16) I will bless her, and furthermore, I will give you a son by her. Indeed, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of nations shall come from her. (17) Then Abraham fell upon his face and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear children? (18) And Abraham said to God, Oh that Ishmael might live before you! (19) But God said, No; on the contrary, Sarah, your wife, shall bear a son to you, and you shall name him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. (20) And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I have blessed him and I will make him fruitful, I will greatly increase his descendants —he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make of him a great nation. (21) But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you next year at the appointed time. (22) Then God finished speaking with Abraham and went up from him.

(23) Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all those who were born in his household, as well as all those who were purchased with his money—every male among the persons of Abraham’s household—and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on that very same day, just as God had commanded him. (24) Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. (25) And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. (26) On the very same day both Abraham and Ishmael his son were circumcised. (27) And all the men of his household, those born in the household and those purchased from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.