Genesis 16 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Genesis 16)
16:1 Now a Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name [was] Hagar.

(a) It seems that she had respect for God's promise, which could not be accomplished without issue.

16:2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath b 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.

(b) She fails by limiting God's power to the common order of nature, as though God could not give her children in her old age.

16:4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was c despised in her eyes.

(c) This punishment declares what they gain if they attempt any thing against the word of God.

16:7 And the d angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

(d) Which was Christ, as appears in (Genesis 16:13,18:17).

16:9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, e Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

(e) God rejects no estate of people in their misery, but sends them comfort.

16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man's hand against him; and f he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

(f) That is, the Ishmaelites will be a separate people by themselves and not part of another people.

16:13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, g Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

(g) She rebukes her own dullness and acknowledges God's graces, who was present with her everywhere.