The Birth of Ishmael
1Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. 2So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. 3So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.)
4So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt. 5Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!”
6Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
7The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. 8The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
9The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
11And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. 12This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”
13Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”*16:13 Hebrew El-roi. She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” 14So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.
15So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael. 16Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.