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Abram and Hagar produce the controversial character Ishmael.

Hagar and Ishmael 1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”   Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.   When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.” 6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. 7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”   “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. 9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” 11 The angel of the LORD also said to her:   “You are now pregnant   and you will give birth to a son.You shall name him Ishmael,[a]   for the LORD has heard of your misery.12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;   his hand will be against everyone   and everyone’s hand against him,   and he will live in hostility   toward[b] all his brothers.” 13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[d]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. 15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

Sarai having borne no children to Abram gives her slave, Hagar, to him as a wife. Abram and Hagar produce the controversial character Ishmael. As soon as Hagar realizes she is pregnant she begins to hate and resent Sarai. Sarai in despair and anger goes to Abram and tells him he has created a problem. Abram’s response is that it is her problem and that she may do whatever she wants with Hagar. Sarai then begins to mistreat Hagar, so the slave runs away.

While she is on the run an angle of God appears to her and orders Hagar to return to her mistress and submit to her command. The angle also tells Hagar she will bear a son of many descendants and to name him Ishmael. The angle tells that Ishmael will be a wild donkey of a man forever at arms with his brothers.

This passage is a great reminder that whenever we take things into our own hands their is conflict and turmoil. God has a plan for Abram and has already promised him a descendant. If Abram had trusted God and not taken Hagar as his wife then their would have been no conflict between Sarai and her slave.


 


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