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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Genesis 16:1-3

I. The maker of this match (would one think it?) was Sarai herself: she said to Abram, I pray thee, go in unto my maid, Gen. 16:2. Note, 1. It is the policy of Satan to tempt us by our nearest and dearest relations, or those friends that we have an opinion of and an affection for. The temptation is most dangerous when it is sent by a hand that is least suspected: it is our wisdom therefore to consider, not so much who speaks as what is spoken. 2. God's commands consult our comfort and honour... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Genesis 16:2

And Sarai said unto Abram, behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing ,.... Or, "hath shut me up" F4 עצרני "couclusit me", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Schmidt; "occlusit me", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. ; that is, her womb, as were the wombs of the house of Abimelech, Genesis 20:18 ; so that she could not conceive and bear children; she now at this age despaired of having children, perceiving very probably that it ceased to be with her... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Genesis 16:2

Go in unto my maid - It must not be forgotten that female slaves constituted a part of the private patrimony or possessions of a wife, and that she had a right, according to the usages of those times, to dispose of them as she pleased, the husband having no authority in the case. I may obtain children by her - The slave being the absolute property of the mistress, not only her person, but the fruits of her labor, with all her children, were her owner's property also. The children,... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Genesis 16:2

Verse 2 2.That I may obtain children by her (384) This is a Hebrew phrase, which signifies to become a mother. Some however, expound the word as simply meaning, to have a son. And certainly בן (ben,) which, among the Hebrews, signifies son, corresponds with the verb here used. (385) But since sons are so called metaphorically as being the maintainers of the race, and thus building up the family, therefore the primary signification of the word is to be retained. But Sarai claims for herself by... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 16:1-6

The maid, the mistress, and the master. I. HAGAR 'S SINS . 1. Pride. 2. Contempt. 3. Insubordination. 4. Flight. II. SARAI 'S FAULTS . 1. Tempting her husband. 2. Excusing herself. 3. Appealing to God. 4. Afflicting her servant. III. ABRAM 'S INFIRMITY . 1. Yielding to temptation. 2. Perpetrating injustice. 3. Acquiescing in oppression.— W . read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 16:1-16

Hagar. The history of Hagar has its two sides—that which is turned towards God and illustrates Divine grace, that which is turned towards man and illustrates human infirmity and sinfulness. Jehovah brought forth compassionate bestowments of revelation and promise out of his people's errors. Abram and Sarah both sinned. Hagar sinned. The angel of the Lord, representative of the continuous gracious revelation of Jehovah as a covenant God, appeared in the cloud of family sorrow, drawing once... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 16:2

And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained us from bearing . Literally, hath shut me up ( i.e. my womb, Genesis 20:18 ; συνέκλεισέ με, LXX .) from bearing . Her advancing age was rendering this every day more and more apparent. I pray thee go in unto my maid (cf. Genesis 30:3 , Genesis 30:9 ). It is so far satisfactory that the proposal to make a secondary wife of Hagar did not originate with Abram; though, as Sarai's guilt in making it cannot... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Genesis 16:1-16

- The Birth of Ishmael1. הנר hāgār, Hagar, “flight.” Hejrah, the flight of Muhammed.7. מלאך mal'ak “messenger, angel.” A deputy commissioned to discharge a certain duty for the principal whom he represents. As the most usual task is that of bearing messages, commands, or tidings, he is commonly called a “messenger” ἄγγελος angelos). The word is therefore a term of office, and does not further distinguish the office-bearer than as an intelligent being. Hence, a מלאך mal'ak may be a man... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Genesis 16:1-16

16:1-25:18 ABRAM AND THE PROMISED HEIRBirth of Ishmael (16:1-16)When Abram earlier suggested adopting his slave as his heir, God reassured him that his heir would be a son of his own (see 15:2-4). But after ten years in Canaan, Sarai was still childless. Weakened in faith, she suggested that Abram obtain his son through their slave-girl Hagar. This was not God’s way, but it followed an accepted custom among the people of the region. All legal rights over the child belonged to the wife, not to... read more

James Burton Coffman

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible - Genesis 16:1-2

"Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bare him no children: and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, Jehovah hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall obtain children from her. And Abram hearkened unto the voice of Sarai."Well, what was wrong with this? It was a legal and commonly accepted practice after the customs of that age, and we can hardly suppose that Abram and Sarai here deliberately chose... read more

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