Genesis 16 (Bereshit) Summary
Genesis 16 (Bereshit) is the narrative where Sarai is still barren. She gives Hagar to Abram to birth a child. This was a common practice in the Ancient Near East. In some cultures, it was a requirement of the marriage contract.
We see the rivalry develop between Sarai and Hagar. Due to her affliction, the angel of Adonai visits Hagar. The angel encourages her return to Sarai. The Messager also provides a promise and information about her unborn son. She seeks Adonai and marks the place by naming a well.
Hagar gives birth to Ishmael when Abram is eighty-six years old.
Genesis 16 (Bereshit) Outline
Genesis 16 (Bereshit) can be navigated in three possible ways. (1) Jewish tradition of daily reading called Torah Portions, (2) Professor Umberto Cassuto’s method of semitic literature, and (3) theme-based verses.
Genesis 16 (Bereshit) English Verses
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1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bore him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram: ‘Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall be builded up through her.’ And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5 And Sarai said unto Abram: ‘My wrong be upon thee: I gave my handmaid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.’
6 But Abram said unto Sarai: ‘Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her that which is good in thine eyes.’ And Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.
7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
8 And he said: ‘Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid, whence camest thou? and whither goest thou?’ And she said: ‘I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.’
9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: ‘Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.’
10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: ‘I will greatly multiply thy seed, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: ‘Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.’
13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said: ‘Have I even here seen Him that seeth Me?’
14 Wherefore the well was called ‘Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
Genesis 16 (Bereshit) English Verses
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בראשית טז 16
Genesis 16 (Bereshit) בראשית Hebrew Verses
Genesis 16 (Bereshit) Hebrew Reading
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לך־לך ג 3
א וְשָׂרַי֙ אֵ֣שֶׁת אַבְרָ֔ם לֹ֥א יָֽלְדָ֖ה ל֑וֹ וְלָ֛הּ שִׁפְחָ֥ה מִצְרִ֖ית וּשְׁמָ֥הּ הָגָֽר: ב וַתֹּ֨אמֶר שָׂרַ֜י אֶל־אַבְרָ֗ם הִנֵּה־נָ֞א עֲצָרַ֤נִי יְהוָֹה֙ מִלֶּ֔דֶת בֹּא־נָא֙ אֶל־שִׁפְחָתִ֔י אוּלַ֥י אִבָּנֶ֖ה מִמֶּ֑נָּה וַיִּשְׁמַ֥ע אַבְרָ֖ם לְק֥וֹל שָׂרָֽי: ג וַתִּקַּ֞ח שָׂרַ֣י ׀ אֵשֶׁ֣ת אַבְרָ֗ם אֶת־הָגָ֤ר הַמִּצְרִית֙ שִׁפְחָתָ֔הּ מִקֵּץ֙ עֶ֣שֶׂר שָׁנִ֔ים לְשֶׁ֥בֶת אַבְרָ֖ם בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַתִּתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֛הּ לְאַבְרָ֥ם אִישָׁ֖הּ ל֥וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה: ד וַיָּבֹ֥א אֶל־הָגָ֖ר וַתַּ֑הַר וַתֵּ֨רֶא֙ כִּ֣י הָרָ֔תָה וַתֵּקַ֥ל גְּבִרְתָּ֖הּ בְּעֵינֶֽיהָ: ה וַתֹּ֨אמֶר שָׂרַ֣י אֶל־אַבְרָם֘ חֲמָסִ֣י עָלֶ֒יךָ֒ אָֽנֹכִ֗י נָתַ֤תִּי שִׁפְחָתִי֙ בְּחֵיקֶ֔ךָ וַתֵּ֨רֶא֙ כִּ֣י הָרָ֔תָה וָֽאֵקַ֖ל בְּעֵינֶ֑יהָ יִשְׁפֹּ֥ט יְהוָֹ֖ה בֵּינִ֥י וּבֵינֶֽי֗ךָ: ו וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אַבְרָ֜ם אֶל־שָׂרַ֗י הִנֵּ֤ה שִׁפְחָתֵךְ֙ בְּיָדֵ֔ךְ עֲשִׂי־לָ֖הּ הַטּ֣וֹב בְּעֵינָ֑יִךְ וַתְּעַנֶּ֣הָ שָׂרַ֔י וַתִּבְרַ֖ח מִפָּנֶֽיהָ: ז וַֽיִּמְצָאָ֞הּ מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָֹ֛ה עַל־עֵ֥ין הַמַּ֖יִם בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר עַל־הָעַ֖יִן בְּדֶ֥רֶךְ שֽׁוּר: ח וַיֹּאמַ֗ר הָגָ֞ר שִׁפְחַ֥ת שָׂרַ֛י אֵֽי־מִזֶּ֥ה בָ֖את וְאָ֣נָה תֵלֵ֑כִי וַתֹּ֕אמֶר מִפְּנֵי֙ שָׂרַ֣י גְּבִרְתִּ֔י אָֽנֹכִ֖י בֹּרַֽחַת: ט וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהּ֙ מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהֹוָ֔ה שׁ֖וּבִי אֶל־גְּבִרְתֵּ֑ךְ וְהִתְעַנִּ֖י תַּ֥חַת יָדֶֽיהָ: י וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהּ֙ מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהֹוָ֔ה הַרְבָּ֥ה אַרְבֶּ֖ה אֶת־זַרְעֵ֑ךְ וְלֹ֥א יִסָּפֵ֖ר מֵרֹֽב: יא וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהּ֙ מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהֹוָ֔ה הִנָּ֥ךְ הָרָ֖ה וְיֹלַ֣דְתְּ בֵּ֑ן וְקָרָ֤את שְׁמוֹ֙ יִשְׁמָעֵ֔אל כִּֽי־שָׁמַ֥ע יְהוָֹ֖ה אֶל־עָנְיֵֽךְ: יב וְה֤וּא יִֽהְיֶה֙ פֶּ֣רֶא אָדָ֔ם יָד֣וֹ בַכֹּ֔ל וְיַ֥ד כֹּ֖ל בּ֑וֹ וְעַל־פְּנֵ֥י כָל־אֶחָ֖יו יִשְׁכֹּֽן: יג וַתִּקְרָ֤א שֵׁם־יְהוָֹה֙ הַדֹּבֵ֣ר אֵלֶ֔יהָ אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י כִּ֣י אָֽמְרָ֗ה הֲגַ֥ם הֲלֹ֛ם רָאִ֖יתִי אַֽחֲרֵ֥י רֹאִֽי: יד עַל־כֵּן֙ קָרָ֣א לַבְּאֵ֔ר בְּאֵ֥ר לַחַ֖י רֹאִ֑י הִנֵּ֥ה בֵין־קָדֵ֖שׁ וּבֵ֥ין בָּֽרֶד: טו וַתֵּ֧לֶד הָגָ֛ר לְאַבְרָ֖ם בֵּ֑ן וַיִּקְרָ֨א אַבְרָ֧ם שֶׁם־בְּנ֛וֹ אֲשֶׁר־יָֽלְדָ֥ה הָגָ֖ר יִשְׁמָעֵֽאל: טז וְאַבְרָ֕ם בֶּן־שְׁמֹנִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְשֵׁ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֑ים בְּלֶֽדֶת־הָגָ֥ר אֶת־יִשְׁמָעֵ֖אל לְאַבְרָֽם: ס
בראשית טז 16
Genesis 16 (Bereshit) בראשית Interlinear Verses
16.1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bore him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
א וְשָׂרַי֙ אֵ֣שֶׁת אַבְרָ֔ם לֹ֥א יָֽלְדָ֖ה ל֑וֹ וְלָ֛הּ שִׁפְחָ֥ה מִצְרִ֖ית וּשְׁמָ֥הּ הָגָֽר
Genesis (Bereshit) Chapters
- A Commentary on the Book of Genesis Part 1 From Adam to Noah – Professor Umberto Cassuto’s last publish text on Genesis
- A Commentary on the Book of Genesis Part 2 From Noah to Abraham – Professor Umberto Cassuto text last published text on Genesis
- Covenant & Conversation Commentary – The Late Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ last published commentary on the Torah.
- The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.
- Pentateuch & Haftorahs, By. Dr. J.H. Hertz – The Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire was renowned for his writings and teaches. By many he is considered a must read. In the Preface Dr. Hertz calls this “a People’s Commentary”.
- The Steinsaltz Humash – The Late Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz was renowned for his Koren Talmud. He has been called the modern Rashi.
- The Schocken Bible: The Five Books of Moses Vol. 1 – My Hebrew teacher, Yoel HaLevi, has stated this is the best English translation he has heard.
According to the Masoretic Text
The Jewish Publication Society translation
 – Public Domain