Genesis 16

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1 And Sarai Abram's wife did not bear him [children]. And she had an Egyptian maidservant; and her name was Hagar.

2 And Sarai said to Abram, Behold now, Jehovah has shut me up, that I do not bear. Go in, I pray thee, to my maidservant: it may be that I shall be built up by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar, the Egyptian, her maidservant, at the end of ten years that Abram had dwelt in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram, as his wife.

4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was lightly esteemed in her eyes.

5 And Sarai said to Abram, My wrong be on thee! I have given my maidservant into thy bosom; and now she sees that she has conceived, I am lightly esteemed in her eyes. Jehovah judge between me and thee!

6 And Abram said to Sarai, Behold, thy maidservant is in thy hand: do to her what is good in thine eyes. And Sarai oppressed her; and she fled from her face.

7 And the Angel of Jehovah found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.

8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maidservant, whence comest thou? and whither art thou going? And she said, I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai.

9 And the Angel of Jehovah said to her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

10 And the Angel of Jehovah said to her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

11 And the Angel of Jehovah said to her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael, because Jehovah hath hearkened to thy affliction.

12 And he will be a wild-ass of a man, his hand against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell before the face of all his brethren.

13 And she called the name of Jehovah who spoke to her, Thou art the ùGod who reveals himself, for she said, Also here have I seen after he has revealed himself.

14 Therefore the well was named 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 eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.


Exploring the Meaning of Genesis 16      

Napsal(a) Emanuel Swedenborg

Here are some excerpts from Swedenborg's "Arcana Coelestia" that help explain the inner meaning of this chapter:

AC 1890. The subject treated of in this chapter is the Lord’s first rational, which was conceived by the influx of the internal man into the affection of memory-knowledges (scientiae) of the external. The internal man is "Abram;" the affection of memory-knowledges in the external is "Hagar the Egyptian handmaid;" the rational thence derived is "Ishmael." The nature of this rational is here described; and it is afterwards said (chapter 21); that it was expelled from the house, after the Lord‘s Divine rational, represented by Isaac, had been born.

AC 1891. The Lord’s first rational was conceived according to order by the influx or conjunction of the internal man with the life of the affection of memory-knowledges belonging to the external (verses 1 to 3). But as this affection was of the external man, its nature was such that it held intellectual truth in low esteem (verse 4). On which account the Lord thought concerning the subjugation of it (verses 5 to 9), and that when subjugated, it would become spiritual and celestial (verses 10, 11). What it would be if not subjugated, is described (verse 12); the Lord‘s insight into the cause from His interior man (verses 13, 14). The rational is thus described in respect to its quality; also the Lord’s state when it originated (verses 15, 16).

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