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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 16 ~

Parashah 3: Lech Lecha (continued)
(“Get Yourself Out,” Gen. 12:1-17:27)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

[Hebron [MAP] 1882 BCE (R)]

F. Conception and Birth of Ishmael (16:1-16)

1. Sarai Suggests a Second Wife (16:1-2)

1Now Avram’s wife Sarai had not born him a child, but she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar'flight'. 2So Sarai said to Avram, “Hinne[GN] now, יְהוָה֒ [GN] has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maidservant; maybe I can build a family by her.” Avram listened to Sarai’s words.

2. Avram Takes Hagar as Wife (16:3-4a)

 3So after he had lived in Kena'anCanaan for ten years, Avram’s wife Sarai took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar“flight” and gave her to Avram to be his wife.[3] 4He “slept with” Hagar, and she conceived.

3. Discord Between Wives (16:4b-6)

But when Hagar reallized that she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress with contempt[4]. 5Then Sarai said to Avram, “This wrong[5a] is your fault! I delivered my servant into your arms, and ever since she found out that she was pregnant, she has treated me with contempt. May יְהוָה֒ judge between me and you.”

6But Avram said to Sarai, “Hinneh,[GN] your servant is in your hands. Do whatever you want with her.” Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she fled from her.

4. The Angel of יְהוָה֒ Talks With Hagar (16:7-12) [Near Beer-sheba [MAP]]

7The Angel of יְהוָה֒[GN] found Hagar by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring along the road to Shur[MAP]. 8He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”[8]

She answered, “I am running away from my mistress Sarai.”

9The Angel of יְהוָה֒ said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority.” 10Then the Angel of יְהוָה֒ said, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too numerous to count.” 11The Angel of יְהוָה֒ continued, “Hinneh, you are pregnant and will bear a son. You shall name him Yishma‘el'God pays attention', because יְהוָה֒ has paid attention to your cry of affliction. 12He will be a wild donkey of a man, and his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand will be against him; he will live in holtility toward all of his brothers.”[12]

5. Hagar Names the Angel (6:13-14)

13She gave this name to יְהוָה֒ who had spoken to her: “You are the God Who sees me,”[13] for she said, “Here I have seen the One Who sees me!” 14Therefore the well was called Be'er Lakhai Roi 'well of the Living One seeing me' [MAP]. It is between Kadesh and Bered.

6. Ishmael is Born (6:15-16) [1881 BCE]

15Hagar bore a son for Avram, and Avram gave the name Yishma‘el'God pays attention' to the she had born. 16Avram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Yishma‘el to him.

Chapter 17


 3. Alhough polygamy, like slavery, was practiced by the Patriarchs, the Scriptures never condone the practice of either. While it may be argued that Avram took Hagar as his concubine, the text uses the Hebrew word אִשָּׁה (ishshah), which is the same word used of Sarai earlier in the same sentence. [RETURN]

 4. Despise, Hebrew וַתֵּקַ֥ל (wattêqal), to treat with contempt, bring contempt or dishonour, to be slight, be trifling, be of little account, be insignificant, to be lightly esteemed. [RETURN]

5a. Wrong: Hebrew חָמָ֖ס (hamas), violence, wrong, cruelty, injustice. Apparently Sarah felt that Hagar’s contemptuous tratment was “violence.” How interesting that Hamas (Violence) is the name of the terrorist organization that has vowed perpetual violence against Israel. See “The Hamas Charter.” [RETURN]

5b. The sentence can also be translated as “May the wrong (חָמָ֖ס, hamas, violence) done to me be upon you!” [RETURN]

 8. Just as when He asked Adam, “Where are you?” (Gen 3:9) He was not looking for an answer, because He already knew, but wanted Adam to realize where he was. So here He wanted Hagar to realize where she was. She had nothing but the clothes on her back, and no hope for the future outside of her future with Sarai and Avram. [RETURN]

12. Todays Arabic peoples are mostly the descendants of Ishma'el. With few exceptions, the descendants of Ishma'el have been in constant conflict with all other ethnicities, expecially with the descendants of Isaac, for almost 4,000 years (1714 BCE-2021 CE, since Ishmael was about 13 years old). Today, Arabs primarily inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, plus those living in Israel. The Arab world stretches around 13 million square kilometers, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast. Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can also be found in the global diaspora. The total number of Arabic speakers living in the Arab nations is estimated at 366 million by the CIA Factbook (as of 2014). The estimated number of Arabs in countries outside the Arab League is estimated at 17.5 million, yielding a total of close to 384 million.

By comparison, due to constant ethnic purging, according to the Diaspora Affairs Ministry's statistics, there are currently only 14.4 million Jews in the world, with 6.3 million in Israel and the rest spread out over the globe. [SOURCE] (accessed 08/20/20)

Another article (accessed 08/20/20) says “there are close to 100 million people around the world with an ‘affinity’ to Judaism or Israel,” … “According to the report in Ha'aretz, the committee, which was set up in 2016 to study communities around the world of crypto-Jews, found that there are currently 9 million people around the world who are eligible for immigration to Israel under the terms of the Law of Return. In addition, there are some 95 million individuals who are likely descended from Jews but who no longer identify as Jews, including 35 million people ‘with known affinities to Judaism’ and as many as 60 million ‘unrecognized peoples with affinity to Judaism and Israel.’” [RETURN]

13. “The God Who sees me.” The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sees you; he really sees you! He knows all about you (and loves you in spite of yourself). He knows your joy and your sorrow, your pain, your grief, your strength, your weakness. He knows and understands from first-hand experience everything there is to know about you, because He became a man and shared the human experience.

14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16, NASB)

Your God doesn’t just see you, He really gets you! [RETURN]

Page originally posted on Thursday, 20 August 2020
Added dates, map references, and additional notes and comments on Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 05 June 2022 10:30 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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