|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:4-6 Abram's unhappy marriage to Hagar very soon made a great deal of mischief. We may thank ourselves for the guilt and grief that follow us, when we go out of the way of our duty. See it in this case, Passionate people often quarrel with others, for things of which they themselves must bear the blame. Sarai had given her maid to Abram, yet she cries out, My wrong be upon thee. That is never said wisely, which pride and anger put into our mouths. Those are not always in the right, who are most loud and forward in appealing to God: such rash and bold imprecations commonly speak guilt and a bad cause. Hagar forgot that she herself had first given the provocation, by despising her mistress. Those that suffer for their faults, ought to bear it patiently, 1Pe 2:20.
Verse 5. - And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee. Ἀδικοῦμαι ἐκ σοῦ (LXX. ); indue agis contra me (Vulgate); My injury is upon thee, i.e. thou art the cause of it (Jonathan, Rosenmüller, Ainsworth, Clarke, 'Speaker s Commentary'); or, it belongs to thee as well as to me (Clericus, Bush, Alford); or, perhaps better, May the injury done to me return upon thee! cf. 27:13 (Keil, Kalisch, Lange, Wordsworth) - the language of passionate irritation, indicating repentance of her previous action and a desire to both impute its guilt to, and lay its bitter consequences on, her husband, who in the entire transaction was more innocent than she. I have given my maid into thy bosom (very imprudent, even had it not been sinful; the result was only what might have been expected); - and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee (cf. 1 Samuel 24:15; Judges 11:27). An irreverent use of the Divine name on the part of Sarai (Calvin), and a speech arguing great passion (Ainsworth).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Sarai said to Abram,.... Being affronted with the behaviour of her maid to her, she applies to Abram for the redress of her grievance, judging it, perhaps, below her dignity to enter into an altercation with her maid:
my wrong be upon thee; in her passion imprecating evil on him, as a just punishment upon him for suffering wrong to be done her by her maid; or, "is upon thee" (i); pointing at his duty, and suggesting to him what he ought to do; that it was incumbent on him as her husband to right her wrongs, and do her justice, and vindicate her from the calumnies and reproaches of her servant; and tacitly complaining of him, and accusing him with indolence and unconcern at the injury done her, being silent when it became him to check her insolence and chide her for it: or, "is for thee" (k); for thy sake; it was for the sake of Abram chiefly, that he might have a son and heir, which he was very solicitous, that she gave him her maid to wife; the consequence of which was, that she was now insulted and abused by her, and so suffered wrong for his sake; and the rather she might be tempted to say it was on his account, as she might be jealous of a growing affection in him to Hagar, and that he showed greater respect to her, being likely to have a child by her, and so connived at her haughtiness and arrogance:
I have given my maid into thy bosom; to be his wife, Micah 7:5; Sarai had no reason to upbraid Abram with this, since it was not at his solicitations she gave her to him, but it was her own motion:
and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes; when she found herself with child, and hoped to bring forth a son, that should be heir to Abram's large possessions, and inherit the land of Canaan, given to his seed, she began to think highly of herself, and looked with disdain upon her mistress, set lightly by her, made no account of her, showed her no respect, carried it haughtily to her, as if she was beneath her, and as if she had more authority in the house, and a better claim to the affection of Abram, and deserving of more honour and respect, as she was favoured of God with conception, a blessing Sarai never enjoyed:
the Lord judge between me and thee: which was very rashly and hastily said, as if Abram was not inclined and was unwilling to do her justice, and therefore she appeals to God against him, as an unrighteous man, and desires that he would interpose, and by his providence show who was in the right and who in the wrong: or "the Lord will judge" (l); expressing her confidence not only in the justness of her cause, but in the appearance of divine Providence in her favour; believing that the Lord would arise and help her, and defend her against the insults made upon her, and resent the injury done her.
(i) "injuria mea super te est", Cocceius; so Ainsworth. (k) "Vel injuria mea est propter te", Cocceius; "quid si legamus propter te?" Drusius. (l) "judicabit", Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. And Sarai said … My wrong be upon thee—Bursts of temper, or blows, as the original may bear, took place till at length Hagar, perceiving the hopelessness of maintaining the unequal strife, resolved to escape from what had become to her in reality, as well as in name, a house of bondage.
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