And the angel of the LORD said to her, I will multiply your seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I will multiply thy seed.—We have here the purpose of the Divine manifestation. Abram’s son must not be mixed up with and lost among the debased population of Egypt, but must be the father of a free people; and Hagar will now submit to her lot as a slave, that she may secure liberty for her offspring.Genesis 16:10. I will multiply thy seed exceedingly — Hebrews Multiplying I will multiply it; that is, multiply it in every age, so as to perpetuate it. The Hagarenes, Saracens, and various other tribes of Arabs were descended from Ishmael, and they have been, and still are, a great people.
I will multiply thy seed exceedingly; not that she should have many children herself, for that she had more than this one she now went with, is not certain; but that that seed she had conceived should be exceedingly multiplied, and he should have a numerous posterity, as he had twelve princes sprung from him, the heads of Arab nations:And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. I will greatly multiply] The Angel of Jehovah expresses in the 1st person the promise of that which Jehovah will perform; as in Genesis 21:18, Genesis 22:15-18, Genesis 31:13.Verse 10. - And the angel of the Lord said unto her (after duty, promise), I will multiply thy seed exceedingly (literally, multiplying I will multiply thy seed; language altogether inappropriate in the lips of a creature), that (literally, and) it shall not be numbered for multitude. Genesis 15:4) did not seem likely to be fulfilled, even after the covenant had been made, Sarai resolved, ten years after their entrance into Canaan, to give her Egyptian maid Hagar to her husband, that if possible she might "be built up by her," i.e., obtain children, who might found a house or family (Genesis 30:3). The resolution seemed a judicious one, and according to the customs of the East, there would be nothing wrong in carrying it out. Hence Abraham consented without opposition, because, as Malachi (Malachi 2:15) says, he sought the seed promised by God. But they were both of them soon to learn, that their thoughts were the thoughts of man and not of God, and that their wishes and actions were not in accordance with the divine promise. Sarai, the originator of the plan, was the first to experience its evil consequences. When the maid was with child by Abram, "her mistress became little in her eyes." When Sarai complained to Abram of the contempt she received from her maid (saying, "My wrong," the wrong done to me, "come upon thee," cf. Jeremiah 51:35; Genesis 27:13), and called upon Jehovah to judge between her and her husband,
(Note: בּיניך, with a point over the second Jod, to show that it is irregular and suspicious; since בּין with the singular suffix is always treated as a singular, and only with a plural suffix as plural.)
Abram gave her full power to act as mistress towards her maid, without raising the slave who was made a concubine above her position. But as soon as Sarai made her feel her power, Hagar fled. Thus, instead of securing the fulfilment of their wishes, Sarai and Abram had reaped nothing but grief and vexation, and apparently had lost the maid through their self-concerted scheme. But the faithful covenant God turned the whole into a blessing.
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