Genesis 21:19
And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) A well of water.—Not a cistern, but a spring of living water. The mirage in the desert so wearies the traveller, that at last he turns in despair from what may be more truthful signs. But after her outburst of grief, Hagar would grow more calm, and, encouraged by the angel’s voice, she renews her search, and finds. As Abravanel notices, the well already existed, and was not created for Hagar’s use; for God, it is said, opened her eyes, that is, enabled her to see something that indicated the existence of water: trees probably rising round the spring, or some vegetable upgrowth.

21:14-21 If Hagar and Ishmael had behaved well in Abraham's family, they might have continued there; but they were justly punished. By abusing privileges, we forfeit them. Those who know not when they are well off, will be made to know the worth of mercies by the want of them. They were brought to distress in the wilderness. It is not said that the provisions were spent, or that Abraham sent them away without money. But the water was spent; and having lost their way, in that hot climate Ishmael was soon overcome with fatigue and thirst. God's readiness to help us when we are in trouble, must not slacken, but quicken our endeavours to help ourselves. The promise concerning her son is repeated, as a reason why Hagar should bestir herself to help him. It should engage our care and pains about children and young people, to consider that we know not what great use God has designed them for, and may make of them. The angel directs her to a present supply. Many who have reason to be comforted, go mourning from day to day, because they do not see the reason they have for comfort. There is a well of water near them in the covenant of grace, but they are not aware of it, till the same God that opened their eyes to see their wound, opens them to see their remedy. Paran was a wild place, fit for a wild man; such as Ishmael. Those who are born after the flesh, take up with the wilderness of this world, while the children of the promise aim at the heavenly Canaan, and cannot be at rest till they are there. Yet God was with the lad; his outward welfare was owing to this.The fortunes of Ishmael. God cares for the wanderers. He hears the voice of the lad, whose sufferings from thirst are greater than those of the mother. An angel is sent, who addresses Hagar in the simple words of encouragement and direction. "Hold thy hand upon him." Lay thy hand firmly upon him. The former promise Genesis 16:10 is renewed to her. God also opened her eyes that she saw a well of water, from which the bottle is replenished, and she and the lad are recruited for their further journey. It is unnecessary to determine how far this opening of the eyes was miraculous. It may refer to the cheering of her mind and the sharpening of her attention. In Scripture the natural and supernatural are not always set over against each other as with us. All events are alike ascribed to an ever-watchful Providence, whether they flow from the ordinary laws of nature or some higher law of the divine will. "God was with the lad." Ishmael may have been cured of his childish spleen. It is possible also his father did not forget him, but sent him a stock of cattle with which to begin the pastoral life on his account. "He became an archer." He grew an archer, or multiplied into a tribe of archers. Paran Genesis 14:6 lay south of Palestine, and therefore on the way to Egypt, out of which his mother took him a wife. The Ishmaelites, therefore, both root and branch, were descended on the mother's side from the Egyptians.19. God opened her eyes—Had she forgotten the promise (Ge 16:11)? Whether she looked to God or not, He regarded her and directed her to a fountain close beside her, but probably hid amid brushwood, by the waters of which her almost expiring son was revived. Not that her eyes were shut or blind before, but she saw not the well before; either because it was at some distance, or because her eyes were full of tears, and her mind distracted and heedless through excessive grief and fear; or because God withheld her eyes that she might not see it without his information. Compare Numbers 22:31 Luke 24:16. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water,.... Which she saw not before; not that she was really blind and had her eyes opened, or her sight restored, but they might be holden or restrained by the providence of God, that she should not see it before; or, through inattention and distraction of mind, might not observe it; or her eyes might be swelled with weeping and crying, that she saw it not; though it is not improbable that this well was not in being before, but was immediately produced by the power of God, who when he pleases can open mountains in the midst of the valleys, and make the wilderness a pool of water, Isaiah 41:18, the Jewish writers (k) say, it was created between the two evenings, that is, on the evening of the seventh day of the creation. Happy are those whose eyes are opened, by the Spirit and grace of God, to see the well of living water, the fountain and fulness of grace that is in Christ, where thirsty souls may come and drink and take their fill.

And she went and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad to drink; with which he was refreshed and recovered from his fainting, and was restored to health again.

(k) Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c. 30.)

And God {h} opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

(h) Unless God opens our eyes, we can neither see, nor use the means which are before us.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. opened her eyes] What she had not seen before, Hagar suddenly received power to see. Cf. Numbers 22:31; 2 Kings 6:17; Luke 24:16; Luke 24:31. LXX φρέαρ ὕδατος ζῶντος, “a spring of living water,” in the desert.Verse 19. - And God opened her eyes. Not necessarily by miraculous operation; perhaps simply by providentially guiding her search for water, after the administered consolation had revived her spirit and roused her energies. And she saw a well of water, בְּאֵר מַיִם, as distinguished from בּור, a pit or cistern, meant a fountain or spring of living water (cf. Genesis 24:11, 20; Genesis 26:19, 20, 21). It had not been previously observed by Hagar, either because of her mental agitation (dolors quasi caeca. Rosenmüller), or because, as was customary, the mouth of the well was covered - and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink - which was certainly the first of the youth s necessities, being needful to the preservation of his life and the reviving of his spirits. Sarah therefore asked that the maid and her son might be sent away, saying, the latter "shall not be heir with Isaac." The demand, which apparently proceeded from maternal jealousy, displeased Abraham greatly "because of his son," - partly because in Ishmael he loved his own flesh and blood, and partly on account of the promise received for him (Genesis 17:18 and Genesis 17:20). But God (Elohim, since there is no appearance mentioned, but the divine will was made known to him inwardly) commanded him to comply with Sarah's demand: "for in Isaac shall seed (posterity) be called to thee." This expression cannot mean "thy descendants will call themselves after Isaac," for in that case, at all events, זרעך would be used; for "in (through) Isaac shall seed be called into existence to thee," for קרא does not mean to call into existence; but, "in the person of Isaac shall there be posterity to thee, which shall pass as such," for נקרא includes existence and the recognition of existence. Though the noun is not defined by any article, the seed intended must be that to which all the promises of God referred, and with which God would establish His covenant (Genesis 17:21, cf. Romans 9:7-8; Hebrews 11:18). To make the dismissal of Ishmael easier to the paternal heart, God repeated to Abraham (Genesis 21:13) the promise already given him with regard to this son (Genesis 17:20).
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