Genesis 16:2
New International Version
so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her." Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

New Living Translation
So Sarai said to Abram, "The LORD has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her." And Abram agreed with Sarai's proposal.

English Standard Version
And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

Berean Study Bible
So Sarai said to Abram, “Look now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go to my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family by her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

New American Standard Bible
So Sarai said to Abram, "Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

King James Bible
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

Christian Standard Bible
Sarai said to Abram, "Since the LORD has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family." And Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

Contemporary English Version
and Sarai said to Abram, "The LORD has not given me any children. Sleep with my slave, and if she has a child, it will be mine." Abram agreed,

Good News Translation
and so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Why don't you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me." Abram agreed with what Sarai said.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Sarai said to Abram, "Since the LORD has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family." And Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

International Standard Version
So Sarai told Abram, "You are well aware that the LORD has prevented me from giving birth to a child. Go have sex with my servant, so that I may possibly bear a son through her." Abram listened to Sarai's suggestion,

NET Bible
So Sarai said to Abram, "Since the LORD has prevented me from having children, have sexual relations with my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her." Abram did what Sarai told him.

New Heart English Bible
Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my servant. It may be that I will obtain children by her." Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So Sarai said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Why don't you sleep with my slave? Maybe I can build a family through her." Abram agreed with Sarai.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Sarai said unto Abram: 'Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall be builded up through her.' And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

New American Standard 1977
So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing; I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

King James 2000 Bible
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing: I pray you, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

American King James Version
And Sarai said to Abram, Behold now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing: I pray you, go in to my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

American Standard Version
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, Jehovah hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And Sara said to Abram, Behold, the Lord has restrained me from bearing, go therefore in to my maid, that I may get children for myself through her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sara.

Douay-Rheims Bible
She said to her husband: Behold, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: go in unto my handmaid, it may be I may have children of her at least. And when he agreed to her request,

Darby Bible Translation
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.

English Revised Version
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Sarai said to Abram, Behold, now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee go in to my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

World English Bible
Sarai said to Abram, "See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my handmaid. It may be that I will obtain children by her." Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

Young's Literal Translation
and Sarai saith unto Abram, 'Lo, I pray thee, Jehovah hath restrained me from bearing, go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; perhaps I am built up from her;' and Abram hearkeneth to the voice of Sarai.
Study Bible
The Birth of Ishmael
1Now Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne a child to him, but she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. 2So Sarai said to Abram, “Look now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go to my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family by her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3So after he had lived in Canaan for ten years, his wife Sarai took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to Abram to be his wife.…
Cross References
Genesis 19:31
One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man in the land to sleep with us, as is the custom over all the earth.

Genesis 30:3
Then she said, "Here is my maidservant Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will bear children for me, so that through her I too can build a family."

Genesis 30:4
So Rachel gave Jacob her servant Bilhah as his wife, and he slept with her,

Treasury of Scripture

And Sarai said to Abram, Behold now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing: I pray you, go in to my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

the Lord.

Genesis 17:16
And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Genesis 18:10
And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

Genesis 20:18
For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.

obtain children.

Genesis 30:3,6
And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her…

Exodus 21:4
If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.

Ruth 4:11
And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:

hearkened.

Genesis 3:1-6,12,17
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? …







Lexicon
So Sarai
שָׂרַ֜י (śā·ray)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8297: Sarai -- a wife of Abram

said
וַתֹּ֨אמֶר (wat·tō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

Abram,
אַבְרָ֗ם (’aḇ·rām)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 87: Abram -- 'exalted father', the original name of Abraham

“Look
הִנֵּה־ (hin·nêh-)
Interjection
Strong's Hebrew 2009: Lo! behold!

now,
נָ֞א (nā)
Interjection
Strong's Hebrew 4994: I pray', 'now', 'then'

the LORD
יְהוָה֙ (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

has prevented me
עֲצָרַ֤נִי (‘ă·ṣā·ra·nî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 6113: To inclose, to hold back, to maintain, rule, assemble

from bearing children.
מִלֶּ֔דֶת (mil·le·ḏeṯ)
Preposition-m | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 3205: To bear young, to beget, medically, to act as midwife, to show lineage

Please
נָא֙ (nā)
Interjection
Strong's Hebrew 4994: I pray', 'now', 'then'

go
בֹּא־ (bō-)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 935: To come in, come, go in, go

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

my maidservant;
שִׁפְחָתִ֔י (šip̄·ḥā·ṯî)
Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 8198: Maid, maidservant

perhaps
אוּלַ֥י (’ū·lay)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 194: Perhaps

I can build a family
אִבָּנֶ֖ה (’ib·bā·neh)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 1129: To build

by her.”
מִמֶּ֑נָּה‪‬ (mim·mên·nāh)
Preposition | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4480: A part of, from, out of

Abram
אַבְרָ֖ם (’aḇ·rām)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 87: Abram -- 'exalted father', the original name of Abraham

listened
וַיִּשְׁמַ֥ע (way·yiš·ma‘)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8085: To hear intelligently

to the voice
לְק֥וֹל (lə·qō·wl)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 6963: A voice, sound

of Sarai.
שָׂרָֽי׃ (śā·rāy)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8297: Sarai -- a wife of Abram
(2) That I may obtain children by her.--Heb., that I may be builded by her. The words, ben=a son, bath (originally banth)=a daughter, baith (banith) =a house, and banah=to build, all belong to the same root in Hebrew, the idea being that the children build the house, and give a man the pledge of continuance. Until late times the tent was the habitation, while the house was the family (Genesis 7:1). Thus the phrase "to build a man a sure house" meant, to give him lasting prosperity (1Samuel 2:35). Hence, too, the close connection between building and the bestowal of children in Psalms 127. As then the children of a woman bestowed by her mistress upon the husband were regarded as belonging to the wife (Genesis 30:3), Sarah, despairing of bearing a son herself, as she was now seventy-five, and had been ten years in Canaan, concluded that her heir was to be born of a substitute.

As regards the morality of the act, we find that marriage with one wife was the original law (Genesis 2:24), and that when polygamy was introduced it was coupled by the inspired narrator with violence and licence (Genesis 4:19). Monogamy was the rule, as we see in the households of Noah, Terah, Isaac, and others; but many, like Esau and Jacob, allowed themselves a greater latitude. In so doing, their conduct falls below the level of Christian morality, but everyone's actions are strongly influenced by the general views of the people among whom he lives; and in Abram's case it must be said in his defence that, with so much depending on his having offspring, he took no steps to obtain another wife, but remained content with the barren Sarai. When he did take Hagar it was at his wife's request, and for a reason which seemed to them adequate, and even religious. Rachel subsequently did the same for a much lower motive. The consent of the wife was in such cases all-important; and so in India, in ancient times, it was necessary to make a second marriage valid (see Wilson's Hindu Theatre, i. 179).

Verse 2. - And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained us from bearing. Literally, hath shut me up (i.e. my womb, Genesis 20:18; συνέκλεισέ με, LXX.) from bearing. Her advancing age was rendering this every day more and more apparent. I pray thee go in unto my maid (cf. Genesis 30:3, 9). It is so far satisfactory that the proposal to make a secondary wife of Hagar did not originate with Abram; though, as Sarai's guilt in making it cannot altogether. be excused, so neither can Abram be entirely freed from fault in yielding to her solicitations. It may be that I may obtain children by her. Literally, be built up by her; from banah, to build, whence ben, a son (Deuteronomy 25:9; Ruth 4:11). Calvin notes that Sarai s desire of offspring was not prompted by natural impulse, but by the zeal of faith which made her wish to secure the promised benediction. As yet it had not been clearly intimated that Sarai was to be the mother of Abram's child; and hence her recourse to what was a prevalent practice of the times, while unjustifiable in itself, was a signal proof of her humility, of her devotion to her husband, and perhaps also of her faith in God. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. "The faith of both was defective; not indeed with regard to the substance of the premise, but with regard to the method in which they proceeded" (Calvin). 16:1-3 Sarai, no longer expecting to have children herself, proposed to Abram to take another wife, whose children she might; her slave, whose children would be her property. This was done without asking counsel of the Lord. Unbelief worked, God's almighty power was forgotten. It was a bad example, and a source of manifold uneasiness. In every relation and situation in life there is some cross for us to bear: much of the exercise of faith consists in patiently submitting, in waiting the Lord's time, and using only those means which he appoints for the removal of the cross. Foul temptations may have very fair pretences, and be coloured with that which is very plausible. Fleshly wisdom puts us out of God's way. This would not be the case, if we would ask counsel of God by his word and by prayer, before we attempt that which is doubtful.
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