Bereisheet (Genesis): Lech-Lecha > Ch 16

Ishmael is born

  • At the end of ten years of Abram's dwelling in the land of Canaan, Sarai still had no children, so she gave Abram her Egyptian handmaid, named Hagar, as a wife. Hagar became pregnant, and her Sarai became unimportant in her eyes.
  • Sarai complained about it to Abram, Abram gave Hagar to her saying, “do to her that which is proper in your eyes." When Sarai afflicted her, Hagar fled.
  • An angel of the Lord found her by a water fountain in the desert, and he said, "Hagar, Sarai's servant, where are you coming from, and where are you going to?" And she said, "From before Sarai my mistress, I am fleeing." And the angel of the Lord said to her, "Return to your mistress, and allow yourself to be afflicted under her hands." And the angel of the Lord said to her, "I will greatly multiply your seed, and it will not be counted for abundance." And the angel of the Lord said to her, "Behold, you will conceive and bear a son, and you shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard your affliction. And he will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be upon all, and everyone's hand upon him, and before all his brothers he will dwell."
  • Hagar bore a son to Abram, and Abram named him Ishmael. Abram was 86 years old at that time

Rashi Commentary

  • Egyptian handmaid She was Pharaoh’s daughter. When Pharaoh saw the miracles that were wrought for Sarah, he said, “It is better that my daughter be a handmaid in this household, than a mistress in another household.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 45:1]
  • where are you coming from He knew, but he wished to give her an opening to commence speaking with her.
  • his hand will be upon all He will be a bandit. — [from Tan. Shemot]
  • and everyone’s hand upon him Everyone will hate him and attack him
  • and before all his brothers he will dwell for his seed will be numerous.