Genesis 16:3
And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelled ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
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(3) Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.—He was now, therefore, eighty-five years of age (see Genesis 16:16 and Genesis 12:4), and this long delay had not only tried his faith, but brought him and Sarai to the conclusion that the promised seed was to be obtained by other means.

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.A Mizrite handmaid. - Hagar was probably obtained, ten years before, during their sojourn in Egypt. "The Lord hath restrained me." It was natural to the ancient mind to recognize the power and will of God in all things. "I shall be builded by her," אבנה 'ı̂bāneh, built as the foundation of a house, by the addition of sons or daughters (בנים bānı̂ym or בנית bānôt). She thought she had or wished to have a share in the promise, if not by herself personally, yet through her maid. The faith of Sarah had not yet come fully to the birth. Abram yields to the suggestion of his wife, and complies with the custom of the country. Ten years had elapsed since they had entered the land they were to inherit. Impatience at the long delay leads to an invention of their own for obtaining an heir. The contempt of her maid was unjustifiable. But it was the natural consequence of Sarai's own improper and imprudent step, in giving her to her husband as a concubine. Unwilling, however, to see in herself the occasion of her maid's insolence, she transfers the blame to her husband, who empowers or reminds her of her power still to deal with her as it pleased her. Hagar, unable to bear the yoke of humiliation, flees from her mistress.3. Sarai … gave her to … Abram to be his wife—"Wife" is here used to describe an inferior, though not degrading, relation, in countries where polygamy prevails. In the case of these female slaves, who are the personal property of his lady, being purchased before her marriage or given as a special present to her, no one can become the husband's secondary wife without her mistress consent or permission. This usage seems to have prevailed in patriarchal times; and Hagar, Sarai's slave, of whom she had the entire right of disposing, was given by her mistress' spontaneous offer, to be the secondary wife of Abram, in the hope of obtaining the long-looked-for heir. It was a wrong step—indicating a want of simple reliance on God—and Sarai was the first to reap the bitter fruits of her device. 1911 i.e. His concubine, or secondary wife. Polygamy, though it was forbidden by God’s first institution, Genesis 2:24, compared with Matthew 19:5, and brought into the world by wicked Lamech, yet it was sometimes practised by the patriarchs, either by God’s permission, who could rightly dispense with his own laws when and where he pleased; or by their mistake about the lawfulness of it. As for the present case, it is most evident this action was not the effect of an inordinate lust, but of an earnest desire of having children, and especially of obtaining the blessed and promised Seed. And Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian,.... Took her by the hand, it is probable, and led her into the apartment where Abram was, and presented her to him; their characters are very exactly described, and the contrast beautifully given, that the affair might be the more remarkable and observable:

after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan; so that he was now eighty five years of age, for he was sventy five when he departed from Haran and came into Canaan, Genesis 12:4; and Sarai, being ten years younger than he, must be sventy five; the Jews from hence have formed a rule or canon; that if a man marries a woman, and she has no children in ten years, he is obliged to marry another (h):

and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife; his secondary wife, or concubine; which, though contrary to the first institution of marriage, was connived at of God, and was practised by good men: nothing can excuse them but their earnest desire after the Messiah, the promised seed; and one may conclude, that nothing but this especially could move Sarai to take such a step, so contrary to the temper and disposition of women in common.

(h) Bereshit Rabba, ut supra. (sect. 45. fol. 40. 2.). Jarchi & Aben Ezra in loc.

And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
3. And Sarai Abram’s wife] This verse is P’s duplicate version of Genesis 16:1-2, adding the number of years that Abram had dwelt in Canaan.Verse 3. - And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan (i.e. in his eighty-fifth, and her seventy-fifth year; a note of time introduced, probably, to account for their impatience in waiting for the promised seed), and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. Afterwards styled a pilgash or concubine (Genesis 25:6), she is here improperly called a wife quae praeterDei legem is alienum thorum inducitur (Calvin), from whom the pilgash or concubine differed

(1) in power over the family, which belonged solely to the true wife, not to the secondary;

(2) in the manner of espousal, which in the case of the former was accompanied with solemn rites of espousal and liberal gifts of dowry; and

(3) in privilege of issue, the offspring of the secondary wife having no title to inherit. The act of Sarai (cf. the similar behavior of Stratonice, the wife of King Deiotarus, who, according to Plutarch, gave her maid Electra to her husband, and so obtained an heir to the crown) is as little to be imitated as the conduct of Abram. The apparent repetitions in Vers. 1-3 do not require the hypothesis of different authorship (Tuch, Colenso, Bleek, Davidson) for their explanation, but are characteristic of the genius of Hebrew composition (cf. Genesis 7:1-10), and may even be considerably removed by connecting Vers. 1, 2 with Genesis 15, and commencing the new sub-section with Genesis 16:3 (Quarry, p. 331). In Genesis 15:18-21 this divine revelation is described as the making of a covenant (בּרית, from בּרה to cut, lit., the bond concluded by cutting up the sacrificial animals), and the substance of this covenant is embraced in the promise, that God would give that land to the seed of Abram, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates. The river (נהר) of Egypt is the Nile, and not the brook (נחל) of Egypt (Numbers 34:5), i.e., the boundary stream Rhinocorura, Wady el Arish. According to the oratorical character of the promise, the two large rivers, the Nile and the Euphrates, are mentioned as the boundaries within which the seed of Abram would possess the promised land, the exact limits of which are more minutely described in the list of the tribes who were then in possession. Ten tribes are mentioned between the southern border of the land and the extreme north, "to convey the impression of universality without exception, of unqualified completeness, the symbol of which is the number ten" (Delitzsch). In other passages we find sometimes seven tribes mentioned (Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 3:10), at other times six (Exodus 3:8, Exodus 3:17; Exodus 23:23; Deuteronomy 20:17), at others five (Exodus 13:5), at others again only two (Genesis 13:7); whilst occasionally they are all included in the common name of Canaanites (Genesis 12:6). The absence of the Hivites is striking here, since they are not omitted from any other list where as many as five or seven tribes are mentioned. Out of the eleven descendants of Canaan (Genesis 10:15-18) the names of four only are given here; the others are included in the common name of the Canaanites. On the other hand, four tribes are given, whose descent from Canaan is very improbable. The origin of the Kenites cannot be determined. According to Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11, Hobab, the brother-in-law of Moses, was a Kenite. His being called Midianite (Numbers 10:29) does not prove that he was descended from Midian (Genesis 25:2), but is to be accounted for from the fact that he dwelt in the land of Midian, or among the Midianites (Exodus 2:15). This branch of the Kenites went with the Israelites to Canaan, into the wilderness of Judah (Judges 1:16), and dwelt even in Saul's time among the Amalekites on the southern border of Judah (1 Samuel 15:6), and in the same towns with members of the tribe of Judah (1 Samuel 30:29). There is nothing either in this passage, or in Numbers 24:21-22, to compel us to distinguish these Midianitish Kenites from those of Canaan. The Philistines also were not Canaanites, and yet their territory was assigned to the Israelites. And just as the Philistines had forced their way into the land, so the Kenites may have taken possession of certain tracts of the country. All that can be inferred from the two passages is, that there were Kenites outside Midian, who were to be exterminated by the Israelites. On the Kenizzites, all that can be affirmed with certainty is, that the name is neither to be traced to the Edomitish Kenaz (Genesis 36:15, Genesis 36:42), nor to be identified with the Kenezite Jephunneh, the father of Caleb of Judah (Numbers 32:12; Joshua 14:6 : see my Comm. on Joshua, p. 356, Eng. tr.). - The Kadmonites are never mentioned again, and their origin cannot be determined. On the Perizzites see Genesis 13:7; on the Rephaims, Genesis 14:5; and on the other names, Genesis 10:15-16.
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