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MAGNIFICAT: THE ARTICLE OF THE MONTH IS THAT IN THE BIBLE? by Father Anthony Giambrone, O.P.

Forbidden Fruit and the Fruit of Faith One of the Bible stories that can be found hanging on art gallery walls is Sarah Leading Hagar to Abraham from Genesis 16. One 17th-century version painted …More
Forbidden Fruit and the Fruit of Faith
One of the Bible stories that can be found hanging on art gallery walls is Sarah Leading Hagar to Abraham from Genesis 16. One 17th-century version painted by Matthias Stom, and now displayed in Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie, captures the human drama with striking success. The nervous fright on the pretty young Hagar’s round face as she is ushered over in obedience to her mistress contrasts markedly with the gentle contentment of the wizened Sarai, who hands over the hesitant girl to her aged husband with calm assurance. Abram, sitting upon the bed with his sunken and sagging chest uncovered, stares at the maid with a fixed and already exhausted gaze. It does not take especial prudishness to wonder about the propriety of the scene.
At a historical level, commentators on this passage have observed the relevance of documents discovered in the ancient Mesopotamian city of Nuzi, dating from around 1500–1400 b.c., a community in precisely the same …
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Irapuato
Genesis, chapter 16

Birth of Ishmael.*
1Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no children. Now she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar.www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
2Sarai said to Abram: “The LORD has kept me from bearing children. Have intercourse with my maid; perhaps I will have sons through her.” Abram obeyed Sarai. www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
3Thus, after Abram had lived …More
Genesis, chapter 16

Birth of Ishmael.*
1Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no children. Now she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar.www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
2Sarai said to Abram: “The LORD has kept me from bearing children. Have intercourse with my maid; perhaps I will have sons through her.” Abram obeyed Sarai. www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
3Thus, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, his wife Sarai took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4He had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant. As soon as Hagar knew she was pregnant, her mistress lost stature in her eyes. www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
5www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16 So Sarai said to Abram: “This outrage against me is your fault. I myself gave my maid to your embrace; but ever since she knew she was pregnant, I have lost stature in her eyes. May the LORD decide between you and me!”
6Abram told Sarai: “Your maid is in your power. Do to her what you regard as right.” Sarai then mistreated her so much that Hagar ran away from her.

7The LORD’s angelwww.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16 found her by a spring in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur,www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
8and he asked, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She answered, “I am running away from my mistress, Sarai.”
9But the LORD’s angel told her: “Go back to your mistress and submit to her authority.
10I will make your descendants so numerous,” added the LORD’s angel, “that they will be too many to count.”www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
11Then the LORD’s angel said to her:

“You are now pregnant and shall bear a son;

you shall name him Ishmael,www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16

For the LORD has heeded your affliction.

12He shall be a wild ass of a man,

his hand against everyone,

and everyone’s hand against him;

Alongsidewww.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16 all his kindred

shall he encamp.”www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16

13To the LORD who spoke to her she gave a name, saying, “You are God who sees me”;www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16 she meant, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after he saw me?”www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
14That is why the well is called Beer-lahai-roi.www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16 It is between Kadesh and Bered.

15Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram named the son whom Hagar bore him Ishmael.www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/16
16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

* [16:116] In the previous chapter Abraham was given a timetable of possession of the land, but nothing was said about when the child was to be born. In this chapter, Sarah takes matters into her own hands, for she has been childless ten years since the promise (cf. 12:4 with 16:16). The story is about the two women, Sarah the infertile mistress and Hagar the fertile slave; Abraham has only a single sentence. In the course of the story, God intervenes directly on the side of Hagar, for she is otherwise without resources.