Genesis 16:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 16:3, NIV: "So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife."

Genesis 16:3, ESV: "So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife."

Genesis 16:3, KJV: "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."

Genesis 16:3, NASB: "And so after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave woman, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife."

Genesis 16:3, NLT: "So Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.)"

Genesis 16:3, CSB: "So Abram's wife Sarai took Hagar, her Egyptian slave, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife for him. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan ten years."

What does Genesis 16:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verses described Sarai's plan to "help" God accomplish His promises to Abram. Instead of waiting to see if God would give Abram an heir through Sarai, she would give a servant girl she owned to Abram as a second wife. If the girl became pregnant, per the customs of the day, the baby would belong to Sarai. It's possible that Sarai thought God's intent was to provide a son through someone other than her. It's also possible Sarai simply didn't want to wait any longer for God's fulfillment. Either way, this is a plan born out of desperation. The end results will be unfortunate, but not unexpected (Genesis 16:7–12).

It has been a full decade since the initial promise, and Sarai is still barren. By Abram and Sarai's way of thinking, it is time for them to help God's plan along. They want for themselves what God wants for them; they just don't want to wait for Him to give it to them in the traditional way. So, they don't.