Genesis 16:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 16:9, NIV: "Then the angel of the LORD told her, 'Go back to your mistress and submit to her.'"

Genesis 16:9, ESV: "The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.”"

Genesis 16:9, KJV: "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands."

Genesis 16:9, NASB: "So the angel of the LORD said to her, 'Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.'"

Genesis 16:9, NLT: "The angel of the LORD said to her, 'Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.'"

Genesis 16:9, CSB: "The angel of the LORD said to her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her authority.""

What does Genesis 16:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The angel of the Lord, apparently the Lord Himself (Genesis 16:10, 13), has "found" Hagar alone and vulnerable along the road to Egypt. She is on the run from the harsh mistreatment of Sarai, and she is pregnant with Abram's first child. This pregnancy and Hagar's resulting contempt are the reason why Sarai has begun to mistreat Hagar (Genesis 16:6). When Hagar became contemptuous, Sarai demanded that Abram reassert the master-servant relationship between her and Hagar. Abram does this, essentially telling Sarai to do with Hagar as she pleases, as with any other servant.

First, the angel of the Lord tells Hagar to return to Sarai and to submit to her. In the following verses, he will give her a surprising glimpse into her unborn son's future. The nation who comes from this son—Ishmael—will be influential, but marked by perpetual conflict. Abram and Sarai's attempt to hurry God's promises will have drastic consequences for human history.