Genesis 16:14 MEANING

Genesis 16:14
(14) Beer-lahai-roi.--That is, Well of the living-seeing (of God), the well where God has been seen, and the beholder still lives. It became afterwards a favourite dwelling-place of Isaac (Genesis 25:11), and was probably, therefore, surrounded by pastures, but its site has not been identified. For Kadesh see Genesis 14:7. Bered is absolutely unknown.

Verse 14. - Wherefore the well was called - in all likelihood first by Hagar - Beer-lahai-roi, or the well of him that liveth and seeth me (A.V.); but either

(1) the well of the living one of vision, i.e. of God, who appeared there (Onkeles, Rosenmüller, Lange) or

(2) the well of the life of vision, i.e. where after seeing God life was preserved (Gesenius, Keil, Kalisch, Murphy), or where in consequence of seeing God a new life was imparted (Inglis). Behold, it is between Kadesh (vide Genesis 14:7) and Bered. Of uncertain situation; but the well has probably been discovered in Ain Kades (called by the Arabs Moilahi Hagar), to the south of Beersheba, and about twelve miles from Kadesh (cf. Keil in lees).

16:7-16 Hagar was out of her place, and out of the way of her duty, and going further astray, when the Angel found her. It is a great mercy to be stopped in a sinful way, either by conscience or by providence. Whence comest thou? Consider that thou art running from duty, and the privileges thou wast blest with in Abram's tent. It is good to live in a religious family, which those ought to consider who have this advantage. Whither wilt thou go? Thou art running into sin; if Hagar return to Egypt, she will return to idol gods, and into danger in the wilderness through which she must travel. Recollecting who we are, would often teach us our duty. Inquiring whence we came, would show us our sin and folly. Considering whither we shall go, discovers our danger and misery. And those who leave their space and duty, must hasten their return, how mortifying soever it be. The declaration of the Angel, I will, shows this Angel was the eternal Word and Son of God. Hagar could not but admire the Lord's mercy, and feel, Have I, who am so unworthy, been favoured with a gracious visit from the Lord? She was brought to a better temper, returned, and by her behaviour softened Sarai, and received more gentle treatment. Would that we were always suitably impressed with this thought, Thou God seest me!Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi,.... That is, the fountain where the angel found her, Genesis 16:7; this, from the appearance of God to her at it, was afterwards called by her and others by this name, which signifies "the well of him that liveth and seeth me"; that is, of the living and all seeing God, and who had taken a special care of her, and favoured her with a peculiar discovery of his love to her: or this may have respect to herself, and be rendered, "the well of her that liveth and seeth"; that had had a sight of God, and yet was alive; lived though she had seen him, and after she had seen him, and was still indulged with a sight of him. Aben Ezra says, the name of this well, at the time he lived, was called Zemum, he doubtless means Zemzem, a well near Mecca, which the Arabs say (z) is the well by which Hagar sat down with Ishmael, and where she was comforted by the angel, Genesis 21:19,

behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered; Kadesh is the same with Kadesh Barnea in the wilderness, Numbers 13:3. The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan call it Rekam, the same with Petra, the chief city of Arabia Petraea, inhabited in later times by the Nabathaeans, the posterity of Ishmael: and Bered is nowhere else mentioned, it is called by Onkelos Chagra or Hagra, by which he interprets Shur, Genesis 16:7; and by the Targum of Jonathan it is called Chaluza, a noted town in Idumea, the same with Chelus, mentioned with Kades in the Apocrypha;"And to all that were in Samaria and the cities thereof, and beyond Jordan unto Jerusalem, and Betane, and Chelus, and Kades, and the river of Egypt, and Taphnes, and Ramesse, and all the land of Gesem,'' (Judith 1:9)and so Jerom (a) speaks of a place called Elusa, near the wilderness of Kadesh, which in his times was inhabited by Saracens, the descendants of Ishmael; and this bids fair to the Bered here spoken of, and seems to be its Greek name, and both are of the same signification; for Bered signifies hail, as does Chalaza in Greek, which the Targumists here make Chaluza; between Kadesh and Barath, as Jerom (b) calls it, Hagar's well was shown in his days.

(z) See Pitts's Account of the Mahometans, c. 7. p. 103. (a) In Vita Hilarionis, fol. 84. 1.((b) De loc. Heb. fol. 89. E.

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