She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (NIV)
Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees me”; for she said, “Have I even seen Him here and lived after He saw me?” (NASB )
And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? (KJV)
As I study the Bible I use three Bibles, King James Version, New International Version, and the New American Standard Bible. As I was reading these verses this morning about Hagar after fled from Sarai into the wilderness, I decided to see if I had notes about this verse in my other Bibles. As I read this verse I noticed that they had the same reading for the name she gave God, but a different reading for Hagar’s reason for using this name.
Her name was for God (Yahweh or Jehovah) was El Roi (God Who Sees). She had witness the faith of Abram and knew of his devotion to his God. She had slept slept with him and was carrying his first-born child. She had been a servant to his wife and now had the role of giving him his desire of a son. However, Sarai was still her master, the one that controlled her life. So she was still a servant that was bearing her master’s husband a child and not the wife of Abram. All we know is that Sarai mistreated her causing her to flee. This sets up her meeting with the angel of the LORD.
In Genesis 16:8-12 it reads “And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (KJV) In these verses the angel of the LORD gives Hagar a new assurance of her new role in Abram’s and Sarai’s life, and also a glimpse of her son’s life future. She now knows that the God that Abram serves also sees her.
However the meaning of the second half of verse thirteen is difficult to understand. The NIV reads “I have now seen the One who sees me.”, the NASB reads “Have I even seen Him here and lived after He saw me?”, and the KJV reads “Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” The NIV ends with a period and treats it as a statement and the NASB and KJV ends with a question mark and treats it as am amazing fact. As I read the NIV verse it makes me think that Hagar now has seen the God who sees her and realizes God as real as Abram does. However, in the other two versions it makes me realize that Hagar can’t believe she is still living after seeing God. Abram look to God as someone he could speak to face to face. Abraham plead for sparing Sodom from destruction is a good example of his relationship with God. Hagar on the other hand only had a fear of God. I believe she could not perceive that God would be involved in a person’s life. This belief can be seen in her life many years later when Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael away from Abraham. In the desert as she was probably going back home toward Egypt she ran out of water. Believing her fifteen year or older son would die she cried for him. However, God appeared again unto her and again assured her of her son’s future.
As we study the scriptures, we must realize that God has given this Book as a guide for walking in the way. We read that at the end of Abraham’s life that both Isaac and Ishmael buried Abraham. There must have been some type of relationship between the two brothers for this to take place. Isaac was seventy-five at this time, and Ishmael was eighty-eight. So, after seventy-five years of Hagar and Ishmael being send away Abraham must have been in the picture of Ishmael’s life.