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Abram marrieth Agar, who bringeth forth Ismael.

[1] Now Sarai the wife of Abram, had brought forth no children; but having a handmaid, an Egyptian, named Agar, [2] She said to her husband: Behold, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: go in unto my handmaid, it may be I may have children of her at least. And when he agreed to her request, [3] She took Agar the Egyptian her handmaid, ten years after they first dwelt in the land of Chanaan, and gave her to her husband to wife. [4] And he went in to her. But she, perceiving that she was with child, despised her mistress. [5] And Sarai said to Abram: Thou dost unjustly with me: I gave my handmaid into thy bosom, and she perceiving herself to be with child, despiseth me. The Lord judge between me and thee.

[3] To wife: Plurality of wives, though contrary to the primitive institution of marriage, Gen. 2. 24, was by divine dispensation allowed to the patriarchs: which allowance seems to have continued during the time of the law of Moses. But Christ our Lord reduced marriage to its primitive institution. Matt. 19.

[6] And Abram made answer, and said to her: Behold thy handmaid is in thy own hand, use her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai afflicted her, she ran away. [7] And the angel of the Lord having found her, by a fountain of water in the wilderness, which is in the way to Sur in the desert, [8] He said to her: Agar, handmaid of Sarai, whence comest thou? and whither goest thou? And she answered: I flee from the face of Sarai, my mistress. [9] And the angel of the Lord said to her: Return to thy mistress, and humble thyself under her hand. [10] And again he said: I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, and it shall not be numbered for multitude.

[11] And again: Behold, said he, thou art with child, and thou shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Ismael, because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. [12] He shall be a wild man: his hand will be against all men, and all men' s hands against him: and he shall pitch his tents over against all his brethren. [13] And she called the name of the Lord that spoke unto her: Thou the God who hast seen me. For she said: Verily here have I seen the hinder parts of him that seeth me. [14] Therefore she called that well, The well of him that liveth and seeth me. The same is between Cades and Barad. [15] And Agar brought forth a son to Abram: who called his name Ismael.

[16] Abram was four score and six years old when Agar brought him forth Ismael.

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