Genesis Bible Study 10: Two Wives are Better than One?

Reading: Genesis 16-17

Principal Question: Does God need help to keep His promise?


  1. Study the two family models if you haven’t discussed this before. Which model fits your tradition?
  2. Read the story. What questions do you have about this story?
  3. Do you think it was easy or difficult for Sarah to offer Abraham another woman? Why do you think she did this?
  4. How do you suppose Hagar, the young slave, felt about this arrangement? Was she insulted, or did she see this as a promotion in status?
  5. How would you have felt, if you were Hagar?
  6. What is the future of the child? Is it happy or sad?

Cultural and Historical Notes

Ishmael will be like a wild donkey. A wild donkey is free. Although his mother is a slave and cannot escape her slavery, the son will become free. However, the price of his freedom will be high. He will live in distrust of everyone, and will have to fight for his place in the world.

Content Questions for English Comprehension

  1. Give the name of each person in the story and tell something about that person.
  2. According to the angel, how many descendants will Hagar have?


In Genesis 17 God changed Abram's name to Abraham, and Sarai's name to Sarah. From now on we will use the new names in our Bible studies.

Scriptures Referenced

Genesis 16:1 - 17:27