Genesis 16:7

And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

And the angel of the Lord found her,.... This is the first time that mention is made of an angel in Scripture, but is not to be understood of a created angel, but of a divine Person, as appears from

Genesis 16:10, the uncreated angel, the Logos or Son of God, called the Angel of God's presence, and the Angel of the covenant, Isaiah 63:9 Malachi 3:1; who often appeared in an human form before his incarnation, being sent by his divine Father on one account or another; and hence called an angel, a messenger, or one sent, as in the fulness of time he was sent in human nature to be the Redeemer of his people; though many of the Jewish writers take this angel to be a man sent of God. Gersom {n} says he was one of the prophets that lived in those times, and observes, that some of their Rabbins say {o} he was Shem, the son of Noah; and Maimonides {p} suggests, that this angel was but a mere man, by comparing this passage with that in Genesis 37:15, "a certain man found him", &c. but the context most clearly confutes this notion, and proves him to be the almighty and omniscient God; since he promises to do what none but the omnipotent Being could do, and declares such things as none but the omniscient God could know: and when it is said he "found Hagar", it is not to be understood as if it was a chance matter, or the fruit and effect of search and inquiry, or as if he had not seen her before; but rather it shows that his eye was upon her, and he had a concern for her, and at a proper time and place appeared to her at once, and unawares, and unthought of by her. And the place where he found her was

by a fountain of water in the wilderness; which lay between Egypt and Canaan, the same through which the Israelites passed afterwards from the one to the other: here was a fountain of water, and meeting with it she stopped to refresh herself,

by the fountain in the way to Shur; a place before or over against Egypt, from whence the wilderness had its name, see Genesis 25:18, which shows that she was making her way to Egypt, as fast as she could, her native country, where in all probability she proposed to continue, and never return more: what the name of the place the angel found her at was, at that time, is not certain, or whether it had any; for it seems to be so called from the Lord's "looking" upon her here, which "Shur" signifies: the Jerusalem Targum calls it Chalaza; and both the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan name it Chagra or Hagra, after her own name, as it should seem: and it is remarkable, that this very place, and the wilderness, and parts adjacent, were the habitation of her posterity, the sons of Ishmael, Genesis 25:18; and must be in Arabia Petraea, which they inhabited; and Ptolemy {q} speaks of a city called Suratta, in that country.

{n} Comment in loc.
{o} Bereshit Rabba, sect. 45. fol. 41. 1.
{p} Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 42. p. 311.
{q} Geograph. l. 5. c. 17.