New Defender's Study Bible Notes
16:2 by her. In the culture of the time, it was considered so essential for a wife to give her husband an heir that, if necessary, she could have a child by proxy, as it were, through her personal maid. Note also the similar arrangement for Jacob by his wives, Leah and Rachel (Genesis 30:3,9). The famous Nuzi tablets, found in northern Syria, confirm that it was customary and legal in the nations of that time and place for a wife unable to produce children to provide her handmaid to be a surrogate wife to her husband, with any resulting child considered her own.
16:6 as it pleaseth thee. The Nuzi tablets mentioned above also allowed the wife, if she so chose, to order both the mistress and the child to leave.
16:7 angel of the LORD. This is the first specific reference to angels in Scripture (though angels are called “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2). Here it is “the angel of Jehovah,” specifically identified (Genesis 16:13) as Jehovah Himself. The term “the angel of the LORD,” therefore, seems often to refer to Christ Himself in a theophany.
16:12 wild man. Literally, “a wild ass of a man,” seemingly referring prophetically to a characteristic of the Arab peoples who are descendants of Ishmael, a character apparent even today in the modern Israeli-Arab conflict.