Genesis 16:3

And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
It was not because he was ablaze with the heat of some unbridled passion, not because he was overcome by the charm of seductive beauty that Abraham gave preference to a relationship with a slave girl over the conjugal bed, but through a desire to procure a posterity and to enlarge his progeny. After the flood the human race was still numerically sparse. Hence it was also a matter of moral obligation that no one be seen to have failed to render the debt to nature. For this reason, even the children of holy Lot were inspired by this motive to procure a posterity for themselves so that the human race would not become extinct. Thus the merit of having done one’s duty to society excused individual guilt. And it is not without significance that the wife is presented as the instigator of the deed. In [a] sense [this] exculpates her husband, so that no one could believe that he was carried away by some mad perversion. At the same time … women might learn to love their husbands, not to allow th...

Didymus the Blind

AD 398
As we said above, it is a most authentic proof of moderation (sophrosyne) that Sarah gives in offering her slave girl to Abraham without a hint of jealousy, after she had observed that in ten months’ time she had not conceived. And we have acknowledged too the passionlessness (apatheia) of the wise man, in that his clear purpose in yielding to his wife’s request was to have children. The anagogical [mystical] sense has already been expounded. It is in accordance with its goal that virtue asks us to first make use of the introductory sciences so as to first have children by them. This does not prevent the works of preparatory education from being themselves children of virtue, since they are engaged for the sake of virtue. By employing these, it was not long before the wise man effected a conception, for progress is spontaneous for the wise man. ...

Didymus the Blind

AD 398
Virtue’s purpose was, as we have said, that the wise man do training exercises first in preliminary education and shadow so that later, with this training behind him, he might arrive at greater things—which is the proper procedural order. It is likewise illogical that after the knowledge of perfect things one should turn back to petty things. This is in fact what the apostle Paul writes to the Galatians, who, after the gospel had been preached to them, wanted to live with the shadow, which is the law …. They had been taken in by a certain Ebion, who wanted to practice Judaism after having become a Christian and who was so successful in persuading others that the apostles gave him this surname to show his poverty. Ebion, in fact, means “poor,” and he was so called because of the perversion and poverty of his ideas. As for the fact that the Galatians were of pagan origin, Paul writes, “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by nature are not gods, but now...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Ten years after she was 65; which shows that she might reasonably conclude she would now have no children herself; and as she knew God had promised Abram a son, she thought he might follow the custom of those times, and have him by a second wife. Abram showed no eagerness on this matter, but only yielded to his wife's petition, deprecanti, being well aware of the inconveniences of polygamy, which Sarai had soon reason to observe. This is the first time we read of polygamy since the deluge; but it is not mentioned as any thing singular or unlawful. This was a matter in which God could dispense; but it was never left to the disposal of any man. Hence, when Luther and his associates ventured to dispense with the Landgrave of Hesse, to keep two wives at once, he required him to keep it a secret, being ashamed of his own conduct. He still maintained it was a thing indifferent, even in the law of grace, though Christ has so expressly condemned it. See præp 62, 65. The practice, so common of ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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