While Hagar was pregnant with Ishmael, she ran away from her mistress to the desert. God met her and talked to her.

Christian Standard Bible Genesis 16:13

So she [Hagar] named the LORD who spoke to her: “You are El-roi,” for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the one who sees me? ”

Did Hagar give the LORD the name "El-roi"? Was "El-roi" a proper name? If yes, what is the significance of this naming, that a human gave name to a god/God?

In a comment, חִידָה pointed out the following equivalence:

אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י
"Atah El R'ei" 
"You [are] God [of] Seeing"

Was "Atah El R'ei" being used by Hagar as a proper name?

  • 1
    What is confusing about the Name : אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י "Atah El R'ei" = "You [are] God [of] Seeing" ? Aug 12, 2021 at 14:24
  • Thanks. I added.
    – user35953
    Aug 12, 2021 at 14:37
  • 1
    The name of the well is important. Was there any water in that place ? Does Hagar, the signification of bondage, have any access to water ?
    – Nigel J
    Aug 12, 2021 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


Searching the MT for אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י shows that it only occurs in Gen. 16:13. This search would have also found אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י. Thus, there is no indication that Hagar got the name from anyone and may have created the name herself. It's a descriptive name, not the personal divine name. Many names of people are like this.

דָּנִיֵּאל - Daniel - God is my judge

אֲבִיאֵל - God is my Father

אֶלְדָּד - God has loved

אֶלְדָּעָה - God has called

אֶלְזָבָד - God has given

אֱלִיאֵל - My God is God

אֱלִיאָ֫תָה = My God has come

אֱלִיאָ֫תָה - My God knows

אֱלִיהוּ - He is my God

And we could keep going.

Note: YHWH does not contain El.

  • +1 Thanks for the answer. You listed many descriptive names that were also used as proper names. But Hagar's descriptive name of the LORD was not a proper name?
    – user35953
    Aug 12, 2021 at 22:01
  • No but אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י looks a lot like a proper name.
    – Perry Webb
    Aug 12, 2021 at 22:28

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