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Seeing it from Hagar's Point of View

Updated on February 4, 2015

What if it were I?

When I started the study on Abraham and Sarah, I didn't realize how much empathy I would have for Hagar, Sarah's maid. So I put myself in her spot. Think about.

Hagar was probably born into slavery, or servatude in the household of a pharaoh. It was the only life she knew, for all we know, they only house she knew. Then along comes a beautiful woman with a "brother". The pharaoh is immediately smitten by this woman, the woman is Sarah. (Note-Sarah is around the age of 65 at this time) Pharaoh takes Sarah as one of his harem. To Abraham, her "brother" (who in actually was her half-brother, besides being her husband) is given many gifts of slaves and livestock. This is when the problems started for Pharaoh and his household. Disasters, sickness and plagues. Suddenly Pharaoh catches on.

Pharaoh calls Abraham in and asks why did he lie, when indeed Sarah was his wife. He sent them away with all that Abraham had. Which now is a large amount of livestock and slaves, and it now quite wealthy. It is assumed that Hagar was one of the slaves.

They travel on and they eventually settle in Canaan. Now Sarah being ten years older and past the child bearing years had not bore any children for Abraham, who God had promised many descendants. Sarah being impatient, tells Abraham, "God has kept me from bearing you any children, go sleep with my slave and perhaps you can build a family with her."

Abraham says sure. Well, maybe he did, maybe he disagreed for a little bit, but the Bible said he did and Hagar becomes pregnant with a child. Now like any woman probably would, Sarah got jealous. I mean, what was the woman thinking. She is the one who hands her slave over to her husband to take as a second wife, what did she think was going to happen. Exactly what she intended, however, maybe Sarah thought Abraham would turn the offer down.

Sarah says to Abraham - "You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.” Harsh!

Abraham washes his hands of the situation, he says, she is your slave - do what you want.

Sarah then treats Hagar horribly and Hagar runs away. By a spring Hagar runs into an angel of the Lord, who tells her to go back and promises Hagar and great deal of descendants also. When Abraham was 86 years old, Hagar gave birth to his first son, Ishmael.

Abraham sending Hagar and Ishmael away

Now what happens?

As God had promised Abraham and Sarah, Sarah gives birth when Abraham is 100 years old to Isaac. Ishmael is 14 years old at the time.

Issac grew and when the celebration for Isaac being weaned happened Ishmael, like older brothers do, mocked him. Sarah saw it and she was mad - she tells Abraham - "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac." Again - Harsh!

This upsets Abraham, I am sure that he loved Ishmael, because Ishmael was his son to. But God tells Abraham, "Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

So Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away with some food and water. Eventually the food and water ran out and Hagar thought death was close. She put Ishmael a distance from her because she could not bear to watch him die and she cried.

The Angel of Lord called down from heaven and told her not to be afraid that God has heard her and Ishmael cries. That should she should lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for God will make him into a great nation. And God opened Hagar's eyes and she saw a well.

God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.

Family lineage


How would I feel?

Can you imagine - you are slave - no choice in the matter, made to have a son with your boss, whose wife treats you like a dog. I couldn't imagine being Hagar. Yet, human trafficking still happens and women still are being treated like personal property. This should out rage us.

The average age of human trafficking victim is 14

27 million girls are enslaved around the world.

It happened then, it happens now - let's take a stand so it doesn't keep happening in the future.

Whose the Bad Guy?

Who do you feel is the bad guy of the story?

See results


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