The Story of Hagar and Ishmael

 

Genesis 16

Yahwist Left               Priestly Writer Right

Genesis 21

The Elohist

1Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, 2 and Sarai said to Abram, "You see that Yahweh has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

3 So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife.

4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May Yahweh judge between you and me!" 6 But Abram said to Sarai, "Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please." Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her.

8 The child [Isaac] grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing (with her son Isaac). 10 So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac." 11 The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. 13 As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring." 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

7 The angel of Yahweh found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And he said, "Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?" She said, "I am running away from my mistress Sarai." 9 The angel of Yahweh said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit to her." 10 The angel of Yahweh also said to her, "I will so greatly multiply your offspring that they cannot be counted for multitude." 11 And the angel of Yahweh said to her, "Now you have conceived and shall bear a son; you shall call him Ishmael, for Yahweh has given heed to your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild ass of a man, with his hand against everyone, and everyone's hand against him; and he shall live at odds with all his kin."

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Do not let me look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him." 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink

 

13 So she named Yahweh who spoke to her, "You are El-roi"; for she said, "Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?" 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

15 Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

. 20 God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Gen 17:13 Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all the slaves born in his house…and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day….

 

Gen 25:9  His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him (Abraham) in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre.

 

Genesis 25:12 These are the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's slave-girl, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. 17 (This is the length of the life of Ishmael, one hundred thirty-seven years; he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.) (cf. 1 Chr 1:28-31)

 

Galatians 4 21Tell me, you (Gentile Christians) who desire to be subject to the Law (as a package of rules, circumcision), will you not listen to the Law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and the other by a free woman. 23 One, the child (Ishmael) of the slave (Hagar), was born according to the flesh; the other, the child (Isaac) of the free woman (Sarah), was born through the promise. 24 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One covenant, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem (the Jerusalem church? Israel?), for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written (Isa 54:1), "Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children, burst into song and shout, you who endure no birth pangs; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than the children of the one who is married." 28 Now you, my (Gentile) friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac. 29 But just as at that time the child who was born according to the flesh “persecuted” the child who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the scripture say (Gen 21:10)? "Drive out the slave and her child; for the child of the slave will not share the inheritance with the child of the free woman." 31 So then, friends, we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman.  5:1 For freedom (in a community where the old barriers of nation, race, class, and gender are overcome) Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.