Sarah, Abraham’s wife, had an Egyptian maidservant called Hagar. Sarah had been told by Abraham that the Lord had promised them a son, but they had waited for 10 years and Sarah had not gotten pregnant, so Sarah became tired of waiting, and convinced Abraham that the logical thing to do was to have sex with Hagar and then the child Hagar would bear would be counted as Sarah’s child. Abraham agreed to this plan and Hagar became pregnant. The Bible says that Hagar “began to despise her mistress,” (Gen. 16:4) but I think it was more like “Who do you think you are to tell me what to do as you couldn’t even get pregnant from your husband?” Whatever the words Sarah, felt very uncomfortable around Hagar and knew that Hagar looked down on her for not being able to give Abraham a child. Sarah, in pain from being barren and from trying to help Abraham achieve his destiny and feeling self-righteous about sharing him with Hagar, is very angry and wants to punish Hagar for her attitude towards her. Abraham gives Sarah permission to “Do with her whatever (she) thinks best.” (Gen. 16:6) The Bible says that Sarah mistreated Hagar.
Hagar then runs away. Continue reading