Hagar and Ishmael
1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
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.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee.
6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
K.J.V. Bible Text
When I read that Sarai, Abram’s wife could not conceive and decided to build a family by having Abram sleep with her servant, Hagar, and that Abram agreed to this, I thought it indicated that Abram still doubted the Lord’s promise to give him many offspring. Once again in this situation humans were trying a human solution rather than waiting upon the Lord’s promises.
Of course this caused trouble in the family. Hagar began to think she was better than Sarai because she was able to get pregnant.
Sarai, who had the idea in the first place, blamed Abram for following her suggestion, while Abram, although he had gone along with the idea, did not mediate the dispute. He allowed Sarai to deal with her servant, and Sarai mistreated her so Hagar ran away.
I wonder, is there any woman of any time or place who would not have a jealous reaction if another woman became pregnant with her husband’s baby? Would things have worked out better for Sarai and Abram if they had waited upon the Lord? Who was really wronged here? Was it Sarai or Hagar?
As I’m sure in those days Hagar, a servant, was bound to follow her mistress, I think she was the one wronged.
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