Monday, 20 July 2015

Hagar and Ishmael

An angel of God found her hopeless, alone and crying in the desert. Finally, when their water ran out, she placed her son under a bush and walked away to weep at a distance, as she could not bear to watch him die. She declared that Ishmael would not share in Isaac's inheritance. When Hagar became pregnant, however, Sarah grew jealous and cast her out of their home. An angel of God called to Hagar and said, “Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying.” The angel of God reminded Hagar of God’s blessing and provided a spring of water for them. God tells Abraham to do as Sarah wishes, so he sends Hagar and Ishmael into the desert with only meager food and water. God again heard their cries. As Hagar begins to despair, God speaks to her, promising that Ishmael will become "a great nation" and showing her a well that saves both their lives.

hagar_and_ishmael__image_7_jpg ...

One of the most interesting women in the Bible is Hagar, Abraham's second wife, and the mother of Ishmael. Sarah, too, was blessed with a son, Isaac. Hagar lived at around 2000 BC, working in a foreign land as a domestic servant for a rich man called Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Hagar returned to the desert and wandered there without hope. The Arab and Bedouin tribes claim to be descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar.

HAGAR in the BIBLE: Sarah's slave, Abraham's concubine

Now Sarah had a maid named Hagar, an Egyptian woman, who ran away from her mistress, and saw an angel by a well, and afterward came back to Sarah. Yahweh told Abraham not to be distressed but to do as his wife commanded because not only would Isaac carry the Abrahamic line, but a nation would come from the line of Ishmael as well. The Torah tells us that Ishmael mocked Isaac and often tried to frighten him. She, too, had a child and his name was Ishmael. Later on, after Hagar's return and Ishmael's birth, things went well for all concerned. Abraham was greatly distressed by his wife's words and sought the advice of God. So now there were two boys in Abraham's tent, the older boy, Ishmael, the son of Hagar, and the younger boy, Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah.

Jean-Fran├žois Millet (French, 1814-1875) | Hagar and Ishmael ...

Hagar’s Story Hagar Biblical Story, Genesis 16, 21 The Hebrew name Hagar means “one who flees” or “one who seeks refuge.” The story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, is the story of millions of exploited, trafficked, disabled, and rejected women and children. At a celebration after Isaac was weaned, Sarah found the teenage Ishmael mocking her son. They survived and prospered, and Ishmael became a great nation as God had promised. The name of the boy is first given to Hagar and Abraham follows this command to name him Ishmael.

In Genesis 21, God's promise to Abraham is finally fulfilled, as Sarah gives birth to Isaac. But she frets over whether Ishmael will also be Abraham's heir. Hagar International is committed to being part of God’s blessing to the Hagars and Ishmaels of this world — passionately providing a place of refuge, a message of hope and a journey of restoration for each individual.

The Hebrew name Hagar means “one who flees” or “one who seeks refuge.” The story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, is the story of millions of exploited, trafficked, disabled, and rejected women and children. As Sarah was unable to have children, they followed a common practice of the time: Sarah offered her servant to Abraham. She was so upset by it that she demanded from her husband, who was now referred to as Abraham, to send Hagar and her son away. (Genesis 21:9-13). Hagar was never fully accepted into the tribe despite being the mother of Abraham's child, and in the end she was rejected completely and expelled into the desert. But God protected her twice from Sarah's hatred by sending an angel, and eventually Hagar lived as a free woman, not a slave.

When Isaac was born to Sarah (Sarai), the relationship between Hagar and her mistress had come to a climax. The angel spoke to her, promising a blessing on her child and naming him Ishmael, which means “God hears.” In response to how God sought her out in her hopelessness, Hagar declared, “You are the God who sees me.” Hagar returned to Abraham’s household, but 14 years later, Sarah bore her own son and again, due to jealousy, forced Hagar and Ishmael to leave. Again Sarah insisted that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away if Isaac were to be prevented from following Ishmael's evil ways.

We should, however, not overlook the mercy and love God shows for Hagar and her son as well as the prophetic promise that Lord gives regarding Ishmael. But, like Hagar in the Bible, God hears their cries.

2 The expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 21:1-21). According to one view of our Sages, Hagar was a true believer in the G-d of Abraham. Ishmael was then already thirteen years old and he seemed to have inherited a wild nature through his mother's ancestors, for he was a bad influence on Isaac. But, like Hagar in the Bible, God hears their cries.

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