(I recently contributed an article to A Pinch of Faith's series on women in the Bible. Here is the start, the rest can be found on A Pinch of Faith.)
Hagar is one of the most over-looked women in the Bible. Very little is known about her. Born in Egypt, she somehow came to be with Sarah and Abraham as Sarah’s slave. Her place in the world is shaky at best. Overall she is powerless in the day-to-day dealings of her life. We don’t know her age, how she looked, if she had family back in her homeland. In fact, Hagar would have faded into historical obscurity except for one fact: Sarah chose to use her for her own end.
When we think of Hagar we have to keep her lot in perspective. She had no control over her life, body, or time. She could not say no. She could not come and go as she pleased. She was enslaved, under the rule of Sarah and Abraham with no hope or expectation for change. The reason for this caution is too often we turn Hagar into the villain of what comes next, when she is quite simply anything but.
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