Hagar: The Egyptian Servant (Part Two)

Hagar: The Egyptian Servant (Part Two)

Welcome to a behind-the-scenes look at the research and artwork that goes into making each scene of iBIBLE. Today, we look at Hagar.

iBIBLE image of Abraham sending Hagar and Ishmael away at night against a moon lit sky

Last week, we introduced the story of Hagar, the Egyptian servant of Sarai. Sarai had given Hagar to her husband Abram to serve as a surrogate mother. Once pregnant with Abram’s child, she began to treat Sarai with contempt. This led to a conflict between Sarai and Hagar, and resulted in Hagar fleeing into the wilderness. There, an angel of the Lord spoke to her:

“Return to your mistress and submit to her…I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude…Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction.” —Gen. 16:9–11 [ESV] excerpted

iBIBLE image of Hagar sitting near a spring of water with an Angel standing on the other side

The angel speaks to Hagar by the spring

Obeying the angel, Hagar returned to Abram and Sarai, and gave birth to a son who was named Ishmael, according to the word of the Lord. The name Ishmael in Hebrew means “God hears.” God clearly heard Hagar in her time of affliction.

As years went by, God fulfilled His promise to Sarai (Sarah) and she gave birth to Isaac. During a great feast prepared by Abram (Abraham), conflict between Sarah and Hagar is renewed.

Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” —Gen. 21:8b–10

iBIBLE image of Abraham looking to the sky as he receives direction from GodAbraham receives direction from God


After Ishmael was born, and before Isaac was born, God changed Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah.

Although Abraham was displeased and reluctant to send his son Ishmael away, God said to him,

“Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” —Gen. 21:12–13

So, Abraham woke up early in the morning, and took bread and water and gave it to Hagar. He then sent her and her son away. Hagar left Abraham and Sarah, and wandered into the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water Abraham had given to her was gone, she placed Ishmael under a bush, sat down opposite him, saying: “Let me not look on the death of the child,” and she wept. 

iBIBLE image of Abraham sending Hagar and Ishmael away at night against a moon lit skyAbraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away

However, Hagar was not alone. God heard the voice of the boy, and called to Hagar from Heaven.

“What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. —Gen. 21:17b–19

Even though Ishmael was not the promised son, God, in his mercy, blessed Hagar and her son:

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

As promised by God, Ishmael had 12 sons who each became leaders of their own tribes. In later chapters of iBIBLE, the descendants of Ishmael—the Ishmaelites—will play a role in Biblical events including the sale of Joseph into slavery into Egypt!

iBIBLE image of Ishmael standing, a lamb draped over his shoulder, in front of his Egyptian wifeIshmael takes a wife from Egypt

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