The Allegory of Hagar And Sarah – Part 1

Hagar and Judaism

There are two different marriage covenants that are discussed in the Bible. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament include representations of them.

Moses was the one who mediated the Old Covenant, while Jesus Christ was the one who mediated the New Covenant. The marriage that established the Old Covenant was to a bondwoman, whereas the marriage that established the New Testament was to a free woman.

Paul explains to us in Galatians that this was symbolised allegorically by Abraham’s marriage to Sarah and Hagar:

Galatians 4:22-26 — For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. But one, the son by the slave woman, was born by natural descent, while the other, the son by the free woman, was born through the promise. These things may be treated as an allegory, for these women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 

Exodus 21:1-9 — ​“These are the decisions that you will set before them: ​“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years, but in the seventh year he will go out free without paying anything. If he came in by himself he will go out by himself; if he had a wife when he came in, then his wife will go out with him. If his master gave him a wife, and she bore sons or daughters, the wife and the children will belong to her master, and he will go out by himself. But if the servant should declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master must bring him to the judges, and he will bring him to the door or the doorpost, and his master will pierce his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him forever. “If a man sells his daughter as a female servant, she will not go out as the male servants do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to a foreign nation, because he has dealt deceitfully with her. If he designated her for his son, then he will deal with her according to the customary rights of daughters. 

The First Marriage Contract

God and Israel entered into the Old Covenant like partners in a marriage. In reality, God was getting married to a woman called Israel who was a slave. She had the same kind of marriage to her Husband (God) as Hagar had to Abram. And the “children” who sprang from that marriage union were unable to fulfil the promise that God had made.

In the same way that Hagar could only give birth to Ishmael, the Old Covenant could only give birth to spiritual Ishmaelites. This is something that has always been a part of the ancient city of Jerusalem.

In a subsequent chapter of Galatians, Paul reveals to us that the children of ancient Jerusalem were the ones who persecuted the children of the promise, who are those who believe in Christianity. Paul had first-hand knowledge of this since he had participated in the persecuting of the early church himself, back when he was still known by his Hebrew name, Saul, and he was a native of the ancient city of Jerusalem.

Acts 9:1-2 — Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats to murder the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.  

By acting in this manner, he was acting out the pattern and the shadow that was cast by Ishmael’s persecution of Isaac. The only place in the Bible where it is said that Ishmael persecuted Isaac is in Genesis 21:9.

Genesis 21:9 — But Sarah noticed the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 

The only thing that is mentioned is that Ishmael was “mocking” Isaac. Paul’s assertion that Ishmael persecuted Isaac can scarcely be supported by the evidence presented here. On the other hand, we discover this information in other ancient literature such as the book of Jasher, which states that Ishmael made an attempt to take Isaac’s life.

Jasher 21:11-15 — 11 During those times, Abraham’s other son, Ishmael, had already reached adulthood; he was fourteen years old when Sarah gave birth to Isaac for Abraham. 12 And God was with Ishmael, Abraham’s son; and as he grew older, he learned how to wield a bow, and he became an archer. 13 At the age of five, Isaac was seated at the entrance of the tent with his brother Ishmael. 14 And Ishmael came to Isaac and sat himself down opposite to him, and he took the bow and drew it and placed the arrow in it, with the intention of killing Isaac. 15 And Sarah saw the deed that Ishmael desired to do to her son Isaac, and it caused her great anguish on account of her son, and she called for Abraham and said to him, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for her son shall not be heir with my son, for thus did he seek to do unto him this day.” Ishmael had intended to do this deed to Isaac on that day.

This description accords with Paul’s remark and matches completely with the real persecution that was faced by the early Church during this period. It is important to keep in mind that Saul, in his capacity as a spiritual Ishmaelite, had sought to slaughter Christians and had also taken part in the stoning of Stephen.

Acts 8:1 — And Saul agreed completely with killing him. Now on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. 

Paul eventually expressed his sorrow for his behaviour.

Galatians 1:13-14 — For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.

The city of Jerusalem and the Old Covenant both had a significant role in the development of Judaism. Despite what a lot of people preach these days, it is Hagar, and it will never be able to bring about the Kingdom of God. Because servitude is inherent to Judaism, the religion never frees its adherents from this condition.

One should avoid grouping all Jews into the same category since there are, of course, a variety of factors in the surrounding environment that have an effect on certain Jews. According to a popular Jewish proverb, whenever there are two Jews in a conversation, there are three points of view.

The Slavery of Hagar Is Reflected in Jewish Law and Practice

The majority of Christians in today’s world only consider Hagar and Ishmael about Arabs and Islam when they do so. Regarding how women were treated, one of the justifications claimed for the United States going to war in Afghanistan in 2002 was to “liberate women.”

As a result, many across the world now have the misconception that Arab women are held in servitude, which, according to contemporary Western standards, is the case.

However, Paul made it quite plain in Galatians chapter 4 that Jerusalem represents Hagar, and that Ishmael represents Jerusalem’s children, Judaism. Therefore, if we want to comprehend this Scripture, we will have to concentrate our efforts more on Judaism than on Islam. If Paul is true, then there ought to be proof, even in the present day, that Judaism drives individuals into the servitude of others.

One other widespread misunderstanding about Judaism is held by Christians and other individuals who have been greatly impacted by the Christian heritage and culture. This is the fallacious notion that Judaism is a “biblical religion;” that the Old Testament has in Judaism the same central position and legal authority that the Bible does for Protestant or even Catholic Christianity. “

As a result, although we are going to take a cursory glance at a few of the teachings of Judaism, let us bear in mind that Jesus referred to them as “the customs of men.” Because of this, God’s law was rendered null and invalid.

Matthew 15:1-9 — Then Pharisees and experts in the law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and said, “Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If someone tells his father or mother, “Whatever help you would have received from me is given to God,” he does not need to honor his father.’ You have nullified the word of God on account of your tradition. Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, and they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” 

This is not the religion of the Old Testament since it does not represent the will or the intentions of God. It will become immediately clear why Jesus disagreed with the ideas being promulgated by the religious authorities of His day, as well as why authentic Christianity is not just another offshoot of Judaism.



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Godwin Shon Sequeira
Godwin Shon Sequeira
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