Thursday, April 26Exploring The Black Presence In The Bible

Hagar: Abraham’s Egyptian Wife and The Mother of Ishmael


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Hagar was Abraham’s black Egyptian concubine that overcame her status as a servant to become the mother to  of the largest nations to ever exist. When Sarah failed to get pregnant, as God promised her she would, she decided to take things into her own hands, and give her Egyptian handmaid Hagar to Abraham, so that he could get her pregnant.

“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. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.” – Genesis 16:3-4

The Birth of Ishmael

It was this union that led to the birth of their half Egyptian son Ishmael, the father of the Ishmaelites. Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.

“And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.” – Genesis 16:15-16

This is one of the most important births in the Bible because it is the beginning of the Ishmaelite (Ishmeelite) nation. It is the Ishmael’s daughter that will later marry Esau and give birth to several Dukes of Edom. It is also the Ishmealites that sell Joseph into slavery, where he later second to Pharaoh.



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Hagar The Hated

After the birth of Ishmael, Sarah began to hate her because of the child, and in order to deal with the situation, Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away.

“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.” – Genesis 21:14

The very last we hear of Hagar personally in scripture is when God finds her and baby Ishmael ready to die in the wilderness. God promises her that he will make Ishmael a great nation, and she eventually chooses and Egyptian wife for him. After that she is never mentioned again.

“And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.” – Genesis 21:17-21

The Hagarenes

While Hagar herself disappears from the story, her descendants are mentioned later in Psalms 83 as part of a multi national conspiracy to hide Israel and make them forget who they are.

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.” – Psalms 83:4-8

We know that Hagar left the home of Abraham and Sarah, but we aren’t told whether or not she remarried or had more children. She was Egyptian, so it is very likely that she returned to Egypt. Her son Ishmael and his descendants were known as the Ismaelites.

One possibility is that the descendants of her grandson Kedar, who were known as the Kedarites, may have been grouped with the Ishmaelites and other descendants of the sons of Ishmael. Collectively, many believe these descendants of Hagar were collectively called the Hagarenes.

A similar example in the Bible is concerning Ephraim and Manasseh. Sometimes the tribes are referred to separately, but at others, they are both grouped under the tribe of Joseph. While we don’t know which specific groups were classified as Hagarenes, we do know that they lived on throughout the course of the Bible and played major roles in the history of Israel.

The Family of Hagar


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3 Comments

  • Jairus

    So are you of the belief white people are the edomites..? Black Hebrew Israelites techings, from this doesn’t seem like it..

    • Black History In The Bible

      Currently, I’m not of the belief that all white people are Edom. Maybe a specific group, but the majority are Gentiles as defined by Genesis 10 and the rest of scripture. To label all white people as Edomites doesn’t even make sense according to BHI teachings.

      BHI constantly talks about lineage through the father… except when it comes to Esau. Suddenly they stop teaching that Esau is the brother of Israel. They stop teaching the Esau are Hebrews just like Israel.

      Their teachings are contradictory to their own teachings.

      With that said, I’m still researching Edom because I do believe their may be a small set of Edomites, but that is determined by who their fathers were… and if their fathers started as black, then most people that are accused of being Edomites are not actually Edomites.

  • Allen Tate

    Genesis 16:6-15 also addresses that it will not be a blessed nation in the sense of peace and harmony, but that he will constantly war with all his neighboring nations. This is evident today.
    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.
    7 And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
    8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
    9 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
    10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
    11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
    12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
    13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
    14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
    15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael

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