Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael

I’m just going to go over this real quick because there’s more to this story a little later on. But we need to touch on this first.

First of all, for you sticklers of detail, at this time Abraham’s name was Abram and Sarah’s name was Sarai. They changed their names soon thereafter to Abraham and Sarah so that’s what I’m going to call them.

Sarah was Abraham’s wife but Sarah had a problem. She was barren and couldn’t have children. Children were a big deal in those days. Being a rich and powerful man, Abraham needed an heir and it looked like Sarah wasn’t going to come through.

But Sarah had a plan; she would give her servant, Hagar, to Abraham so he could have children by her in Sarah’s name. Apparently this was rather common, so Abraham was glad to oblige. Hagar immediately became pregnant, eventually having a son whom she named Ishmael.

But once the deed was done, even though it was her idea, Sarah got jealous and gave Abraham a load of grief about it. Abraham, in his unparalleled parenting skills, told Sarah that Hagar was her servant and she could do whatever she wanted with her and her new son1. So Sarah treated them both with contempt and made their lives a living hell.

1 Even though he was Abraham’s sole heir.

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