In Genesis, Hagar is described as the Egyptian maidservant of Sarah. Since Sarah was barren and was unable to have children, she told Abraham to "go into" Hagar, so that she might have a child by Hagar. So Sarah gave Abraham Hagar to be his wife, and Hagar became pregnant.
However, after becoming pregnant, Hagar started to hate Sarah, her mistress. So Sarah began mistreating Hagar, so Hagar eventually ran away from Sarah to a spring in the wilderness.
In the wilderness, an Angel of the Lord met with Hagar and instructed her to return to her mistress and promised her that her descendants would be great and that her child would be a strong wild man and would dwell in the presence of his brethren. So Hagar named the place Beer Lahai Roi and she returned to Sarah and Abraham and had a son whom she named Ishmael.
Sometime later Sarah had a son, whom she named Issac. However, when Issac was weaned, Sarah caught Ishmael scoffing at Issac and Sarah demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away, and God commanded him to listen to his wife, so he sent Hagar and her son away with some bread and water and they wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.
When all of the water was gone, Hagar placed Ishmael under a shrub and sat opposite from him so that she would not see him die, and she wept for him. However, God came to her and instructed her to rise and and promised her that a great nation would come from her son and He opened her eyes and He showed her a well and they both got a drink.
Hagar and Ishmael then lived in the Wilderness of Paran and Ishmael became an archer and Hagar took a wife for him from Egypt.
Hagar was the mother of Ishmael who bore twelve princes: Nebajoth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.They dwelt from Havilah as far as Shur. Ishmael also had a daughter named Basemath, who later became one of the wives of Esau.
In Paul's letter to the Galatians, he compared Hagar and her son to Sarah and her son and to the Israelite bondage up until Mount Sinai and he states that the Israelites were not the children of Hagar, but the children of Sarah.
- "I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai."-Hagar answering the Angel of the Lord as to where she is going (Gen 16: 8).
- "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?"- Hagar wondering if she really saw the Lord (Gen 18: 13).
- "Let me not see the death of the boy."-Hagar not wanting to witness Ishmael's death (Gen 21: 16).
- Hagar means flight.
- Hagar was given to Abraham as a wife, but she is considered to be his consort.
- Hagar is the first female servant specifically mentioned by name in the Bible