A question about Abraham, Sarai, Hager and Ishmael (Bible story)?

It is mentioned in the Torah that Hager was the maid of Sarai wife of Abraham then she asked him to have sex with Hager to have the child that she couldn't give birth to, Hager get pregnant and gave birth and the child was Ishmael.

Then after some weird troubles between the two women and after Sarai gave birth to a child as well who was Isaac- Sarai urged Abraham to get rid of Hager the maid and her little child!

Abraham agreed and he took the woman and her son away and left them in the desert with so little food and no water.

The bible also tells that Sarai was not patient and she made her own decision (not God's) when she urged her husband to sleep with the maid in other words, Ishmael should not have been born and that was against God's will.

My question is:

How a great messenger of God like Abraham follows his wife when she asked him to get rid of them, does this how a holy man and holy wife behave?

Also, I noticed that the bible like detest Ishmael and his mother. ( I read somewhere that God says that Ishmael will be Donkey man or something like that)

The whole bible when it comes to this story picture the birth of Ishmael as a fault or something that should not have happened albeit Sarai was not patient enough or believer enough.


"He will be a wild donkey of a


his hand will be against


and everyone’s hand against


and he will live in hostility

toward all his brothers.” - Genesis 16:12

Update 2:


So Bible means that due to Abraham and Sarai's sin - humanity are being punished by the presense of Arabs (children of Ishmael) or as you called them "violent donkeys"?

Kinda racist?!

8 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    We need to remember that when Abram lived, it was prior to the Israelites being released from slavery to Egypt, prior to them being designated as God’s chosen people and prior to the 10 Commandments. God had promised Abram that he and his wife Sarai would be blessed with a child, even though Sarai was past the age of childbearing.

    Back then, it was not a sin for a man to have a concubine – a woman who bore him children even though the man was married to another. Sarai had been unable to give Abram a son so she gave her maidservant, Hagar, to her husband so there would be offspring to take up the inheritance. This suggests that Sarai did not have full confidence in God's promise, that she was impatient, as you note. As for Abram, he clearly wasn't perfect! But doesn't that just prove how God can use imperfect people in the outworking of his divine purposes? God uses us in spite of our failings, which is just as well, given we are all imperfect.

    God allowed it because of God’s eternal plan of salvation – that through his chosen people, the Israelites, there would come the Messiah, the son of David. Abram was key to that plan because Abram was unique – he was a man of God, faithful and obedient. The LORD met with Abram and spoke with Abram on more than one occasion. Abram, just like you and me, was a sinner. But God has always used sinners in the outworking of his eternal plan of salvation – Jacob, Moses and King David, for example.

    Far from disobeying God, Abram (who was later renamed Abraham) is recorded in the New Testament as being a man of faith, a man of God. “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend” (James 2:23). Abraham made his share of mistakes but he passed the test where it counted. Abraham is listed in the Hebrews "hall of fame of faith" as written in Hebrews 11:8-12: "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city without foundations, whose architect and builder is God… And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” What an example to us of God’s grace and the power of faith which is a gift from God. As the sovereign creator, it is God’s prerogative to choose whom he will in the outworking of his divine plan of salvation.

    Please check out the link below: What should we learn from the life of Abraham?

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  • 7 years ago

    Where to start??? Hmm....

    Answer to first question:

    Are you married? (I am assuming here that you are a man and are not yet married) If you are married (and are a man) then I am surprised at this question. There is a reason why men think that they are stronger and better than women. BECAUSE WOMEN LET THEM THINK THIS!!!! When a wife wants something her husband to do, we are very capable of LETTING our husbands think it was all his idea.

    And no, this is not how a holy man and his wife behave. This is how a man and wife behave. Have you ever been in the presence of a wife who was mad at her husband??? Scary. ALMOST as scary as p1ssing off G-d.

    Answer about Ishmael:

    Nowhere in the Bible does it even come close to calling Ishmael a "Donkey Man". The only thing I can think of to explain this error is that either A: You were high when you read that passage... OR B: It was not the Bible that you read that bit in.

    Ishmael is where Islam is born. Ishmael is to Islam what Isaac is to Christianity, Catholicism, and Judaism. A bridge to Abraham and thus a bridge to G-d.

    Also, you use the names that were given to them by their parents and the names that the angels given them in the same sentence. Abraham was Abram and Sarai was Sarah. To use the names improperly just goes to show how little the Bible you know.


    Source(s): The Bible... Genesis... LOTS of studying for my Bat Mitzvah.
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  • rowan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    It can be jewish history no longer written by way of Christians. Ishmael was not a mistake. Ishmael used to be born through intervention by way of man, Isaac used to be born supernaturally through God. It appears as a consequence that even though Ishmael does no longer elevate on Abraham's mission he cannot help but be best. He's blessed. Incidentally, the Bible says in particular that Ishmael goes to be quality and that he will be at odds with the leisure of the civilized world. God did take care of Ishmael. "You shall name his identify Ishmael ... And he will be a wild man; his hand can be in opposition to every man, and every man's hand towards him; and he shall live in the presence of all his brothers. (Genesis sixteen:eleven-12) When it's clear that Ishmael won't raise on the mission, God tells Abraham, who's then 99, that Sarah, who is 90, is going to emerge as pregnant. And that is how Isaac is born, supernaturally. "Your wife Sarah will undergo you a son, and you will identify him Isaac. I'll establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant to his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael ... I've bless him and i will make him fruitful and can expand him tremendously. He will become the daddy of twelve princes and i'll make him right into a excellent nation. But i will establish My covenant with Isaac who Sarah will bear to you at the moment subsequent year." (Genesis 17:19-21) So Isaac is the person who will elevate on the mission of Abraham, the mission of the Jews.

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  • 7 years ago

    You do pose some thoughtful questions. Consider that Adam also knew God and His promises and way of life and yet gave in to Eve. These are times of weakness and don't have anything to do with the man's overall relationship with God. It has everything to do with a man's decision to disobey God and do what seems right in his own eyes, though.

    The Bible does not detest Ishmael and Hagar. Simply put, despite Abraham and Sarah's jumping the gun regarding God's promise, Ishmael was not the son of promise.

    edit: Smaug's answer is also correct.

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  • 7 years ago

    You misread the story on a number of levels.

    Too long to go into detail.

    For now -- on the matter of calling him a donkey -

    One of the tribes of Israel is BLESSED by his father that he will be a donkey (Issachar).

    In the Hebrew Bible, this is a positive image -- it denotes perseverence in the face of difficulties.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    the bible describes Abraham as a Patriarch not a messenger...he received 3 (men)Messengers from God but was not a messenger himself.

    Abraham was promised, by the Messengers, that he and his wife (not the slave) would have a son..years past and instead of continuing to waiting on the Lord they argued and got impatient for God to come through ..thus he took his wife's advice and committed adultery

    eve had her husband listen to her and we have sin now

    sarah had her husband listen to her and we have violent donkeys now

    Job's wife tried to tell her husband to "curse God and be done with it"

    He choose to not take the advice...smart move ..he was reward for his patience.


    "A Syrian rebel carves the heart out of a dead man and bites it. His comrades nearby cheer: "God is great." (in arabic).

    This is from a video that is circulating on the Internet. The appalling footage has all the world asking: What kind of people could do this?...let the excuses begin


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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    God promised in the Bible that Ishmael's descendants would become a great nation.

    I'm not sure where you got "donkey man" from.

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  • ScoTT
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    the more you read the bible the more you'll realize what a completely screwed up book of morality it truly is - penn jillette says - "Whatever you do, don't read the Bible for a moral code: it advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition, and murder. Read it because: we need more atheists — and nothin' will get you there faster than readin' the damn Bible."

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