Text: Genesis 21:8-21
“An artfully arranged sentence begins the story of her actions…‘Now Sarai, wife of Abram, did not bear [a child] to him, but to her [was] an Egyptian maid whose name [was] Hagar.’” (Phyllis Trible) It is one of the most troubling, unimaginable, and haunting stories in the biblical text. “Sarai the Hebrew is married, rich, and free but also old and barren. Hagar the Egyptian is single, poor, and slave but also young and fertile. Power belongs to Sarai; powerlessness marks Hagar…Sarai proposes a plan to acquire a child.” (Trible) The text reads:
And Sarai said to Abram:
‘Behold, God has prevented me from bearing children.
Go, then, to my maid.
Perhaps I shall be built up from her.’