Painting of Hagar in the wilderness by Giovanni Lanfranco. It hangs in the Musée du Louvre.
Alice C. Linsley
Hagar was the Egyptian handmaiden to Sarah, Abraham’s sister wife. She was also one of Abraham’s concubines. Though she is presented as a downtrodden slave, it is likely that Hagar was highly cultured and moved comfortably in the circle of nobles.
As the Horite Hebrew clans practiced endogamy, it is likely that Hagar was the daughter of a Horite Hebrew priest, and as such, she would have been a skilled attendant to Sarah, and even as a concubine, she would have been a woman of high social status.
Sarah’s resentment toward Hagar appears to have had a long history. Some of the resentment may have been cultural. Sarah was from the region of Aram in Mesopotamia while Hagar is identified as an Egyptian. Sarah's resentment toward Hagar became blind jealousy after Isaac was weaned, when Ishmael was about 15 years old.
Genesis portrays Hagar as having a complex personality. In later life she is a strong and independent woman, contracting marriage for her son and apparently producing other offspring known as the Hagarites. They are mentioned in Psalm 83:6. The core of this psalm is believed to pre-date David. The Hagarites are distinct from the Ishmaelites in the Psalm 83 listing of allies, so it is apparent that Hagar (like Anah and Oholibamah) was regarded as a clan chief.
These are key elements of the Messianic Faith by which Messiah is identified.
Jesus Messiah is sometimes called “the Angel of the Lord.” Perhaps he met Hagar’s when she fled to the Horite shrine. Might Hagar's conversion be due to a personal encounter with the pre-incarnate Christ?