Hagar (Gal. 4:24)

“Now this is an allegory.

These women

Are two covenants.

One woman,

In fact,

Is Hagar,

From Mount Sinai,

Bearing children

For slavery.”

ἅτινά ἐστιν ἀλληγορούμενα· αὗται γάρ εἰσιν δύο διαθῆκαι, μία μὲν ἀπὸ ὄρους Σινᾶ, εἰς δουλείαν γεννῶσα, ἥτις ἐστὶν Ἄγαρ,

Paul said, “Now this is an allegory (ἅτινά ἐστιν ἀλληγορούμενα).  These women are two covenants (αὗται γάρ εἰσιν δύο διαθῆκαι).  One woman, in fact, is Hagar (ἥτις ἐστὶν Ἄγαρ), from Mount Sinai (μία μὲν ἀπὸ ὄρους Σινᾶ), bearing children for slavery (εἰς δουλείαν γεννῶσα).”  This is a unique word ἀλληγορούμενα, of Galatians that means to speak allegorically.  Paul was the only biblical writer to use this term of “allegory” and only here in this letter.  The story has a moral element in it.  There were two women involved with Abraham.  Paul here hones in on Hagar and her son Ishmael. Paul said that Hagar was linked with Mount Sinai, where Moses will later get the Ten Commandments.  She and her child and their descendants were the children of slavery.  Paul was drawing a contrast between the son of Hagar and the son of Sarah.  First, he explained the role of Hagar, whose descendants would be born into slavery.  Do you know anyone born into slavery?

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