Rawlings School of Divinity
Master of Divinity (MDiv)
Abraham, Genesis, Hagar, Inner-Biblical Allusion, Ishmael, Old Testament
Biblical Studies | Christianity | Religion
Walker, Wesley D., "Hagar as Israel: A Prismatic Reading of Hagar and Ishmael" (2018). Masters Theses. 504.
The Hagar and Ishmael story (Gen 16, 21) is one of Genesis’ most undervalued stories. Historically, Jewish and Christian interpreters have approached the text with a bias against Hagar in favor of Sarah. This approach hampers the ability of interpreters to see how the author(s) of Genesis may be utilizing the narrative in a pro-Hagar way. This thesis rehabilitates Hagar and Ishmael’s image by engaging in a charitable and canonical hermeneutic which seeks to see the story in light of a network of inner-biblical allusions. There are three important literary connections which are necessary to understand Hagar and Ishmael include the sacrifice of Isaac (Gen 22), the fall of Adam and Eve (Gen 3), and Israel’s Exodus. These three associations open the possibility for a positive reading of Hagar and Ishmael that shows God’s universal tendencies which transcend ethnicity.