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The root word of Hagar, and it seems that Ishmael was not part of the Covenant...

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in response to reader comment: The Arab invaders in 633CE

Submitted by sara (United States), Jun 10, 2012 at 19:53

Thank you DNM for your explanations. I was thinking of the word Hejira (I once named a cat of mine Hejira inspired by a Joni MItchell album, that certainly dates me:)

Some HGR root words in Hebrew are: Ger (stranger), Ligror (to drag), Gorer (dragger/used for towing). Ger in particular makes sense since a Mehager is an emigree or a wanderer, so they would also be a stranger.

Here are some other interesting notes:

Although Hagar is an Egyptian, her name is Semitic. It comes from the verb (hgr), which is not used in the Bible and its meaning is subsequently unknown. NOBS Study Bible Name List and HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament insist that the verb means to flee. BDB Theological Dictionary refers to the Arabic equivalent, meaning forsake or retire. An Arabic noun derived of this root serves as the name for Mohammed's famous flight, the Hegira. Another name derived of this same root is the tribal name of the Hagrites (Psalm 83:7, 1 Chronicles 27:31).

A curious detail is that the reticent root (hgr) looks like a construct of the the definite article (ha), and a trace of the verb (garar), drag, drag away. Another look-alike is plus (gur), abide, be gathered, be a stranger; (ger 330a) means sojourner.

The name Hagar means Flight thanks to a very rare verb, but is also highly similar to the more common words The Sojourner/ The Dragged Away One. http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Hagar.html#.T9UtXNmVoao

What do you think?

Another important point:, In reading these passages in the Torah, I find it interesting to note that the whole Hagar-the-Egyptian-maid story occurred BEFORE Abram became Abraham, i.e. before the covenant with G-d. So that would mean Ishmael, the illegitimate child, was not part of God's covenant while Isaac was. Therefore, one could argue that the lands and the pacts made between Abraham and G-d never ever involved Ishmael.


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